Demand for online grocery has reached unprecedented heights due to COVID-19 as people everywhere adhere to social distancing and shelter-in-place directives, with e-grocery site visits up 146% from just February to March 2020. In direct response, Dematic quickly developed a dedicated software update for a leading grocery customer, empowering them to continue addressing online demand surges while ensuring critical safety measures for its front-line workers.
The software update was developed by software engineers from Digital Applications International Limited (DAI) ― a UK-based company acquired by Dematic in February 2020 that specializes in logistics software solutions. It took the team only a day to create the update and less than three days to implement it across the grocer’s entire network.
“Dematic has always been focused on helping our customers respond quickly to critical business challenges ― it’s at the core of what we do,” said Hasan Dandashly, CEO, Dematic. “Now, given the coronavirus pandemic, it’s even more critical. Our customers’ employees are no longer simply order pickers, grocery retail workers and cashiers, but front-line workers. It is our duty as a business partner to provide creative solutions that make order fulfillment not just easier and faster but safer. This quick software update is the most recent example of how we take this role seriously with each project and with every customer.”
Here’s how the update works: When a picker is assigned an order, the software indicates the aisles that contain the items. This is standard. But now the software also indicates when aisles are already occupied so the picker can move quickly to an open aisle, which helps ensure proper social distances. In addition to employee safety, the update also improves efficiency with pickers no longer having to wait for aisles to clear.