Multifunction robots are rolling out. Sam’s Club today announced that it will deploy the Inventory Scan accessory to its existing fleet of robotic floor scrubbers nationwide. The Walmart Inc. division said the chainwide rollout will be Brain Corp's largest and fastest to date, in partnership with Tennant Co.
“Sam’s Club is hyper-focused on making sure our members have a seamless shopping experience, so any time-saving innovation we can implement is significant,” said Todd Garner, vice president of in-club product management at Sam’s Club. “By adding Inventory Scan to our current fleet of robotic scrubbers, we obtain critical inventory data that previously was time consuming to obtain.”
“This intelligence allows us to proactively manage our clubs in an efficient manner,” he added. “Inventory Scan assures items are available and easy to locate in the club, freeing up time for our associates to focus on members and the shopping experience they deserve.”
For 39 years, Sam’s Club has offered products, savings and services to millions of members. The Bentonville, Ark.-based warehouse club has nearly 600 clubs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico and uses technologies such as Scan & Go, curbside pickup, and home delivery service in select markets.
Inventory Scan adds robot functionality
Announced earlier this month, Inventory Scan works with Brain Corp's BrainOS artificial intelligence and Tennant's floor-cleaning robots to combine autonomy and ease of use with existing equipment, said the companies. The new towers will be fitted to almost 600 robots, making them among the first multifunction systems, said Brain Corp.
Once installed on a scrubber, the cloud-connected Inventory Scan tower can capture data as it moves autonomously around a club store, acording to the companies.
The tower will send reports to managers providing numerous insights including verification of pricing accuracy, planogram compliance, product stock levels, and product localization. Each function negates the need for time consuming and manual processes, reducing waste and inventory loss, according to Sam's Club and Brain Corp.
“This latest iteration of our valued and longstanding partnership with Sam’s Club marks the beginning of realizing the next phase in our company's vision,” said Dr. Eugene Izhikevich, CEO of Brain Corp. “We are actively taking BrainOS-powered robots from primarily task-oriented machines, to in-store data-acquisition platforms, able to deliver actionable insights on inventory availability, planogram compliance, and more. This adds significant ROI [return on investment] for retailers.”
Founded in 2009, Brain Corp said its BrainOS currently powers more than 20,000 autonomous mobile robots (AMRs). The San Diego, Calif.-based company said Fortune 500 customers use its cloud-connected platform to scale robot fleets for cleaning floors, moving inventory, and sensing environmental data. Brain Corp displayed Inventory Scan at the NRF 2022 event last week.
Tennant touts innovation with Sam's Club, Brain Corp
Tennant noted that its work with Brain Corp and Sam's Club will enable retailers to collect actionable data without adding a lot of overhead.
“Throughout its 150-year history, Tennant Co. has helped advance the cleaning industry through the relentless pursuit of new technology,” said Dave Huml, president and CEO of Tennant. “Inventory Scan fills an enormous AI and data-process gap for retailers by providing an effective and reliable solution for capturing high-quality inventory and store-mapping data. It also eliminates the need for potentially disruptive infrastructure, like shelf cameras and drones.”
“By adding data-collection functionality to our AMR floor scrubbers and integrating with a retailer’s existing inventory management system, we can meaningfully improve how retail stores operate,” he said. “Inventory Scan allows retailers to be more efficient by minimizing the need for labor-intensive, manual approaches and helps ensure shelves remain stocked.”
“Our vision is that data collection and floor care will become fully automated so that our customers can focus on managing their businesses and meeting the needs of their customers,” said Huml.
Founded in 1870, Tennant's products include equipment for maintaining surfaces in industrial, commercial, and outdoor environments; detergent-free and other sustainable cleaning technologies; and cleaning tools and supplies.
The Eden Prairie, Minn.-based company had about 4,300 employees and sales of $1 billion in 2020. Tennant has manufacturing operations throughout the world and sells products directly in 15 countries and through distributors in more than 100 countries.