Booktopia partners with BPS Global to deploy autonomous robot technology at its distribution centre

Melbourne, Australia – Booktopia, Australia’s largest online bookstore, has partnered with BPS Global, a leading provider of logistics solutions, to roll out Hai Robotics innovative autonomous robot technology.

As part of a $20 million investment in automation for Booktopia, the robots, combined with a range of other automations, gave the leading retailer the opportunity to improve efficiency and double its product range at its 14,000 sqm distribution centre in Lidcombe, NSW.

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 (FY21) financial year.

Boasting more than five million customers, Booktopia is proudly a customer-centric organisation and as such has invested in its logistics infrastructure to better serve its growing customer base.

Through working with its integration partner BPS Global, Booktopia has deployed Hai Robotic’s HAIPICK solution. 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,” Wayne Baskin, Chief Technology Officer at Booktopia said.

According to CEO Tony Nash, Booktopia 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 Nash, CEO at Booktopia said.

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 Drayton, Automation and Robotics Director at BPS Global said.

“COVID-19 placed immense pressure on e-commerce retailers and we saw volumes reach 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.

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