‘Just Do It’ robots for Nike amid supply chain challenges
Nike has deployed more than 1,000 robots to help process orders at its fulfillment centers. A recent article on Nike’s website detailed the use of robots alongside other innovations implemented by the company over the past two years due to the pandemic’s disruption of the global supply chain. .
The sportswear giant calls its automated workers “cobots” (short for collaborative robots) who help Nike factory workers sort and package products. The robots helped Nike triple its digital ordering capacity in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa over the past two holiday seasons.
“The challenges and constraints imposed by the pandemic have driven our teams to transform the way we serve consumers through the implementation of new technology platforms, automation and process improvements in our operations,” Nike chief executive Andrew Campion said in a statement.
Prior to Winter 2020, Nike’s North American production was centralized at its Memphis, TN facility. The company has since opened regional centers in Los Angeles, Bethlehem, Penn., and Dallas to diversify its operations. Nike’s new facilities have also been supported by demand sensing and inventory optimization technology platforms that help predict consumer demand.
In a January 6 earnings report, Nike said it lost about three months of production in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 due to government-mandated factory closures in Vietnam and Indonesia due to Covid. -19. In fiscal year 2021, 51% of Nike shoes and 30% of Nike apparel were manufactured in Vietnam; while 24% of shoes and 12% of clothes were made in Indonesia.