20 years of Paperless Warehousing

A company that pioneered paperless warehousing technology will celebrate 20 years of successful business tomorrow.

Paperless Warehousing was set up in 1988 by John Vercoe and Gerard Macreadie, with a vision to develop the technology in order to improve inventory accuracy and operation efficiency.

One of the founders and managing director, John Vercoe recalled the original, basic technology with a 386 PC running as the main server.

“The internet, email and cellular phones were unknown and here we were developing our own RF terminals.

“Looking back on what we designed it was very elementary compared to the product we have today, but it did the job and it was from there we forged forward,” Mr Vercoe said.

The company was once forced to go into ‘survival mode’ when faced with the Australian recession, but continued to grow, completing its first installation in 1990 for a paper merchant company in Regents Park.

Working with another two New Zealand companies, the company started to position itself in the international market, stretching its recourses.

“One of my most memorable contracts was Bluebird Foods,” Mr Vercoe said.

“They were our helping hand during the early years and the Australian recession. We were desperate to get their contract and Gerard and I were sitting across from the CIO, Peter Lamb, contract was on desk, pens poised and the fire alarm went off. Peter stood up and said this is not a drill, we must evacuate immediately, so as we were escorted out of the office, we were forced to leave the contract, unsigned, on the desk.  Fortunately 30 minutes later the fire had been extinguished and the contracts were signed.”

The company now has clients in 11 countries in over 100 warehouses.

“The real buzz for me is knowing we have people that love working in the company. The majority of our staff have been with us for five years or more – it’s like a big family,” Mr Vercoe said.

He said the company was developing new technologies including .Net, yard management, track and trace, advanced shipping notices and voice picking.

“I want to continue doing what we do best, but do it even better,” he said.

“No longer are we just a warehousing system but a supply chain efficiency tool. I think we still have a lot to achieve – offshoot products and techniques that will further help the system and our client’s move forward.”


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