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The new generation of modern warehouses – when ERP meets robotics

Article by Megan Gee


There’s no denying it, modern ERP and WMS systems can deliver transformative results for just about every business. The trouble is companies can also perfect their processes to such a place where their warehouse struggles to keep up with demand under their existing infrastructure – particularly during peak times.

It’s a familiar scenario for a lot of businesses who already have their ducks in a row when it comes to great warehouse management. But what is the next step? And what happens when your budget doesn’t stretch to doubling your workforce and warehouse space? Imagine if your warehouse could process orders four times faster, with the same number of staff. Or that you’ve been able to expand operations without purchasing additional space.

Believe it or not, this is a reality with today’s new generation of automated warehouses. And thousands of businesses across all sectors and sizes are well underway with their robotic journeys.

But how did they get there?

How do businesses operating with just an ERP or WMS alone transition to a robotic solution?

It all starts with Wise Robotics

Most robotic resellers typically use a third-party to do their development and software integration.

And that’s where we differ

We’re software first, and robots are our second technology. What this means for our customers is having a robotic provider with the capabilities to calculate the logic that sits behind the solution.

Our history as an ERP and WMS provider not only means 30 years’ worth of experience tailoring ERP software solutions, but decades worth of time working with an array of different industries of all shapes and sizes.

What we learn from pharmaceutical companies has helped us inform our work within the food and drink sector, and our work with international companies has helped us to advise companies looking to expand globally.

It’s not about adapting your operation, it’s about evolving it

old warehouse management

For one of the country’s leading suppliers of spare parts, pressures to fulfil orders during labour shortages resulted in up to 10 miles of walking for workers over an eight-hour shift.

L&S Engineers had grown fourfold over a 10-year period, investing heavily in ERP and WMS technology. As a data-centric company L&S knew it was a natural step in their evolution to take that data and harness it into more.

“The main challenges had been around the reduction of labour and supply chain issues.” – Ian Shay, Commercial Director at L&S Engineers.

newly adopted warehouse automation

In just six weeks, a goods-to-person solution was implemented to reduce walking through the warehouse by automating the movement of goods and racks. The very nature of goods-to-person based AMR is there no fixed infrastructure. Everything is flexible, and nothing is bolted down.

For SMEs especially, this means as their warehouse grows and their business flexes, robots can be upscaled or downscaled accordingly, without the need to move facility.

  • 40 Q3 robots were deployed
  • 30% increase in daily ordering shipping
  • 175% increase in pick rate
  • Twice as many orders per shift

automation in warehouse

When A. Perry Ltd reached its largest ever customer base in 2019, the cost to fulfil this increasing demand threatened their profit margins and customer experience.

After eight years of a successful partnership under the Wise Software Group, A Perry was ready to take that next of their automation journey.

“We’ve worked with Wise Technology for over ten-years and when they brought out their Wise Robotics’ division, we started working with them to develop our systems to improve our technology around robotics” – Guy Perry, Managing Director at A. Perry Ltd

Within two months of sign-off, A Perry was live with 15 fully automated AMR robots, 3330 movable pods, picking spotlights, and a seamless integration with their existing ERP and WMS solution.

“Wise Robotics integrates seamlessly with our WMS and that was a massive plus point…The two talk together without any issue…from order entry to despatch, it’s been absolutely key” – Chris Perry, Managing Director at A. Perry Ltd

  • 15 Q7 robots were deployed
  • 233% increase in pick rate
  • 400% increase in warehouse throughput
  • 70% saving in labour costs

Unlocking the potential of your warehouse

The logistics of your warehouse and supply chain is an ever-changing enterprise that requires you and your business to constantly seek out new and innovative technology. When it comes to warehouse automation, it’s important for businesses to understand that robots are there to amplify the hard work you may have already done with your warehouse.

Bringing your warehouse into the 21st century doesn’t need to be scary and expensive. And we’re here to tell you why. To discuss the future of your operation – get in touch with one of our specialists today.

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