Lambert Vet Supply yesterday said it has expanded its alliance with Körber Supply Chain. the veterinary supplies distributor has agreed to deploy 24 mobile robots from Locus Robotics at partner Jeffers Pet Supply's warehouse network in Dothan, Ala.
The autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) will integrate with Lambert's existing K.Motion warehouse management system (WMS) to drive efficiency and workplace improvements, said the companies.
“We are experiencing record growth in both our consumer and professional pet-care e-commerce segments while navigating unprecedented and unpredictable labor challenges,” said Tammy Schmidt, vice president and chief operating officer at Lambert Veterinary Supply.
Lambert, Jeffers seek flexibility
“Being able to seamlessly integrate and ramp up and down, the robots as a service [RaaS] provide us with the needed flexibility and scalability to meet our growing e-commerce customer demand while maintaining a smaller, dependable team of warehouse associates and reducing onboarding of new warehouse associates to minutes from weeks,” Schmidt said.
Founded in 1994, Lambert Vet Supply (LVS) said its has a twofold mission. First, the Fairbury, Neb.-based company wants to provide pet owners with quality pet supplies, pet medications, and veterinary supplies at competitive prices.
Second, LVS intends to provide the best customer care in the industry, starting with sales people committed to making the company its customers' lifetime source for advice and products for the health and wellbeing of their pets.
Founded in 1975, Jeffers claimed that it is one of the largest privately owned animal health supply companies in the U.S. It specializes in pet, livestock, and equine supplies through a catalog of more than 25,000 products.
RaaS provides scalability
The RaaS model allows for high scalability to keep capacities available, and it adapts quickly to peak periods, said Körber Supply Chain. It added that the new automation and data collection have have enabled Lambert to account not only for increases in efficiency and productivity, but also employee health and safety improvements.
That includes minimal training for warehouse associates, ease of use through intuitive user interfaces, and a reduction of the distances that employees must walk by about 50%. Körber said its system also contributes to a safer and more ergonomic environment for all warehouse associates.
In addition, the integrated AMRs can minimize exhaustion, stress, and the risk of injury-prone activities such as loading and pushing carts, the company said.
“Being a long-standing Körber partner and understanding our capability in delivering complete end-to-end software, robotics, and operational solutions, Lambert looked to us when it was time to take the next step in their warehouse digitization journey,” said John Santagate, vice president of robotics software at Körber Business Area Supply Chain.
“The subscription-based model is ideal for Lambert, as it provides a fast, cost-effective, flexible, and scalable robotic solution that will drive operational efficiency—next to making great strides to take account of their associates' health, safety, and wellbeing,” he said.
About Körber Supply Chain
As supply chains grow more complex, Körber claimed that it has responded with a range of proven, systems fitting any business size, strategy, or appetite for growth. The company said portfolio includes software, automation, mail and parcel systems, voice technology, and robotics, and materials handling—as well as the expertise to tie it all together.
Körber Business Area Supply Chain is part of Hamburg, Germany-based global technology group Körber. It recently partnered with wine trader Hawesko Group on using AMRs at its IWL subsidiary.
Körber Supply Chain also recently agreed to work with tissue paper manufacturer Renova to build a fully automated warehouse including an automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) in Torres Novas, Portugal.