Majid Al Futtaim has opened the first automated online order preparation center powered by robotics and artificial intelligence at the Carrefour Ibn Battuta Mall branch, which is the first of its kind in the Middle East, in cooperation with the American company Takeoff, which provides advanced technical solutions for the development of electronic retailing. The center automates the task of managing requests and cuts the time required to process them in half. This center is considered the first of three application preparation centers that adopt advanced automated technologies, with plans to open two similar centers in the first half of 2021.
The center was inaugurated in the presence of Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, Alan Bejjani, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim, and Hany Weiss, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Retail.
Residents of the areas surrounding “Ibn Battuta Mall” will have more comfort when ordering their purchases from Carrefour, especially after the implementation of the new technology, as requests are automatically transferred to the system that controls and manages the automated storage facility, which also includes a section for refrigerated foods, in a unique precedent of Its type for an automated center to fulfill requests.
Hany Weiss, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Retail, said: “We are committed to providing the best experience for our customers by implementing innovative technologies that help us achieve efficient operations. At the same time, reducing human errors and making use of the skills of our colleagues in serving our customers better. As always, we will continue to focus on providing exceptional value to our customers through every experience. “
Nala Karunanithi, Executive Director of Digital Affairs at Majid Al Futtaim Retail, said: “Automation is driving the retail industry forward, which will help keep pace with customer requirements to provide faster service. “The most innovative technologies to enhance its operational efficiency, and this center is the first of three implementation centers, which is a clear indication of our endeavor to continuously develop our operations to provide better service to our customers.”
The new center uses artificial intelligence to prepare customer orders from the automated storage site, while autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) help human colleagues transport goods and maintain stock levels when products exit the facility. Specialized inventory devices use artificial intelligence to determine the storage space for goods according to the popularity of each commodity, which greatly improves the availability of inventory, and all orders are processed within five minutes, thus reducing the time between ordering and delivery by half. This contributes to ensuring that 200 orders are prepared accurately every hour, which contributes to the delivery of products to customers in the surrounding communities on time and in excellent condition.
In the wake of the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, Carrefour recorded a 220% increase in online orders in 2020, which led to it accelerating growth plans to sell online. As a result, Majid Al Futtaim opened an order fulfillment center in Al Garhoud, Dubai, within five weeks and worked to equip several of its branches with the capabilities to fulfill online orders.
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