inVia Robotics Case Study: Hollar
As an online dollar store delivering fun, cool gifts and goods across the country, Hollar has found success by ensuring they have the lowest cost-per-touch available in order to sustain its business model and continue to grow. Founded in 2015, this has meant adapting to an evolving—and exploding—e-commerce market. Hollar turned to inVia Robotics to deliver warehouse automation, maximize their throughput, and fulfill orders faster.
When backend savings and efficiency make the difference
Prior to integrating inVia’s Robots-as-a-Service (RaaS) solution, one of Hollar’s highest costs was the walking time of its employees—the back and forth from one end of the warehouse to another, maneuvering through thousands of products to fulfill individual orders. It was a clunky, costly, and physically draining process. Hollar was also mindful of the fact that they were navigating a retail economy in which consumers expect to be able to select and receive an order in under 48 hours.
Hollar knew that the goods-to-person model, a fulfillment process in which product is delivered directly to an operator by an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS), would be critical to their success. Long accepted as the gold standard in order fulfillment, the goods-to-person model has also historically been too expensive to implement. inVia brings that goods-to-person model to life—no CAPEX required—with a fleet of autonomous mobile robots.
We’re an online dollar store where every cent matters. inVia Robotics is absolutely critical for our growth and for staying in business.
Compatible with any warehouse management system (WMS), and with no structural redesigning required for Hollar, the robots had mapped the warehouse and were up and running in less than three weeks.
Octavio Reyes, IT director of Enterprise Systems, at Hollar, was amazed at how quickly the robots were ready. “I’ve worked with a lot of WMSs in my career and, in this case, we integrated inVia with High Jump WMS,” he said. “It took about three weeks to integrate the full system—which is very fast.”
The inVia robots do all the walking for you. Why pay people to walk all day when you can be incredibly more efficient?
A partner for the future
But it wasn’t just the robots that were ready quickly—onboarding pickers with the robots proved faster than before inVia came into the picture. “The RaaS had little to no training needed,” Reyes said. “With any other picking solution, it can take days to get onboarded, and inVia did that in less than two hours. Plus, with the robots’ help, our employees more productive and less fatigued throughout the day, ”
For Reyes, this means two things: happier customers, and a strong ROI. “In our case, the ROI was nearly immediate, and I think other companies would see the same. With the robots up and running in weeks, we were quickly getting picks at a much lower cost.”
For CEO Steve Oliver, the solution extends beyond the short-term goals and has potential to shape the company’s future. “What I really like about this technology is it provides us a tremendous amount of flexibility. In the near term, we see it as an efficient way to save on our pick and pack costs, but longer term I envision a future where our robots run all night, and we come in the next morning and the entire first row of shelving is all the orders we need to place and fill that day. That will be our reality.”
The inVia solution has helped Hollar overcome the challenges of a start-up company in a markedly aggressive industry, acting as a true technology partner to help Hollar maximize operations efficiency and customer satisfaction. “What inVia gives us is the ability—the flexibility—to grow, with a technology solution that grows with us,” Um says. “If you want a partner who will go to the ends of the Earth with you, inVia is that team.”