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McCoy's autonomous robots

Autonomous Robots Foster Employee Efficiency

As the company strives to elevate customer service and improve on-shelf availability and the price integrity of its products, McCoy’s Building Supply has partnered with Badger Technologies to bring autonomous robots into stores. 

After a successful pilot of five robots, the operation, which has 85 locations in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, will be adding the robots to five additional stores. David Paul Strom, McCoy’s director of loss prevention and operations support, says the company plans to expand the robot fleet even more next year. 

“While I initially thought we might be stepping out a bit too far, I soon realized that this was well within our wheelhouse and a good fit for us,” Strom says. “We are discovering new ways to utilize the data Randy—which we affectionately named the robot—provides in the store and in the supply chain.”

The autonomous robots roam the aisles of the store and provide daily updates on the availability and pricing of up to 50,000 SKUs per location. They are able to detect out-of-stock and incorrectly priced products with more than 95% accuracy. Since implementing the technology, McCoy’s has decreased out-of-stock products by up to 50% and improved price tag accuracy by more than 97%.

“We continually seek innovative ways to elevate customer service while removing operational obstacles for store associates,” says Waylon Walker, senior vice president, operations and merchandising for McCoy’s. “With Badger Technologies robots, we can eliminate manual, time-consuming inventory checks and attain real-time data to better address customer preferences and buying trends.”

Along with providing a higher level of customer service, the robots have also increased employee efficiency. The robots can complete inventory shelf scans in just two hours a day, a task that previously took employees 50 hours a week, a 72% reduction in time.

“Our employees, especially those with zoning, salesfloor and inventory management responsibilities, love the robots,” Strom says. 

Additionally, the multipurpose, autonomous robots keep track of product locations, which can speed restocking the most popular products while assisting stores with merchandise forecasting, commodity management and planogram compliance.

“The robots make life easier for everyone by identifying opportunities to fill empty pegs,” Strom says. “Rather than having to scan all the aisles to find and fix problems, employees can access the robot dashboard, which details the issues, provides pictures and details the exact aisle or location of each issue.”

See how the Badger Technologies autonomous robots are also making a positive impact at Busy Beaver Home Improvement Centers.

About Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A native of Ohio, Lindsey earned a B.S. in journalism and minors in business and sociology from Ohio University. She loves spending time with her husband, two kids, two cats and one dog, as well as doing DIY projects around the house, going to concerts, boating and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.

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