Mr DIY Opens Robotic Warehouse To Increase E-Commerce Efficiency

Home improvement retailer Mr DIY has opened a robotic e-commerce warehouse in Seri Kembangan, Selangor. Up to $ 1.22 million (RM 5 million) has been invested in the design and construction of the warehouse, which began in 2019.

It spans 65,000 square feet and is equipped with programmable robots that, according to the brand, can complete online purchases faster and lead to a 200% increase in operational efficiency.

According to its vice president of marketing, Andy Chin, the warehouse would allow Mr. DIY to process online orders at triple the previous rate, which means customers can expect to receive orders sooner.

However, faster execution would mean that its ecommerce platforms would have to be optimized as well. Aside from his Lazada and Shopee stores, Mr. DIY hasn’t neglected his own site either, as it’s fairly easy to navigate.

The search system is precise and intact, and there are specific filters to help you refine your general searches.

In terms of product list, it has more than 20,000 products online in the categories of hardware, home and furniture, electrical, stationery, toys, etc., so that the consumers have a wide variety of choices.

A human touch is always necessary

This automation would mean that Mr Bricolage’s warehouses are seeing their workforce move away from low-skilled jobs, previously held by workers who sort, pick and pack, etc.

Rather than hiring a new set of talent, Andy said they would instead upgrade their warehouse workers’ skills in robotics and automation, indicating that training will be provided.

Overseas, many see e-commerce giant Amazon as a pioneer of robotic fulfillment centers. Its use of automation has dramatically increased the efficiency of its release, allowing it to realize an Amazon Prime advantage that offers users 1-2 day free shipping.

But robotics can’t go any further now, so human workers aren’t left out of the equation. They are still needed to manage and repair robots, or to perform intermediate tasks that robots cannot yet do.

In 2019, Amazon spent US $ 700 million improving the skills of its employees in technical roles, regardless of their previous experience. Employees have been trained in software engineering and machine learning, to name just a few.

In part, this training has led to increased overall efficiency of their distribution centers and other departments. Amazon reaped the rewards with net profit in 2020 that rose 84% after its annual revenue increased to US $ 100 billion, with revenue of US $ 386 billion for the year.

The exact tasks of the robots in Mr. DIY’s center are unclear, but it would be up to the company as the employer to ensure their talents are equipped to handle this change.

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Despite this specific strategy to speed up his e-commerce operations, it does not appear that Mr. DIY intends to slow down in the brick and mortar business.

He has already announced that he plans to open 175 new stores in 2021 in his 3 brands: Mr DIY, Mr Toy and Mr Dollar.

In 2020, it opened 140 stores, bringing its total stores nationwide to 734, including 683 under the Mr DIY brand in February 2021.

  • You can read more about Mr DIY here.
  • You can read what we wrote about Mr DIY here.

Featured Image Credit: Mr DIY

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Jothi Venkat

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