"Arm in ARRM with Netflix"
The fourth and largest project with Netflix involved the automation of a very complex and labour-intensive process: The opening, checking and cleaning of millions of DVDs returned daily by Netflix customers.
Netflix is the world's leading DVD rental and Internet subscription service. One of the company’s most expensive processes was the handling of DVD returns. Massive resources were tied up in manually ripping open mailers, taking out the sleeved discs, checking the titles on the DVDs against the sleeves, checking the discs for physical defects, cleaning them and scanning them into the system. To get the best solution available, Netflix asked several of the world’s leading automation companies, including Bronway, to propose solutions for their customer returns process.
Following an extensive tendering process Bronway, along with another leading automation company, was contracted to supply a prototype for Netflix’s customer returns process. Bronway produced the prototype ARRM within a very tight timeframe and installed it in the main Netflix distribution hub in California. Our prototype ARRM went head-to-head with our competitor’s prototype in a six-week evaluation in a live production environment. The Bronway solution comprehensively out-performed its rival, resulting in the awarding of a contract for 180 production ARRM3600 units.
The contract called for a demanding delivery schedule of six machines per week, each consisting of 6,500 components. Bronway deployed production machines on schedule in 42 hubs across the US without missing a single Netflix go live date.
In addition to this challenging schedule, Bronway also undertook a comprehensive training program with Netflix operators, technicians and engineers across the US. We also supplied data and documentation for the creation of many training videos, which are used throughout Netflix hubs to train new staff.
As with all Bronway automation solutions, our ARRM3600 machines currently run in excess of the performance specification and Netflix’s expectations as a whole. Netflix and Bronway both regard this project as a huge success.
In particular, John Voris, Netflix’s Vice President of Operations Engineering, views this project as:
“By far the most challenging project I’ve ever been associated with, and they’ve done a very good job of hitting all of our milestones and any performance we were looking for”.
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