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Booktopia partners with BPS Global to deploy robot solution at its Sydney DC

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As part of its $20 million investment in automation, online bookstore Booktopia has partnered with logistics solutions provider BPS Global to roll out a robotic solution at its distribution centre in Sydney.

The robots, combined with a range of other automation, gave the retailer the opportunity to improve efficiency and double its product range at its 14,000 sqm distribution centre in Lidcombe, NSW.

Through working with its integration partner BPS Global, Booktopia has deployed Chinese-based manufacturer Hai Robotics’ HAIPICK solution.

HAIPICK is the world’s first carton picking and double deep autonomous case and tote-handling system.

In an Australian first, Booktopia will be the first business in the country to deploy this solution.

The HAIPICK utilises a telescopic fork that stretches four metres high, giving the robots the ability to carry cartons as well as individual totes and to bring multiple totes or cartons to pickers in one movement.

With the solution, Booktopia can facilitate the completion of multiple customer orders at one pick station –greatly improving fulfilment and despatch rates for the retailer.

“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,” said Wayne Baskin, Chief Technology Officer of Booktopia.

The retailer is now able to pick, pack and despatch 60,000 units a day, up from its previous capacity of 30,000 orders a day.

With over five million customers, Booktopia is proudly a customer-centric organisation that has greatly invested in its logistics infrastructure to better serve its growing customer base.

“The foundation of our innovation strategy is to provide our growing customer base with the best and most efficient service we can,” said Tony Nash, CEO of Booktopia.

“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,” he said.

BPS Global Automation and Robotics Director, Bruce Drayton said 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,” Drayton said.

In the financial year to June 30, 2020, Booktopia broke all previous sales records and reported a revenue of $165.4 million after the retailer saw a massive increase in sales due to the COVID-19 online shopping boom.

The retailer is also expecting to turnover $217 million in the current financial year.

“COVID-19 placed immense pressure on e-commerce retailers and we saw volumes reach record heights across the entire retail landscape,” said Malcolm Druce, Managing Partner at BPS Global.

“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,” Druce said.

While the rising rental cost of warehouses is becoming a major issue for many companies throughout Australia, the recently launched HAIPICK solution now makes it faster and easier to increase capacity and storage, according to Michael Rolfing, Sales Director for Hai Robotics.

“This solution is the perfect fit for Booktopia and we’re delighted to have our first deployment in the Australian market,” Rolfing said.

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