- European retail technology firm StrongPoint has brought its grocery picking technology to the United States, according to a spokesperson for the Norwegian company.
- The picking tech can assist in-store associates with reaching an average picking rate of approximately 240 items per labor hour — roughly four times faster than the common industry standards of 60-65 items per hour — and averages 99.99% accuracy, according to a press release.
- The U.S. rollout comes at a time when grocers are looking to boost efficiency and speed up fulfillment of online orders.
StrongPoint said many of its grocery partners using the solution to its full capabilities are able to reach the average in-store picking rate of roughly 240 items per hour across all product categories.
StrongPoint’s technology customizes the picking route for workers based on a store’s layout and footprint and includes features like multi-zone and multi-order picking, several solutions for age-restricted items and substitution options, according to the press release. The technology can also integrate with electronic shelf labels and a smart trolley.
The order picking solution is hosted on the company’s cloud-based e-commerce platform, which gives grocers continuous updates. “Data inputs at each stage of the picking process — from preparing the trolley to the picking, weighing and bagging of products — create a continuous feedback loop, so ergonomic improvements can be made to drive further efficiencies, speed and accuracy,” StrongPoint said in the announcement.
Based in Norway, StrongPoint, which rolled out its first picking solution in 1997, noted the technology has been used by thousands of pickers in multiple countries and has had several iterations based on customer feedback.
The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of online grocery shopping, which e-commerce technology provider Mercatus and research firm Incisiv expect will hit $250 billion and account for 21.5% of total grocery sales by 2025. Grocers have turned to picking solutions as one way to streamline fulfillment.
During an earnings call in April, Albertsons President and CEO Vivek Sankaran said the grocer has seen its new picking algorithms and software lower costs and make it easier for workers to fulfill orders. Late last year, Texas-based United Supermarkets said it was able to achieve picking speeds of up to 160 items per hour with Mi9 Retail’s ThryveAI.
The increased demand from grocers has brought new innovations from technology firms. Last month, Stor.ai, a firm that provides end-to-end e-commerce solutions for grocers, and retail computer vision and analytics provider Trax partnered up to combine Trax’s on-demand workforce with Stor.ai’s online platform, which includes a picking app.