Claire Umney, Managing Director at Breathe Technologies
“Enabling faster and more efficient order fulfilment, Breathe Technologies helps e-tailers meet rising consumer expectations with new order fulfilment software.”
Founder: David Carroll, CEO
Founding Date: 2009
HQ Location: Daresbury, Cheshire
Key clients: QVC, Pets at Home, Amazon, Yodel, Ultimate Products, WHSmith, Unilever, and Johnson & Johnson
What does your company do and what is your USP?
Breathe Technologies provides smart warehouse technology.
Our purpose is to help make the journey to achieving a smart warehouse simpler and enable UK retailers to change, adapt and grow their companies with minimal friction. We help our clients to minimise risk, drive operational efficiencies, reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction levels.
Our USP is our ability to provide an independent holistic offer; which is built on extensive experience across both physical and software automation, servicing expertise and maintenance care (coupled with our exclusive partnerships), to support growth journeys.
What makes you different from competitors?
We provide honest and impartial solutions from a network of tried and tested partners, this makes us different from our competitors. The ability to provide a one-stop-shop for smart warehouse solutions.
What retailer need do you fulfil?
Having an agile, flexible and streamlined order fulfilment process is now at the core of running a successful ecommerce business, thanks to the coronavirus crisis; which has driven demand to reach unprecedented levels. Order fulfilment software, such as our Breathe Fulfil product plays a key factor in maximising the amount of orders a retailer can fulfil, especially on ecommerce channels.
Breathe Fulfil integrates with marketplaces, physical automation systems, WMS, and internal business systems. It enables e-tailers to manage complex marketplace shipping label and documentation requirements through its design software to ensure orders are fulfilled on time, regardless of source. It also ensures orders are packaged appropriately for their destination and improves carrier selection, tracking and visibility.
This smart warehouse technology helps businesses answer the demand from customers and meet the stringent online marketplace requirements, while reducing friction. This is because fulfilment software is designed to streamline the process between initial order all the way through to delivery – enabling data flows between systems, as well as documentation, packaging, and carrier management.
How do you deliver on this USP?
Often ecommerce and multichannel retailers find that managing complex marketplace shipping labels and documentation requirements can slow the despatch process down, especially if physical systems, warehouse management software, and internal business systems, aren’t working together properly. Breathe Fulfil will integrate disparate systems and ensure orders are fulfilled on time, packaged appropriately, are despatched to the best carrier – and that the package remains visible at all times.
We work with our customers to choose flexible solutions that give support where retailers need it, enhancing existing systems, and boosting operational efficiencies so they can grow with minimal risk.
How would you describe your vision?
We help our customers breathe easier with smart warehouse technology, delivering solutions for the good of our clients, our people and the planet.
For example, we are working on some exciting developments in automated paper packaging solutions for retailers in particular, which are delivering high throughput and sustainable outcomes.
Which retailers do you work with?
We work with a range of retailers such as; Pets at Home, WHSmith, QVC, Amazon and Ultimate Products to name a few, to deliver innovative solutions to help our clients to remain competitive in this ever changing landscape and meet their customer’s needs.
What challenges are you addressing for multichannel retailers who aim to meet peak season demands?
Making sure order fulfilment processes are set up to cope with everyday order volumes can be a challenge in itself, but coping with seasonal peaks only adds to the pressures retailers are facing. Ignoring the opportunities that automation provides and not making better use of existing warehouse systems limits ability to flex around operational fluctuations. As a systems integrator we ensure retailers receive the expertise required to get the right level of innovation to implement smart end-to-end systems, which integrate software and machinery and provide accurate, real-time data to support agile decision making.
How are you using the emerging technology to support the retail growth?
There is no doubt that ecommerce fulfilment strategies have had to evolve quickly. Maximising the amount of orders that can be fulfilled requires robust physical and digital technology within warehouses and distribution centres. Many businesses we work with know they need to automate to hit the levels of fulfilment the market demands, but don’t always know where to start. Robotics for example, offer a level of flexibility, scalability and fantastic return on investment (ROI) which makes them an attractive and affordable solution to compete in the ecommerce space.
Software should also be front and centre of any retail warehouse, integrated with each and every process. Smart software, like Breathe Fulfil will optimise throughput from; picking, packing, labelling and despatch as well as being integrated with multiple carriers and the marketplaces, will enable retailers to meet their service level commitments.
What do you see as challenges for the retailers and suppliers over the coming years? How are you prepared to meet those challenges?
Frictionless warehousing is critical for survival in today’s ecommerce environment, where retailers are constantly answering the challenges of increasing consumer demands, multiple sales platforms and a year-long peak that doesn’t appear to be falling back to pre-pandemic levels any time soon. On top of this, key players such as Amazon are setting the pace with increased shipping options of same-day and one-day delivery.
Breathe Technologies offers a delivery management software platform that integrates all your carrier partners will ensure you can; remain flexible to keep your operations moving through surges in demand, lower your costs by selecting the optimum carrier to meet performance metrics and improve accuracy to ‘get it right first time’. We can help retailers find out where their fulfilment friction lies in a few simple steps.
Our newly launched fun and interactive tool, Breathe-o-meter will determine where their friction points are likely to occur and what the best solutions could be to adapt to future growth: https://breathetech.co.uk/friction-calculator/ – Give it a go!
What targets are you aiming to achieve in the next five years?
- To be recognised as an innovative, leading technology company
- To grow our satisfied customer base and continue to offer them access to the most cutting-edge technology in smart warehousing
- To sustainably scale the business providing strong experience across both physical and software automation
Breathe Technologies delivers 300% increase in productivity for consumer goods distributor, Ultimate Products Global Sourcing with automated direct-to-customer fulfillment solution.
What drove Ultimate Products to partner with Breathe Technologies?
With a clear need to increase the number of parcels packed per hour, per operative Ultimate Products approached Breathe Technologies to provide a software solution that would achieve increased efficiency in their operations.
David Bloomfield, Supply Chain Director at Ultimate Products notes that early on they realised a traditional ‘off the shelf’ solution wouldn’t tick all of their boxes. Flexibility was key to choosing a software automation partner.
“Initially we were drawn to Breathe Technologies because of their depth of existing customer experience, which gave us confidence in the proposed software solutions. However, the flexibility offered by Breathe’s software solution to meet our requirements stands out by far. The ability to provide a software platform that is hosted on our network, gave us confidence that even if the internet connection was lost our system would not go down. Likewise, another key selling feature was the company’s flexible license model; it is more cost effective solution for us in the longer term.
“Choosing a software solution that is able to handle the complexity of our operations and scale accordingly, will ensure we meet future growth targets.”
What are the measurable benefits?
“The most obvious and biggest benefit we have seen is the productivity gain; 300% increase in the number of parcels that can be packed in any given day. Well above our expectations for the project and we’re delighted.”
- Reduced complexity: Staff training processes have been simplified making on-boarding time quicker and easier for operators to understand and execute the process
- Sustainability: Dramatically reduced the amount of paper used by removing the need to no longer match packing notes and invoices
- Error reduction: Errors have pretty much been eradicated from the system
Watch this interview with David to discover more about how Breathe Technologies helped boost productivity at Ultimate Products!