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Körber Elevate 2024: Chart Your Course

By April 24, 2024Uncategorized

I am coming to you from the sunny confines of San Diego, CA where I am attending the 2024 Körber Elevate conference. This is my first time attending Körber Elevate, and it did not disappoint, with over 800 attendees, 60 thought provoking sessions, and lots of networking and learning opportunities. The theme this year was “Chart Your Course” which Richard Stewart, EVP Americas at Körber Supply Chain pointed out, is all about overcoming supply chain complexities and challenges. And while the industry faced a lot of complexities and challenges in 2023, we continue to face more every day.

Sean Elliot, Acting Co-CEO kicked off the conference with a keynote that highlighted what Körber did in 2023, but more importantly, where the company is going in 2024. Mr. Elliott made two statements early in his presentation that stuck with me. First, supply chains do not operate in isolation. There is an interconnectedness that spans the entire value chain of the organization and its partners. I’ll touch more on the partner aspect later. The second statement was that capabilities are great, but they need to be usable. This means that companies need to be able to hit the ground running with new capabilities from both a functionality and user interface aspect.

Mr. Elliott pointed to four main predictions for 2024, and then outlined the three pillars of how Körber will be able to meet the goals that align with these predictions.

Workforce Efficiency. This is all about better engagement with employees across the entire company.
Data Visibility. Data is at the center of all decisions across the supply chain.
Supply Chain Risk and Resilience. Companies need to be able to identify risk and build resiliency to overcome the risk.
Deglobalization of Supply Chain. This is characterized by local solutions, onshoring, nearshoring, tariffs, and border controls.

The three key pillars were identified by Mr. Elliott at Körber Elevate set the direction for the future of the company. The three pillars are Team, Technology, and Insights. I’ll go into each one in detail, but the important part is that the three pillars work together to drive success for Körber customers.

Körber Elevate: Team

When it comes to the team, Körber is working on building out its partner ecosystem to better serve its customers. The partner ecosystem gives customers more options and a larger talent pool to create supply chain efficiencies. As part of this ecosystem, partners can get certified through Körber for Warehouse Advantage, which is the first product for certification. Five partners have been certified, Bricz, Cybage, enVista, Everest Technologies, and iWMS. Körber customers can see where the partner they are working with is in the certification process, allowing for better transparency.

Körber is also continuing to invest in Support, Delivery, and Operations (SDO) as part of the Team pillar. There are four key components that Körber is focusing on: self-service, self-healing, success with support, and partner support. Self-service is geared around problem resolution. Allowing customers to self-service issues reduces the time and resources needed to resolve problems. Self-healing is the technology that becomes self-resilient. This means that the technology is able to fix problems that might not have been noticed yet.

Success with support is a new organization built by Körber, where the only job is to spend time with the customers to understand the value journey they are on. Partner support is all about the partner ecosystem. A larger and better-connected partner community is more beneficial for customers as they look for enhanced capabilities.

Körber Elevate: Technology

From a technology perspective, Körber has four focus areas for 2024: advanced workflow management, internationalization of order management system, enhancing the user experience, and creating a modern warehouse management solution. Looking at advanced workflow management, Körber is looking at adaptability for its solutions, and how this impacts the workforce. As Mr. Elliott stated, workforce efficiency is all about having the right capabilities in place and making them usable from day 1. Advanced workflow management is the answer to this problem.

The OMS acquisition was probably the most strategic acquisition since HighJump became Körber, as it expands the company’s solution outside the four walls of the warehouse. Now, the company is looking to take OMS to the global market. As products go global, Körber can identify capabilities from other regions that could be beneficial around the world. One of the more interesting capabilities from the Körber OMS solution is the intersection of “Available to Sell” and “Available to Promise.” Available to sell is the on-hand inventory minus any promised inventory. Available to promise is a reserve against incoming inventory. This intersection ensures that a company does not oversell its inventory, putting on-time delivery and customer satisfaction at risk.

For Körber’s customers, enhancing the user experience will be top of mind. The company is investing in its user interface and all new products will be built on an enhanced UI for better usability. The enhanced UI will also be applied to its existing portfolio.

Finally, Mr. Elliott talked at length about creating a modern warehouse management solution. Körber is focused on technology as the backbone of its portfolio. As part of its modernization journey, Körber has built the Körber One Platform, which is one common technology platform for Körber’s application portfolio to integrate supply chain processes end-to-end. Mr. Elliott showcased three more examples of the modernization journey:

CLASS: this allows customers to test warehouse configurations and technologies without impacting warehouse operations.
IQ: this leverages data science techniques to improve slotting results for large and complex inventories.
Workforce Planning: this allows for a company to forecast order and task volumes to predict labor requirements and optimize workforce planning.

Körber Elevate: Insights

The final pillar is all about leveraging data for more valuable insights, which allows for better decision making. Mr. Elliott said that Körber is not stopping at known use cases; instead, the company needs to be ready for the use cases that come up next. And this is where data comes into play.

One of the more interesting aspects of data science is around sustainability. I’ve written a lot about supply chain sustainability, and where the intersection of supply chain and energy transition exists. The most obvious intersection point is transportation.  Transportation is a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Körber is looking at using its Transportation Spend Optimization solution to help decarbonize the transportation sector. The solutions allows Körber customers to assess and report on their greenhouse gas emissions to improve brand reputation, bring operations within regulatory compliance, increase operation efficiency, save on costs, and provide long term resiliency. Körber has the carbon footprint data that allows customers to benchmark their performance, and develop improvement plans moving forward.

Final Thought

Körber Elevate 2024 showcased a vision for the future, not just for Körber, but the evolution of supply chains themselves. For Körber, the future is about three pillars: Team, Technology, and Insights. Team has a heavy focus on building out a reliable and expansive partner ecosystem to help customers achieve their goals. Technology looks to provide customers with the best applications for a modern supply chain. And Insights enables customers to leverage data to make the best informed decisions. The three pillars work together to help Körber customers chart their course for success.

The post Körber Elevate 2024: Chart Your Course appeared first on Logistics Viewpoints.

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