Neither Gucci, Puma, Ikea nor Siemens have received such customized solutions.
NEDRE VATS (Nettavisen): Recently, the tech adventure Autostore emerged on the Oslo Stock Exchange as the largest listing in 20 years, and the second largest ever.
After I started as one A wild idea in 1996The company has grown to become a significant figure in the global e-commerce markets. Autostore has installed about 667 automated storage systems in 35 countries for more than 500 customers.
Autostore provides fully automated and hermetically packed distribution of products with standard units stacked in a cube. Nedre Vats’ entire business model is based on modular units, and cannot be easily customized as needed.
Even impressive names like the FBI, Puma, Siemens, Lufthansa and Gucci got the same units as lesser known buyers.
Only once in history has Autostore made exceptions, CEO Karl Johan Lier confirms.
It was for the Central Bank of Russia, which needed the Autostore system to retrieve boxes of banknotes from its vaults. We had to build an entirely new robot, and this is the only time we’ve made “special” for a customer, says Lair.
Autostore’s financial crisis and subsequent liquidity squeeze are well documented. In 2008, the company achieved a negative result of NOK 177 million, and 18 months passed without Autostore selling a single plant. Its founder Jacob Hatland later said that the wealth tax was About to crack on the entire investment.
Therefore, it is not difficult to understand that Autostore did not want to say no when some Russian representatives presented themselves at a logistics fair in Germany in 2011. The Russians introduced logistics and alarm systems to the Central Bank of Russia and needed Autostore robots as part of the systems renewal.
Synnøve Matre has worked at Autostore from the start, and is currently Head of Testing and Validation and Product Owner of Autostore Software. She says the Russians have small basements where they are unusually low under the ceiling.
The Russians wanted a system for handling their chests, so we couldn’t use our standard units. Since the situation was the same, we agreed to produce our own robots designed specifically for the Central Bank of Russia, says Matry.
In the head office at Nedre Vats, it shows what the Autostore units have looked like throughout history. The Russian variant is much inferior to the rest.
The low level of robots is related to the fact that the cash registers were very low. It was not more than ten centimeters high, so it had plenty of room for the robots we made. Thus, there was also room for 25-30 chests per stack, even with the relatively low ceiling heights of Russian bank vaults. There is usually room for up to 24 bins per stack in our systems, says Matry.
will not be repeated
Eight years after Autostore delivered specially designed systems to Russia, the financial situation at Nedre Vats has become much better. Autostore anticipates that increased online shopping, changing consumer habits and more automation will help drive robust growth even further.
14 percent of global commerce today is done through online shopping. This is expected to rise to about 25 percent in 2025. Today’s online retailers expect products to arrive quickly, which requires large stocks near large cities.
Thus, we are not likely to see more special units from Autostore right away.
Our entire strategy is based on modular units, so it was definitely an exception that we made in this case. We couldn’t have had such growth with custom-designed units. Matry says it was impossible.
Did it take a lot of extra work on their part?
– It was nothing. We had to produce to completely different dimensions and had to design our own holding unit that could handle these little Russian cash registers, says Matry.
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