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Kiva and Walgreens Expand Use of Mobile Fulfillment Solution for Retail Store Restocking
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed May 01, 2008
More Service and Healthcare stories
Based on initial stage performance results for a for retail replenishment application that far exceeded expectations, Walgreens has agreed to expand the Kiva Mobile Fulfillment System at its Mt. Vernon, Illinois facility.

Kiva Systems, a developer of game-changing mobile solutions for the distribution and order fulfillment industry, announced that Walgreens has agreed to expand the Kiva system in its Mt. Vernon, Illinois facility. The initial phase of the project proved very successful as Kiva exceeded pick rate, quality, cycle time, tote utilization, installation, training and ramp expectations while deploying a major material handling system within four months of contract execution. The expansion announced today enables Walgreens to move additional inventory items and volume into its Kiva system, filling the remaining space in this Illinois facility.

Walgreens initially chose the Kiva Mobile Fulfillment System for its speed, accuracy and flexibility, all of which are critical to the company’s expansion. Walgreens operates more than 6,200 stores, and plans to open 550 new stores during its 2008 fiscal year.

Productivity metrics from the initial Kiva deployment far exceeded project specifications, with output per worker increasing to almost three times previous levels. More extraordinary is the fact that these numbers are being hit at full throughput so soon after system go-live.

Kiva’s innovative approach to order fulfillment utilizes a fleet of mobile robotic drive units that bring inventory directly to workers, allowing easy and efficient access to all inventory items at all times. For retail replenishment, which demands very high picking speed, Kiva boosts productivity while maintaining the highest quality picking standards. Elimination of operator walking and waiting time enables worker productivity that is two to three times higher than with other automated systems. The Kiva OrderFetch shipping sorter also routes the totes to and from the pickers, ensuring that the right order is delivered to the right dock door at the right time.

“We are thrilled that Kiva has been able to provide such quick, clear value to Walgreens, and we’re excited to be moving ahead in support of their aggressive store growth strategy,” said Mick Mountz, CEO of Kiva Systems, Inc. “Kiva is all about fulfillment and we’re delighted by the fact that we again exceeded productivity targets while simultaneously delivering the best order accuracy.”

About Kiva Systems
Kiva Systems, Inc. offers game-changing automation technology for distribution centers that helps companies simplify operations and reduce costs, while increasing strategic flexibility. Using 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 Walgreens
Walgreens is the nation’s largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2007 sales of $53.8 billion. The company operates 6,271 stores in 49 states and Puerto Rico. Walgreens is expanding its patient-first health care services beyond traditional pharmacy through Walgreens Health Services, its managed care division, and Take Care Health Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary that manages 154 convenient care clinics at Walgreens drugstores. Walgreens Health Services assists pharmacy patients and prescription drug and medical plans through Walgreens Health Initiatives Inc. (a pharmacy benefit manager), Walgreens Mail Service Inc., Walgreens Home Care Inc., Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy LLC and SeniorMed LLC (a pharmacy provider to long-term care facilities). More information about Walgreens is available at Walgreens.com.

Contacts
Mitch Rosenberg
Kiva Systems, Inc.
P:  (781) 305-5167
E: 

Rob Skinner or Steve Marquis
Schwartz Communications, Inc.
P:  (781) 684-6227
E: 


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