Over the past two years, many things have changed fundamentally in the industry, including purchasing and consumer behaviour. But this also means a door has opened for companies to walk through it and grab hold of new opportunities to optimise their business models. In the run-up to LogiMAT, held recently in Stuttgart, we spoke to Bernard Biolchini, Executive Vice President EMEA at Dematic, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of integrated automation technology, software and services for supply chain optimisation, about the new era.
Dematic believes it is key to understand that “the best way to help companies find the right opportunities is to constantly engage with their customers, working together and as closely as possible as they seek to fundamentally change their processes.
Q: Dematic’s trade show presence this year is themed #bringiton. Can you briefly explain what this is all about?
A: It means, mutatis mutandis, “We’re ready! Let’s embrace these new opportunities together!” We are sending a direct message to our customers: Let’s work together to take advantage of new opportunities that have cropped up over the last 24 months. Let’s stand together to tackle everything the industry faces in terms of new customer requirements, market conditions and technological issues.
Q: How did the new approach come about?
A: We support our customers in every process, from a specific order to its delivery and while doing so, we engage in a dialog with them to better understand the logistics world from their perspective. Having in-depth conversations was an obvious outcome of the events of the last two or so years, where many parameters have undergone fundamental changes where there is no going back. That is why we have conducted extensive surveys and analysis. We have been talking about a new era lately, and we don’t just mean the industry, but all of Europe as well! It is no longer a luxury for companies here to just think about transformation, but a must for our customers to embrace automation and innovative technologies. Our answer: let’s work together to help you succeed in this new era.
Q: With what results?
A: In our conversations with them, patterns began emerging. We began to identify opportunities to address new problems that had come up. Some may see them as challenges, but we see them as opportunities to make changes.
Q: Can you give some specific examples?
A: Firstly, there is the potential of digitalisation, particularly the growing importance of data- and cloud-based solutions. Our goal is to make our customers’ supply chains fit for the future through intelligent software and transparent data points. Data transparency is also key to another opportunity – meeting delivery deadlines by creating robust supply chains. Knowing which order is where, at any point in time, is a key building block of successful e-commerce businesses.
Q: What do you do when customers come to Dematic with disruptions in their supply chains?
A: We bring together all of a customer’s data points. It ensures transparency, reliability and flexibility, but also the greatest possible planning security. In this context, the increasing uncertainty is not just about delivery deadlines, but also specific cost issues. It is the reason we want to be a constant and reliable partner for our customers and support them in optimising their supply chains with autonomous picking systems, data-based solutions and intelligent software systems. Based on this view, we want to bring another opportunity to the table for discussion, which stems from our #bringiton campaign: efficient use of space. Spatially constrained warehouses in urban environments, for example, rely on high scalability of picking systems.
Our multishuttle solutions or our Autostore systems can create real competitive advantages. However, the focal point for intralogistics of the future is not going to be on automation or digitalisation. Most definitely not on technology implementation as such.
Q: So, what is the focal point?
A: But of course on the customer! Understanding them and, in turn, their customers is the game-changer for developing tomorrow’s technologies and solutions. It is precisely the focus of our thoughts and actions at Dematic. And so we are especially excited about LogiMAT. We want to inspire our visitors with our new solutions, which we plan on presenting to them in an extraordinary way!