Tuesday, 20 July 2021 15:24

Interview: Blue Yonder expands into Australia and rebrands from JDA Software

By Staff Writer
Daniel Kohut, VP Sales, Blue Yonder Daniel Kohut, VP Sales, Blue Yonder

PROMOTIONAL NEWS INTERVIEW: iTWire spoke with the company’s Melbourne-based Vice President of Sales, Daniel Kohut about Blue Yonder’s expansion into ANZ and some key trends affecting the local market, with the company stating its "award-winning digital fulfillment platform and end-to-end supply chain management solutions help over 3000 customers worldwide make smarter business decisions."

Blue Yonder. The company says “transformative growth, consistent profitability and a reimagined customer experience starts and ends with the supply chain,” and that has “created an end-to-end digital supply chain platform purpose-built to fulfill your potential.”

We’re told the platform is “automated, orchestrated, intelligent and highly predictive,” and that it is “built to reimagine the entire customer experience, delivering across any channel, every time, in every situation.”

Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, Blue Yonder has offices in over 40 locations worldwide across the US, Asia Pacific, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East.

We spoke with the company’s Vice President of Sales, Daniel Kohut, who is based in Melbourne, about some key trends affecting the local market, and Blue Yonder's expansion into Australia and New Zealand.

1. Blue Yonder was formerly known as JDA Software, why did you decide to change the name?

In July 2018, the company (then known as JDA Software) announced its revolutionary vision for the supply chain of the future; a self-learning, self-healing and self-driving ‘Autonomous Supply Chain’. The company aggressively moved towards this vision, by introducing a number of next-generation supply chain solutions that leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies. To complement the new vision, it was decided that a new brand name was necessary to spearhead the company’s transformation and future growth.

In that same year, the company acquired a German-based software-as-a-service provider named ‘Blue Yonder’, which offered a similar range of automated solutions powered by AI and ML technology. With a strong synergy between the two companies’ offerings, it was decided that JDA Software would adopt Blue Yonder’s name. With reference to blue skies and expansive possibilities, Blue Yonder believes the new brand name encompasses the company’s goals and future vision of an Autonomous Supply Chain.

2. With Blue Yonder recently expanding into the ANZ market, can you tell me what supply chain management solutions you offer to local businesses?

Blue Yonder offers solutions in three key areas: Supply Chain Planning, Supply Chain Execution and Omni-Channel Commerce. The Luminate Planning solutions portfolio encompasses demand and supply planning, inventory optimisation and product planning, while the Luminate Logistics solution portfolio specifically targets the transport and logistics sector, offering warehouse and labour management, logistics network and warehousing tasking capabilities. Lastly, the Luminate Commerce solutions portfolio provides customers with inventory, order and workforce management capabilities and lifecycle pricing solutions.

Blue Yonder has held a presence in the ANZ market for over 20 years, helping customers across transport and logistics, retail, manufacturing and warehousing, mining and other industries optimise their supply chain management.

3. What key impacts are artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies having on the supply chain, transport & logistics and retail sectors?

Automated solutions powered by AI and ML can assist companies in making sense of the significant volumes of data they generate. These automated tools can digest all of this data, and then generate valuable insights that can be used to make smarter, more informed decisions to increase business productivity and profitability. With access to these tools, companies can identify risks early and predict disruption, such as package delays caused by adverse weather conditions or high volumes of orders during a particular time of the year. These automated solutions give companies the supply chain visibility they need to facilitate more accurate decision-making and provide better customer service.

Right now, supply chains are operating in a highly disruptive environment, and frequent changes to demand and supply are critically impacting the bottom line. Being able to identify, predict and respond to change in a timely and effective manner is imperative for companies to maintain their competitive advantage, hence the significant uptake of AI and ML technologies in these three sectors.

4. Blue Yonder was recently acquired by Panasonic, with the vision of accelerating the “autonomous supply chain” – tell us what this partnership means for your customers?

The acquisition between Panasonic and Blue Yonder is anticipated to settle in the back end of 2021.

The acquisition will accelerate our shared mission to empower customers to optimise their supply chains using the combined power of AI/ML, IoT and edge devices. We anticipate the partnership will provide a unique competitive advantage for ANZ customers, by allowing them to better utilise business data to improve their operations in real-time.

5. Looking forward, how do you see demand for automated supply chain management solutions changing in the next 5-10 years? Are there any new industries you hope to tap into?

In today’s on-demand economy, there is more pressure than ever before on supply chains. E-Commerce is proliferating at a speed that many retailers can’t keep up with, and customers are demanding faster and more convenient delivery timeframes. With these trends in mind, we expect the demand for automated supply chain solutions to grow significantly in the next 5-10 years, as organisations look to increase productivity in every way possible.

At Blue Yonder, we currently target all relevant industries where there is a demand for automated supply chain management solutions. However, we are always seeing new cases emerge via the adoption of edge technologies and the use of real-time data to make informed decisions

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