News Briefs


Walmart to Deploy Robotics to all Distribution Centers


Walmart has decided to go all in on supply chain robots.

The retailer will deploy robotics and software automation platforms in all 42 of its regional distribution centers over the coming years. The retrofitting process of all 42 DCs is expected to be completed over the next 8-plus years.

The move is an expansion on Walmart’s prior agreement to deploy Symbotic Systems in 25 regional distribution centers. Symbotic LLC’s end-to-end software-enabled high-density robotics platform plays a strategic role in supporting the retailer’s goal of modernizing its supply chain network. The update is expected to allow Walmart to provide faster responsiveness to store orders, increased inventory accuracy and higher capacity for receiving and shipping freight to stores. The technology’s ability to build palletized loads of department-sorted inventory ultimately enables Walmart to get products onto shelves at its more than 4,700 stores more quickly, while also making one of the toughest aspects of supply chain work – material handling – safer and simpler. It also creates new, tech-enabled jobs, such as cell operator and maintenance technician, that offer widely applicable skills in robotics and technology.

“The need for accuracy and speed in the supply chain has never been more visible, and we’re confident that now is the time to move even faster by scaling Symbotic’s technology to our entire regional distribution center network,” said David Guggina, senior vice president of Innovation and Automation, Walmart U.S. “Using high-speed robotics and intelligent software to organize and optimize inventory, the Symbotic System helps us get products to our customers quickly and seamlessly by revolutionizing how we receive and distribute products to stores.”

Walmart has already begun embedding Symbotic’s technology in select regional distribution centers throughout its network.

“The expanded partnership with Walmart substantiates how our technology is truly reinventing the traditional warehouse and distribution of consumer goods across the supply chain,” said Rick Cohen, chairman, president and chief product officer of Symbotic. “As a technology platform with deep roots in warehousing and distribution – our system addresses some of the biggest challenges of today’s complex supply chain, such as inventory agility, transportation cost and labor availability. Modernizing the warehouse allows consumers to get what they need faster and creates benefits for everyone including workers, customers and their local communities.”


The Vitamin Shoppe Elevates Its Supply Chain Visibility

The Vitamin Shoppe storefront

The Vitamin Shoppe has updated its tech, leveraging a platform that will allow the retailer to digitize its product development and specification management processes to improve data quality. 

The company has partnered with Boston-based supply chain platform Bamboo Rose. Through the new technology, The Vitamin Shoppe can streamline its packaging, labeling, and regulatory compliance practices with the goal of accelerating time to market, reducing admin work, and increasing profit margins. 

Using the data-focused platform, The Vitamin Shoppe can standardize its product ingredients and packaging information by leaning on data libraries that can easily generate nutrition labels. 

The technology will also bring consistency to product specifications and claims processes through aggregated, accurate data across packaging, cost, brand, department, ingredient restrictions, allergen restrictions, flavors, and servings. 

Andy Laudato, chief operating officer of The Vitamin Shoppe, stated that managing development, sourcing, and quality compliance for an expanding portfolio of private brand offerings at scale requires full transparency across teams, partners, and processes.

"Digitizing and standardizing key processes throughout the product lifecycle, from development to product labeling, will help us continue offering the industry-leading quality, innovation, and expertise our brands are known for,” he added. 

Chirag Patel, president at Bamboo Rose, said the partnership represents an exciting opportunity to support retailers focused on nutritional products as they bring health and wellness to their consumer base across markets.


Domino's Pizza Launches Mind Ordering

dominos app

Domino's Pizza has teamed up with Netflix to introduce a new “mind ordering app” that taps facial recognition and eye-tracking technology.

The new app is an immersive experience, the retailer said, which places "test subjects" inside Hawkins National Lab in Hawkins, Indiana – transporting them to the center of "Stranger Things" in 1986.

Users can explore the lab, uncover Easter eggs, use their telekinetic powers to gain control of certain objects and place a Domino's Easy Order. Domino's mind ordering app uses facial recognition and eye-tracking technology to allow test subjects to use their "powers" to order pizza by making certain facial expressions and head movements.

"Is mind ordering real? At Domino's – it absolutely is," said Kate Trumbull, Domino's senior vice president of brand and product innovation. "Domino's customers and 'Stranger Things' fans can now channel their inner Eleven by using telekinetic powers to order pizza with their mind."

To place an order using Domino's mind ordering app, test subjects must have a Pizza Profile with an existing saved Easy Order. Without the Easy Order function, customers can choose to explore Hawkins National Lab for fun, without placing an order.

"We're geeked to launch this first-of-its-kind mind ordering app, just in time for the premiere of 'Stranger Things' new season," said Trumbull. "Now hungry customers and 'Stranger Things' fans across the U.S. will get a taste of what it's like to be Eleven, and they may find some hidden surprises along the way, such as the Noid or Demogorgon."

Domino's new mind ordering app is available for download from the App Store or on Google Play. Domino's is also rolling out a retro 1980s pizza box for medium and large pizzas (excluding Handmade Pan pizzas) for a limited time at stores across the U.S., while supplies last. Season four of "Stranger Things" premieres on Netflix on May 27 (volume one) and July 1 (volume two).


Tom Tailor Launches App to Drive Digital Growth

Tom Tailor

Casual fashion retailer Tom Tailor has launched a new mobile app to drive digital growth.

The retailer sports 421 Tom Tailor stores, 166 franchise stores, 11,150 shop-in-store partners & trading partner multilabel. In addition, the collections are sold via the company's own online shop and in over 35 countries. The casual fashion and lifestyle brand now adds to this a premium mobile shopping experience designed to increase customer engagement and drive sales.

Tom Tailor customers in Germany can now download the app on both iOS and Android, and the brand will roll it out to additional markets soon. 

Founded in Hamburg, Germany in 1962, Tom Tailor is rooted in casual style, which serves as the inspiration for its family of product lines. The brand offers a range of clothing and accessories for men, women, and children, as well as a home collection that features linen, bath, textile, and pillow products.

Tom Tailor's entire catalog is available on the app, which gives customers a magazine-like shopping experience via an interactive and intuitive UX. The retailer tapped the NewStore Consumer App for the experience. 

"Mobile sales are a key business driver for Tom Tailor, but to truly capitalize on this channel we had to upgrade our consumer app," said Hendrik Reuter, director of e-commerce and consumer engagement, Tom Tailor. "We chose NewStore because its solution is simply better than anything we've seen. Our new app puts the experience of a flagship store in our customers' hands."

Through NewStore Studio, the app content management system, Tom Tailor has all the tools it needs to maintain a modern and engaging app. The brand will also benefit from the fact that NewStore Consumer Apps have been proven to increase engagement by 2.5x and drive conversion rates 7x higher than a traditional website. Additionally, because NewStore seamlessly integrates with Scayle, Tom Tailor's e-commerce platform, it is easier than ever to keep the app up-to-date and provide accurate, real-time product and inventory information.

"Consumers are more mobile-minded than ever, so brands like Tom Tailor have to think beyond traditional ecommerce and brick-and-mortar," said Stephan Schambach, founder and CEO, NewStore. "By building a native app that complements Tom Tailor's digital and physical channels, NewStore has given the brand a powerful new way to interact with its most loyal customers."

With NewStore, Tom Tailor has access to a full-featured mobile commerce platform that includes dynamic product lookbooks, enhanced product discovery, and simple category and product navigation. The solution also features built-in cart rules, filter attributes, dynamic stock levels, push notification capabilities, and more.


RIS Parent Company CEO Jennifer Litterick Honored as a Change-Maker

Jennifer Litterick EnsembleIQ award image

Jennifer Litterick, CEO of RIS’ parent company, EnsembleIQ, was recently recognized as a Change-Maker in the information services industry by the Top Women in Media & Ad Tech Awards. 

Produced by AdExchanger and Admonster, the annual awards celebrate leaders who have made an impact in the digital media and advertising technology industry. 

“It is a privilege to be recognized by AdExchanger and AdMonsters as a leader in the information services industry. EnsembleIQ’s success can be attributed to the hard work and dedication of the entire EnsembleIQ team and I am pleased to share this accomplishment with them,” said Litterick. 

Litterick will also participate as a panelist on the c-suite panel “Current State of the Industry” at the MediaGrowth Summit 2022 on June 15. Other panel participants include Paras Maniar, CEO; Bobit and John Yedinak, president and co-founder, Aging Media Network; and Craig Fuller, CEO of FreightWaves, who will moderate the session. 

“I am passionate about the advancement of the information services industry and I look forward to sharing my insights at the Summit,” said Litterick. 

Litterick was appointed CEO of EnsembleIQ to define and execute a new company vision. She  specializes in turning challenged businesses into high-performing assets by quickly assessing changing  market opportunities, talent needs, and core strategy to ensure revenue and growth objectives are  reached. 

Litterick rebuilt the EnsembleIQ executive leadership team with a focus on innovation, and she  created a performance-based culture rooted in nurturing and recruiting high-performing employees — driving company growth. 

EnsembleIQ was recently named a “Best Place to Work in Chicago” by workplace culture evaluation firm Comparably based on a survey of company employees, who also gave  Litterick high ratings for her exceptional leadership.

This article first appeared on the site of sister publication CGT. 


SAS Teams With Cosmo Tech for Hybrid Digital Twins

digital twins

SAS is teaming with Cosmo Tech, a provider of simulation and digital twin supply chain technology, to build a hybrid AI-powered digital twin solution that connects demand planning and forecasting with production and inventory planning.

The technology is expected to create more resilient end-to-end supply chains for retailers and CPGs, including maintaining production quality and reducing waste, meeting demand shifts while minimizing lost sales, and maximizing resources.

It also seeks to help companies better anticipate risks, as well as as manage costs, margins, and supply chain disruptions.

The solution, which involves the SAS Cloud for Intelligent Planning Suite running on SAS Viya and the Cosmo Tech 360 Simulation Platform, is designed to increase organizational flexibility by analyzing the data flowing off IoT devices like RFID tags, production lines, and vehicle telematics. The companies will focus initially on supply chains for manufacturing, consumer goods, and retail, with benefits potentially applying to other industries.

Dan Mitchell, SAS global director of retail and CPG, noted in a statement that the supply chain’s fragility has been revealed during recent crises.

“Looking back on the last couple of years, we can see all the things we thought were inefficient before — multiple distribution centers, carriers and routes — were actually investments in resiliency,” he added. “Consumer goods manufacturers typically rely on just a few analysts and planners to create a multitude of forecasts. Using intelligent automation with machine learning like digital twins allows companies to automate complex tasks so analysts are freed up for more critical work.”

This is also published on CGT, an RIS News sister publication