Booktopia uses robotic solution in Australian first


Booktopia has partnered with BPS Global to deploy the latest autonomous robot technology at its Sydney distribution centre.

Australia’s largest online bookstore, has worked with logistics solutions provider BPS Global, to roll out Hai Robotics innovative autonomous robot technology in its Lidcombe DC.

The $20 million investment in automation gives the retailer opportunities to improve efficiency and double its product range at the 14,000 sqm facility. 

In the financial year to June 30, 2020, Booktopia broke all previous sales records and reported a revenue of $165.4m, after the retailer saw a massive increase in sales as a result of the COVID-19 online shopping boom. With no signs of slowing down, Booktopia has revealed it is expecting to turnover $217m in the current financial year.  

With more than five million customers, Booktopia has invested in its logistics infrastructure to better serve its growing customer base.

Manufactured by Chinese-based Hai Robotics, the HAIPICK is the world’s first carton picking and double deep autonomous case and tote-handling system. Booktopia will be the first business in Australia to deploy this solution.  

 The HAIPICK differs from standard autonomous mobile robot solutions as it utilises a telescopic fork which stretches four metres high. This gives the robots the ability to carry cartons as well as individual totes and to bring multiple totes or cartons to pickers in one movement. This enables Booktopia to facilitate the completion of multiple customer orders at one pick station –greatly improving fulfilment and despatch rates for the leading retailer. 

This solution has enabled Booktopia to pick, pack and despatch 60,000 units a day, up from its previous capacity of 30,000 order a day.   

According to Wayne Baskin, Chief Technology Officer at Booktopia, this solution enhances Booktopia’s entire operation. 

 “Our key driving factor for implementing this technology was efficiency gains for picking and put away. But we’re now finding improvements across our entire operation and we can pick, pack and despatch our orders significantly faster,” says Wayne.

 Tony Nash, Booktopia CEO, says is driven by a desire to better service its customers. 

“The foundation of our innovation strategy is to provide our growing customer base with the best and most efficient service we can. By deploying this innovative robot solution, we have doubled our capacity and significantly improved our picking and putaway rates. This gives us the confidence we need to continue to serve our customers,” Tony says.

As the integration partner, BPS Global has managed the project from inception to go-live. Bruce Drayton, Automation and Robotics Director at BPS Global has been an advisor to Booktopia for the past seven years and has played a key role in optimising the leading retailer’s supply chain operations.  

“As one of Australia’s most innovative online retailers, Booktopia is committed to investing in the latest technology to improve its customer experience. The HAIPICK solution provides Booktopia with an impressive 800 per cent efficiency increase. It also reduces dwell time and manual handling for operators as well as provides the Lidcombe site with increased capacity without the need for Booktopia to move or expand,” Bruce says.

Malcolm Druce, Managing Partner at BPS Global says COVID-19 placed immense pressure on e-commerce retailers with volumes reaching record heights across the entire retail landscape.

“We’re thrilled to work with Booktopia on the first ever deployment of this innovative automation solution in Australia. This investment ensures they are well-placed to meet rising demands and continue to service the nation with its favourite books,” Malcolm Druce, Managing Partner at BPS Global said. 

Michael Rolfing, Sales Director for Hai Robotics, says the solution the company’s first deployment in the Australian market is a perfect fit for Booktopia.

“While the rising rental cost of warehouses is becoming a major issue for many companies throughout Australia, our recently launched HAIPICK solution now makes it faster and easier to increase capacity and storage.”

For more information on BPS Global Australia, click here

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