A strategic partnership between Locus Robotics, a Wilmington, Mass.-based provider of autonomous mobile robots for warehouses, and HighJump, a Minneapolis-based global Provider of supply chain management software solutions and subsidiary of Körber Logistics Systems, was announced yesterday.
The companies said they will collaborate to facilitate the development of integration tools allowing for faster, seamless implementations to improve productivity and efficiency for shared retail and 3PL customers, as well as establish HighJump as a licensed retailer of Locus’s autonomous, multi-robot solution for warehouse fulfillment, too.
HighJump and Körber Logistics Systems Vice President, Robotics, John Santagate explained that there were various drivers for this strategic partnership.
“We are building a business practice around autonomous mobile robots (AMR),” he said. “As we build out the ecosystem of partnerships, we see Locus Robotics as a key element in our strategy to deliver AMR enabled fulfillment for our ecommerce and retail customers. Overall, the need to build the practice comes from:1. Customer – our customers are increasingly looking to solve the challenges of today with modern technology and over 70% of HighJump customers surveyed in 2019 had a current or planned investment in autonomous material handling over the coming five years; 2. Technology alignment – AMR technology in general aligns perfectly with the WMS solutions that we offer. We are adding a technology that helps make our customers better; and 3. Market – the market is growing rapidly, and the AMR market is tangential to the WMS market as it is being sold into the same customers. For Locus specifically, we have customers using Locus and many that are looking to improve picking, drive up productivity, and enable flex and scale in their fulfillment operations. It was a natural fit with the two companies.”
And Karen Leavitt, Locus Robotics CMO, explained that this partnership aligns perfectly with the company’s goal of leading the industry by delivering faster, seamless implementations for Locus’s and HighJump’s shared retail and 3PL customers that lead to consistent productivity improvements and lowered costs.
“Together with HighJump, Locus is able to streamline the integration process to successfully mitigate the often challenging aspects facing most automation deployments,” she said.
Sticking with that theme, Santagate observed that with this partnership HighJump is able to globally support its customers by helping to guide them on their automation journey, provide them with the AMR technology to introduce to their processes, and integrate the technology with our WMS capabilities.
“Furthermore, with this partnership, we bring to the table a very deep set of warehouse and technical competence that we can leverage to package and productize autonomous mobile robotics for our customers,” he said.
When asked to provide some examples of how this partnership will work, he said that the companies are working “hand in glove” to build a collaborative approach to delivering Locus Robotics to its customers.
“But we are working together to develop our go to market strategy, engage with customers, and develop a business that helps both companies deliver to our customers,” he stated. “For this partnership, we are working together to deliver Locus Robotics globally. With the Körber strong base of resources in warehouse technology worldwide, we are positioned to take a lead role in the delivery of this technology for our customers, but do so in a way that helps both companies to take advantage of the competencies of each. Our collaborative approach to go to market, leadership alignment, and the ability to expose Locus Robotics to the Körber customer base positions us to add value for our customers and drive new business opportunities for Locus Robotics.”
Leavitt pointed out that together with HighJump, Locus is able to streamline the integration process to successfully mitigate the often-challenging aspects facing most automation deployments.
As an example, she highlighted a recent deployment Verst, a Walton, Ky.-based 3PL specializing in public and dedicated warehousing, transportation, shrink sleeve labeling and order fulfillment services, in which Locus and HighJump worked closely with the customer’s IT and integration teams to smoothly deploy the Locus solution and have them up and running in just weeks versus the more typical months-long deployment timeframes.
“In turn, HighJump is able to offer its customers a proven, reliable, and cost-effective automation solution that is fully integrated into the HIghJump ecosystem,” she said. “By partnering together with HighJump, we have created a seamless, consistent, and effective integration process, delivering faster deployments and easing customer anxieties.”
About the Author
Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman