KiSoft Genomix

KiSoft Genomix – Ries Bouwman in an interview about the self-learning software for master data recording

Ries Bouwman is product manager at KNAPP in Austria. His focus is warehouse automation in food retail and one of the products he is responsible for is KiSoft Pack Master, a software that calculates how a mixed pallet should be built. Through this work, it quickly became clear that master data is extremely important for automation. KNAPP developed the KiSoft Genomix software to make it easy and efficient to capture them.


In today’s interview, Ries gives us an insight into what is possible with the software and how he sees the future development of warehouse logistics.


What is KiSoft Genomix and how does it work?

KiSoft Genomix is a software application that resides on a server or backend and is operated with an associated app. The app is used to quickly record and understand the data and characteristics of an item. This new, self-learning software solution thus digitizes all relevant attributes of articles. You could say that KiSoft Genomix decodes their DNA: weight, dimensions, packaging type, contents, center of gravity, tipping behavior and much more.

Subsequently, the data is then processed in the backend/server and distributed to the systems that need it for further work. Thanks to this information, the technologies, such as robots, know exactly how to process and handle the items.

In addition, this valuable master data allows us to know how the automation of an item should run without ever having had the item in hand.

To get a more comprehensive master data base that also includes additional attributes such as length, weight and dimensions, one can connect a MultiScan.


What are the requirements for a company to use this technology in the warehouse?

KiSoft Genomix can be used in manual as well as fully automated warehouses. From an investment point of view, it makes more sense to use it in automated warehouses. However, many of our customers use the software as part of the transition from a manual to an automated warehouse, so that they have a correct database right from the start. KiSoft Genomix is a completely web-based application and all that is required to get started is a cell phone, tablet or laptop on which to run the application. The fact that all applications can run on the cloud also means that there is no need to have your own server.

So if you are at the beginning of automating your warehouse, it makes perfect sense to get a MultiScan in combination with KiSoft Genomix. Especially if you have a large warehouse, it is advantageous to create a comprehensive data basis step by step from the very beginning. On this basis, the future automated warehouse can be planned much more efficiently and cost-effectively. If the project planners can be provided with a correct data basis at the beginning of the planning, such large sums can be saved during the system planning (conveyor technology, high-bay warehouse, etc.) that KiSoft Genomix virtually finances itself.

In terms of cost, the software can be expected to cost less than a warehouse employee would. This factor was particularly important to us during development.


How important is master data for warehouse logistics in general?

An automated warehouse does not work without master data. Picking or depalletizing robots cannot only work with dimension and weight. They need more information such as type of packaging, structure of the pallet, are the items tiltable and much more to be able to function error-free.

In some cases, there are over 65 attributes needed to pick reasonably and efficiently. To accommodate this wealth of data, many companies provide costly on-site experts to help with data collection. We have developed the KiSoft Genomix software for this purpose.

So, in summary, it’s about the strategy a company has for its warehouse in the next few years. If no automation is planned in the next 10 years, a MultiScan will suffice for the dimensional recording of items. But if automation is planned in the next 3 years, KiSoft Genomix will bring a significant advantage.

Many customers also have the problem that they do not know where to store the new attributes of the articles. Adding them to the ERP or SAP system is usually not practical and also very costly. Here KiSoft Genomix offers the advantage that it is interposed and sends on only the information that is needed. The information does not have to be stored in other systems.

In order to be able to guarantee flowing processes and to avoid stops due to error messages, the system is also capable of learning. The following example serves as an illustration: the EAN number remains the same, but there are more contents in a package due to a special action. Normally this would trigger an error message. However, the system is able to understand such deviations. Even if one carton differs in dimension from the others because it was poorly glued, the system understands that these deviations can happen and are not to be reported as errors.


How do you see the future of warehouse automation?

At the moment 20% of the warehouses worldwide are automated and especially the increased demand for quickly available goods (e.g. through orders in online stores) in times of Corona has shown us that this is not enough. Work is becoming increasingly difficult for employees and ergonomic conditions are often no longer good enough. In addition, there has been an increasing shortage of skilled workers for years.

I think that in the next 5-10 years we will therefore reach a degree of automation of up to 50% in Lägern. In addition, there are other topics here that are not limited to the warehouse alone, such as last-mile logistics.

And here, too, it is like in all processes: The quality of the data that flows in is decisive for the quality of the performance that comes out of it.

Only flawless master data enables error-free automated processes.


What has been the willingness to invest on the part of companies recently?

Corona has definitely given automation a boost and many companies are planning to automate in the next few years to meet the new requirements in the future. However, due to high inflation, some customers are having to push back their investments a bit at the moment. However, this will subside again next year. Some customers who actually have no capacity to invest in automation at the moment are also facing the challenge that there is no other solution due to the labor shortage.

Thank you very much for this very interesting interview, Ries!