The focal theme was “Think Big” and this carried across keynote speeches, case study presentations, breakout sessions, product demonstrations and social events.
There were three main messages that we took from the event.
1. HighJump Has a Solid Foundation for Growth
Chief Executive, Chad Collins, told the largest ever audience at an Elevate event that HighJump had 250 new customers and had achieved a 22% growth in revenue.
He also expressed that Körber is a fantastic owner for the company, working as a single, not-for-profit shareholder and reinvesting in the products with a long term plan and global expansion strategy. Chad and the rest of the management team continue to lead the HighJump strategy and sit on the Korber Logistics Board.
Furthermore, there is a good deal of overlap with other Körber products, especially Inconso, a Warehouse Control System (WCS).
2. The Importance of Robotics and Automation
CTO, Sean Elliott, presented on a number of areas, notably on the rise and importance of robotics and automation in the warehouse. While it’s a burgeoning topic for warehouse management around the world, it’s particularly pertinent in the UK with Brexit on the horizon. Brexit brings a greater chance of diminishing sources of labour and so investment in robotics will be a key means of ensuring that retailers and distributors can get their orders out of the door.
The Inconso WCS brings an interesting dimension to the Highjump mix of products. It automates and controls warehouse systems, such as conveyor belts and picking machines and will be sold into the US and European markets alongside the Highjump suite of WMS products.
Additionally, Korber’s recent investment in robo-logistics company Magazino, announced a few weeks ago, brings another important technology to the Körber brand portfolio: co-bots. These are robots that work alongside humans in the warehouse, undertaking the repetitive fetching and carrying tasks. They provide a low cost of entry as they are designed to work with an existing racking system, without the need for remodelling or investment in new shelving.
3. The Rise of Insightful Execution
The final key takeaway from Elevate 2018 was the value of insightful execution.
For example, using HighJump’s business intelligence tool, Pulse, in conjunction with artificial intelligence can give new, visual insights into the warehouse. For example, overlaying real-time information via Pulse on top of a CAD drawing of the warehouse can give insight into the real-time events in the facility. Perhaps you need to know where the forklifts are, or what is at the loading bay, or what‘s causing despatch congestion. When these sorts of insights are visually represented in this way, it brings another level of understanding to warehouse operations, allowing executives to better act on the information.
In addition, machine learning and artificial intelligence can automate processes such as waveless planning models where past behaviour can drive automated order picking execution.
All in all, HighJump Elevate 2018 was four days well spent and we enjoyed learning even more about this market leading supply chain solutions provider.