Matthew Cornford, Head of Product for our Handling Robotics Department, and Daniel Stoner, Senior Software Engineer for our Supply Chain Systems

How Java Helps Deliver Groceries

To deliver online grocery scalably, sustainably and profitably, there’s intelligent forecasting, complex simulations, and huge amounts of automation involved. It’s the most difficult retail segment to deliver profitably because of the low margins and sheer complexity involved. Average orders currently contain over 70 items from three different temperature zones, lots of fresh, delicate, low-profit products like eggs, bread, and frozen peas. Layer this with discerning customers who expect accurate and on-time deliveries and you start to appreciate the size of the task. …

We know that applying for a new job can be daunting. Whether this application marks the first step in your career, or just the latest in a long line of roles, you’re likely to have your misgivings. Nerves are normal and the best thing you can do is be prepared, which is why we have created this guide to walk you through our hiring process: what you can expect, the various stages of our recruitment process, our top tips to combatting your interview jitters, and wand so on. …

Matthew Cornford, Head of Product Handling Robotics

I’m a runner and I regularly train for half marathons.

I am also a Product Manager working on the automation within our Ocado Smart Platform warehouses around the world.

But what do running and Product Management have in common? Turns out, it’s quite a lot! Here are 5 ways in which my hobby as a runner helps me be a better Product Manager, and vice versa.

#1 Set Smart Goals

Depending on the distance you train for, training plans can range anywhere from 8–18 weeks. Before I commit myself to many months of effort and focus, I have to start…

Quentin Jayat, Ecommerce UX Lead, Ocado Technology

For 20 years, has been at the front line of online grocery shopping. In recent years, Ocado started to look outside of the country to become the technology provider of choice for leading grocery retailers throughout the world.

This created a new challenge for the ecommerce UX (user experience) team: how do we transition from local to international? How do we keep our solutions accessible for millions of users?

Shopping patterns

So how does the world shop?

Well, luckily for us, it does it in a pretty homogeneous way: people look for products they want, add them to their…

Martyna Ksyta, Data Scientist

For retailers, offering customers a wide range of product promotions is key to balancing stock and offering value. Online, a large volume of promotions can mean consumers struggle to spot the offers most relevant to their preferences. So how can we improve this and serve individual consumers with highly personalised promotions?

Traditional machine learning models can make generalisations and offer broad recommendations. Reinforcement learning gives retailers an opportunity to be even more attuned and responsive to dynamically changing customer preferences.

How we developed our hyper-personal machine learning model

We created a machine learning model that uses customer shopping data as…

Nikolay Angelov, Engineering Manager — Bot Availability Systems

At the heart of Ocado’s automated warehouses lies ‘The Hive’ — a grid storage system home to thousands of mobile robots known as ‘bots’ which collaborate to pick grocery orders.

Such is the complexity of automating grocery fulfilment that these bots need to operate at peak performance, with downtime virtually eliminated. They operate in swarms of thousands, whizzing within 5mm of each other, and at speeds of up to 4m/s.

Each bot covers 60 km per day and can travel the distance from London to New York before having to be taken off the grid for preventative maintenance.

Building thousands…

Isabel Richards, Head of UK Development Centres, Ocado Technology

This is a story about ingenuity, and how a culture of innovation allowed us to bring the vast Ocado Smart Platform to life starting with a chocolate bar.

The Product Challenge

Ocado’s technology has enabled Ocado to run an online supermarket profitably, scalably and sustainably for many years.

Yet, when we decided to answer international demand, by licencing our grocery technology to retailers around the world, we were faced with some significant challenges we hadn’t met before:

  1. It had to be easily implementable anywhere globally
  2. It needed to be scalable to new proportions, and be able to grow with demand…

Anna Moss, Principal Data Scientist, Ocado Technology

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a time of challenge for everyone.

At Ocado Group, we faced the exciting challenge of delivering customer orders and helping our global partners launch and ramp-up their online grocery businesses, while keeping our team and customers safe.

Meeting these challenges, amidst ongoing disruption, has required resilience and resourcefulness across the business.

At the start of lockdown last year, Ocado Group decided to test all frontline employees so they could stay safe and continue to serve customers. To help with this, we needed to use our skills in a new way.

Keeping frontline teams safe


Ocado Technology (editor)

Powering the future of online retail through disruptive innovation in robotics, IoT, cloud computing, AI, big data, and beyond.

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