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Helping clients during COVID-19

Learn how Shastha Foods weathered COVID-19 and reduced labor costs by 27% by automating with Vicarious.

Helping clients during COVID-19

Learn how Shastha Foods weathered COVID-19 and reduced labor costs by 27% by automating with Vicarious.

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Posted July 2020 Back to Resources

Shastha Foods future-proofs operations

Shastha Foods has 17 years of experience delivering authentic Indian groceries and food products all over the continental USA. They distribute more than 600 products online, ranging from rice to South Indian coffee products, and are one of the largest manufacturers of fresh batter in the United States.

With thousands of containers rolling off its conveyor belts every day and California’s rising labor costs reducing profit margins, Shastha knew it had to future-proof its operations through automation. However, when Shastha previously considered acquiring a robotic system, the capital expenditure (CapEx) was not feasible. That is when Vicarious entered the picture.

“We had wanted to automate these repetitive tasks for five years; however, making a capital outlay for robots didn’t make sense. When Vicarious presented us with its Robots-as-a-Service model, it provided Shastha a fantastic opportunity to automate our operation.”

-Vaidhy Vaidyanathan, Director of Shastha Foods

Labor cost are reduced 27%

With Vicarious’ Robot-as-a-Service model, Shastha can achieve instant return on its investment with no upfront CapEx. From set-up to scale-up, Vicarious provides Shastha predictable operating costs with a simple pricing model indexed on its actual production. With built-in robotic vision and AI algorithm layered on top of industry’s best robotic arms (such as Kuka, Universal Robots and ABB), Vicarious’ palletization solution has the flexibility to grasp randomly placed items from any conveyor and the speed to match any need. Vicarious provides end-to-end service, ensuring complexity is reduced and output goals are met.

Shastha and Vicarious collaborate on the optimal solution to future-proof operations. Since Vicarious’ easily deployable palletization cell has minimal dependency on fixtures, it was able to plug into Shastha’s current footprint. Further, Vicarious’ robotic vision system minimizes fixture use and maximizes flexibility, allowing grasping at any orientation. The technology allows for new pallet configurations and product dimensions, ensuring Shastha has flexibility to adjust its operations as needed. After the implementation was complete, Shastha reduced its fully-loaded labor costs by 27%.

Automating with Vicarious ensures Shastha is not affected by COVID-19

While labor cost reductions helped Shastha improve margins, its decision to automate was key during the COVID-19 outbreak. When COVID-19 forced business to socially distance workers, Vicarious’ solutions ensured Shastha Foods was able to serve its clients’ needs.

“Some workers were not able to commute during the initial outbreak, but Vicarious robots were able to run during the COVID-19 pandemic with minimal staff. When problems did arise, Vicarious was there with technical support to ensure the work continued swiftly. I am impressed with Vicarious support throughout this disruptive period.”

-Vaidhy Vaidyanathan, Director of Shastha Foods

By utilizing Vicarious’ Robots-as-a-Service model to avoid upfront CapEx and automating its operations, Shastha can weather future disruptions, all while significantly reducing its labor cost. Shastha Foods has been the leader of the Indian food category for the last 17 years, and by partnering with Vicarious, they have ensured their top spot for years to come.