Crate and Barrel Adopts Kiva Warehouse Automation System
Robotic order fulfillment system delivers both energy and operational efficiency.
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Feb 17, 2010

Home furnishings retailer Crate and Barrel selects Kiva Systems to automate its Tracy, Calif. Distribution Complex (DC), the largest industrial facility in the country to achieve Gold designation from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program.



Kiva Systems (http://www.kivasystems.com), a developer of mobile-robotic solutions that automate order fulfillment and warehouse operations, announced that retailer Crate and Barrel has purchased a Kiva system for its Tracy, Calif. Distribution Complex (DC). The Tracy DC will fulfill direct-to-consumer orders and improve service levels in thirteen western states. This Crate and Barrel DC is the largest industrial facility in the country to achieve Gold designation from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program.

“Our customers expect to get great value and service from Crate and Barrel, but they also care about our carbon footprint. This played a role in our selection of Kiva Systems,” said John Ling, vice president of supply chain management and logistics at Crate and Barrel. “Kiva’s mobile robotic approach is not only the most cost-effective way to automate pick, pack and ship operations, but also the greenest. The robots themselves are energy efficient, plus the entire robot zone can be operated with almost no lighting.”

Kiva’s innovative approach to order fulfillment uses hundreds of mobile robotic drive units that bring inventory directly to workers, allowing easy and efficient access to available inventory items at all times. Elimination of walking and waiting enables worker productivity that is two to four times higher than with other automated systems. What’s more, because all the system components are mobile and modular, a Kiva-equipped distribution center has unprecedented flexibility when adding new products or expanding throughput—without disrupting ongoing operations.

Crate and Barrel was among the first to make contemporary tabletop and kitchenware designs affordable to American consumers. Today, Crate and Barrel is an industry leader, known for exclusive housewares and furniture designs, excellent value and superb customer service. In addition to a thriving direct marketing division, the company operates stores in most major North American markets, including Toronto and Calgary.

“It comes as no surprise that a retailer built on continuous innovation for almost fifty years is also a leader in energy efficient operations,” said Mick Mountz, founder and CEO of Kiva Systems. “Each Kiva robot autonomously moves merchandise throughout the warehouse using only as much electricity as a laptop computer. Crate and Barrel’s adoption of Kiva’s innovative order fulfillment system raises the bar in customer value while simultaneously shrinking the carbon footprint required to deliver it.”

John Ling summarized the project, saying, “I am confident that the solution engineered through the Crate and Barrel and Kiva partnership will allow us to continue to build on our history of delivering great value and best in class service to our customer.”

About Kiva Systems
Kiva Systems, Inc. offers game-changing automation solutions for distribution centers that help companies simplify operations and reduce costs while increasing strategic flexibility. Using hundreds of autonomous mobile robots and sophisticated control software, the Kiva Mobile Fulfillment System enables extremely fast cycle times with reduced labor requirements, from receiving to picking to shipping—all without conveyor. The result is a building that is quick and low-cost to set up, inexpensive to operate, and easy to change. For more information on Kiva Systems and its solutions, please visit http://www.kivasystems.com.

About Crate and Barrel
Multi-channel home furnishings retailer Crate and Barrel was founded in Chicago in 1962 by retailing pioneers Gordon and Carole Segal. Working directly with European ateliers and factories to import their products, Crate and Barrel was among the first to make contemporary tabletop and kitchenwares designs affordable to American consumers. Today, Crate and Barrel is an industry leader, known for exclusive housewares and furniture designs, excellent value and superb customer service. In addition to a thriving direct marketing division, the company operates stores in most major North American markets, including Toronto and Calgary. The Crate and Barrel family of brands now includes its more modern off-shoot, CB2, and childrens’ home furnishings retailer, The Land of Nod. Crate and Barrel is a privately held company owned by the Otto Group of Hamburg, Germany.

Contact
Mitch Rosenberg
Kiva Systems, Inc.
P:  781-305-5167
E : 

Scott Love
Schwartz Communications, Inc.
P:  781-684-0770
E: 

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