AutoStore has launched Pio, its Product In/Out warehouse automation system, in North America for the first time. The plug-and-play version of AutoStore’s automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) it tailored for small and medium-sized businesses.
Pio is a modular and scalable ASRS product that runs on standard plug-and-play software that can connect to the most common online retail and shipping platforms. The system is based on a pay-per-pick model. Similar to a robotics-as-a-service model, users will only purchase product bins and the frames that robots run on, while AutoStore owns and manages the robots, ports and software.
Users pay a fee for each item picked, which can lower the initial investment for deployment, allowing retailers with smaller margins to access the system.
“We established Pio to make our technology available to smaller businesses,” Mats Hovland Vikse, CEO of AutoStore, said in a release. “Only 15% of the world’s warehouses are automated, and fulfillment operations at smaller retailers are still largely manual. Pio levels the playing field so that enterprises of all sizes can take advantage of the space and cost efficiencies of automated storage and distribution systems.”
Pio is aimed at small to medium-sized retailers that sell anything from apparel, to sporting goods, crafts and cosmetics. It doesn’t require any added labor or additional floor space to be implemented.
“With Pio, you can expand without having to move, enabling users to run their businesses closer to customers. We are already seeing success with Pio systems operating at several high-profile retailers in Europe. Now that the system is available in North America, we are ready to support fast-growing independent retailers here as well,” Magne Hatteland, VP and Head of Pio, said in a release.
AutoStore was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Nedre Vats, Norway. It currently operates over 1,000 systems in over 45 countries. The company went public on Euronext’s Oslo Stock Exchange in October 2021. At the time, it was valued at $12.4 billion.