How We Built a Robotic Warehouse in 90 Days

Last week, Acumen Brands went live with a warehouse run by killer orange robots.  Only three months ago, we started planning the system.  Last week, we turned the robots loose for the first time.  The moment we launched the system, the efficiency of our ecommerce operation increased more than ten-fold.

Sure, Kiva’s now famous automation systems have been installed before… but never in such a compressed timeframe, and never by such a small company.

Our ecommerce operation is less than 2 years old.  We operate 5 stores that sell anything from nursing scrubs to 25 ton pipe benders to kids cowboy boots.  We are growing fast and opening a couple new stores every month, and will have 25 active stores in 25 different niches by the end of the year.

Unfortunately, traditional warehouse systems could not support our chaotic, rapid growth.  To help solve this monumental challenge, we partnered with Kiva Systems, an innovative warehouse automation outfit from Boston.  They’ve installed a couple dozen systems for ecommerce giants like, Gilt Groupe, Staples, Crate and Barrel, and The Gap.

Because our startup culture is centered around doing things faster and better, we were able to install one of the 10 most efficient split case fulfilment operations in the world in less than 90 days.

Just 90 days ago we sent a team to Boston to design our system.  They said it was impossible to build and install this quickly, but low and behold their amazing team (and ours) rose to the challenge.

In a startup, you have to do more with less resources.  Previous retailers who installed Kiva’s system had tech teams of at least a dozen if not many more.  We dedicated a team of only two where others dedicated an army.  Why?  Because we’re a startup, and that’s all the resources we could leverage.   It worked, AND we did it four times faster than any of our larger competitors.

The past 3 months have been an example of controlled chaos and hypergrowth.  To go from concept to design to build to implementation in 90 days is nothing short of miraculous and is a true testament to our startup mindset centered around building faster and better.

Enjoy the video!


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