Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

InVia automates Tobi warehouse operations

Steve Rogerson
March 19, 2019

Online women’s fashion retailer Tobi has deployed picker robots and a cloud-based robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) automation system to optimise ecommerce fulfilment in its Reno, Nevada, warehouse. The technology comes from California-based InVia Robotics.
The ecommerce retail space continues rapid growth, with US retail ecommerce sales increasing 14.3 per cent in one year. Companies are having to innovate to keep up with the evolving demands of consumers, including expectations for next day delivery. This pressure is especially high for fast fashion ecommerce retailers, which experience rapid market changes due to seasonality, sales and trends.
Tobi needed an automated system that would immediately add efficiency and accuracy to its warehouse operations and evolve with the company. InVia’s platform helps Tobi boost warehouse productivity and fulfilment, without disrupting warehouse operations.
"We strive to exceed customers' expectations with every facet of our business from selection to price and even delivery," said Kenneth Chan, founder and CEO of Tobi. "We found that in order to compete and continue to wow our customers we needed automation to deliver. InVia provided the best solution to increase order efficiency and accuracy. The robotics expertise the InVia team has brought into our operations has been one of the most valuable aspects of the deployment. They have treated our business like it's theirs and let us dedicate our resources to our core competency of delivering fast fashion to our customers."
The InVia picker works collaboratively with people in the Tobi warehouse to pick and move clothing and accessories, automating the storage and retrieval process and freeing workers to focus on less repetitive tasks. The robots are directed by a robotics management system that analyses the company's warehouse to optimise workflows and increase throughput.
The system's AI algorithms adapt to fluctuations in demand and adjust robot warehouse mapping to create a more efficient process. InVia's holistic platform seamlessly integrates with any existing layout and software, and its RaaS model lets users see an immediate RoI. As a part of the discovery process, which includes thousands of simulations conducted by the engineering team, Tobi is expected to double its throughput rate.
"Warehouse automation is a competitive advantage for ecommerce retailers operating in a crowded space," said Lior Elazary, founder and CEO of InVia Robotics. "InVia's innovative AI- driven technology will optimise picking and cycle counting for Tobi and automate repetitive warehouse tasks, so their people can focus on delighting their customers. We're excited to partner with Tobi to create more meaningful work experiences for their employees and consistent satisfaction for their customers."
InVia Robotics is a southern California robotics company founded in 2015. Tobi is an international fast-fashion online retail destination serving young women in more than 100 countries worldwide.