Schnuck Markets is expanding its deployment of Simbe robots through its entire chain of grocery stores. Until now, Schnucks has piloted the Tally robot by Simbe, in a few select stores. The full-scale roll-out will take multiple years, and bring Tally to all 111 Schnucks locations across the U.S.
This news is proof that Simbes’ AI-powered inventory management technology can function at scale. The Tally AMRs traverse the aisles, scan the shelves with vision cameras, process the images, and “tally” the resulting inventory counts. This frees up human associates to do other value-added work, including the restocking of low-inventory items.
Improved curbside delivery satisfaction
Tally also adds value to curbside pickup operations, as stockouts can be more quickly identified and alleviated, with improved customer satisfaction as the result. By incorporating Simbe’s solution into chainwide operations, Schnucks will gain even greater visibility into store conditions, with deeper levels of business insights as the retailer prepares to adjust to the quickly-evolving landscape of a post-pandemic world.
“We are facing a ‘new normal’ in the grocery industry, and Tally has been instrumental to ensuring we continue to provide an exceptional store experience while rising to meet new operational challenges,” said Dave Steck, Schnucks Vice President of IT Infrastructure and Application Development. “By deploying Tally to all stores, we are fully operationalizing these insights into our supply chain and expanding our ability to leverage real-time data to make revenue impacting decisions. Tally has become an integral component of our stores, streamlining operations and ultimately creating a better store experience for our customers and teammates.”
A long-term relationship
Schnucks first piloted Tally in July of 2017 and expanded to additional stores in 2018 and 2020. Tally robots traverse store aisles up to three times per day and autonomously capture on-shelf data including inventory position, price accuracy and promotional execution for approximately 35,000 products per store with each traversal. Both teammates and customers have enjoyed the benefits of improved inventory and productivity in these stores, with many store team members experiencing the “Tally effect,” a sense of empowerment to prioritize their time on other, more fulfilling tasks, like supporting customers.
Benefits of deploying Tally
Simbe claims additional benefits of Tally include:
Identified incremental revenue opportunities, detecting 14x more addressable out-of-stocks than manual scans
Enabled 20-30% reduction in out-of-stock items in stores using Tally
Increased price tag and promotional execution compliance in stores across tens of thousands of products per day
Increased accuracy of real-time inventory integrated into Schnucks’ automated replenishment system, streamlining ordering and ensuring store shelves are restocked quicker to meet customer needs
Delivered access to real-time product location data through the Schnucks Rewards app, enabling more efficient shopping trips for customers, restocking and fulfillment activities for store teams, and 3rd party e-commerce partners
“Schnucks is the prime example of thoughtful adoption of retail technology, and we are honored to be their partner on this journey to create a better store experience through access to richer data,” said Brad Bogolea, founder and CEO of Simbe Robotics. “This expansion is a momentous occasion for Simbe, Schnucks, and the broader retail technology industry. It demonstrates that robots that are thoughtfully deployed are a critically important tool for retailers to improve bottom lines, support teams, and maintain an exceptional shopping experience, both in stores and online.”
Steck added that Tally has become quite popular among many children. “Many of our younger customers get very excited to see Tally going up and down the aisles of our stores and seek it out when shopping with their parents,” he said. “A recent social media video we shared of a child’s interaction with Tally, quickly went viral.” You can watch that video below.
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