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Automated Nano Fulfillment Solutions

Nanofulfillment is a logistics model that places small-scale distribution within an hour of delivery to the consumer. A nanofulfillment center might be as small as 800 square feet, and yet also be a fully automated, standalone warehousing operation. Multiple nanofulfillment operations, owned by different companies or targeting different demographics, might occupy a previously vacated corner store, or a single nanofulfillment center might sit in a corner of a still-operating big-box store.

For many in the industry, both microfulfillment and nanofulfillment are seen as ways to create a lean fulfillment operation. Instead of focusing on large-scale warehousing at distant facilities, both microfulfillment and nanofulfillment can allow merchants to store a limited amount of goods as close to the consumer as possible, saving on cost and preventing many of the logistical hassles associated with warehousing and distribution. For small-scale operations especially, micro- and nano- solutions lower the barriers to entry.

At PeakLogix, we’re a brand agnostic material handling systems integrator that specializes in innovative, bespoke automated solutions. By partnering with us, you can increase the consistency and efficiency of your distribution processes, from inbound receiving to outbound shipments and everything in between. We deliver customized solutions tailored to our partner’s needs that address issues ranging from ergonomics and employee safety to fully automated warehousing solutions.

Considerations for nanofulfillment operations

Online order volume

Online order volumes continue to grow, and with them are the increasing expectations of consumers. It isn’t enough for consumers to be able to order nearly every good ever invented, but people expect to be able to choose if they’re willing to pay to get it in an hour, or if they can wait for it to be delivered for free.

For smaller companies and startups, nanofulfillment is a way to compete with the delivery speeds and costs that Amazon has standardized. For large companies, nanofulfillment is part of how they’ll include next-hour delivery as one of their delivery options in many major markets.


Nanofulfillment enables the densest possible storage within arguably the most flexible space. Because the automation that enables nanofulfillment operations is so compact, it allows the smallest possible facilities to be converted into nanowarehouses.

This means that operations can locate their nanodistribution centers as close as possible to the consumer, while also enabling them to have multiple distribution sites located in, and engineered to cater to, different markets.

Last mile delivery

The proverbial last-mile – the distance between a distribution center and a delivery point – accounts for over half of the cost of delivering goods. Missed delivery windows, inadequate routing, long distances between stops in rural areas, and heavy traffic in cities are just a few of the issues that plague the final delivery.

Nanofulfillment is, to-date, the closest logistics has come to solving the last-mile challenge. Nanofulfillment allows goods to be placed as close to the consumer as possible, while minimizing costs associated with real estate, labor, and processing. They can fit inside the space of a small semi-trailer and handle most of the consumer goods that are driving ecommerce.

Advantages to nanofulfillment

More cost-effective even than microfulfillment

Nanofulfillment and microfulfillment both enable warehousing and distribution operations on a small scale. And they both bring companies similar benefits. However, where the goal of microfulfillment is to better manage under-utilized space, the goal of nanofulfillment is to maximize the use of the smallest possible spaces.

The technologies aren’t mutually exclusive, and a company may benefit from including both in their operations. However, pound for pound, nanofulfillment is among the most cost-effective fulfillment solutions on the market.

Ultrafast delivery

Nanofulfillment enables the quickest turnaround between a customer ordering a product and that product being ready for pickup or delivery. And because the goods are local to the consumer, customers can receive their orders in as little as fifteen minutes.

Operating at this scale allows smaller companies to give customers an experience that feels customized, and allows larger companies to better granulate their logistics operations.

Easily scalable

Nanofulfillment solutions are both standalone fulfillment solutions and pieces of larger operations. With the right controlling software, multiple nanofulfillment solutions can be combined in order to meet an increased demand or to add more selection.

Because they are part of the internet of things, these combinations can either be at the same site or in separate locations.

Minimized space occupancy

Nanofulfillment solutions are, to-date, the smallest standalone fulfillment solutions on the market. They store goods in the densest possible configurations, and retrieve goods as efficiently as possible.

A nanofulfillment solution can fit in the space of a single semi-trailer, which means that multiple nanofulfillment solutions can fit into the space of a single vacated corner store. This creates opportunities for minimizing costs by co-locating fulfillment solutions with companies that serve the same markets but aren’t direct competitors.

Accurate picking

In order to maximize the use of space while staying accurate, smart storage and retrieval solutions are needed. Manual slotting and picking is too inefficient and error prone for nanofulfillment operations and, to accommodate the necessary speeds and precision, innovative, automated solutions are needed.

A key to accurate slotting and picking in the densest possible configurations is the software used to synchronize the operation’s equipment and processes. Even in an automated nanofulfillment operation, using warehouse management software to pick orders in a way that minimizes wasted motion and maximizes the use of resources is key to maintaining throughput and maximizing efficiency.

The closest warehousing gets to consumers

Nanofulfillment solutions can be integrated into defunct corner stores or parts of existing storefronts. A hotel’s market, or part of an apartment’s lobby, could be converted into a nanofulfillment center.

By predicting the goods that will be needed, and placing them as close as possible to the end user, orders can be processed and fulfilled in as little as fifteen minutes.

Important considerations when evaluating a systems integration partner for a nanofulfillment implementation

Are they consultative?

When partnering with a systems integrator, one of the risks material handling companies face is trying to work with a partner that promises more than they can deliver. The integration partner smiles through consultations and then, behind the scenes, desperately tries to invent the technology they need to deliver on their promises. They miss deadline after deadline until their client reaches a point of no return – they’re willing to justify their costs by seeing any kind of benefit from their investment. Even if those benefits are well below what was originally planned and agreed to.

PeakLogix is not that kind of partner. We are fully consultative, and prioritize your goals and needs. We undertake a thorough discovery process so that we understand both the roadblocks you face now and the goals you have for the future. Our solutions are designed to help you move past your roadblocks, and scale with your business growth. We don’t offer solutions in a top-down fashion that refuses input and denies questions, but collaborate with you and provide the recommendations we believe will best suit your needs.

Are they vendor agnostic?

Vendor agnostic solutions providers like PeakLogix don’t push their favorite suppliers onto their customers. Instead, we work with our suppliers to find and test the applications for which their product is the best fit. We don’t pitch untested products as viable solutions, but rather look for the best solution that already has a track record of solid performance.

Being open to integrating the best solutions on the market — regardless of their manufacturer — means we can truly optimize solutions for our clients, and quickly adjust to changing demands.

Do they develop tailored solutions for your unique challenges?

Being a consultative, vendor agnostic firm means that we look at every project with fresh eyes. Yes, we have decades of experience that inform our decisions and help us quickly find solutions to problems — but we don’t try to force the same solution on every client.

Instead, we work with our clients to discover both their pain points and goals. And our approach often leads to two positive outcomes. First, the discovery of unknown root causes to problems that allow us to address systemic issues with solutions of a customized design. And second, the application of scalable solutions that will both meet today’s challenges, and scale in ways the company needs to meet its future goals.

Can they scale to your needs?

The changing urban landscape, an aging workforce, the large-scale adoption of ecommerce, and the increased use of artificial intelligence and machine learning have created challenges and brought opportunities that are continuing to change industries in every sector. Businesses need solutions that are more responsive than ever, with the ability to scale both up and down to meet a company’s growth as well as periodic changes in demand.

PeakLogix has been solving the material-handling needs of companies of every size, and in many industries, for over 30 years. We are dedicated to our own continuous improvement because we know that designing systems that will adapt to your changing business needs means being knowledgeable about changes in the industry. By offering adaptive solutions where appropriate, we bring added value to our partners.

Are they available when you need them?

PeakLogix started in 1989 as a material handling and systems integrator serving clients across the Mid-Atlantic. Over the past 30 years, we’ve completed thousands of successful projects and have grown to become a thought leader in the industry and a national provider of innovative solutions, software systems, and automated technologies.

From the beginning of our working relationships with clients, our team works to discover your goals and challenges. We collaborate with you to develop solutions that meet your needs today and also lay the groundwork for your future growth. When your project is complete, we offer services including 24/7 system support, operator training, and maintenance and repairs.

At PeakLogix, our partnerships are our priority.

What logistics, automation, and distribution solutions should you consider for your nanofulfillment solution?

stow e.scala®

Tote-compatible processes can be enhanced by e.scala® from stow, a fully automated goods-to-person order fulfillment system. With e.scala®, systems of as few as 500 containers can be easily cost-justified, and the system can be scaled up to meet the needs of much larger operations. The system is designed for high-density, double-deep storage that gives 100% uptime 24/7.

The benefits of e.scala include a climate-controlled environment, on-the-fly recharging of its robots, and low-maintenance, automated, multi-level storage that is free of conveyors, lifts, or sequencers. Instead, totes are moved on sled-like robots that move through the storage area like cars in a parking garage. If a robot should need maintenance, it can simply be removed from the rotation and replaced, without impacting the rest of the system.


NanoFulfillment® is a modular, redeployable, decentralized approach to fulfillment. Units can be operational in as little as a week of delivery, have a capacity of up to 5,000 SKUs, and are a fraction of the cost even of microfulfillment solutions.

With NanoFulfillment, goods can be ready for consumers in as little as an hour. And because these units can be installed nearly anywhere — including in parking lots, underused space on a sales floor, and even garages — they can be stationed where it’s most convenient for your customers.

WMS Software (PickPro®)

ScottTech PickPro® is our proprietary Warehouse Management Software (WMS). It’s a fully independent, system-agnostic, web-based software solution that can control all aspects of distribution, and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of any material handling company.

ScottTech PickPro® can serve as a standalone solution, or integrate with your ERP. It can incorporate AS/RS equipment and all the peripherals, track and manage inventory of both parts and goods, and layer seamlessly with your software architecture to provide granular feedback on, and control of, your operations.

Horizontal Carousels

Horizontal Carousels are a cost-effective way to quickly add storage capacity and increase put away and retrieval accuracy and efficiency. They are ideal for high throughput facilities and high speed picking, and can increase storage density by up to 75%.

Horizontal Carousels are generally arranged into pods or zones. Multiple carousels in a pod can create variable access points to create an efficient, worker-friendly layout that can triple average pick rates.

Pick to Light

Pick-to-light is a cost-effective solution that streamlines warehouse picking operations and increases picking speed, accuracy, and productivity. Especially in omnichannel fulfillment centers, pick-to-light solutions enable the reliable processing of high numbers of SKUs, while increasing efficiency.

Pick-to-light solutions are often a good entry point for a warehouse’s automation transformation. They can work as standalone systems, or integrate with Warehouse Management Software, enabling them to easily scale with a company’s growth.

Barcode Technologies

Barcode labels and scanners were first introduced in the retail sector in 1974, where they increased grocery tellers’ speeds and accuracies, and helped keep more accurate inventory counts.

For the same reasons, barcode technology is an integral part of many high-throughput distribution centers. Combined with a robust WMS and smart technologies, barcode scanning also enables real-time visibility into the movement of goods throughout a facility.

Vertical Lift Modules

Vertical Lift Modules (VLMs) are ideal for expanding a facility’s footprint by maximizing vertical storage while also improving throughput rates and reducing labor costs. Vertical lift modules can be ideal for small parts and pieces, as they use inserters and extractors to automatically move trays of goods in and out of compact storage. They can also work with cases, totes, and large items.

VLMs provide user-level access for restricted goods, have basic user controls, and integrate with existing software management systems. Because of their small footprint, they optimize vertical space while freeing up valuable floor space.

Advance your operations.

Schedule a consultation.

Tell us about your needs and we’ll have someone contact you to talk about the various nanofulfillment solutions for your operations.