According to the recent statement by the finest grocery chain, Kroger America’s largest grocery retailer. As we all know they have launched the nation’s first Customer Service Center (CFC), combining vertical integration, machine learning and robotics. It comes with an affordable, friendly and fast fresh food delivery service.
The Kroger center is located in Monroe, Ohio – a city north of Cincinnati – and backed by the Ocado Group, the world leader in grocery e-commerce technology, CFC is the first to open, transform and support a thriving digital grocery business. 2020 has been a pivotal year in grocery e-commerce, with Kroger’s digital business exceeding US $ 10 billion – and achieving a record 116% increase in digital sales,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s Chairman and CEO.
Here is the statement by Kroger about the center “We are extremely proud to have achieved this milestone that further strengthens our position as one of the leading e-commerce companies in America. The momentum we are experiencing comes well timed with the development of Kroger Delivery, supporting the ever-changing shift in grocery consumer behavior and the need for modern and adventurous e-commerce solutions. It’s really cool to get to this moment in Kroger’s history – better than the history of the grocery industry – with our partners at Ocado. We appreciate Tim Steiner and Luc Jensen’s collaboration to take the next step in expanding our seamless ecosystem.”
Back in May 2018, Kruger and Ocado formed an exclusive partnership to provide US-owned technology solutions for the first time. It focuses on artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and automation, and creative solutions to create more seamless and efficient implementation, selection and delivery capabilities. To provide customers with anything, anytime, anywhere and scale up. Kroger and its products reach new geographies “The introduction of the first customer-catering center marks a historic milestone in the grocery retail industry in the United States,” said Tim Steiner, Ocado Group co-founder and CEO. Since signing our partnership in 2018, the Ocado and Kroger teams have worked closely together to lay the groundwork to strengthen their modern ecosystem across the country, supporting Kroger to reach customers anywhere, anytime. This moment marks the next phase in our partnership, and comes against a backdrop of growing demand for online grocery options in the United States and around the world. In the coming years, we will open more automated CFCs across a range of sizes with Kruger. We’ll also be introducing ingredients. Our store software solutions in conjunction with the existing seamless Kroger platform support fulfillment of on-board pickups. The breadth of this order fulfillment system will be critical in helping Kroger continue to win e-commerce across the United States.
Now, you must be wondering it will work? Well, Kroger Delivery is a vertically integrated network, enabling coverage of up to 90 miles of hub site and significantly more areas when talking sites are combined. In these highly automated customer response centers, more than 1,000 robots are moving around gigantic 3D networks, being orchestrated by air traffic control systems in the unlicensed spectrum. The network, known as The Hive, has bags with products and customer orders ready for delivery. As customer orders near their delivery times, robots retrieve products from The Hive and are served at pick stations for items to be sorted for delivery, a process governed by algorithms that ensure items are intelligently packed. For example, the fragile items are placed on top, the bags are evenly weighed, and each order is optimized to fit the fewest bags, thus reducing the use of plastic.
After being packed, the orders are loaded into a temperature-controlled Kroger Delivery truck, which can store up to 20 orders. Powerful machine learning algorithms dynamically optimize delivery routes, considering factors such as road conditions and optimum fuel efficiency. Now, what are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comment section below!