W² Labs focus

With the final four for the 2021 W2 Labs programme now chosen, we’re set to embark upon the intensive ten-week incubation period that will see the successful businesses trial their ideas within Wincanton’s UK-wide operations.


CognitOps, selected in the ‘Dark Store’ category, will be using its AI solution that optimises warehouse operations by automating repetitive decision-making processes. Its technology, which works alongside existing warehouse management systems to reduce the inefficiencies of legacy processes, “transforms productivity”, according to Co-founder and CEO, Alex Ramirez.

We spoke to Alex about CognitOps and what he hopes the business will gain from being a part of the W2 Labs programme...

Tell us about CognitOps and what your product offers?

CognitOps was founded in 2018 with a mission to help warehouse operations managers improve their facilities' performance. The CognitOps founders witnessed first-hand how warehouse operations management have been, and continue to be, left behind as legacy software, automation, robotics, and the aggressive shift to eCommerce have made supply chains more complex to manage.

To compound matters, traditional ‘best-of-breed' warehouse management software, execution and control systems, and other technologies, have failed to optimise speed, quality, and cost within warehouses. CognitOps is an enterprise SaaS (software as a service) technology start-up that leverages existing data and systems, the power of the cloud, machine learning, and domain expertise to make warehouses run smoother, faster, and at a much lower cost, automatically. We do this without replacing or needing to upgrade a single thing.

CognitOps calls this technology a Warehouse Operating System. Whether a warehouse has only one system, or many fragmented ones, CognitOps can quickly connect and surface insights, identify patterns, and predict the best course of action for your frontline managers. And by transforming management, CognitOps transforms productivity.

Why did you apply to be a part of W2 Labs?

We applied because our vision and mission are 100% aligned with Wincanton's goal of revolutionising modern-day fulfilment with better demand forecasting and people and process planning. We didn't set out to just build a product; we started CognitOps for opportunities to deliver value like this one.

What do you see as the key benefits of collaboration between start-ups and large companies like Wincanton?

We see three major advantages:

  1. Stronger engagement to a pilot: Curiosity and conviction barriers have already been lowered, and the willingness to experiment with frontier technologies is present.
  2. Proper investment and expectations:  A large company like Wincanton is prepared to invest their time and resources to help the start-up. Additionally, expectations are usually aligned with the start-up's modus operandi of ‘start small, grow big’."
  3. Use case and value alignment: large companies usually have one or more instances of the business problem. Success can be accomplished if the start-up executes around these.

Where do you see your business in five years’ time?

In five years, CognitOps will have retained all of its customers, grown its team and customer base, and most importantly, launched new products in pursuit of executing its mission to create frontier technologies and datasets to solve the most impactful supply chain problems.

CognitOps will be a global company helping organisations like Wincanton revolutionise modern-day fulfilment with its industry-acknowledged paradigm of building supply chains via operating systems instead of stand-alone applications.

What does it mean to you to secure a place on the programme?

Placement on the programme validates our thesis that distribution centres and industries will never reach their full potential without better operations management across the globe and industries. More importantly, we feel incredibly blessed and thankful for this opportunity. Wincanton is our ideal partner: complex operations, operationally excellent teams, massive scale, and technology-focused.


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