Decathlon Group has partnered with DHL Supply Chain to deploy new goods-to-person robots (GPR) in its Sydney fulfilment centre. 

The GPRs are capable at moving at speeds of approximately one metre per second and will improve Decathlon's fulfilment processes, reducing turnaround time and driving accuracy. 

The GPRs will allow workers to despatch up to 144 orders per hour – more than double the productivity expected in a manual environment. 

Decathlon Group Australia CEO Olivier Robinet said that the business wanted to introduce the GPRs to meet the increased eCommerce demand. 

"The pandemic brought with it a surge in eCommerce demand, particularly for sporting goods as gyms and fitness facilities around Australia were forced to stop trading. 

"Our aim is to continue delivering the exceptional service our customers have become accustomed to, regardless of the challenge.

"We have more than 15,000 SKUs in this fulfilment centre, so we need an innovative and practical solution that could scale up our ability to fulfil customer orders without prohibitively increasing variable costs," he said. 

The GPRs autonomously navigate their way within warehouses, with the ability to locate and deliver items to pickers within 25 seconds.

They can be flexibly deployed to support a range of picking strategies, helping to minimise the time spent on routine or physically demanding tasks, resulting in a reduction of manual errors and increased productivity. 

Decathlon will look to extend the deployment of the GPRs to other facilities around Australia. 

Further plans are underway to deploy the GPRs as a multi-user solution, which will help to further drive down operational costs for retailers and customers while delivering even more flexibility.

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