6RS Builds on Industry Lead with Continued Investment in 2022

Fergal Glynn March 25th, 2022

As the first quarter of 2022 comes to a close, 6 River Systems (6RS) is full steam ahead on the momentum built throughout last year. While the challenges of the global pandemic and the supply chain crisis continue to add obstacles to our industry, the 6RS team has solidified our position as a leader in fulfillment technology and achieved success in key areas of customer growth and new product capabilities.

Industry Executive, JJ Ethridge, joins as Chief Strategy Officer

Bringing years of experience in the retail and supply chain industry, JJ Ethridge has been appointed as 6 River Systems’ first Chief Strategy Officer (CSO).

6RS Chief Strategy Officer, JJ Ethridge

As CSO, JJ Ethridge is responsible for developing and defining our vision and partner ecosystem. JJ’s first-hand retail and supply chain experience, coupled with his dedication to helping businesses of all sizes leverage technology to improve operations, made him a natural fit for this role. Prior to joining 6RS, JJ was a senior executive at GXO Logistics and Sears. Ethridge also served our country for more than 20 years in the U.S. Navy, including serving as a Commanding Officer.

JJ is working with service providers, technology partners and industry analysts to help position 6RS as the industry leader in fulfillment technology and prepare our company for future growth.

6RS Product Evolution

Launched in 2017, the 6RS Fulfillment Execution System (FES) is an integrated solution that combines intelligent cloud based software and automation, including our autonomous mobile robot (AMR) “Chuck”. Recent FES enhancements include cluster picking, mezzanine support, an enhanced integration framework, an operator portal called “The Bridge”, and expanded peripherals support. Further, 6RS is extending the FES into all four corners of the warehouse by enabling workflows on a handheld device.

Handhelds extend 6RS’ reach to all areas of the warehouse

The 6RS handheld can be paired with other material handling equipment, such as order pickers and forklifts for high bay and oversized items, or picks located in areas where Chuck can’t travel.  Associates are directed through their tasks using a unified interface and managers have more visibility across the entire operation.

First of a kind multi-level deployment  

As volumes, cost, and SKU counts increase, warehouses are becoming more vertical. 6RS customers are better serving their

At a multi-level warehouse, associates pick with Chuck.

customers and meeting market demands by deploying Chucks on mezzanines. Work is completed on each level separately and directly injected into downstream order consolidation, providing an immediate lift to productivity, accuracy, and service levels.

Flexible fulfillment with Chuck peripherals: ladders, scanners, printers and more

Since the launch of the most recent version of Chuck at Modex 2020, 6RS has continued to enhance Chuck’s usability, compliance and industry leading configurability. At Modex 2022, 6RS will showcase a Chuck with a mounted ladder -for those hard to reach picks- , an integrated Chuck-mounted mobile printer, multiple wireless hand scanners, and a storage bin and mesh canopy for dunnage removal from the picking aisles.

The Bridge – the operator’s command center

The Bridge is a command center for warehouse supervisors who are trying to manage operations while meeting service-level commitments. The Bridge captures and analyzes operational performance data from the WMS and 6RS devices, automates exceptions, and provides real-time performance and forecast dashboards. At Modex 2022, see how our customers use The Bridge to optimize order flow, resolve exceptions and realize continuous system performance improvements.

Wall-to-Wall workflow enhancements

Designed to manage all fulfillment workflows from putaway, to picking, sorting and packing, 6RS made significant software improvements to its work allocation algorithms and optimizations to its industry- leading discrete, multis and singles batch, and zone picking methodologies. At Modex 2022, 6RS will also showcase case replenishment, singles returns and cluster picking capabilities.

Beyond the Bot; Simplified integration with Material Handling Equipment (MHE)

Think beyond the bot! Enhancements to our automation orchestration layer simplifies the integration with 3rd party hardware and peripherals, including vertical lift modules, box builders, auto baggers, printers, and scanners. The result is a unified, seamless user experience for fulfillment workflows, which will be on display at Modex 2022.

Modex attendees will be able to see a wall-to-wall FES demo that integrates a Modula Vertical Lift Module (VLM) for small parts picking, a Crown Work Assist Vehicle (WAV) for high bay picking, a Packsize dynamic box builder for picking directly into a shipping container, and an Accutech autobagger for fully automated, high-velocity packing. This integrated fulfillment solution demonstrates the expanding reach and applicability of the FES and differentiates 6RS from other providers in the market.

Our Company’s Continued Growth

As 6RS reaches nearly 400 employees, with close to 50% of employees being located outside of its home state of Massachusetts, the company saw record customer growth in 2021. Recent go-lives at GXO, DHL, The Hillman Group, Jenni Kayne and others, have our fulfillment solutions operating in over 100 warehouses. It’s clear 6RS’ wall-to-wall offering is becoming an essential part of the warehouse ecosystem.

With growth comes partnerships, and we made important ones with Ricoh USA and Ivy Technology. These partners provide 6RS the added infrastructure it needs to provide essential on-site services to our customers. The partnerships allow 6RS to quickly respond to customer growth and leverage the experience of world-class organizations to help improve our industry leading support and reliability.

New Practice Focused on 3PL Enablement

In order to align and support the material year-over-year growth in our third-party logistics (3PL) segment, 6 River Systems has launched a new practice specifically aimed at enabling professional warehouse operators. The industry practice will drive value by aligning 6RS’ capabilities with 3PLs’ business priorities, helping 3PLs better respond to market conditions and customer needs in an ever-evolving landscape. Today, 6RS provides leading 3PLs the technology and tools to help them deliver outstanding customer experiences to the hundreds of brands who entrust their fulfillment to them. The practice will also serve as an important liaison to 3PL organizations interested in learning more about Shopify’s offerings.

Next Stop: MODEX 2022

Attendees can find 6 River Systems at MODEX 2022 in Atlanta from March 28-31 at booths 8832 and 9932. We will be available for demonstrations of our wall-to-wall fulfillment solutions, and to meet 1:1 with attendees to discuss how our solutions are used to improve fulfillment operations. Those that are interested in meeting can request a time to chat with us here

During the event, we will be hosting and co-hosting several seminars and presentations. We can’t wait to share our insights with attendees.

On Monday, March 28 from 1:30 – 2:15 p.m. in Theater A, hear from 6RS Co-Founder and Co-CEO Jerome Dubois and Liberty Hardware VP of Operations and Planning Miles Poole’s seminar, Automated Robotics Helps Liberty Hardware Exceed SLAs and Grows Alongside Business:

  • Liberty Hardware, a hardware fulfillment center, came to 6 River Systems seeking a solution to keep up with its exponential growth. 6RS deployed 16 Chucks in Liberty’s warehouse and the business was able to meet and exceed SLAs within a couple of months. Liberty Hardware also noted its high turnover rate for warehouse employees dropped to near zero within 2-3 months of deploying the Chucks. With 6RS, Liberty Hardware accelerated immediate growth while continuing to grow and scale up operations as demand increased.

On Wednesday, March 30 at 10:30 a.m. in the Emerging Technologies Theater, attend Jerome’s presentation followed by a 15-minute Q&A.

  • Most operators don’t have the level of visibility to understand the true cost of picking errors. In this presentation, Jerome will use a case study format to break down the impact of a mispick and other hidden operational benefits such as improved service levels and deferred WMS upgrades, to justify investments in technology.

On March 30 at 2:15 p.m. in Theater B, hear a shared seminar from Jerome and Project Verte CPO Padhu Ramany.

  • Through two distinct slideshows, Jerome and Padhu will walk audiences through new trends in technology, as well as the pros and cons in the supply chain space. With a focus on the impact of true visibility across the entire warehouse operation, attendees can expect to hear how both hardware and software work congruently in improving operations, from dock to stock, and back.