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Covariant to Increase Investment in Automation Despite Economic Uncertainties

A Covariant study concludes more than half of retail executives will leverage material handling as a competitive advantage in 2023, regardless of cost. Despite a looming recession, retailers and their logistics providers are planning to increase investment in automation solutions, including AI Robotics, to optimize operations and revitalize the customer experience.

The challenges that retailers and logistics providers expect in 2023 remain similar to those experienced during the pandemic (from 2020-2022), except retailers foresee an unpredictable, high-inflation environment. Half of logistics and retail executives (51%) reported that, in 2023, their companies will view material handling as a way to create a competitive advantage.

More than half (56%) plan to shift their 2023 fulfillment and distribution center investments toward maintaining current facility counts while bringing in technology that creates efficiency and upends heavily manual processes. Retailers and logistics providers will shift from pilot automation projects to the scaled deployment of AI-powered picking robots across entire warehouses and distribution centers.

Order picking, packing, and order sortation are the top categories for investments in robotic picking automation through 2025. Retailers expect to reduce human labor costs (55%), improve throughput and efficiency (54%), be ready for future dynamic and changing business needs (46%), and handle fluctuating demand spikes (43%).

“Retailers are feeling the pressure increase as supply chain challenges from previous years linger and new ones rear their ugly heads. But with the right automation strategy — delivering a cost-effective, great customer experience is completely within reach,” said Peter Chen, Covariant CEO.

To learn more, visit the Covariant website here.

– Article by Thomas Atwood

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