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, Berlin and Frankfurt and offers its customers a wide assortment of fresh, high-quality groceries delivered within three hours.

68

robots

1500

totes dispatched per hour

80

vans dispatched per hour

Challenges

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 its 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

Solution

Knuspr installed Brightpick Dispatcher robots to automate its post-pick order buffer, consolidation and dispatch.

Order totes from each picking zone are delivered to the dispatch area via conveyor. 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

At the time of installation, Knuspr shipped 2,000 orders per day from that warehouse and forecast growth to 5,000 within 6 months. For this reason, Brightpick’s ability to 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 three phases.

Phase 1 was installed in August 2023 and automated half of Knuspr’s ambient dispatch area. Phase 2, which went live in early October, doubled the size of the installation in the ambient area. Phase 3 went live in January 2024 and saw Knuspr also automate the chilled dispatch area in the same warehouse.

Knuspr purchased the Brightpick Dispatcher solution via robots-as-a-service (RaaS) pricing, which meant it invested minimal capital upfront and achieved immediate ROI and cost savings.

Results

Brightpick enabled Knuspr to fully automate its post-pick order buffer, consolidation and dispatch.

In just three months, Brightpick enabled Knuspr to:

  • Increase peak throughput by 20%
  • Offer customers 15-minute delivery slots all day
  • Reduce labor for order consolidation and buffer to zero
  • Extend warehouse operations to 18-20 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 Berlin, Frankfurt, Prague and Vienna.

About Brightpick
Brightpick offers AI robots for warehouses to easily automate every step of their 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 98% and cut picking costs by half. Headquartered near Cincinnati, OH, Brightpick has more than 200 employees and is part of Photoneo Brightpick Group, which has over 7000 technology installations across the US, Europe and Asia. For more information, contact us here.

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