John Baysore, CEO of Dematic North America, anticipates strong growth for the material handling automation giant in 2013, following 30-percent gains in both 2010 and 2011 and more modest growth last year.
Baysore, in an interview with DC VELOCITY during the opening day of the ProMat Show in Chicago, attributes the growing demand for automation solutions in part to what he calls a "second wave" of pent-up demand following the recession. Demand is also being driven by growing interest in automation among distribution professionals. "Automation is becoming more attractive," he said. "It is easier to get a [return on investment]. That's the real driver. We can put together a solution that you could not get two years ago."
New business is also being sparked by the growth of e-commerce and customers seeking solutions for multichannel distribution without adding new distribution centers, he said.
He adds that the company's growth is coming from both large and mid-sized customers. "A lot of companies make the mistake as they get bigger of looking for the big elephant," he said. "We are completing a $60 million project for one customer. But we also work with start-ups that might want a project for a few hundred thousand. Dematic will never gravitate in one direction or the other."
That rapid growth has led Dematic to continue to seek engineers for its offices around North America, with a particular focus on control engineers. To help with that effort, the company has increased its donations to university engineering programs and has developed co-op and summer internships to attract engineering students.
In addition, the company will continue to spend heavily in research and development. Baysore said.