Supply chain consultant and former Amazon executive, Brittain Ladd, has provided a first look at an AutoStore micro fulfilment centre (MFC) installed in a H-E-B store in Plano, Texas, USA.
In a LinkedIn post, Ladd said: “I can state with no hesitation that the installed MFC is the most incredible AutoStore MFC I’ve ever seen.”
“H-E-B can legitimately claim to operate the most sophisticated and advanced grocery store in the world. Carrefour, Tesco, Majid Al Futtaim, Hy-Vee., and Amazon, need to pay close attention to what HEB is doing; especially Hy-Vee and Amazon.”
He continued: “What’s amazing about the MFC is the sheer size of it when compared to an average MFC.”
“In addition, I am impressed by the fact that an additional MFC was built inside a cold room adjacent to the ambient temperature MFC. Note: I am not providing operational details about the MFC as that information is proprietary to H-E-B.”
I must recognise Swisslog, the system integrator that installed the AutoStore MFC. Swisslog is arguably the best system integrator in the world.”
“Congratulations are also warranted for AutoStore. I have stated many times that the three best micro fulfilment companies in the world are Alert Innovation, AutoStore and Attabotics. I rank Attabotics at the top of the list for having the most advanced system.”
New AutoStore CEO Mats Hovland Vikse is facing a challenging environment for automation companies in 2023.
In his LinkedIn post, Ladd recommends he consider one of the following options:
1. Be acquired by Amazon. The e-commerce giant is in the process of installing an AutoStore MFC in its Bethpage facility on Long Island, New York.
“If Amazon selects AutoStore’s MFC, it’s plausible it will want to acquire AutoStore. Note: I have recommended to Amazon to pilot a system from Attabotics as well,” Ladd wrote.
2. Acquire Swisslog, and possibly one additional system integrator. Vertically integrate and own 100% of the process for selling, installing, and maintaining MFCs. Maximizs revenue and margins in AutoStore’s favour.
Ladd concluded: “The company that must make a decision on MFC technology is Amazon. I designed an MFC for it in a 2013 research paper.”
“As of today, Amazon Global Robotics has not designed an MFC for Amazon. This means it must evaluate systems from Attabotics, AutoStore, and other companies.”
“Automated MFCs are the future of grocery and retail. Growth in MFCs will increase.”