Logistics software provider Softeon has acquired fellow supply chain technology vendor GetUsROI LLC, saying the move will allow the partners to integrate their platforms with a wider variety of warehouse automation products, the firms said today.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Reston, Virginia-based Softeon said that GetUsROI founder Mark Fralick will become chief technology officer (CTO) at Softeon, while GetUsROI’s Brian Pier will take the role of VP of Solution Delivery.
The acquisition was the first major move for Softeon CEO Jim Hoefflin, who joined the company just three months ago and was able to leverage the purchase through support from Softeon investor Warburg Pincus.
By joining forces with the Texas-based WMS implementer GetUsROI, Softeon says it will be able to support integration and workflow management between its core software tools—which include warehouse management system (WMS), warehouse execution system (WES), and distributed order management (DOM) platforms—and an increasingly heterogeneous DC technology environment. Specifically, Softeon will now be able to link its software with a wider range of materials handling systems, including products like mobile robots, goods-to-person technologies, traditional sortation systems, and put walls.
That strategy is increasingly common among various players in the warehouse technology space, such as GreyOrange with its GreyMatter software, SVT Robotics with its common software layer, Korber with its connections to a broad portfolio of autonomous mobile robotics (AMRs), and Slync with its automation orchestration platform.
There’s a good reason for that trend, Softeon’s Hoefflin says. As the industry sees a rapid transformation of workflow patterns on the warehouse floor, technology providers must open up and work with more partners or risk being left on the outside looking in. “I can’t tell you the future, but I’m pretty sure we’re not going to continue to see hard boundaries around different solutions. This acquisition will help us to become the connective tissue in the middle of everything,” Hoefflin said in an interview.
The process is being accelerated by increasing pressure on shippers and 3PLs to balance soaring consumer demand with a historically tight labor market that makes it hard to keep many DCs fully staffed, Fralick said.
To cope with those pressures, logistics operators must work with an increasing array of partners and integrators, ranging from automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) to autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) and fleets of collaborative “swarmbots” that assist pickers, he said. “To integrate all those parts, the interface stuff is kind of the easy part of the job; it’s harder to get responses back from the robots so you can create a continuous feedback loop to see that they’re doing the things they’re supposed to be doing and you don’t have to manage exceptions,” Fralick said. “We can orchestrate across different workflows and act like the adult in the room.”
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