Retail Supply Chain

Understand the Retail Supply Chain

You may have heard about, or likely encountered, supply chain issues or product delays recently. But what is the retail supply chain, and why is it so important for businesses, consumers, and the economy?

The retail supply chain consists of the processes, players, places, and data flows involved in making consumer goods and getting them to consumers to use. It includes all the steps from manufacturing products out of raw materials to shipping finished goods, warehousing, sorting, picking, and packing orders through an automated warehouse system, shipping orders to stores, and directly to customers.

When it comes to the retail supply chain, every step has critical importance. Like a perfectly choreographed dance, each element of operations needs to be executed to a high degree of accuracy and with careful precision. After all, any disruption to the retail supply chain can cause delays and a negative experience for the consumer, which should be avoided at all costs. Companies can ensure that customers have a positive experience, and increase the likelihood of repeat orders, by focusing on their retail supply chains to ensure that they are resilient and efficient.

Some companies automate some operations within their retail supply chain to eliminate risks or inefficiencies. For instance, warehouse robots are a tool to help automate elements of retail logistics, reducing the need for expensive manual labor while ensuring efficiency. With retail automation solutions like robotic sorting, companies can manage higher volumes of packages and meet customer delivery expectations, all with streamlined warehouse operations. Managing operations in your retail supply chain just got a whole lot easier.

Effective Supply Chain Solutions are Crucial for Retail

BG FLEXbots at work sorting SKUs

Effectively managing the retail supply chain is top of mind for savvy businesses looking to succeed in today’s challenging environment. Failing to future-proof your retail supply chain could result in unexpected delays, lack of inventory, and negative customer experiences.

At its simplest level, the retail supply chain is the mechanism by which companies can ensure omni-channel fulfillment. And while it’s a simple concept, the devil is in the details – and retail logistics are a challenge for small and large businesses alike. Orders must be recorded, inventories queried, and products picked, packed, and shipped. That’s not even counting manufacturing processes or reverse logistics.

Strong retail supply chain management is a requirement for a 21st-century business, and modern challenges require innovative solutions. That’s why companies are investing in top-of-the-line technology to ensure that their retail supply chain operates efficiently and avoids common mistakes that can be fatal for a growing business.

Automated warehouse systems can play a key role in ensuring consistent order fulfillment. AI-enabled technology allows companies to streamline manual, repetitive processes that are both time-consuming and expensive. For instance, sorting is a high-impact area where it’s fairly simple to automate operations and see big results. With this technology in play, warehouses can operate more efficiently and more accurately while decreasing the likelihood of costly human error. Amidst ongoing labor shortages and increased costs, businesses must capitalize on any available opportunity to strengthen their retail supply chain.

BG FLEXbots at work sorting SKUs

The Berkshire Grey Solution

With supply chain automation solutions from Berkshire Grey, companies can mitigate risk and ensure resilience even in challenging economic landscapes. Berkshire Grey helps companies strengthen their retail supply chain operations to deliver lasting impact and scalability. With BG’s suite of robotic solutions, companies can increase order throughput, improve customer service, and optimize labor to deliver great results for their consumers.

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Improve order sortation and throughput
BG Robotic Induction Station (BG RIS) autonomously pick and place items to traditional sortation systems, improving traditional sorter utilization and order throughput by between 25% and 50% without increasing labor.
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Optimize warehouse operations
BG Robotic Product Sortation (BG RPS) systems automate break pack store replenishment and large eCommerce order selections for major retailers. BG RPS automatically picks and sorts items, eaches, inner packs, and less-than-case quantities from totes into containers for larger profile orders. BG Robotic Package Sortation with Identification (BG RPSi) systems sort and consolidate small packages into bags and containers prior to shipping, enabling efficient network handling and zone skipping without adding labor.
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Fast, cheap order fulfillment
BG Mobile Robotic Sortation (BG FLEX™) systems use orchestrated fleets of mobile robots to enable dynamic any-to-any induct to discharge sortation to deliver faster fulfillment that requires less labor and strategically load delivery vans for optimal routing.

The Benefits of Using Berkshire Grey’s Solutions for Retail Supply Chain Management

Accelerate order processing
When it comes to the retail supply chain, time is money. Warehouse robots can process orders faster than manual counterparts without sacrificing precision–and that means big savings over time. By converting goods-to-person packing stations to goods-to-robot, Berkshire Grey is able to eliminate inefficient touches and place picked items directly into shipping packages for order fulfillment, all with high speed and accuracy.
Reduce dependency on human labor
One of the risks to the retail supply chain is a scarcity of human labor. Future-proof your operations through automated warehouse technology, which helps companies save money and time without compromising on output. AI-enabled solutions help to optimize existing labor and scale fulfillment.
Increase efficiencies and throughput
By leveraging scalable, AI-enabled automation solutions, Berkshire Grey is able to increase throughput by 25 to 50% to handle any volume of orders. Berkshire Grey achieves this through a combination of optimized and tailored order picking, packing, sorting, and return logistics solutions.
Improve customer satisfaction
Retail supply chain automation is one of the most impactful ways for a company to ensure long-term customer satisfaction. By optimizing return logistics through Berkshire Grey’s robotic sorting, companies can impress consumers and make them more likely to buy again. Enjoy autonomously pre-sorted returned packages with an ultra-fast restocking system.

Why Businesses Choose Berkshire Grey

Real business

Berkshire Grey’s enterprise clients have seen operation expenses reduced by up to 70% while improving facility throughput by up to 50%.

Configurable solutions

Berkshire Grey’s suite of AI-enabled robotic automation solutions are designed to integrate seamlessly into existing operations while remaining modular for future expansions or additions.


Help your business succeed by partnering with Berkshire Grey’s team of experts who can help design, implement, and manage your automation solution.


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The retail supply chain is successful when your products can make their way to your customers quickly, seamlessly, and without unexpected delays. Companies with strong supply chain management will often use automation tools to help eliminate inefficiencies, cut costs, and ensure consistent output.
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The retail supply chain is important because otherwise, products may not reach customers’ hands accurately, quickly, and in good shape. Businesses need to create a loyal, returning customer base, and ensuring top-tier customer satisfaction is the way to do that. With a weak supply chain, businesses run a greater risk of encountering delays or issues that affect the consumer negatively–and ultimately profits.

Get Started
with Berkshire Grey

Contact the BG Fulfillment Automation Sales Engineering Team to Learn How to:

  • Reduce operations expense by up to 70%.
  • Lessen your dependency on labor.
  • Bolster facility throughput by up to 25% to 50% with automation.
  • Get a customized ROI analysis of your specific environment and business.

Call +1 (833) 848-9900 or connect using our form.