Moving the Retail Industry Forward: An Interview with Movexx CEO
The retail industry, like many other industries, is rapidly transforming. Today’s consumers want proximity, speed and convenience, which has caused the retail sector to incorporate advanced technologies and innovative equipment to meet customer-driven demand.
For many years, Movexx has tailor-designed and developed retail-specific machines. This has been achieved by offering compact, easy-to-use and quick-charge electric tugs. Our decision to offer Lithium LiFeP04 battery is exactly what retail clients want – improved performance with less downtime. Our CEO, Iris van Ravenswaaij shared her thoughts on how equipment such as electric and AGV tugs can reduce costs and improve efficiencies in the retail sector.
What has changed from the time you started providing the retail and distribution industry with electric tugs and solution, to now?
Iris: “looking back at the last 13 years, we’ve seen that retail and distribution has always been a big market for us. In this time, there’s been rapid growth in e-commerce and order picking, and this growth motivates us to help our clients work more efficiently and ergonomically. For example, for 8 years, we’ve worked with a well-known Dutch distributor, St. van de Brink, helping them make their process more efficient and ergonomic. And in doing so, we not only create an R.O.I for them, but we created an excellent work-relationship too”
What do you expect to see in distribution centers and/or retail warehouses of the future?
Iris: “in the future, we will see an increase in global automation process across all industries, including retail and distribution. Fully automated warehouses are the future but sometimes it’s not only about zero-labor, automated warehouses but rather partial automation, for example, in a partial automated logistic flow. The idea behind partial automation is to create a workflow that doesn’t solely rely on human capacity but rather one where man and machine work together to reduce sick leave and work-related accidents.
At Movexx we believe in automation but without losing the human touch. We do this by developing AGVs or robots which we optimize human labor. In the future this symbiotic relationship between man and machine will only grow and Movexx will be part of this transition. But for now, we also often see warehouses which are not yet ready to fully implement automation. That’s why we also offer partial automation in conjunction with our other electric tugs. In this way, we bring old and new technology together.
What role will Movexx play as warehouses enters the era of Industry 4.0?
Iris: “our role will be working together with our clients to find the best possible solutions, be it offering a standardized solution or a tailor-made one. For example, many client have problems with coupling trollies. In such a case, we working together with our engineers to find the best possible solutions to couple the trollies. Moreover, safety and usability are priorities for us and as long as we are not fully satisfied about these two, we continue to find the right solution.
We have a very capable team that can meet our clients’ needs. Our engineers are highly specialized and they can think together with the client. Our salespeople are experience and well-trained. And when clients want the cherry on the cake, like a logo printed on the machine, we do it. This makes the machine recognizable when they are working on location.
We often attended to our client’s special wishes. For example, St. van den Brink wanted to track their machines, so we looked into how we could install a GPS device into the machine. Building a machine that met all the client’s specifications was very satisfying for us, and it will be something we will continue to do in the era of Industry 4.0.”
What makes Movexx the perfect retail partner?
Iris: “firstly, our dealer network, which not only give us a worldwide presence but it enables us to facilitate, customize and respond to the end client’s questions. Our dealers are well-trained and they are directly in touch with our people. When it comes to aftersales questions, our dealer can provide help and answers. For bigger clients, who operate around the world we can secure that the services rendered are consistent, and that aftersales questions can be addressed by our local partners. All this makes Movexx the perfect partner for our clients all around the world.”
How is Movexx facilitating retail clients to meet their business goals?
Iris: “we help client reach their strategic goals by reducing sick leave and facilitating more efficient ways of working. Instead of 1 trolley, our tugs can couple up to 5 trolleys and in doing so we speed up the process. In many cases in distribution and retail, workers suffer from severe back and shoulder injuries, but once they work with our machines, we see less sick leave. Moreover, by making processes more efficient and reducing sick leave, in the long term, we provide our clients with a return on investment. This is what makes us an attractive partner for our end clients.”
In light of what you know today and in preparation for tomorrow, where does your business stand? The future of warehousing lies in moving products more efficiently, smoothly and quickly, in conjunction with capable support teams and structures. Together these factors will not only evolve the retail and distribution industry, but they will help meet tomorrows demands, today.