IKEA, a well-known Swedish distributor of low-cost furniture, turned to drones to streamline inventory management.
The company has surpassed 100 autonomous drones in service at its stores. IKEA claims that, since the launch of the first ones in 2021, drones now operate in 16 locations different in Belgium, Croatia, Slovenia, Germany, Italy, Holland and Switzerland.
Tolga Öncu, head of retail at Ingka Group (IKEA), said in a statement that the technology “improves the well-being of our co-workers, reduces operating costs and allows us to be more accessible and convenient for our customers.”
“We are investing in technology across all sectors so that our stores can better serve customers and become true hubs for omnichannel retailing. The introduction of drones and other advanced tools – such as robots for picking goods – is a real win-win. It improves the well-being of our employees, reduces operating costs and allows us to be more accessible and convenient for our customers.”
Most companies still use humans to control inventory and manage replenishment orders.
However, this process is not only expensive but also time consuming. That’s where drones come into play. According to IKEA, the drone-assisted process is much faster and more accurate than manual counting, allowing Ikea to better control its inventory levels.
IKEA is using these drones outside of store hours, so don’t expect to see one of these flying objects overhead.