Estimates of the number of warehouses using automation are in the 20% to 30% range, but Körber Supply Chain this week announced ways to help companies optimize their operations. It said its Unified Control System, or UCS, provides a single, vendor-neutral approach to configuring and managing multiple technologies. Körber's EVOLVE partner program allows for different levels of integrator engagement to widen supply chain offerings.
While warehouses are increasingly adopting robotics, voice, and other systems, they still tend to operate separately from broader logistics networks, noted the company. Körber said its UCS can orchestrate different warehouse technologies throughout the facility, including mixed portfolios of material handling equipment (MHE).
“Supply chain executives consistently name software, hardware, and technology integration as one of their top five challenges,” noted Sean Elliott, executive vice president and chief technology officer for software at Körber Business Area Supply Chain.
“The unique capabilities of Körber's UCS enable tailored deployments and streamline upgrades of an array of warehouse technologies—all in one place—to best support operations,” he added. “This results in increased throughput, improved ROI [return on investment], and reduced system cost.”
Unified Control System to optimize material flow
Körber described its Unified Control System as “a single solution to optimize inbound and outbound workflows.” It uses warehouse management system (WMS) data to analyze inventory and resource availability and automatically allocates tasks to autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), people, or other MHE, based on their suitability, destination, and current workload.
The UCS can optimize task assignments and material flow from end to end, boosting throughput and productivity, claimed Körber. The company added that the depth of integration ensures that technologies adjust to operational requirements—and not vice versa—providing businesses “unprecedented levels of control and adaptability.”
In addition, the vendor-neutral warehouse control system (WCS) capabilities can manage mixed portfolios of warehouse systems and address the requirements of semi- and fully automated warehouses, Körber said. The UCS will be generally available in the first quarter of 2023.
Körber EVOLVE works with partners of all sizes
Körber Supply Chain said EVOLVE focuses on advisory, implementation, and sales partners to support customer excellence worldwide. The company said the program builds on its existing relationships and address small and growing partners, as well as global systems integrators and consultancies.
EVOLVE is intended to capitalize on Körber's One platform approach and the range of technologies it enables, including order management, simulation, and robotics. The program allows for different tiers of commitment and types of engagement, said the company.
In addition, EVOLVE provides benefits for each level and tier, consistent Körber's priorities of collaboration and responding to individual needs.
“Körber is already the trusted supply chain software partner for thousands of organizations worldwide,” said Chad Collins, CEO of software at Körber Supply Chain. “Our partner program EVOLVE adds another significant level to our efforts to grant even more organizations access to an unrivalled depth of solutions. Together, we empower businesses worldwide to conquer supply chain complexities.”
Rene Hermes, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for software at Körber Supply Chain, added: “A healthy partner ecosystem is a powerful endorsement for companies to improve their supply chain capabilities not just for today, but also as the needs of our customers continue to evolve.”
“A growing partner network is accounting for the increasing challenges our industry is facing – especially in digitization, facility optimization, and labor engagement,” he said.
Körber said EVOLVE will further increase its global capacity by relying on certified partners for service delivery and drive incremental revenue through re-sell and co-sell. The company said its program offers three levels of partnership, with increasing degrees of partner collaboration and co-creation in the booming supply chain market.
“As Körber moves further towards its goal of delivering its supply chain software solutions on a global level, we considered it important to be part of that joint journey, implementing and complementing this collaborative go-to-market approach – and be on top of fueling the future of the supply chain industry,” said Richard Evans, founder and CEO of iWMS, a trusted Körber partner.
Körber provided more details on partners availalbe in different regions and how to join the EVOLVE program on its site.
About Körber Business Area Supply Chain
As supply chains grow more complex, Körber said it provides proven technologies fitting any business size, strategy, or appetite for growth. The company's portfolio includes software, automation, mail and parcel systems, voice technology, robotics, and MHE.
Körber also said it has the expertise to tie all of its offerings together and deliver a competitive advantage. Its partners include Geek+, Attabotics, and Locus Robotics. The Business Area Supply Chain unit is part of global technology group Körber.