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Colleagues and “cobots” work side-by-side at Boots UK Burton Warehouse

28 November 2019

Colleagues at Boots UK’s Burton Warehouse are getting a helping hand this Christmas from 135 new “cobots”, which will help deliver 3 million items to customers over the Black Friday season[1].

The collaborative robots work alongside colleagues by carrying orders between picking stations, cutting down the distance the warehouse teams have to walk and improving productivity.

Boots is gearing up to its biggest ever online Black Friday. It will see six times the average number of orders per week during the period and colleagues in 300 of its stores are picking orders to anticipate the increase in demand on boots.com.

Warehouse colleagues welcomed the cobots by giving them names such as Hal, Botty McBot Face, and Seb, after Boots UK’s Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Seb James.

Alan Penhale, Interim Director of Supply Chain, Boots UK, said: “Our new cobot colleagues are ready to help with Black Friday, where we expect to pick around 3 million items over the 2 week period. Our warehouse team absolutely love the cobots – who have all been given names. They make the warehouse a calmer, more productive place and are also 2-3 times faster than manually pushing trolleys long distances, saving our teams from having to walk quite as far.”

 

[1] Thursday 21 November – Monday 2 December 2019