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First Australian retailer to deploy this type of robot technology



Australia’s largest online bookstore, will be the first in the nation to roll out new autonomous robot technology

ASX-listed e-commerce retailer Booktopia has partnered with BPS Global Australia to roll out advanced automation at its distribution centre in Lidcombe, NSW.

As part of a $20 million investment in automation for Booktopia, the robots, combined with
a range of other automations, will double its product range at its 14,000 sqm distribution centre in NSW.

In the financial year to June 30, 2020, Booktopia broke all previous sales records and
reported a revenue of $165.4m, after the retailer saw a massive increase in sales as a result
of the COVID-19 online shopping boom.

Booktopia has revealed it is expecting to turnover $217m in the current (FY21) financial year.

Why improve logistics infrastructure?

Booktopia has more than five million customers and wants to invest in its logistics infrastructure to better serve consumers.

Through working with its integration partner BPS Global, Booktopia has deployed HAI

Manufactured by Chinese-based Hai Robotics, the HAIPICK is the world’s first carton picking and double deep autonomous case and tote-handling system.

Booktopia will be the first business in Australia to deploy this solution.

Robots can carry cartons as well as individual totes and to bring multiple totes or cartons to pickers in one movement.

This enables Booktopia to facilitate the completion of multiple customer orders
at one pick station –greatly improving fulfilment and despatch rates for the leading retailer.

This solution has enabled Booktopia to pick, pack and despatch 60,000 units a day, up from
its previous capacity of 30,000 order a day.

According to Wayne Baskin, Chief Technology Officer at Booktopia this solution enhances
Booktopia’s entire operation.

Automation the key to keeping up with demand?

“Our key driving factor for implementing this technology was efficiency gains for picking and
put away,

“But we’re now finding improvements across our entire operation and we can pick,pack and despatch our orders significantly faster,”

Wayne Baskin, Chief Technology Officer at Booktopia said.

“By deploying this innovative robot solution, we have doubled our capacity and significantly improved our picking and put away rates. This gives us the confidence we need to continue to serve our customers,” Tony Nash, CEO at Booktopia said.

Bruce Drayton, Automation and Robotics Director at BPS Global said the HAIPICK solution provides Booktopia with an impressive 800 per cent efficiency increase.

“COVID-19 placed immense pressure on e-commerce retailers and we saw volumes reach
record heights across the entire retail landscape. We’re thrilled to work with Booktopia on
the first ever deployment of this innovative automation solution in Australia. This
investment ensures they are well-placed to meet rising demands and continue to service the
nation with its favourite books,” Malcolm Druce, Managing Partner at BPS Global said.

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Tech layoffs reach their highest point in over 20 years



There have been over 130,000 layoffs across the technology sector in the last five months

The technology sector was billed as the most exciting industry to work in.

Big offices, big dreams, big money were all part of the parcel for many companies attracting staff.

As many organisations caught onto the momentum of the pandemic, the same energy has not been particularly met on the other side.

Thousands of workers have since been laid off as the good times stopped rolling.

In fact, the technology sector’s layoffs are the highest since the dotcom bubble burst 22 years ago.

The BT Group is one of the latest companies cutting staff.

Fifty-five thousand have lost their jobs as part of a corporate restructure.

CEO Philip Jansen will freeze his £1.1 million salary until he retires, according to reports from Sky News.

The ground is also shifting as artificial intelligence takes hold and the economy worsens.

BT Group said it is laying off 11,000 staff because of the increased capacity for artificial intelligence in the workplace.

At the same time, companies like Apple and Goldman Sachs are among those restricting or banning the use of tools like ChatGPT amid privacy or data concerns.

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Big tech crackdown on employees using ChatGPT



Apple and Samsung are among companies restricting or banning the use of ChatGPT

Some of the world’s largest technology companies, including Apple and Amazon have banned or restricted OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

The tool relies on artificial intelligence to produce responses to prompts entered by users.

However, major brands remain concerned around the privacy risks because of the data ChatGPT uses to improve its accuracy.

Samsung has previously reported employees unintentionally leaking confidential internal source code and meeting recordings through ChatGPT.

Meanwhile, Apple has banned the web-platform over concerns surrounding data leaks.

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Can Linda Yaccarino save Twitter’s falling ad sales?



Linda Yaccarino has officially taken over as Chief Executive Officer at Twitter

Linda Yaccarino was once the head of NBC Universal’s advertising and partnerships team.

Her appointment follows a Twitter poll where Musk asked users to vote on whether he should resign.

At the time, 57.5 per cent voted ‘yes’.

Twitter is undergoing a transformation, including addressing concerns around rising hate speech and disinformation on the platform.

Mr Musk said Yaccarino is the perfect person for the job.

“I think Linda’s going to do a great job running Twitter. I’ll provide guidance on technology development.

“Twitter has released more changes in the last six months than it has in the last six years.”

Twitter said it has taken down over 6 million pieces of content in the first half of 2022, before the platform was acquired over by billionaire Elon Musk.

Benjamin Powers is a technology reporter at The Messenger, who said the platform has some issues to address.

“It’s unclear how much he’ll [Musk] be stepping back.”

The New York Times reports advertising revenue attracted US$88 million from 1 April to the first week of May—a decrease of 59 per cent from a year earlier.

“I think the big problem is revenue. The pullback is that they’ve lost about 58 per cent of advertising revenue, which is huge for a company like Twitter.

“The subscription business, which involves getting a blue check, you pay $8 a month, really hasn’t kept up with that dynamic,” he said.

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