German e-grocer Knuspr automates post-pick order buffer, consolidation and dispatch
Knuspr is one of Germany’s fastest-growing e-grocers and is part of Rohlik Group, a thriving European e-grocer that delivers more than 12 million orders per year. Knuspr currently has fulfillment centers in Munich and Frankfurt and is in the process of expanding to other cities via its acquisition of the German e-grocer Bringmeister. It offers its customers a wide assortment of fresh, high-quality groceries delivered within three hours.
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Thanks to its wide assortment of products, Knuspr has large average order sizes consisting of dozens of items per order. Its Munich fulfillment center holds more than 12,000 SKUs and has multiple picking zones to accommodate different types of products, such as ambient, fresh, chilled and frozen. This means that once items are picked in each picking zone, they need to be consolidated into complete orders before they are dispatched to customers.
The company was looking for a flexible robotic solution to automate the post-pick order buffer, consolidation and dispatch process. While Knuspr had an existing cube-based picking system, the cost savings from that alone were not enough to achieve profitable unit economics for each order. Knuspr therefore turned to Brightpick to automate its dispatch process and drive down fulfillment costs even more.
“We needed automation to make our operation more efficient, stable and scalable for growth.”Aleš Malucha, Chief Automation Officer at Rohlik Group
Knuspr installed Brightpick Dispatcher robots to automate its post-pick order buffer, consolidation and dispatch process.
Order totes from each picking zone are delivered to the dispatch area via conveyor. Thereafter, Brightpick Dispatchers retrieve the totes from the conveyor and sort them into complete orders ready for driver pickup. In addition, Brightpick Dispatchers can also temporarily store picked orders in a storage buffer until they need to be dispatched. This enables Knuspr to pre-pick orders in advance during off-peak hours and ship more orders during peak hours.
“We selected Brightpick because of the fast design and installation time, stable and high-performing product and robot-as-a-service pricing model.”Aleš Malucha, Chief Automation Officer at Rohlik Group
Knuspr currently ships 2000 orders per day from this warehouse and expects to grow that to 5000 in the next 6 months. For this reason, Brightpick’s ability to quickly and easily deploy and scale was a key selling point for Knuspr.
“The installation was very fast. It only took us three months total from design to production, delivery, installation, commissioning and go-live. We were able to get good performance very fast.”Aleš Malucha, Chief Automation Officer at Rohlik Group
The entire installation process took three months from the start of the design to go-live, including less than one month for the on-site installation. Knuspr’s parent company, Rohlik Group, previously completed a nine-month pilot of the Brightpick solution in its Prague fulfillment center, which made the Munich installation process seamless for the company. Knuspr also had the benefit of simulating the Brightpick solution before installation to ensure it would hit the required performance levels.
Knuspr needed to maintain existing operations during the installation process, as this was its only fulfillment center in the area. To achieve this, the project was installed in several phases.
In Phase 1 of the project, which is completed, Knuspr automated half of its ambient dispatch area. The solution was designed to dispatch up to 400 totes per hour and achieved an actual rate of more than 500 totes per hour. Phase 2, which went live in early October, doubled the size of the installation in the ambient area. Phase 3, scheduled to go live at the end of 2023, will be the installation of Brightpick Dispatchers in Knuspr’s chilled dispatch area.
Knuspr purchased the Brightpick Dispatcher solution via robots-as-a-service (RaaS) pricing, which meant it did not invest any capital upfront and achieved immediate operating cost savings.
Brightpick enabled Knuspr to fully automate its post-pick order buffer, consolidation and dispatch process.
In just three months, Brightpick enabled Knuspr to:
- Achieve a peak rate 20% higher than the required throughput
- Reduce labor for order consolidation and buffer to zero
- Extend warehouse operations to 18 hours per day
- Eliminate human errors from the dispatch process
- Improve employee satisfaction by relocating employees to less physically demanding jobs
Following the success of this installation, Rohlik Group will be rolling out the Brightpick solution across additional warehouses Frankfurt, Prague and Vienna.
Brightpick offers AI-powered robots for warehouses to easily automate every stage of ecommerce and e-grocery order fulfillment. The innovative robots enable warehouses of any size to fully automate order picking, consolidation, dispatch and stock replenishment. The Brightpick solution takes weeks to deploy and enables companies to reduce their picking labor by 95% and cut picking costs by half. Headquartered near Cincinnati, OH, Brightpick is part of Photoneo Brightpick Group, which has more than 300 employees and 5000 technology installations across the US, Europe and Asia. For more information, contact us here.