Takeoff revolutionizes the US eGrocery business with KNAPP technology

Published on in Food, Retail, Technology

Takeoff Technologies is a Boston-area startup with the vision of transforming the grocery industry through the development of micro-fulfillment-centers that are deployed as a value-added service to existing grocery retailers. The concept uses grocery-sorting robots to assemble orders and deliver customer orders to immediate pickup locations. Instead of forming its own supermarket chain, Takeoff is selling its end-to-end technology platform to existing retailers as a new way to reach customers as part of an efficient ecosystem. KNAPP is providing automated micro-fulfillment technology and robotics to Takeoff Technologies including an agreement to exclusively develop the immediate in-store eGrocery channel.

The business model

The Takeoff business model is based on automated micro-fulfillment-centers co-located at the supermarket level for immediate grocery pickup. The modular technology takes less space, is highly responsive to meet order demand in real time and can delivery groceries quickly and inexpensively for customer pickup.

1.) The consumer places their order online

2.) The order is prepared semi-automatically in a micro-fulfillment-center equipped with KNAPP technology like the OSR Shuttle™

3.) The consumer receives their groceries at a convenient pickup location or the order is delivered at home in less than 2 hours

Each Takeoff fulfillment-center can support further pickup locations. If consumers use a convenience store, drugstore or quick service restaurant that is more convenient to them than the Takeoff fulfillment-location, Takeoff can provide automated lockers to those locations.

Boosting efficiency

By stacking the assortment of a traditional supermarket vertically a 90% smaller footprint can be achieved which drives down real estate costs dramatically. Furthermore, energy costs and payroll costs are reduced. However, high speed access to the articles is then essential in order prepare customer orders.

KNAPP offers the right solution for Takeoff’s requirements. At the heart of the model is the OSR Shuttle™, an automated storage and picking system. The proven technology is able to fill orders with over 99.9 percent accuracy. The shuttle system for Takeoff has 22,000 storage locations within 3,500 square feet. The system can easily house the inventory of a traditional grocery store, which means that retail partners of Takeoff can offer the same assortment customers expect in a supermarket but using only one tenth of the space. Multiple temperature zones allow the handling of different kinds of articles including fresh produce, fresh meat, packaged goods, delicatessen and health & beauty, etc. In combination with Pick-it-Easy work stations, the powerful Streamline conveyor system and KiSoft WCS, KNAPP’s warehouse control system, 1,200 order lines per hour are achievable.

KNAPP as the best partner

KNAPP impressed Takeoff with its proven OSR Shuttle™ technology, its expertise in single item picking and its understanding of the requirements.

“We believe that KNAPP is definitely the best partner for us. They understood right from the beginning the concept of replicability. We need a very reliable solution that we can deploy in every store in the neighborhoods of America. We need a very simple design with low space requirements. We met with the leadership of KNAPP – here in America and in Austria – and from day one there was great chemistry and trust, which is very important for us in developing this new market. We have a very strong partnership for developing the immediate in-store grocery fulfillment channel.”

José Vicente Aguerrevere, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Takeoff Technologies

KNAPP in food logistics

KNAPP Systemintegration specializes in all-in-one solutions in food and empties logistics and implements solutions in the highest quality for the challenges in food logistics. Central technologies include not only the high-performance OSR Shuttle System with ergonomic Pick-it-Easy work stations, the free-moving Open Shuttles for pallets but also the software KiSoft, which builds the ideal sequences of supermarket articles for the fully automatic formation of pallets for delivery to store.  Numerous customers in food retail including SPAR, REWE, Edeka, Migros and Auchan trust in the innovative technologies and solutions by KNAPP.