A term favored by Walmart for their small format, automated dispense systems. These system are located close to customers to solve the speed of delivery ‘last mile’ problem. They can contain three temperature zones and automatically dispense order to the customer when they arrive at a kiosk. Think convenient negihborhood ATM for your groceries. The RADS are fulfillled from MFC’s, Dark Stores or CFCs typically via van.
A geographically local distribution center (DC) that is part of the Novastore architecture. The MDC sits between the DC and store. The MDC serves many stores in a region and provides less than case level replenishment in tote/subtotes to stores in that area. The key advantage of the MDC is more efficient replenishment of stores than traditional case-level replenishment.
A Walmart term, others may use MFC (micro-fulfillment center) as an analogous term. It includes an automated replenishment system to provide automated picking of orders, storage and dispense at the store level. But it can also acts as a hub for picking orders for other stores in the area and for Remote Automated Dispense sites.
Supply chains typically have both distribution and fulfillment centers. The DC (distribution center) is typically a transit hub for goods as they change the modality of transport. By contrast, the fulfillment center holds products before they are shipped directly to customers.