Zak Stambor , Managing Editor
Warehouse automation system effectively handles heavy volume of holiday orders
Woburn, MA – March 9, 2010 – Kiva Systems (www.kivasystems.com),developer of game-changing mobile-robotic solutions that automate order fulfillment and warehouse operations, today announced that Gap Inc. Direct has deployed a new Kiva system at its Columbus, Ohio fulfillment center.
Kiva provides a flexible storage and software system that accommodates work stream changes. Gap Inc. Direct tested the Kiva technology in its facility this past summer. The results from the summer test proved beneficial, which led to a decision to move processing of all orders for its Piperlime brand to Kiva in early October. The smooth installation and testing process gave Gap Inc. the confidence to expand the system to handle Piperlime’s holiday orders.
“Using a flexible, automated order fulfillment system helped our Piperlime operations scale to increased capacity over the critical holiday season,” said Chris Black, vice president of operations at Gap Inc. Direct. “The system freed up our employees’ time, allowing them to focus on processing a higher volume of customer orders faster and to ensure more accuracy. We’re looking forward to leveraging Kiva’s system when we expand our online business internationally.”
Kiva’s innovative approach to order fulfillment uses hundreds of mobile robotic drive units that bring inventory directly to workers, so they have easy and efficient access to inventory items at all times. Because operators spend little or no time walking and waiting, their productivity is two to four times higher than with other automated systems. What’s more, because all the system components are mobile and modular, a Kiva-equipped distribution center has unprecedented flexibility when adding new products or expanding throughput-without disrupting ongoing operations.
Gap Inc. Direct, the e-commerce division of Gap Inc., sells clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories from Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime and Athleta. Over the past several years, Gap Inc. Direct has concentrated on improving the online shopping experience for its customers. The division completely overhauled its technology platform, launched Piperlime, an online fashion destination, and added Athleta to its roster of brands. It also unveiled Universality, which offers customers an easy way to cross-shop all four brands with one check out experience, and introduced product reviews. Sales for Gap Inc. Direct have grown from $595 million in fiscal year 2005 to $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2009.
“Gap Inc. Direct is demonstrating that in business, innovation wins,” said Mick Mountz, founder and CEO of Kiva Systems. “The Gap’s investment in innovations such as the Kiva mobile robotic order fulfillment system will raise the standard for online customer service.”
About Kiva Systems
Kiva Systems, Inc. offers game-changing automation solutions for distribution centers that help companies simplify operations and reduce costs while increasing strategic flexibility. Using hundreds of autonomous mobile robots and sophisticated control software, the Kiva Mobile Fulfillment System enables extremely fast cycle times with reduced labor requirements, from receiving to picking to shipping-all without conveyor. The result is a building that is quick and low-cost to set up, inexpensive to operate, and easy to change. For more information on Kiva Systems and its solutions, please visit www.kivasystems.com.
About Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. is a leading global specialty retailer offering clothing, accessories and personal care products for men, women, children and babies under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime and Athleta brand names. Fiscal 2009 sales were $14.2 billion. Gap Inc. operates about 3,100 stores in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Japan and Ireland. In addition, Gap Inc. is expanding its international presence with franchise agreements in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com
KIVA SYSTEMS, INC.
Schwartz Communications, Inc.