Geek+ is a global technology company leading the intelligent logistics revolution. Through the application of autonomous mobile robots and AI, the company develops flexible, reliable, and highly efficient solutions for warehousing and manufacturing scenarios. Geek+ counts nearly 300 global customers such as Nike, Decathlon, Walmart, Toyota, Suning, including nearly 40 Fortune 500 companies, and has deployed more than 10,000 robots worldwide.
Founded in 2015, Geek+ has over 800 employees and is headquartered in Beijing, with offices in Germany, the UK, the US, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. With exceptional products and technology, Geek+ was listed as a Top 50 robotics company in 2019 & 2020 by Robotics Business Review.
Simon Houghton, Senior Sales & Marketing Manager at Geek+ spoke to Warehouse & Logistics News.
What products or services does your company offer?
We provide companies with AI-driven robotics solutions that automate some of the time-consuming tasks that are often done manually in a warehouse or a factory, like walking long distances to find ordered goods and carrying items back and forth. Powered by AI and intelligent scheduling or task distribution, our robots can move autonomously around the warehouse and execute various tasks in an optimal way bringing more efficiency and accuracy to the warehouse or factory operations. In terms of the hardware, we have a wide range of robots that can be divided into picking, moving, sorting, and smart forklifts, many of these can be integrated and work together to automate certain processes. We also have full-automation solutions like Smart Warehouse and Smart Factory, these can combine our different robots to automate entire operations. All of these can be tailored to meet the specific need of the customer and integrate existing infrastructure.
Which industries do your customers operate in?
Today, we have a fairly large portfolio of successful cases in everything from apparel, e-commerce, retail, and 3PL, to pharmaceuticals, automotive, 3C manufacturing, FMCG, and express delivery. Thanks to intelligent algorithms and the powerful perception capabilities of our robots, they can easily respond to various application scenarios and be integrated into different settings.
Do you have any examples of a project you have recently completed?
In the last two years, we’ve had an ongoing cooperation with Decathlon – a professional sports goods retailer with over 1,500 stores in 49 countries. While we support several of Decathlon’s warehouses, we recently implemented an RFID technology-based pick-and-place picking and inventory solution for one of Decathlon’s larger warehouses. In turn, 70 Geek+ picking robots currently run the operations of Decathlon’s 2,000 sqm warehouse, managing an inventory of nearly 300,000 units and 20,000 SKUs.
How did the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown affect your business?
In general, we’ve seen a heightened interest in our solutions as the accelerated demand for more eCommerce has pushed businesses to consider automated solutions that can bring efficiencies to meet fluctuating demand and peak, especially since the pandemic has made it difficult to find and hire more warehouse employees. In terms of our clients, Geek+ systems has actually proven to help them secure business continuity during the Covid-19 crisis. For example, Decathlon was able to ensure business continuity throughout the pandemic despite labor shortages. This is partly becasue our robots can secure 24/7 automated operations and because it’s easy to flexibly expand operations in-line with growth demands. All you have to do is adjust the number of robots and workstations. We’ve also managed to secure remote project implementation under lock-down by adopting online training and other ways of communication.
Did Covid-19 have a negative impact or did the increase in online shopping actually result in a boost to your business?
Apart from the fact that the demand for more eCommerce has resulted in more interest for solutions that can provide companies with anti-fragility capabilities, we have also seen how new channels like BOPIS has spurred an interest for more real-time visibility within the grocery sector, while trends like micro fulfillment centers imply a need for solutions that can bring efficiency, accuracy, and optimize the use of space. As we’ve mentioned our robots can be flexibly adapted to a wide range of scenarios and, not long ago we released a robot that can work on mezzanines, to make full use of vertical warehouse space. Similarly the software can be connected to help increase accuracy and visibility.
Going forward, will the industry be permanently changed as a result of Covid-19 or will it return to how it was pre-Covid?
Most likely, companies will start to look out for automated solutions that can help them manage uncertainty and build resilience against future black-swan events. Our intelligent robotics systems can allow businesses to quickly respond to changes in demand and expand operations in-line with underlying growth demand. Thanks to easy implementation, many of the costs and risks associated with fixed infrastructure, like slow ROI, can be avoided. Our systems have proven to generate a 1-3 year ROI.
What products or services will you be introducing in the next year?
Next year, Geek+ will launch C200M our double-deep bin-to-person robot. It is a solution that can provide strong single-layer storage capabilities and make full use of warehouse space. C200M can operate narrow aisles and its extended arms can reach new storage depth, saving up to 50% of warehouse space and significantly reducing warehouse rental cost. This is especially suitable for e-commerce warehouses where higher throughput demands are difficult to be met due to piece picking
What improvements have you made to your customer service recently?
Geek+ provides a 24/7 customer service hotline for our global clients as well as a team of professional technician to be on standby for customer inquiry. We have also implemented a “Localization” strategy by setting up regional sales team, channel and service partners and providing products and services in local languages, adapted to customers needs and requirement. Our after-sales support is highly developed and includs a 24/7 helpdesk, remote maintenance, on-site repair, system maintenance & upgrade support.
Are you helping customers boost the level of automation in their business?
When it comes to Decathlon, our technology delivered impressive results. Not only have we tripled the average productivity of warehouse employees, but improved the picking accuracy by 99,99% and increased the inventory capacity by 40%, thanks to our robot compatible shelves and racks. They’ve also seen a great reduction in shrinkage levels. Lastly, as we’ve mentioned, the flexibility of Geek+ has allowed Decathlon to expand operations in-line with underlying growth demands and secure a 1-3 year ROI.
What industries do you believe offer your business the most potential over the next year?
We see a lot of potential within the e-commerce and 3PL industry as we believe that that’s the place where companies will need to automate in order to grow and remain competitive.
Will you be exhibiting at any major trade shows over the next year?
Yes, we will keep attend Key industrial event in UK, such as IMHX 2021, Robitcs and Automation Show and Intralogistex as well. For global event, ProMat (US) and CeMat global will be our focus too.
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