On the one hand, travel and other restrictions would limit access to the expertise and resources we had planned on. For example, we were about to bring in a team of contractors to handle the induction process. That seemed out of the question at the time as it could put our employees at risk. Travel from New Jersey to Texas required a quarantine period, so we wouldn’t be able to bring in headquarters staff who had managed the startup of our first system.
On the other hand, we didn’t know how long the pandemic would last and the AutoStore system would simplify the process of maintaining social distancing while continuing to support customers. With AutoStore, pickers are stationary and can fill orders without coordinating their activities around those of other workers. It was a benefit of the system we hadn’t considered, but under the circumstances it became a very important one.