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Here’s How Robots Can Make a Difference in Your Warehouse

Hollar, the online dollar store, is set to switch its fulfillment center warehouse from a current location in California to Cincinnati, Ohio, to meet growing demand for its vast array of low-priced essentials and better wrangle shipping costs and logistics. Pulling up roots for a new locale across the country can be a stressful undertaking, but the e-commerce startup has a secret weapon that could take some of the headache out of the process: robots, available through a convenient and budget-friendly robotics-as-a-service subscription model.

The mobile-centric discount store invested in inVia Robotics earlier this year, which helped Hollar achieve a 300 percent productivity boost, and will now offer the chance to see the bots shine in a new environment.

In a news release, Hollar said the new warehouse will be “operational immediately,” even before the company has hired enough workers to staff the facility. That’s because the inVia robots can be up and running very quickly and put in charge of picking until human workers are ready to pitch in, the company said.

“Moving our warehouse operations across the country has been made simpler by the inVia Picker robots,” Octavio Reyes, Hollar’s director of operations and systems, said in a statement. “Establishing a new warehouse means that layout, staff, and procedures must change, but our throughput efficiency will remain the same because of the adaptability of inVia’s Robotics-as-a-Service platform, ultimately allowing us to ensure we provide the best possible customer experience for our shoppers.”

“Establishing warehouse function in a move across the country can be time-consuming and costly for a company aiming to ease their logistics’ burden,” inVia Robotics founder and CEO Lior Elazary added. “inVia’s innovative RaaS technology and adaptable robot set up allows our customers the flexibility they need to move or start new warehouses with ease.”

In August, inVia closed a $20 million Series B funding round that will help to scale the business. “To compete with behemoths like Amazon, warehouse automation is critical for e-commerce companies; but the overhead cost of purchasing a fleet of robots is often beyond reach,” Elazary said in a statement announcing the news.

“Our investment in inVia Robotics reflects our conviction in AI as a key enabler for the supply chain industry,” Daniel Gwak, co-head of AI Investments at lead investor Point72 Ventures said of the funding news.