Logistics technology provider Descartes Systems Group Inc. will acquire software vendor PCSTrac Inc. for $11.25 million, adding improved pool distribution and carton-level tracking tools to its growing menu of supply chain software products for managing omnichannel distribution, Descartes said today.
Philadelphia-based PCSTrac helps specialty retailers and their logistics service providers (LSPs) collaborate to improve carton-level visibility for shipments from distribution centers to stores, Descartes said. That visibility can provide insight into the store replenishment supply chain, helping increase sales, enhance loss prevention, and improve inventory control.
The purchase reinforces technology from Descartes' 2015 acquisition of BearWare Inc., Descartes said. Both PCSTrac and BearWare make software tools that help users support pool distribution, a supply chain strategy that can allow retailers to reduce logistics costs and minimize store disruptions by eliminating unconsolidated direct shipments from their suppliers' DCs. Waterloo, Ont.-based Descartes paid $11.25 million for BearWare, whose client list at that time included major retailers such as Restoration Hardware Inc., General Nutrition Centers Inc. (GNC), Aeropostale Inc., American Eagle Outfitters, and Ralph Lauren Media LLC.
Descartes has been on a roll in recent years, acquiring an array of mid-sized logistics software firms including e-commerce parcel-shipping platform provider ShipRush, which it purchased last month for approximately $17 million. Previously, Descartes in 2016 bought international-trade data provider Datamyne Inc. for $52.7 million, data exchange platform supplier Appterra for an estimated $5.8 million, and Pixi Software GmbH of Germany for $10.4 million, as well as four other logistics software companies in 2015.
After the deal closes, PCSTrac and BearWare will both be folded into Descartes' Global Logistics Network (GLN), a collaborative web of logistics firms that pool their standards and resources to facilitate global shipping and compliance through electronic data exchange.
"Although store sales still represent the majority of revenues for specialty retailers, the continued rise in e-commerce and omnichannel retailing put more pressure on retailers to find new ways to compete and meet the ever-increasing expectations of the consumer," Ken Wood, Descartes' executive vice president of product management, said in a release. "Part of the challenge is to make sure you have the right goods, in the right location, at the right time, and for the lowest cost. Having forward-deployed inventory and affordable last-mile store fulfillment infrastructure is an effective way to meet these expectations, and also sets the stage for last-mile customer fulfillment for home delivery."