Scholastic Canada replaces fixed automation with inVia’s mobile robots

In a recent article titled “Mobility makes the difference,” DC Velocity describes how Scholastic Canada replaced fixed automation with inVia’s flexible subscription-based mobile robotics solution.

Faced with changing order patterns and a rapidly evolving technology landscape, Scholastic Canada, the Canadian subsidiary of a multinational publisher of children’s books and educational media, needed to replace the infrastructure-heavy automated warehouse system. To address this issue, the company adopted inVia’s AI software and mobile robotics, which resulted in increased productivity and significant cost savings.

A solution that can be “lifted and shifted” as business
needs change

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated Scholastic Canada’s eCommerce fulfillment operations, pushing them into high gear. When schools closed and switched to online instruction, the company’s order profile quickly changed. Instead of sending one large box to a classroom, the facility sent smaller boxes to residential addresses. Moreover, customers ordered from inventory reaching nearly 10,000 SKUs during peak season.

As a result, Scholastic Canada decided to partner with inVia Robotics to develop a system that could accommodate the company’s growing need to fill orders from a broader range of inventory. Using inVia’s AI-powered warehouse automation software and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), the partners started by automating the facility’s picking process and then branched out to replenishment and cycle counting. 


In the current real estate market where prices are going up, the ability to lift and shift was crucial for us. We needed a system that we could easily move to a new facility. And we didn’t want to invest a lot of [capital] to own anything that could become obsolete while it was still depreciating on our books,
Chad MacGillivray, Scholastic Canada’s VP of Distribution Operations

Software-first approach to warehouse automation

As a first step, inVia created a digital twin of the facility to model and test fulfillment workflows. Next, it implemented inVia Logic warehouse automation software that leverages AI to analyze daily service-level agreements (SLAs) and build a plan to execute and synchronize all fulfillment tasks to meet those needs.


We offer a complete software suite that helps you manage resources inside the warehouse—forklift drivers, pickers, and pack out. The system tells those resources what to do, when, and where the inventory should be located. The idea is to find the most efficient way to get orders out the door in an increasingly complex fulfillment landscape.
Lior Elazary, inVia Robotics President and CEO

Orders move from Scholastic Canada’s WMS to inVia’s WES, which determines the orders to pick and when to pick them. The AMRs then take over retrieving products and delivering them to inVia PickerWall. Associates take it from there, picking items from the wall to fill the day’s orders. The strategy eliminates the friction that can occur when robots and humans interact. The system is preparing the wall with all the containers the person has to pick from at night or early morning. So pickers come in and they’re not running around—and they’re not waiting on the robots. 


Scholastic Canada and inVia moved to phase two of their partnership last fall, extending the robotic fulfillment process to the facility’s trade business, which serves large retailers like Amazon, Canadian bookseller Indigo, and Walmart. Scholastic Canada is now expanding the solution to other business units in the DC—and preparing to “lift and shift” to a new facility next year.

Curious to Learn More?

For a full DC Velocity “Mobility makes a difference” article, please visit: