SAVOYE: Harnessing experience and expertise in software and robotic solutions for logistics operations

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France-headquartered supply chain software and technology company Savoye’s stated objective is to develop the supply chain sector by simplifying the management of complex systems while offering better service, greater efficiency and reduced costs.

The company prides itself in its product offerings from order placement to delivery, cloud services to packaging. Savoye experts design and integrate tailor-made solutions for Supply Chain and logistics operations.

Savoye’s wide range of services, developed over 35 years since its inception, extends from order picking to automated storage, including supply chain management software, according to a company post.

To bring us to current on technological advances at Savoye Middle East and to get the lowdown on other corporate developments, Global Supply Chain conducted a one-on-one, exclusive, exhaustive interview with Alain Kaddoum, Managing Director, Savoye Middle East.

The following are the transcripts of the engagement.

Global Supply Chain (GSC): Briefly trace the corporate journey of Savoye from its inception and its forays in the Middle East?

Alain Kaddoum (AK): Savoye launched its office in the United Arab Emirates in 2021, as part of our endeavours to expand and diversify our portfolio. We have benefited greatly from the strategic geographic location of the nation and its sophisticated logistics network, which allowed us to strengthen our position in the regional markets.

We further strive to support the national initiatives aimed at fostering industrial activity in line with the UAE Industrial Strategy 2030. Our primary goal of penetrating the UAE market was to introduce and showcase our best solutions to the region’s logistics and supply chain hub.

Our innovative and customised solution, ODATiO, which can combine a Warehouse Management System (WMS) and an Order Management System (OMS), is one of the latest advanced solutions we introduced to the region, along with our tailormade Goods-To-Person and allied robotics solutions.

Furthermore, in major breakthroughs, we forged strategic alliances with New East General Trading in 2023 and Incube in 2021, both of which represent a significant milestone for the company. By participating in several major events and awards, we were successful in raising awareness in the logistics and supply chain industry on technologies and software solutions required in the present age to modernise and accelerate operations and activities.

As part of our mission to expand our footprint in the Middle East, we have entered the KSA market this year, adhering to our pledge to be closer to our customers and offer professional expertise and cutting-edge solutions. We aim to innovate and offer the best solutions to the region’s ever-evolving logistics sector.

GSC: You were appointed Managing Director for Savoye Middle East in August 2021. What is your assessment of the company’s performance in the region under your helm?

AK: I was appointed as the Managing Director of Savoye in 2021 and my professional journey in this company has been incredible as I gained new experiences and skills. Increasing our team’s capabilities and coordination has been a top priority as I firmly believe that progress begins with the workforce.

Together, we embarked on numerous endeavours and continued attending events to raise awareness of our products, as well as network with potential clients and forge new contracts. We are pleased that we were able to establish new and strategic partnerships in both the KSA and the UAE.

At Savoye, we prioritise employee empowerment through training, skill development, and foster a working environment that values and appreciates their efforts, as employee performances have a direct influence on company’s overall growth and success. The incredible success and achievements we have achieved so far could be attributed to our dedicated team.

Our accomplishments define the relentless efforts of our team who work towards a common goal to offer our customers sustainable and innovative solutions. Through this journey towards achieving success, we have realised that prioritising our organisation’s strengths and competencies can lead to remarkable development.

GSC: How have Savoye ME’s priorities and expectations been rearranged and what kind of new demands or pressures are now being put on your business post pandemic?

AK: The effects of pandemic have been huge, bringing widespread economic transformations as well as restructuring and revolutionising industries across the spectrum. The growing demand in the e-commerce industry has driven clients to alter and transform their logistical processes to meet the increasing demand.

Owing to its prominent role in the global economy, the supply chain and logistics sector has experienced numerous difficulties. The pandemic brought about numerous obstacles and hurdles for the sector. Organisations were also under constraints due to the rising demand for sustainable integration, the expansion of e-commerce, and shifting trends.

The Covid-19 pandemic necessitated the need to value digital resiliency. Companies across industries are making investments in cutting-edge technologies, embracing and adopting digital innovations and automation, as it increases the competitive advantage of every business.

Automation is an ideal way to cut carbon emissions and maintain sustainable business models to satisfy the growing sustainability demands of consumers and the requirement for businesses to be environmentally responsible in their operations.

To handle the complexity of logistics operations, Savoye prioritises the creation of advanced and sustainable supply chain solutions. As a provider of logistics solutions, we work to meet the problems faced by our clients by balancing the investments made in procedures, organisations, and technologies. Innovative solutions that meet consumer expectations, enhance services, promote cost savings, and reduce environmental risks are necessary owing to the changing business environment.

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GSC: Savoye ME is a leader in robotics / software …what do you count among your strengths and USPs-unique selling propositions?

AK: We possess extensive experience and expertise in design and execution of software and robotic solutions for logistics operations. Utilising our vast knowledge, we offer a diverse range of solutions that are tailored to meet each client’s demands. Furthermore, we highly prioritise environmental sustainability dedicated to offering sustainable logistics solutions that lower carbon emissions and help create a sustainable business model.

Our end-to-end solutions could be seamlessly integrated to fit into our clients’ current systems, streamlining installation procedures and reducing any potential hitches. To keep up with the evolving logistics sector and stay current with the advancements within the landscape, we further research and develop innovative technologies and solutions. Our capability for innovation and staying one step ahead of the competition is a strong USP for clients on the lookout for progressive and strategic partners.

Our global outreach includes projects in over 40 different nations across the globe. Our network enables us to offer comprehensive logistical solutions customised to meet local demands and specifications.

GSC: How important is automation for the logistics in the Middle East and what trends are you observing in the region?

AK: The demand for more streamlined and effective logistics operations is increasing as e-commerce in the region expands significantly. A trend we have noticed globally is the rise of robotic and piece handling automation in logistics operations and activities.

Automated systems are capable of boosting sorting and packaging process accuracy, minimising labour costs, and increasing operational efficiency. Automated vehicles such as drones and self-driving delivery robots are increasingly becoming popular in the last-mile delivery services and operations.

Utilisation of ground-breaking digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to streamline and increase efficacy of logistical operations is another major emerging global trend in the sector. IoT-enabled sensors provides real-time data and location of shipments, while AI-powered algorithms help forecast demand and optimise routes. Usage of such technologies improve supply chain’s visibility and control, in addition to enhancing overall customer experience.

We believe that to efficiently handle the rising demand for e-commerce and streamline logistical procedures, automation is essential for the Middle East logistics sector.

GSC: What opportunities and challenges confront Savoye ME in a competitive ambience?

AK: The world is significantly disrupted by advanced technologies, given its heavy reliance on digital solutions, and we are confident that there exists a tremendous opportunity for us to network with businesses and raise awareness on technologies that could transform their companies, as well as offer them our solutions.

Even though plenty of businesses are currently emerging in the market providing solutions similar to ours, Savoye distinguishes apart in this regard by constantly innovating and presenting new solutions that are unique to the sector.

For instance, at Savoye, we use one of our ground-breaking solutions, the ODATiO software, to address the complexity of the logistics systems. The warehouse and transportation management systems in this multipurpose solution are intended to improve productivity and communication.

We offer businesses the ability to manage their storage space, assure precise tracking of product arrival and departure, and assess the amount of fuel needed to ship the items using ODATiO. Similarly, our order management systems, robotic assistance, and packing equipment assist in meeting technological requirements of the sector. Through these, we address environmental challenges as well as keep our clients informed and on top of the ever-changing business landscape.

GSC: Savoye ME recently signed a contract with New East General Trading. Tell us more.

AK: We partnered with the New East General Trading L.L.C., a prominent regional distributor of automotive components, to supply automated solutions to the company’s Dubai Distribution Centre. This is a significant milestone for both companies as we work together to foster innovation and boost efficiency in the spare parts supply chain industry while raising the benchmarks for automated solutions in the Middle East.

By integrating our highly advanced Autonomous Case-handling Robots (ACR) solution—the first of its kind to be used in the Middle East—we aim to automate the New East’s distribution centre and simplify complex internal systems. This cutting-edge solution is based on Savoye’s Pick-To-Light technology, Haipick Autonomous Case-handling Robots (ACR), and Intelis conveyors.

The entire system is overseen by the Savoye Warehouse Execution Software (WES), which synchronises robots and conveyors with customer procedures in the most efficient manner. Our ground-breaking ACR solution is intended to revolutionise the supply chain industry by streamlining complicated internal systems and providing better services. Furthermore, the New East company will boost the efficacy of automotive parts trade between the UAE and other GCC countries.

GSC: What is the extent of Savoye ME’s participation in the upcoming Seamless Middle East 2023 and what do you hope to accomplish at the event?

AK: Participating in major events is an ideal opportunity to network and interact directly with other businesses as well as leaders to form meaningful alliances. We are confident that the Seamless Middle East 2023 will provide such an opportunity, further providing an excellent venue to showcase and raise awareness about our range of cutting-edge solutions in the sector and illustrate how they work.

For this year’s event, we aim to strengthen our ties with several major corporations, broaden our audience, and inform many new and up-and-coming businesses on improving their supply chain and logistics operations. We will also showcase at our stand one of our state-of-the-art robotic solutions for retail and e-commerce industries.

GSC: What new technologies will you be highlighting or introducing at Seamless ME 2023?

AK: During the Seamless ME 2023, we intend to showcase one of our state-of-the-art robotic solutions for retail and e-commerce industries. We will install at our booth a live demo system of our latest ACR solutions by Savoye.

The ACR system offers high scalability and flexibility which can be ideal for growing and evolving businesses. This innovative solution managed by our WES software, offers easy and seamless integration possibilities either with customer’s existing WMS or through our ODATiO WMS module.

Visitors will also have the possibility to experience our advanced supply chain execution software throughout look and feel demo sessions. In addition, we will have a special focus on our high-speed automated technologies such as our X-PTS shuttle solution which is designed to ergonomically address high throughput and high volumes requirements.

GSC: Generically, how important is technology in your business and how is Savoye staying ahead of the innovation curve?

AK: Our company is primarily centred on technology. It is what we create and innovate in. To keep abreast of innovations, we make significant investments in research and development as well as forge partnerships with various technological companies. At Savoye, we are committed to sustainability.

It is our key priority in and therefore, we invest in cutting-edge technologies that lower carbon footprint and promote environmentally friendly logistics operations. In addition, our global presence provides us with information about new technologies and trends in logistics, which we efficiently utilise in crafting our development goals and strategies.

GSC: What are your expansion plans for the company for the foreseeable future in the region?

AK: Currently, we are expanding to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We plan to extend our presence to other GCC countries as well. However, our primary vision, as well as a challenge, is to penetrate the ASEAN region. In addition, we are also working towards growing our suite of intralogistics solutions.

GSC: Who are among the top three performing countries in the region for Savoye ME?

AK: We clearly see high demand for warehouse automation and supply chain execution software in UAE and KSA. These two countries are traditionally dominating the region in terms of demand and number of automated projects installed. Both cater for almost 90% of the GCC automation market volume.

We also have high hopes on Kuwait market where we start seeing few initiatives of warehouse automation there. Last but not the least, recently Qatar had an extraordinary exposure worldwide during the World Cup 2022 which we believe will boost the tourism in 2023, generate more business opportunities and lead to an increase in supply chain demand that can be translated in more inquiries for automated warehouses in the country.

GSC: How significant is the region for Savoye?

AK: As a leading provider of cutting-edge supply chain solutions that make use of automation, robots, and software, we firmly believe that we will experience a substantial demand for our services in the Middle East since the region’s retail, pharma, spare parts and e-commerce sectors are expanding significantly.

In addition, the region serves as a vital logistical hub due to its strategic location at the intersection of major trade routes between Europe, Asia, and Africa. Businesses in the region can leverage our expertise in end-to-end logistics solutions that seamlessly integrate with their current systems to streamline operations and increase visibility of supply chains.

GSC: How did Savoye ME perform in the region in 2022 and what is your prognosis for 2023 going forward?

AK: At Savoye, we believe that our unwavering dedication to promoting sustainability and digital technology is the key to success in the region. Since Middle Eastern companies are increasingly looking for environmentally friendly and technologically advanced logistics solutions, we are concentrating heavily on enhancing our sustainability efforts.

We anticipate entering partnerships with multiple new companies in 2023, especially considering our recent cooperation with New East General Trading and other major organisations in the region. Furthermore, we are looking forward to accelerating our drive for innovation to deliver better and more advanced solutions.

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