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Savoye Spells Success

“Today, Savoye stands at the forefront of the regional industry, with exceptional pricing power and profit rates. Meanwhile, we remain resilient as ever, in our efforts to meet client expectations by innovating cutting-edge solutions,” avers Alain Kaddoum, Managing Director, Savoye Middle East, in an exclusive and expansive interview for our lead, Cover Story with Global Supply Chain.

Over the years, following its entry in the region, Savoye Middle East has garnered global acclaim as an expert in the design and integration of automated and robotic intralogistics systems, and as an innovative publisher of Supply Chain Execution software solutions.

By synergising its hardware, software and custom-built capabilities, as a one-stop shop integrator, Savoye serves clients across 40-plus countries, facilitating manual, semi-mechanised, mechanised, highly automated and robotised solutions for supply chain. 

In 2021, Savoye with a glorious 45-year legacy in the world of logistics, forayed and marked its presence into the UAE market, with an aim to tailor bespoke solutions for its supply chain and logistics clients in the region. The company revolutionised the regional supply chain landscape through its advanced set of software, hardware and robotics solutions as well as by introducing ODATiO, an end-to-end solution equipped with triple capabilities of warehouse management, order management and transport management systems. 

Savoye has since strengthened the regional supply chain landscape by offering an array of advanced software solutions such as Order Management Systems (OMS), Warehouse Management systems (WMS), Transport Management systems (TMS), Warehouse Execution Systems (WES) and B2B integration platforms. 

The following are the responses and transcripts of the one-on-one interview with Alain Kaddoum, Savoye’s top official and key spokesperson for the Middle East region.

GSC: As a leading brand with a now consolidated presence in the Middle East, comment on Savoye’sregional performance over the past three years, under your leadership? How was the company’s performance in 2023 and what are your expectations as you step into the second half of 2024? 

Alain Kaddoum (AK):The past three years have proved remarkable for Savoye in terms of growth, innovation and profitability. By introducing a range of innovative offerings and rapid expansion across key trade hubs, we have positioned ourselves for long-lasting success in the region. 

Led by an unwavering commitment to excellence, we have succeeded in retaining our position as the leading provider of advanced software solutions for the logistics industry in the region. We partnered with several companies such as Incube, ILA, HAI Robotics that helped further to strengthen our position in the market.

Last year, we commenced our strategic expansion in KSA by forming a partnership with CJ Logistics, iHerb’s 3PL provider, to deliver world-class automation solutions for the eCommerce giant’s Global Distribution Centre in Riyadh.

Within the UAE, we collaborated with New East General Trading, a leading automotive parts distributor in the region. As a part of the agreement, we are currently equipping their Dubai Distributions Centre with cutting-edge Autonomous Case Handling Robot (ACR) solutions, the first-of-its-kind to be utilised in the Middle East. The autonomous system will be managed by Savoye’s WES, ensuring that the robots and conveyors seamlessly align with customer processes.

We also successfully   launched our latest software platform ODATiO 3MS in the Middle East, which is anticipated to transform the supply chain landscape by synergising the capabilities of WMS, OMS and TMS.

Launched last year, KWEST, our innovative Warehouse Execution System (WES) harnesses three decades of expertise in automation and advanced data algorithms to coordinate automated systems. Furthermore, Savoye garnered several prestigious accolades and awards in 2023/early 2024, marking a significant achievement in our journey.

We had a great start to 2024, with the introduction of innovative strategies aimed at broadening Savoye’s portfolio and consolidating our presence across the Middle East. We look forward to securing new partnerships this year, while actively engaging in industry events to showcase our expertise and raise awareness on the importance of new technologies in the logistics industry.

GSC: As a leader in the regional robotics and automation software segment, what would you say are Savoye’s unique strengths? What is Savoye’s most in demand cutting-edge proprietary solutions?

AK:There are many factors that set us apart from the rest, like Savoye’s ability to cater to unique customer demands using customised software solutions. We have an exceptional track record of improving fulfilment efficiency by 30 per cent, reducing errors by 15 per cent and enhancing overall quality by leveraging the ODATiO software. As Savoye’s premier software application, ODATiO integrates manual warehouses with automation technology, combining warehouse and transport management capabilities. 

ODATiO is a state-of-the-art, data-driven software equipped with the latest business rules engine to empower businesses and fulfil Savoye’s broader efforts to revolutionise the logistics sector by facilitating world-class technology. 

GSC: How does Savoye stay ahead in an ever-evolving regional landscape and what are the most pressing demands of the industry? 

AK:Within MENA’s regional landscape, the demand for sustainable products continues to rise, making it imperative for logistics players to adopt sustainable practices. Regulatory measures have mandated a reduction in transport emissions across major markets, pushing businesses to curb carbon emissions. This aligns with the Paris Accord of 1990, which urges companies to cut down carbon emissions by 55 per cent by 2030. 

Savoye has reaffirmed its commitment to sustainability by adopting green logistics measures such as the implementation of the latest-generation WMS, and packaging lines, which combine PAC 600 case erectors and Savoye’s Jivaro closing machine. This method has helped us reduce carbon emissions by 140 metric tons each year.

GSC: In the present scenario, how critical is automation for the logistics industry in the Middle East? What are the emerging technological trends shaping the regional industry?

AK:The burgeoning eCommerce market and infrastructure development have fuelled the demand for increased efficiency and cost reduction, both of which can be achieved through automation.

Within the logistics landscape, automation can fulfil the dual purpose of streamlining operations and optimising supply chain management to cater to evolving customer demands. In logistics, automation has critical applications in areas such as robotics for warehouse operations, autonomous vehicles for delivery, IoT sensors for real-time tracking, AI for predictive analytics and blockchain for secure supply chain transactions.

A few key trends poised to play a pivotal role in transforming the industry are autonomous systems, Internet of Things (IoT) platforms, automated trucks and drones, combined warehouse and transport management systems, as well as software that support sustainable methods.

GSC: As MENA’s logistics landscape grows even more crowded, what opportunities and challenges await Savoye? 

AK:At Savoye, we are committed to uncovering opportunities amid challenges and aim to leverage our team’s robust expertise in automation to sustain our success. We will be expanding our service portfolio to cater to emerging customer demands while navigating challenges posed by peer competition and nuanced regulatory frameworks. Savoye will harness its strategic expertise to overcome imminent challenges and strengthen its position as a trusted logistics partner and technology provider transforming the regional landscape. 

GSC: In November 2023, Savoye ME acquired a major contract in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to support CJ Logistics and iHerb. Please tell us more about this seminal contract and Savoye’s expansion into KSA. 

AK:As I briefly mentioned before, in 2023, we announced our partnership with CJ Logistics, which is the 3PL provider of iHerb, the leading health and wellness eCommerce player in KSA.

The agreement gave us the opportunity to deliver world-class automation solutions for iHerb’s Global Distribution Centre (GDC) in Riyadh. As a global eCommerce leader, iHerb’s goal was to enhance its regional distribution network to fulfil growing local demands, aligning with the Health Sector Transformation Program, which falls under KSA’s ambitious Vision 2030.

This partnership enables CJ Logistics to utilise our cutting-edge automation solutions to optimise operations and boost productivity, ultimately fulfilling the goals set by iHerb. 

As a part of this collaboration, we have developed a first-of-its-kind automated fulfilment centre with an X-PTS Goods-To-Persons (GTP) shuttle system, Warehouse Execution Software (WES), Zone to Zone fast picking system and an Automated Orders Packing system, which can process up to 15,000 orders per day. 

Savoye’s advanced offerings, such as the ergonomic GTP station, help reduce picking and packing times, while our best-in-class packing lines close and label prepared orders and automatically dispatch them into shipping lanes.

GSC: Savoye ME participated in the recently concluded Seamless Middle East 2024; what was showcased at the event and what was the message conveyed? 

AK:We always look forward to participating in leading events like Seamless andGITEX among others. At Seamless Middle East 2024, we were able to highlight Savoye’s commitment to innovation and operational excellence in logistics, by showcasing our cutting-edge Autonomous Case Handling Robots (ACR) and a demo version of our proprietary software ODATiO. 

The message we emphasised was the transformative potential of technology in bolstering warehouse operations, enhancing efficiency and fulfilling the evolving demands of the regional market. Moreover, we highlighted our relentless dedication to providing seamless solutions, while pioneering technological advancements to facilitate client success. 

GSC: What is the role of technology in the logistics industry and how does Savoye stay at the forefront of innovation within the industry? 

AK:In recent years, technology has emerged as the linchpin of seamless logistics operations, due to its vital role in enhancing efficiency and reliability. Within MENA’s dynamic logistics landscape, logistics providers can stay ahead of the curve by embracing advanced technologies.

Through robust investments in research and development (R&D), we have been able to bolster our technological capabilities. By adopting advanced automation solutions, robotics, AI-driven analytics and blockchain, we optimise operations, enhance accuracy and improve customer satisfaction.

In addition, we have forged strategic partnerships with leading tech players, facilitating access to cutting-edge advancements that consolidate our role as a pioneer in the industry. 

GSC: What are Savoye’s expansion plans in the region for the foreseeable future? 

AK: Now that we have successfully completed our expansion into the KSA market, we are considering strategic expansion across other GCC countries to fulfil the rising technology and AI demands across the Middle East. 

While we have already enhanced our Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) offerings, we aim to step up our R&D activities to improve AI capabilities. Furthermore, we have devised a plan to enhance research on the optimisation and sustainability of last-mile logistics operations.

Through collaborations with multinational companies, we aim to collectively achieve sustainability goals, mitigate carbon emissions, while facilitating seamless access to products for customers.

GSC: According to you, what is Savoye’s growth potential in the MENA region? 

AK:The Middle East’s eCommerce landscape is currently evolving and undergoing an unprecedented expansion due to growing internet penetration, rising disposable income and evolving consumer preferences. Infrastructure investment in the region is rising, leading to improved connectivity, further enhancing the region’s stature as a lucrative logistics hub. 

This presents remarkable growth opportunities for Savoye, particularly, as the Middle East diversifies its economy fuelling the development of renewable energy, tourism and manufacturing sectors. Savoye aims to leverage these opportunities, remaining steadfast in its commitment to tailoring bespoke logistics solutions, and consolidating its position as a trusted logistics partner. 

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