Expert Insight

By Scott Friedman

Seegrid Corporation

Date: January 20, 2011

Supply Chain Comment: Industrial Trucks… Driving Themselves… in my Distribution Center, What?

The Technology Is Up To It, And Robotic Industrial Trucks Work, And Work, And Work

Listen to the forward thinking thought leaders in our industry; you will begin hearing something really extraordinary these days.  People talking about industrial trucks…without a worker… driving themselves…in their distribution centers!  Really.  The facts are that Seegrid and several others have quietly gone about putting robotic industrial trucks in places any self-respecting AGV would never allow itself to be seen:  the distribution center.  Times have changed, technology has advanced and industry thought leaders---like they always do---have already figured it out:  the technology is up to it, and robotic industrial trucks work…and work, and work.

Automate Or Evaporate?

The manufacturing industry figured that out 100 years ago.  Yet, automation somehow got lost on its walk from the manufacturing floor to the distribution center.  Well, it has now found its way.  And those that meet automation at their door and invite it in will survive.  And those that don’t; well, let’s just say the competitors your CEO worries about every day are hoping that you don’t look at robotic industrial trucks any time soon. Don’t believe me?  How many hand-sewn socks have you bought in the last 10 years?


The simple truth is that automation reduces costs, improves quality, makes work environments safer, and work easier for workers.  Those benefits have been known for a long time, just not available in distribution centers.


Robotic Industrial Trucks

Robotic industrial trucks in the warehouse provide something very, very rare.  Something new, that both warehouse workers and management take as a positive change.  For managers, the cost reductions, process improvements, and simplicity are like no tool they have ever had before.  For workers, it’s clear they rather work with the machines, than be the machines themselves.

But don’t take my word for it, check it out for yourself.  Talk to users, the vendors.  YouTube.  It’s all going on right now.  You need to have an answer when your boss walks into your office with a published case study in his hand, touting the benefits your business competitor got when he installed robotic industrial trucks in his distribution center, months ago.

Final Thoughts

For more information about Robotic Industrial Trucks, please visit our website at:

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About the Author

Scott Friedman is Chief Executive Officer of Seegrid, the world’s leader in robotic industrial trucks. As CEO, Scott oversees all aspects of the company’s long-term strategy and direction.

Prior to co-founding Seegrid with Hans Moravec, Scott served as President and CEO of CareFlow|Net, an enterprise medical software company.

Scott is a Bachelor of Arts graduate from the Honors College at the University of Michigan and holds a medical degree from the West Virginia University School of Medicine.


Friedman Says:

For workers, it's clear they rather work with the machines, than be the machines themselves.

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