Staci Americas Blog

Staci Americas Welcomes New Associate, Rob Ott

Staci Americas Fulfillment welcomed many new associates this past year, dozens from the same manufacturing plant in Wilmington, MA. Here's our interview with one of those warehouse associates, Rob Ott.

Q: Nice tie. Tell me, how do you collaborate with your human colleagues in the warehouse?

fulfillment roboticsMostly, I prevent them from having to walk many miles a day. They stay put in the aisles picking while I bring the orders to them. When products are placed in the box and the order is complete, I then take those orders to pack stations to be shipped out while pickers stay in the aisle to work on new orders. Items are picked directly to the boxes so there’s no “tote-to-box transfer” at the pack station. Just verify, seal, and ship. They tell me I’m a real time-saver.


Q: I see. How else do you help in the picking process?

I have a screen that tells the picker the exact product to pick, where it is, and how many to pick. I can even show them photos of the items they need to pick. I’m pretty infallible, but if a picking error does happen, I'm programmed NOT to move to the next location until the error is corrected.


Q: So you help pick faster AND more accurately?

It’s in my DNA. My collaborative robot (cobot) colleagues and myself can double or triple order volume in a warehouse without increasing labor or space – all with near 100% accuracy. We’re crazy efficient that way.


Q: How many languages do you speak?

Right now, I'm programmed to speak five. But I guess I could speak as many as you can program.
Muy bueno, right?


warehouse automation screen fulfillmentQ: Agreed. How do you use those multilingual skills?

When I get to an aisle, the picker scans his/her badge to my reader to identify themselves and tell me what language they prefer. Voila! All my screen prompts are instantly communicated in that language. It makes things easier with today’s diverse workforce.


Q: How is the salary and benefits program at Staci Americas?

They pretty much treat me like a machine – I don't get a salary or benefits or days off. None of my cobot colleagues do. There can be an upfront cost, but I typically realize a quick return on that investment. Some companies use a “robot-as-a-service” model to pay for my services. In this case, the payback is almost immediate since it eliminates the “I” in ROI.


Q: Sounds pretty inexpensive.

Staci Americas' not complaining. Their customers love it, too. Plus, with warehouse workers so hard to find, they appreciate my reliability. I don't take coffee breaks or sick days. I'll never leave for another job. Plus, I'm 100% productive all the time…but I don’t like to brag.


Q: What is your work schedule?

I’m flexible. They usually put me on one or two 10-hour shifts a day. But I can work 24/7 if needed.


Q: Was there an orientation period after you arrived, before you could begin work?

Not really. I was already programmed so I was productive from day one. Staci Americas has an in-house development team so programmers were able to write code so the warehouse management system (WMS) could speak directly to me. The WMS provides everything I need – what to pick and where to go. When I learn something new – like the quickest route to a pick location – I immediately share that information with my cobot colleagues. We’re seamless that way.


Q: Are your human colleagues threatened by you? After all, you're doing work they used to do.

You’d think so – but it’s just the opposite. I do all the grunt work – walking, pushing carts, searching for products – so they don’t have to. Bottom line: they’re less tired, more productive, and happier overall. We all work together very well.

Check out this short video featuring Rob and some of his other cobot colleagues.


No Comments Yet

Let us know what you think

Subscribe by email