More robots didn't lead to layoffs: Boxed CEO

By Business Leaders FOXBusiness

Boxed launches robots in warehouses

Boxed CEO Chieh Huang on using driverless vehicles in warehouses.

According to Boxed CEO Chieh Huang, the online wholesale retailer has seen exponential growth, recording more than $100 million in sales in 2016, up from $40,000 in sales at the end of 2013.  Now, the company is implementing new robots in its warehouses.

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“We designed them and built them ourselves and so, even before that though we started installing what we call ‘the highly autonomous logistics operation.’  So it was really driven by robotics and driven by a conveyor-belt system.  Now we’ve designed parts of that system in-house, including this cart system,” Huang told the FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney.

When Varney asked if it was superior to Amazon’s (AMZN) system, Huang responded, “I think it’s not superior nor inferior, it’s different.”

Despite the company’s increased use of technology in its warehouses, it has not resulted in the laying off of any employees.

“Even though we went autonomous in our first system, we actually didn’t lay off a single worker because of the system and so, what we did was we actually retrained them on interacting with some of the state of the art robotics that we put in,” Huang said on Varney & Co.

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In the long run, Huang sees the increased use of robotics as a potential job creator through expansion.

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Varney raised concerns that even though the company has not laid off employees because of the robotics, the new technology may impact the company’s future hiring plans.

“What we think though is that this will make us more efficient, our unit economics get better and we’re going to build more and more facilities.”

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