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Ananta Islam discusses the future of supply chain automation and robotics with Mobile Robot Guide

Ananta Islam, Parcel Logistics CEO, North America, recently sat down with Eugene Demaitre of Mobile Robot Guide to share his vision for the future of supply chain automation and robotics. Islam brings a wealth of experience from his tenure at GEA Group, where he held various sales leadership roles and worked as a project engineer at Teledyne Energy Systems. His expertise and strategic mindset are expected to drive Körber’s growth in the competitive supply chain market.

Commitment to innovation and long-term growth


Islam emphasized Körber’s commitment to innovation and long-term growth, despite recent economic challenges in the supply chain sector. He highlighted Körber’s continued investment in research and development, particularly in the digital and automation spaces. This investment is critical for staying ahead of market demands and positioning the company as a leader in technology-driven supply chain solutions. With a focus on the North American market, Körber aims to leverage its expertise in robotics, voice, and software to meet the unique needs of its clients, including major players like Amazon and UPS.


"Even with the recent pullback in supply chain, Körber continued to invest in the North American market. It just added two years to its growth trajectory, and it has continued to invest 5% to 6% in R&D and product development," said Islam. "That aspiration to really grow was a key differentiator."


Strategic investments and partnerships


Körber’s strategic approach includes significant investments in R&D and partnerships to enhance its product offerings and market position. Islam pointed out the importance of digitalization in driving customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. By integrating advanced technologies like AI-based Visicon singulators and the VarioPick robot arm, Körber is addressing key pain points such as labor shortages and the need for predictive maintenance. These innovations are designed to maximize uptime and improve the overall efficiency of supply chain operations.


"Our vision is ‘Market leadership through technology leadership.’ Last year, Körber invested a significant portion of revenue to R&D in the digital space," Islam explained. "Companies today that are purely in the mechanical space need to pair with digital solutions. That’s what customers desire to address their pain points – labor shortages, quality of product delivery, downtime."


Islam also emphasized the importance of becoming an integration partner for major companies. "We see an opportunity to become an integration partner for major companies because we have expertise and know-how in Europe that we plan to leverage into the North American market," he said. "Having hardware, software, an interface, and cloud-based analytics and controls on top of that is the ecosystem mindset."


Shifting global market dynamics


Islam also discussed the shifting dynamics in global markets, noting a pivot in investments from Asia-Pacific to North America. This shift reflects the resilience of the U.S. economy and the increasing focus on regional supply chain operations. "Business in the U.S. is focused on situating its supply chain operations more regionally than abroad in a push for greater control and stability," Islam explained.


He also mentioned the rebound in supply chain investments, particularly in the North American market. "In our space, we’ve already started to see a rebound. There had been significant pullback in the past 12 to 18 months, but now we’re starting to see customers release RFQs [requests for quotations] that in the back half of this year we see coming to fruition."


Future-proofing supply chain operations


Körber sees automation and digital solutions as the keys to future-proofing supply chains, helping clients navigate the complexities of an increasingly competitive economic landscape. "Automation and digitization help maximize uptime and insulate supply chains from market volatility caused by increased and rapidly changing customer demands, challenges in attracting and retaining labor, as well as geopolitical and economic pressures," said Islam.


A commitment to innovation and staying ahead of the curve is central to Körber’s DNA. The company is heavily investing in R&D to offer customers the latest technologies and hardware that will keep their supply chain operations more nimble, responsive, and sustainable.


Customer-centric approach to AI


Amid the hype around AI, Körber remains focused on its customer-centric approach. "For us, the priority is to be customer-centric and to focus on customer problems and work backwards from those pain points rather than vice versa," Islam stated. "If the specific customer problem requires AI-based solutions, then Körber wants to be at the forefront of developing those solutions, paired with our mechanical solution, which is the essence of a complete ecosystem."




Körber’s strategic investments in R&D, partnerships, and digitalization position it well for continued growth and market leadership. By staying customer-centric and focusing on addressing key pain points with advanced technologies, Körber aims to future-proof supply chain operations and drive significant growth, particularly in the North American market.


For a detailed discussion with Ananta Islam and more insights into Körber's strategic initiatives, read the full interview on the Mobile Robot Guide website.


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