Perfect Pick: The Ultimate Robotic Solution for Newegg, Inc.
Same-day order fulfillment is what retailers talk about when they’re dreaming big. OPEX Corporation has engineered the technology that turns those dreams into a reality. We recently partnered with Newegg, Inc., a leading online-only retailer of electronics whose rapid growth earned the company a spot on the Forbes “Largest Private U.S. Companies” list. Like OPEX, Newegg is customer-focused, cutting-edge and poised at the top of its industry.
To meet the demands of its growing customer base, Newegg has established multiple distribution centers since its inception in 2001. Newegg opened a high-tech distribution center in Indianapolis in 2014, encompassing almost a half-million square feet. Newegg made a same-day order fulfillment promise to its customers, and OPEX provided Newegg with the solution it needed to keep that promise to its 25 million registered users.
E-commerce is brutally competitive; customers make buying decisions that are not limited to price. The retailer has to be positioned to deliver the product quickly, accurately and at the best price. To maintain its industry-leader position and keep its customer promise, Newegg identified the following target objectives for the Indianapolis distribution center:
- Secure storage of ample and diverse inventory
- Lightning-fast, accurate picking
- Maximum productivity with minimal labor
OPEX offered a solution that met all of these objectives and more in Perfect Pick, a revolutionary, robotic goods-to-person order fulfillment system engineered and manufactured by OPEX. Although Perfect Pick requires a small footprint, it yields big results.
The Newegg distribution center houses two enclosed Perfect Pick storage aisles, 32 feet high, with 15 iBOTs per aisle. The enclosed aisles offer a high measure of security for Newegg’s inventory as items cannot be accessed except at the four picking stations on each end of the aisles. iBOTs are wireless robots that transfer storage totes in and out of their positions from within the storage aisles. Approximately 20% of Newegg’s SKUs, including cell phones, cameras and other fast-moving products are stored inside Perfect Pick.
Travel time for workers is drastically reduced because the iBOTs bring a tote containing inventory directly to each of the four workers assigned to the pick stations. Chuck Cornwell, the warehouse manager at the Indiana distribution center, explains that the ten steps it took to fulfill an order from the pick module has been reduced to four steps using Perfect Pick. It also takes half the time to fill an order in Perfect Pick compared to the pick module. Newegg is processing 18,000 orders a day via Perfect Pick, and because workers don’t have to physically search for product, memorize locations or multi-task—accuracy is almost perfect.
Newegg is able to keep their customer promise of same-day order fulfillment, and has also gained several unanticipated returns because of Perfect Pick: iBOTs contribute to sustainability as they recharge themselves; training time was reduced from two weeks to one day; Perfect Pick’s vertical design allows for dense storage while occupying minimal real estate in the warehouse; and the totes’ height, as well as tilt function, provide ergonomic benefits that reduces worker fatigue and discomfort. Cornwell is clearly pleased with the new system as he says, “Perfect Pick has been fantastic. It pretty much is the ultimate solution.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.