Meet Körber Supply Chain (KSC), the powerhouse that keeps the global parcel delivery industry running smoothly
There is a dynamic force behind the scenes that assists the giants in the parcel delivery industry and ensure that packages flow seamlessly through factories and warehouses. With over 21.2 billion packages delivered across the United States along with over 100 billion worldwide annually, the task at hand demands unparalleled innovation, expertise, and precision. This unsung hero behind the scenes is Körber Supply Chain (KSC), a vital component of the multinational Körber Group, headquartered in Germany. Their pioneering equipment sets the gold standard for efficiency, sustainability, safety, and forward-thinking technology. It's no surprise that Körber's engineering prowess can be found within the operations of the world's largest delivery companies
That being said, the journey hasn't been without its challenges. In recent years, the parcel logistics industry, both in North America and globally, has faced an array of obstacles. Factors such as the global pandemic, supply chain disruptions, escalating costs, and inflation have shaken the industry to its core.
A Strategic Acquisition to break into the industry
A significant turning point came just over a year ago when Körber seized an opportunity to expand its North American presence. They acquired Siemens Logistics' mail and parcel business for a staggering 1.15 billion euros, paving the way for their entry into the market.
This strategic move allowed Körber to augment its existing capabilities with cutting-edge automation, digital software, and manufacturing services, merging them with the newly acquired parcel business to form Korber Supply Chain (KSC).
“We wanted to go into new markets and Körber invested in setting up our facilities to enable us to do that,” explained KSC's Executive Vice President and CFO, Stefan Boehmer. A seasoned industry veteran with 25 years of experience, Boehmer's journey from finance executive at Siemens, spanning corporate R&D and roles in healthcare, mobility, and logistics across the globe, has been integral to this transformation.
Bolstering Leadership and New Talent for the Future
As market conditions gradually improve and supply chain challenges begin to abate, KSC is poised for growth. Recognizing the importance of leadership in this new phase, Körber and Boehmer embarked on a mission to assemble a team of high-level executives from diverse backgrounds. Their goal: to significantly grow the business through fresh perspectives and a diversified approach to sales, strategy, engineering/innovation, and marketing.
Among the recent key hires was Andrew Glickman, an accomplished specialist and notable figure across various industries. With over 13 years of experience in the manufacturing, technology, and supply chain fields throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, Glickman’s track record touched many areas that included frequent dealings with Fortune 500 company leaders, the development of a wide array of consumer/healthcare/industrial products for numerous customers, well-funded private equity and venture capital companies/firms, and celebrity-backed/endorsed product companies. While Glickman was new to the parcel and mail field, this was precisely what the company sought — a visionary with a distinct skill set to drive and build upon their diversification efforts.
“Andrew brings to us a breadth of knowledge and credibility from other industries, and we were looking for someone to fill the North America Chief Sales Officer role that brought a different skill set to the company,” Boehmer explained. Glickman’s mission is to double KSC’s business in North America as well as establish Körber as a recognized brand across North America, and with robust support from the global Körber organization, he is making significant progress.
In addition to Glickman, KSC has also secured a new CEO for North America, set to take the reins in early 2024 while Boehmer will roll back into his previous CFO role.
Investing in Innovation
With new leadership at the helm and Boehmer's extensive experience as CFO guiding them, there is palpable excitement within KSC. As market conditions continue to improve, KSC is gearing up for a transformative phase. They are investing heavily in research and development to enhance existing products and introduce new innovations that cater to their customers' evolving needs.
“We decided to go after additional customers outside of our core market,” said Boehmer, who has played a key role in the acquisition and successful integration. “We want to expand the customer base we have in the distribution industry, and also look to offer additional services to our existing customers.” This ambitious expansion plan demands substantial investments in cutting-edge technologies.
Körber Group is committed to propelling KSC's growth, allocating a substantial 8% of their budget to fund advanced research and development in parcel and mail technology. This allocation represents a fourfold increase compared to Siemens' previous annual parcel research and development budget. Körber's unwavering investment in future technologies, products, and solutions is catapulting KSC to the forefront of the industry.
“We provide extremely innovative products that touch this industry,” Glickman stressed. “Everything from sorting devices to unloading large 18-wheelers, we create products/systems that really help our partners from a time constraint and labor cost angle.”
One particular goal for KSC is to elevate its focus on solutions, integrations, and turnkey systems. The company's world-class turnkey solutions take center stage at a sprawling 430,000-square-foot national “super hub,” serving Canada's premier freight and logistics solutions provider, Purolator. “We want to offer these systems to future customers because we feel there's a need for it,” Boehmer affirmed.
Robotic Technology and Artificial Intelligence
One such groundbreaking product is RUBUSⓇ, designed specifically for the U.S. market. RUBUSⓇ offers an efficient and flexible solution for automatic parcel unloading at high speeds, dramatically enhancing efficiency and safety. This system, with a maximum throughput of 25,000 items per hour, adapts dynamically to the pace of operations through its central control station. By eliminating the need for operators in the unloading area, RUBUSⓇ enhances both speed and safety.
Package handling relies heavily on singulation — a process that maintains the right spacing between items on a conveyor system. KSC has developed VisiconⓇ, an AI vision-based control system, to manage packaging formats and materials efficiently and accurately. Paired with the Singulator 360 predictive maintenance technology, VisiconⓇ ensures a smooth and efficient operation.
Transforming and Optimizing Logistics
KSC is also actively involved in providing preventive maintenance solutions, not only for their own equipment but also for competitors' machines. This approach minimizes downtime and reduces spare part consumption, effectively managing equipment downtime to prevent unexpected repairs.
“We’ve had really good success with one of our key customers here in the U.S., and they want to retrofit their whole fleet with our solution,” Boehmer stated.
The company's intelligent software for optimized logistics processes is transforming package shipping. The Parcel Data Hub brings actionable insights to sorting facilities for operational excellence, while the Network Booster optimizes network performance through in-depth data analytics and visualization.
KSC's Hub Booster maximizes the operational efficiency of parcel sorting centers, reducing multiple doors to just one — an efficiency breakthrough. Boehmer explained, “In a normal sortation hub, using our Hub Booster solution you can go from eight doors down to one door, which is huge.”
Shaping Tomorrow’s Parcel Delivery
KSC is not only an industry leader but also an attractive destination for top talent, with locations in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Their unique culture fosters collaboration and recognizes the contributions of each team member. With Körber's unrelenting passion for performance and a commitment to investing in the future, KSC is set to make remarkable strides in the world of parcel delivery. As Boehmer succinctly put it, "It's all about investing more in the future."
KSC is poised to turn heads with its drive and passion for innovation. As Glickman expressed, “We are the brand behind the brand whose equipment touches hundreds of millions of packages at one point or another, but no one ever really thinks about that stage in the process.” One thing’s for sure, we’ll all be thinking about them now, and the world can’t wait to see what comes next.
Supply chains are growing more complex by the day. Körber uniquely provides a broad range of proven, end-to-end supply chain solutions fitting any business size, strategy or appetite for growth.
Our customers conquer the complexity of the supply chain thanks to our portfolio that includes software, automation, mail and parcel solutions, voice solutions, robotics, and materials handling – plus the expertise to tie it all together.
Körber helps to manage the supply chain as a competitive advantage. Conquer supply chain complexity – with Körber.
2700 Esters Blvd.
Suite 200 B
Dallas, TX 75261
Phone Number: 972.947.7100
Homepage Link: https://koerber-supplychain.com/