Pets at Home

Transforming e-commerce capabilities


Over recent years Pets at Home has experienced accelerated growth in its multi-channel sales and needed to manage faster delivery and fulfilment. Pets at Home needed to digitise the business and become the specialist market leader for online pet care.

Breathe Technologies was commissioned to deliver the integration of a fully automated picking and packing operation of the business’ Northampton distribution centre, that would improve the efficiency of online order picking and increase output, particularly of subscription orders for prescription pet medicine to facilitate the ambitious growth targets.

Until this point, a ‘suitably qualified person’ (SQP) was required to process orders of this nature, and the pet products retailer required a more efficient way to manage these orders and cater for increasing demand.

Additionally, with a high number of warehouses in close proximity to its ecommerce distribution centre, Pets at Home was struggling to recruit, and hoped to overcome the requirement for temporary staff to cater for peak periods.


Phase 1: Pets Pharma

The first phase of the project focused on system process changes and mechanising the picking and packing process for the SQP orders.

Intelligent technology enabled

  • Enhanced segregation process based on order-type to allow streamlined automation through the installation of conveyors that route, pack and sort product. Diversify container picking based on the nature of the order, type of SKU and automate packing through multiple packaging material selections.
  • Error reduction with a higher accuracy of fulfillment to set new industry standards.
  • Allow an increase in product variation on repeat subscription items to help meet more customers’ needs.

Breathe’s Smart Software suite, Orquestr8 allowed seamless interaction between the JDA WMS and Orquestr8, which processes higher volumes of orders without any bottlenecks.

Phase 2: E Commerce orders

Phase 2 of the project focussed on boosting web orders and improving packing processes to increase throughput and accuracy throughout the rest of the warehouse. Driven by Breathe Route, the units picked per hour increased, alongside Breathe Pack applications, which were deployed to tackle the various order streams such as eComm, uglies, wide aisle and SQP.


Pets at Home saw a vastly increased capability to manage and keep pace with customer demand whilst always having a full up to date picture of their processes.

  • 300% increase in output due to higher levels of accuracy, user accountability and alleviation of staffing pressures.
  • 88,000 orders packed per week – Pets at Home saved thousands of pounds, negating the risk associated with complex changes to its existing WMS
  • Improving customer order packing processes to increase throughput, efficiency and accuracy.
  • Upfront containerisation and shipment creation.
  • Fully automated packing.
  • Reducing the number of mixed orders across all general B2C eCommerce items.