Communities around the globe experienced increased health and safety concerns, shortages of vital home goods, and an increase in demand for all products on store shelves. To help sustain communities, grocers and large supermarkets did everything they could to not only give customers their desired products but to provide them with the best shopping experience possible.
In order to provide for their communities, and to maintain a positive customer experience, many warehouses turned to automated distribution processes and inventory management systems powered by artificial intelligence.
These two approaches make intralogistics operations lean and, when leveraged together, can prepare food distribution operations for any future disruption. However, many grocers require personalized solutions that work to support their needs, and in turn, the needs and the customers and communities.
Cimcorp, with access to the Murata Group's deep pool of technology and solution offerings, can help grocers improve their customer experience and become true members of their communities through the power of automation. By making a match with intelligence platforms and automated distribution systems, grocers can take advantage of three key benefits.
1. Increased Efficiency
While picking up your groceries is a simple task, providing consistently fresh produce to grocery stores can be incredibly complex. Grocers have to account for a number of different variables, while still providing affordable produce to their customers, without passing on additional logistical costs at the checkout counter.
Automated systems that leverage AI are powerful tools to help increase the efficiency of operations. Cutting-edge warehouse distribution systems can store, retrieve, and distribute fresh produce at faster rates than manual picking, increasing resilience along every part of the supply chain.
Coupling automation with AI allows greater visibility for inventory management, which allows grocers to prepare for seasonal demand spikes on different items, while also reducing waste and increasing revenue.
These solutions can also help keep your operations clean as a whistle! Automated systems can clear the entire storage floor for easy cleaning, which is important for hygiene. Especially in the fresh food industry so customers experience no delays for their fresh produce.
True community members are always looking to make their operations cleaner and more energy-efficient to help promote a sustainable ecosystem.
Thankfully, 'going green' with automation is easy to do. In automated distribution centers, produce and other products are delivered via reusable containers rather than traditional cardboard crates. These containers can be used again and again, reducing the grocery distribution's potential waste.
Sustainability means more than making operations green. Grocers will need to make their supply chain operations long-lasting, even in the face of labor shortages across the warehousing sector. Keeping operations sustainable helps your business stay a valued member of the community while keeping you prepared for whatever disruptions may affect customers.
3. Planning for E-Commerce
Many supermarket chains were caught by surprise when pick-up and delivery services quickly became customer demands in 2020 and 2021. Even now, grocery curbside pick-up and delivery services are dominating the retail market and are expected to expand even further over the course of the next few years.
For many businesses in this space, the answer has been to move away from large distribution warehouses and to move toward smaller micro-fulfillment centers powered by automated systems. These smaller warehouses are perfect for streamlining delivery services to help customers receive fresher products, faster.
Automation can also help grocers adopt new trends, like the sale of fresh produce in individually sealed and packaged containers. In addition to reducing the waste and headache of packaging loose produce for delivery or pick-up, these packaging techniques can also decrease the risk of contamination and disease for any health safety concerns. Some studies show that these trends can even result in a higher turnover on products thanks to catchy packaging.
To have access to truly global solutions, grocers should turn to a well-connected integrator like Cimcorp, who can provide personally tailored solutions for any operation. Cimcorp can implement automated solutions to work alongside AI management systems, and design its systems around either new or existing structures, offering the same level of flexibility that grocers offer to their customers.
Why Your Customers will Fall in Love with Automation
Grocers need to strongly consider the benefits of automation and AI-powered solutions. Cimcorp understands the need to provide global solutions at the local level and is committed to making sure your customers have the best possible experience at your storefronts.
At Cimcorp, we strive to provide solutions that truly make a difference for the end customer, promoting grocers as true members of the community with innovative solutions to their distribution problems. With our help, you can streamline all your inventory, keeping shelves fully stocked and emptied within one day, all in one go, providing food on the table for all the communities you support.