Home Walmart Acquires Alert Innovations To Speed Robotic Fulfillment
October 7, 2022
Walmart Acquires Alert Innovations To Speed Robotic Fulfillment
Posted In: Retail Articles

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In advancing distribution capacities, Walmart is acquiring Alert Innovation, a robotics automation company that develops material-handling technology for automating order fulfillment in retail supply chains.

Walmart has been working with Alert to customize technology for its market fulfillment centers since 2016, the retailer noted in a blog post by David Guggina, senior vp of innovation and automation, Walmart U.S. The technology acquired will allow Walmart to leverage its store footprint, with 4,700 stores located within 10 miles of 90% of the U.S. population, for storage and fulfillment. 

In late 2019, Walmart began piloting its first market fulfillment center in Salem, NH, using bot technology from Alert specifically built for the company. The technology uses fully autonomous bots that store, retrieve and dispense orders by moving horizontally, laterally and vertically across three zones without any lifts or conveyors. As such, the system operates with fewer space constraints inside the MFC and eliminates the need to pause the entire system for bot maintenance.

The ability to leverage the best of Alert’s technology and capabilities in-house will enable Walmart to reach customers quicker by deploying MFCs with greater speed, Guggina stated, and so providing both an unmatched shopping experience and a competitive advantage in omnichannel fulfillment. The move advances a broader Walmart goal of introducing the next generation of fulfillment centers and transforming the company’s supply chain, he added. 

Alert expertise will help Walmart accelerate its MFC strategy and further strengthen its deep bench of technology and engineering talent, Guggina said, as it continues to modernize supply chain operations through investments in robotics and automation in stores and distribution and fulfillment centers.

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