Scholastic Canada triples productivity and cuts labor cost by 70%

increase in pick rates at unit level
decrease in labor cost

At a Glance

  • Order profile suddenly changed during COVID-19
  • Online ordering gave customers access to up to 10,000 SKUs
  • Labor became more expensive and harder to find
  • Rising real estate prices necessitated a flexible solution for easy relocation to other facilities.


inVia implemented inVia PickerWall robotic automation, which included  AI-powered inVia Logic software that optimizes fulfillment workflows and inVia Picker robots (AMRs) that automate tasks.


Tripled productivity and cut labor cost by 70%


The Challenge

Scholastic Canada struggled to staff their operations as e-commerce grew and labor became more expensive and harder to find. During the Covid-19, 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 was filling 10 or 12 smaller boxes and delivering them to residential addresses, for instance.

Online ordering gave customers access to a much broader range of stock-keeping units (SKUs), essentially allowing them to order from the full breadth of Scholastic Canada’s inventory, which can reach nearly 10,000 SKUs during peak season.


The company urgently needed automation that would reduce their reliance on labor. In the past, Scholastic Canada invested heavily in fixed automation. 

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 CapEx. inVia’s solution was a minimal investment in CapEx and we were able to use the existing floor space to triple our pick rates and reduce our labor shortage woes all in one shot.

Chad MacGillivray, VP of Distribution Operations at Scholastic Canada


Case Study: How Scholastic Canada uses Automation to increase productivity and reduce expenses

Discover how Scholastic Canada cut operating expenses and transformed its Ontario facility to become hyper-efficient through the adoption of AI-powered software and mobile robotics.


The Solution

Simulation analysis to build an ideal automation system

Intelligent warehouse simulation to model optimal workflows

Using Twin IQ, inVia’s intelligent warehouse simulation, the team created a digital twin of the facility then modeled and tested scenarios to fine-tune workflows for maximum efficiency.

The system analyzed SLA requirements and built an optimization plan to deliver value across all fulfillment points in the warehouse. 

AI-powered warehouse automation software to synchronize all fulfillment tasks

Next, inVia implemented inVia Logic warehouse automation software. Leveraging advanced AI, inVia Logic plans and prioritizes tasks based on deadlines and required resources.

inVia’s AI engine makes more than 1 million decisions each day to orchestrate all of the resources in the facility — forklift drivers, pickers, and pack out — telling them what to do, when to do it, and where inventory should be located.  

inVia PickerWall solution deployment to automate picking

Finally, inVia implemented the inVia PickerWall solution, where autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) work to deliver inventory to a dynamic hyper-dense pick/put wall. Employees work in bursts on the other side, pulling products and sorting into order bins.


The Result

After deploying inVia’s solution, Scholastic Canada:

  • Increased pick rate by 300%
  • Decreased labor cost by almost 70% 
  • Eliminated weekend shifts during peak season
  • Dramatically reduced overtime costs
  • Reduced employee churn and increased training and adoption
  • Gained flexible automation solution with minimal investment in CapEx

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