Since releasing Shelfie robot to the world, the team has been thrilled with the positive reception from sources both inside and outside of the grocery sales industry.
To remind you, Shelfie robot is a groundbreaking new product designed to increase the efficiency and speed of stock management in supermarket retailers. It was developed in Australia by Lakeba, in partnership with Microsoft.
A world-first, Shelfie connects to wifi, mapping store layout, scanning shelves, identifying stock levels and capturing pricing information. From there, it uses image capturing and data analytics to provide real time inventory management via a dashboard that can be viewed on a computer or tablet screen.
The device, which is available in drone, robot or handheld format helps supermarket operators to reduce the cost of mismanaged stock by providing insights into sales trends and how to optimise merchandise layouts.
When used correctly, the makers of Shelfie robot have calculated that the product provides supermarket retailers with the opportunity to save up to $300,000 per store, per year. It alleviates the tedious stock counting process for staff, leaving them to focus on other areas of the business. The other benefit is a massive reduction in the potential for counting errors, which a recent study from from IHL Group found costs retailers a global total of $US1.75 trillion annually.
Tech magazine IT Wires recently featured Shelfie in an online article, sharing a quote from Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman, who has said that the Shelfie robot will “revolutionise retailers ability to review stock levels, ensure that out of stocks are kept to an absolute minimum, ensuring that retailers are able to meet customer demands by understanding what products are the premium selling products, thereby ensuring that retailers have stock as and when required”.
The Australian Financial Review gave the exciting update that Shelfie will be rolled out commercially in Britain, while there is also interest from supermarkets around Europe. The AFR also pointed out that in the future Shelfie has the potential to be broadened from the grocery sector to include other retailers such as department stores as well as the hospitality industry.
Another publication to feature Shelfie was the popular Business Insider website. In its January 2017 article, BI quoted Microsoft Australia retail lead Marcy Larsen, who has spoken in support of Shelfie, saying that it is able to perform image capture and data analysis in real-time, courtesy of Microsofts own cloud-based Azure platform. Ms Larsen also referenced Azures ability to scale and integrate with software systems such as supply chain management systems.
According to Ms Larsen, “In the future Shelfie will be integrated with Microsoft Dynamics 365 to automate stock ordering – and Azures rich range of machine learning and cognitive services will allow Lakeba to create solutions that will truly transform retail.”
Overseas publication DC Velocity also highlighted Shelfie robots partnership with Microsoft, mentioning how the partnership enabled the Lakeba team to showcase the product in New York at the National Retail Federation annual convention.