The COVID-19 pandemic may be accelerating the trend towards using robotics, automation and artificial intelligence to enhance supply chains. Our dependence on human labour forces has been highlighted as we face scarcity of some basic grocery essentials during lockdown periods.
ROBO Global, the index provider of ETFS ROBO Global Robotics and Automation ETF (ASX code: ROBO), discusses how robotics, automation and AI are transforming supply chains in a new paper.
Many of the world’s largest companies are already focused on accessing robotics, automation and AI in their supply chains. Amazon is a well-known global example of this, using KIVA robots in their warehouses, while domestically, Coles is partnering with UK online grocer Ocado to use their software and technology for automation.
Investors may be less aware of the companies supporting transformation and the specific areas of the supply chain they are set to disrupt.
ROBO Global anticipate five key supply chain areas accelerating:
Automated warehouse solutions assisting with inventory access and inspection.
Warehouse picking and packing using robots to assist with social distancing as well as efficiency.
Online grocers with automated fulfilment, warehouses and contactless delivery.
Micro-fulfilment such as curbside pick-up for smaller retailers.
Prepared food delivery using ‘ghost kitchens’ to maximise capacity of restaurants.
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