Another exciting year draws to a close for Indigo and over the past 12 months, we have completed over 10 new project implementations. A large number of these involved companies in the FMCG sector, including the first phase of a deployment for Alphamega Hypermarkets in Cyprus. Alphamega invested in Indigo WMS to automate the company’s new, purpose built 2,200m2 warehouse operation, with a second implementation at another 7,000m2 DC, scheduled for completion in early 2018.
Stelios Papaxanthos at Alphamega said, “We planned a number of developments over the year with the first one now live and in 2018, we will introduce iWMS to a much bigger warehouse to help us improve logistics and our competitive position.” Once Indigo is fully implemented, Alphamega will have the ability to centrally manage warehouse operations in real-time and use our technology to support the company’s business expansion goals with an efficient and connected supply chain system.
Indigo also completed the company’s first integration of Indigo WMS with SAP for NGK Spark Plugs. Commenting on this complex project, Martin Segrue at NGK Spark Plugs said: “A challenging project for both Indigo and NGK, we got there successfully and became the first of our group companies to deliver integrated SAP on time and to budget. This was down to the great relationship we have with Indigo’s project team and the mutual trust we have built up during the many years of our working partnership.”
Inspiring a new generation of software engineers to close the skills gap
As a home-grown software company, we pride ourselves on employing a local development team and are only too aware of the tech skills shortage facing the UK.
The government is trying to assist, with new initiatives to increase numbers of visas granted to software engineers, but we believe businesses should be taking ownership too and finding ways to inspire more young people to consider a career in IT. This was the motivation behind the Coding and IT Careers Experience that Indigo hosted earlier this year, when we opened up our software development operation to local Newcastle and Sunderland secondary school pupils for half term.
Over the course of the week, 5 young people aged from 13 to 17 took part in what they universally described as an ‘amazing experience’.
Sean Clark, one of the Year 10 pupils who took part in the Coding and IT Careers Experience had this to say about his time with us, “After these three days of work experience, I wish I could come back for the rest of my school holidays to learn more. As well as learning things from Mark, Tom, and Kyle, I could honestly say I could see myself working in this field – so much so, that I have decided to learn Python for myself.” We hope to see more bright young minds like Sean next year, when we intend to run the week again.
Best ever annual customer conference
During September, Indigo hosted its annual customer conference and this year’s event was our most successful ever. Over 50 representatives from 25 customers and 10 Indigo technology partners attended the one day event, which included a sneak preview of forthcoming Indigo WMS updates and future development plans, as well as user case studies from WMS implementations at Blue Earth Foods and Alphamega. When polled, 80% of delegates reported the conference was informative, engaging, and provided an excellent update of the latest technology available.”
If 10 project implementations wasn’t enough to keep the team busy, in addition to our original Asia Pacific base in Hong Kong, we have also opened new, expanded offices in the Philippines and Singapore to accommodate our growing team based permanently in Asia.
Predictions for 2018 and beyond
Introducing automation is a priority investment for the vast majority of warehouses and DCs over the coming 12 – 18 months, as companies look for ways to reduce their costs and become more adept at ‘achieving more with fewer overheads’.
There’s no doubt that within the next 5 years, warehouse and logistics functions as we currently know them will be completely transformed by technology.
New concepts like Blockchain are set to have a significant impact on the supply chain function as a whole, helping to improve traceability, reduce incidences of counterfeiting and provide a solid foundation for the digital transformation of industry. Although the use of artificial intelligence and robots may currently be more widespread within the larger DCs, adoption rates are rising fast as costs start to make the technology more universally accessible. In response, Indigo is enhancing its WMS software and adding new functionality and integration capabilities. This ensures we are Industry 4.0 ready and can continue to deliver the real-time business intelligence our customers rely on.
Eric Carter, Indigo’s Solutions Architect said, “Industry 4.0 brings many benefits, with new opportunities to expand or enhance business operations and trade globally, but many manufacturers are also feeling challenged by the continual need to adapt to new technology and optimise processes. This transition brings with it a requirement for companies to operate supply chains that are more efficient, flexible, accurate, and capable of handling much greater levels of detailed information. Of these, the requirement for accuracy is the single most important aspect to get right, because the vast majority of warehouses are measured by their ability to get OTIF (on time in full) or OIFOT (order in full on time), with no margin for errors.”
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