July 15, 2021
In May, Walmart reportedly filed a patent application that outlines a system for automating its just-in-time inventory management process.
Just-in-time inventory management is a practice where retailers or manufacturers only hold the inventory that they need, and restock only when they expect inventory will be low. Under Walmart’s proposed system, this entire process would be automated.
Walmart’s patent starts by analyzing historical sales data for each individual product, and then using this information to build a model that will predict when each product should be replenished, and in what amount. The system will then order each product at the appropriate time. Once the product arrives at the store, the restock will be handled entirely by robots. The robots will be able to scan and track the products on arrival, unload the products into a staging area based on priority, and then move the products to the retail floor.
Author: Mark Leonard