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Friday, July 21, 2017

Towards Lights-Out Fulfillment

'Lights-Out' used to be a favorite term when we worked in AI applications for the enterprise. Dramatically implying no humans, or lights needed to be involved.    Near total automation is still not here, but is approaching.  Consider the implications.  I note that Amazon now has 341K employees.  
Also it seems that most significant technological change mentioned here has Amazon involvement.   Now well over the tipping point for Influencing broad changes. Towards lights-out.  Keep watching their activity in this space.

Bezos move spurs $20B of growth in logistics robotics
Lights-out fulfillment will be the new norm within a decade   By Greg Nichols for Robotics.  In ZdNet.

This year is turning out to be a tipping point for how companies manage e-commerce fulfillment.

Worldwide sales of warehousing and logistics robots hit a respectable $1.9 billion in 2016. By 2021, according to a forecast by research firm Tractica, the market will hit a whopping $22.4 billion.

To better conceptualize the market explosion underway, consider that 40,000 units of warehousing and logistics robots were sold last year. A projected 620,000 units will be sold in 2021.

Why the change? In short: Amazon. If the last couple Prime Days proved anything, it's that a) Jeff Bezos is allowed to declare national holidays, and b) the investment Amazon made in warehouse logistics when it bought Kiva Systems for $775 million in 2012 presaged a complete transformation in global commerce.  ... " 

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