The world’s largest sporting goods retailer, Decathlon Group and leading contract logistics solutions, DHL Supply Chain have expanded their partnership to deploy new Goods-to-Person Robot (GPR) solutions to improve operational efficiency and fulfilment speed at the companies’ fulfilment centre in Sydney.

The GPRs will support the fulfilment team’s ability to efficiently pack more customer orders, reduce turnaround time and drive accuracy. Capable of moving at speeds of close to one metre per second, the GPRs will allow workers to dispatch up to 144 customer orders per hour – more than double the productivity expected in a manual environment.

“We are excited to be growing our partnership with Decathlon Group, as we are for the opportunity to bring innovation to our customers,” DHL Supply Chain CEO for Australia and New Zealand, Saul Resnick said.  

“COVID-19 has placed enormous stress on supply chains everywhere. It’s our priority to work together with our customers to build more resilient and stress-resistant supply chains, including through the use of new technologies.”

DHL Supply Chain and Decathlon Group will deploy the first GPRs at their facility in Sydney, with a view to extend their use to more facilities around the country. Further plans are underway to deploy the GPRs as a multi-user solution, which will help to further drive down operational costs for retailers and customers.

“The pandemic brought with it a surge in e-commerce demand, particularly for sporting goods as gyms and fitness facilities around Australia were forced to stop trading. Our aim is to continue delivering the exceptional service our customers have become accustomed to, regardless of the challenge,” Decathlon Group Australia CEO, Olivier Robinet said.

“We have more than 15,000 SKUs in this fulfilment centre, so we need an innovative and practical solution that could scale up our ability to fulfil customer orders without prohibitively increasing variable costs. For that, we turned to our trusted partner, DHL Supply Chain for their expertise in developing proven solutions that deliver value to our customers.”

The GPRs autonomously navigate their way within warehouses, with the ability to locate and deliver items to pickers within 25 seconds. They can be flexibly deployed to support a diverse range of picking strategies, significantly minimising time spent on routine or physically demanding tasks, reducing manual errors and increasing productivity.