Automation to quadruple Rex Brown order fulfilment capacity

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UK-based e-commerce outfit Rex Brown is set to increase its annual order fulfilment capacity by four times following the deployment of modular sortation robots at its warehouses.

Rex Brown currently processes 2.5 million orders per year for customers ranging from major household name brand Unilever to SME challenger brands, including Emma Bunton’s Kit & Kin baby care company. However, with the implementation of AI-driven automation solutions from GreyOrange, Rex Brown will have the capacity to process over 10 million orders each year.

As part of a strategic partnership between the two companies, GreyOrange, a global software and mobile robotics provider for fulfilment operations, will supply a fleet of Ranger Mobile Sort robots and GreyMatter, the AI-driven central brain and software portion of the GreyOrange Fulfilment Operating System.

According to Rex Brown, it chose Ranger Mobile Sort for its ability to adapt to changes in real time, both within the distribution centre and externally as order patterns and fulfilment expectations fluctuate. Additionally, Ranger Mobile Sort will reportedly help Rex Brown meet its own sustainability targets.

Ash Kandhari, managing director, Rex Brown, said: “We chose Ranger Mobile Sort because we are seeing an increase in growth volumes from customers and we have our own ambitious goals for our company, so we need a partner that can support us to grow the business without any constraints. A partner like GreyOrange that aligns with our future-orientated mission is key.

“Ranger Mobile Sort seamlessly connects with our existing packaging machines through auto induction. The inherent flexibility in the system enables us to start as per the current needs and allows for scale-up as the business grows, thereby reducing the risk of large capital expenditure in the initial stages.”

GreyOrange launched Ranger Mobile Sort in February 2019. These mobile sortation robots are designed to operate in fleets to “efficiently and fluidly move parcels from receiving through dispatch to avoid sortation bottlenecks that can occur with rigid systems, especially during periods of peak volume”, said GreyMatter.

GreyMatter intelligence software is incorporated as a learning layer in the Ranger robots, enabling the robots to communicate with each other and the GreyMatter central system to continuously recalculate order fulfilment priorities and inventory movement patterns. According to GreyOrange, the AI-enabled mobile sortation system is easily scaled, making it an investment-friendly option for a range of applications across retail and logistics industries.

Nigel Lahiri, sales director EMEA, GreyOrange, said, “Today, complexity within the warehouse is the norm due to constantly shifting business requirements which include volume changes during peak periods and a constant pressure to cut operational costs.

“By choosing our solution under consultancy of our partner BigBox Group, Rex Brown will implement Ranger Mobile Sort to manage the complexity of the inventory they distribute as well as scale their sorting capacity to 20,000 parcels per shift with plans to double this volume over the next few years. With Ranger Mobile Sort, this is entirely possible.”

Rex Brown’s services cover sourcing, branding and distribution, with both B2B and B2C capabilities. It operates across EMEA and is expanding across APAC, with a growing capacity of 30,000 daily shipments.

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