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Sports Retailer Evo successfully responds to e-commerce growth with Kӧrber and Locus Robotics

Sports retailer increases picking speed by 157% by deploying AMRs in just 53 days

Körber and long-time strategic partner Locus Robotics, the global leader in warehouse robotics, together are enabling evo to dramatically improve ecommerce order fulfillment and productivity by deploying Locus's autonomous mobile robot (AMR) solution alongside Kӧrber's warehouse management system (WMS).

A LocusBot assisting one of evo's warehouse workers.
A LocusBot assisting one of evo's warehouse workers.

"The automation solution from Locus Robotics and Körber was one of the first technologies that I have seen come into the warehouse where the team was excited from the get-go," said Chris Christiansen, Outbound Manager, evo. "The improvement of speed and efficiency is impressive, allowing us to boost productivity and efficiency ahead of the 2020 holiday season while keeping our workers safe amid COVID-19 concerns. We are also well equipped with the flexibility to scale up and down on a Robots-as-a-Service (RaaS) principle."

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, evo faced serious challenges navigating rapid growth in demand at their warehouse as well as peak seasons - pushing the company to the limits of its capacity. Due to hard-to-find temporary and seasonal workers, as well as a desire for improved productivity in its fulfillment operations, evo specifically struggled to keep up with e-commerce orders. Additionally, evo had to consider COVID-related safety and social distancing guidelines while designing their work processes.

evo turned to Körber, their trusted supply chain partner since 2014. Körber had already delivered the warehouse management system (WMS) and would now provide a multi-bot warehouse automation solution with Locus that allowed the required flexibility and efficiency.

Körber and Locus implemented the AMR solution in just 53 days. This allowed evo to be ready to meet and exceed growing order volumes with zero downtime or disruption. The project started with ten robots that move independently through the warehouse, collaboratively supporting pickers by eliminating unproductive walking time and physical labor. Further, the visual imaging of the product to be picked helped accelerate pick rates.  To support peak season, evo added seven additional robots for expected higher volumes at the facility, using Locus's innovative RaaS model. This is managed via Kӧrber's WMS.

The deployment has resulted in a significant increase to workers' picking speeds up from an average of 35 units per hour (UPH) with manual carts to 90 UPH with LocusBots. Some workers topped 125 UPH, an increase of more than 157 percent.

Rick Faulk, Chief Executive Officer, Locus Robotics, adds: "We are proud to partner with Körber to deploy our powerful and efficient multi-bot solution to support evo's warehouse operations. Our purpose-built robotics solution has seamlessly addressed the needs of evo's high-growth warehouse, now and into the future. We look forward to continuing to work with them to drive operational efficiencies and growth."

"The supply chain industry is dealing with multiple challenges, especially in times of disruption," says Bill Ryan, CEO Software North America, Körber Business Area Supply Chain. "In today's world with increasing complexity, we're looking to technology to solve these problems. With the new AMR solution which we were able to deploy with our partner in record time, evo is able to increase performance while providing a safe and smart working environment for the staff."