Supply chains are growing more complex by the day. Less than 10% are prepared to handle complexities from more products, suppliers, distribution channels and rising consumer expectations. Companies need more than a vendor. They need a partner that can deliver software, automation, voice, robotics, material handling, plus the expertise to tie it all together.

Körber, one of the global supply chains technology leaders from software to material handling automation, uniquely provides a broad range of proven, end-to-end supply chain solutions fitting any business size, strategy or appetite for growth. Capable of delivering not just software, but automation, voice, robotics, and materials handling – plus the expertise to tie it all together.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

KÖRBER: Spanning software, automation, voice/vision/mobility, robotics, materials handling equipment, systems integration and consulting, Körber provides a broad range of solutions and more than 30 years’ experience evolving supply chains end to end. This is supported by 2,300 in-house experts and nearly 100 partners around the world.

E.E: What’s the news for 2020 about new products?

KÖRBER: In 2020, Körber has enhanced its portfolio significantly. Looking at the automation area, the company unveiled our next-generation sorter that empowers businesses to create truly unified automation solutions to excel in today’s increasingly complex supply chain landscape. Next to that, Körber is also proud of a vast global partner network to offer its customers true end-to-end solutions that fulfill all of our customers’ needs. Accordingly, Körber has announced a number of partnerships in 2020 (Fetch Robotics and Twinload Automation are good examples) all meant to increase customer value beyond its own end-to-end solution portfolio.

E.E: What are the ranges of traded products?

KÖRBER: Supply chains must handle more products, more suppliers and fulfill through various channels. Consumer expectations for choice, convenience and speed add to this complexity. To maintain a competitive edge, businesses need software and automation technologies to handle the evolving challenges of ecommerce and fast moving consumer goods. However, many businesses lack a solid strategy and struggle with implementation, integration, and costs. Kӧrber overcomes all of this.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

KÖRBER: The customers are very much on a wait and see mode, trying to understand how we’ll all come out of this pandemic status, before taking any investment decision. A big share of the market stopped when we all entered the pandemic. Fortunately, this scenario is starting to change. We are now starting to see the business picking up, slightly, as it’s a bit clearer about next year’s perspective.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

KÖRBER: Automation is here to stay, that is for sure. Automated warehousing presents a compelling performance/cost ratio, when compared to conventional manual warehousing. Companies are turning their attention to automated solutions in order to increase productivity and reduce costs; improve storage capacity and consolidate manufacturing and distribution operations; maximize service levels, system flexibility and operational resilience.

This is a clear market trend even more emphasized after COVID-19. Automation helps to keep the balance between expected results and the pandemic limitations – Less workers per shift due the risks, what means less manual work and less human contact.

Companies have more and more logistic requirements and limitations on labor intensive operations. Automation certainty will be more and more present on the modern warehouses.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

KÖRBER: Körber is innovating in all areas of the supply chain industry, with remarkable overall solutions to master the customer logistics specifics and complexity.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2020?

KÖRBER: Although the halt experienced overall in the market, this year, we still have a positive perspective on 2020 business development. The limitations on a traditional market approach led us to developing alternative value streams, like equipment’s supply only, to other system integrators, enabling new customers to experience our products.

We are also launching a new product, at year end, representing a more flexible proposition to our customers. With the Portuguese engineering experience and know-how, we have developed a flexible multi-deep storage system that has very good characteristics in terms of the load capacity, throughput and warehouse capacity. Extending the existing product portfolio by a competitive solution highly demanded in several industry sectors has been a main goal during the entire development process in 2020.