March 13, 2018

HighJump adds warehouse automation control to WMS

Automation Aware product leverages technology from new owner Korber to help users meet demands of same-day delivery, easy returns, HighJump says.

By Ben Ames

Supply chain technology vendor HighJump Software Inc. has rolled out a software module for its suite of warehouse management system (WMS) products that extends their ability to handle automation control in the DC, marking one of the first product collaborations it has made with its new owner, Korber AG.

Minneapolis-based HighJump designed the Automation Aware WMS module by meshing the abilities of its WMS product family with aspects of the warehouse control system (WCS) platform from Inconso, another software vendor owned by Korber, a German logistics technology provider.

Korber acquired HighJump in 2017 for an undisclosed amount to broaden its logistics software portfolio in North America. The German firm added HighJump to its Logistics Systems division alongside its Aberle Software, Inconso, and DMLogic LLC brands.

Combining some abilities of a WMS and WCS allows customers to couple their high-efficiency warehouse automation operations with the logic or "brain" of the WMS platform, HighJump Chief Technology Officer Sean Elliott said in an interview during the company's annual Elevate user conference, held this year in Dallas.

Users have been asking for that ability in an attempt to relieve the stress on traditional logistics systems that is generated by rising consumer expectations for services like same-day delivery, simple reverse logistics, mobile ordering, and social engagement, the company said.

HighJump expects to implement the first installations of the Automation Aware product in its enterprise WMS platforms, known as Warehouse Advantage and Enterprise 3PL, and then apply it to midsize customers using the firm's Warehouse Edge platform, Elliott said.

That strategy reflects market trends that have pushed large DCs to implement sophisticated automation to handle rising volumes of e-commerce orders and increasing customer demands for fast fulfillment, Elliott said. Those same trends are now beginning to affect mid-sized warehouses as well, generating a broader demand for automation tools, he said.

Also at the show, HighJump launched its Image inMotion product, enabling digital document handling capabilities for mobile devices. Additional releases included HighJump's Visual Insights product, which overlays raw data onto visual displays such as maps and floorplans instead of pie charts and spreadsheets; and the Social Connector product, which provides an online chat bot that automates customer service operations by allowing consumers to check the status of their orders by typing questions into their favorite social media platforms such as Facebook.

About the Author

Ben Ames
Senior Editor
Ben Ames has spent 20 years as a journalist since starting out as a daily newspaper reporter in Pennsylvania in 1995. From 1999 forward, he has focused on business and technology reporting for a number of trade journals, beginning when he joined Design News and Modern Materials Handling magazines. Ames is author of the trail guide "Hiking Massachusetts" and is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.

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