Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Dematic buys logistics automation firm DAI for €120m

Steve Rogerson

Atlanta, Georgia-based intralogistics company Dematic has acquired Digital Applications International (DAI), a UK software company specialising in logistics automation.
The transaction was carried out by Dematic’s parent company Kion Group on its behalf. Valued at around €120m, the transaction is Kion’s largest investment since acquiring Dematic in 2016.
The addition of DAI expands Dematic’s intralogistics software offerings to support the movement, storage and distribution of goods through the entire supply chain. DAI’s core product is a warehouse management system (WMS) that broadens the capabilities of Dematic iQ automation by allowing a wider range of applications from primarily manual operations to the fully automated supply chain ecosystems.
The combined offerings will be especially attractive to new users who desire a single software platform and aftermarket firms looking to add on to existing software.
“This deal marks a significant moment in time for Dematic and for intralogistics as a whole,” said Hasan Dandashly, CEO of Dematic. “Software is no longer something extra to be added, it is a fundamental, inextricable part. And now with this combined software portfolio we can provide our customers with entirely new business models to make them more competitive and power the future of commerce.”
With full WMS capabilities, Dematic will be able to offer an entry point for users early in their automation journey and an add-on for more experienced users. The acquisition is a step to support the digital transformation to smart supply chains and consumer-demand driven urban strategies.
The acquisition should let Dematic extend its software portfolio and systems engineering capabilities to meet future challenges and deliver intralogistics globally. It should be able to respond to problems presented by the accelerated growth of ecommerce and supply chain digitalisation.
In the 2019 financial year, DAI’s preliminary revenue was equivalent to approximately €40mn. With offices in London, Manchester, Aberdeen, Basel and Shanghai, DAI has customer installations around the globe, many of which have been close collaborative efforts with Dematic.
“Dematic and DAI have been partners for many years sharing market leadership and software capabilities,” said Andrew Kisiel, chairman of DAI. “Combining the companies will only accelerate the benefit to customers.”
This next phase will be a continuation of this partnership. The acquisition includes a long-term programme for retaining and growing DAI’s workforce of approximately 240 employees. The DAI team of intralogistics automation and supply chain experts should complement Dematic’s existing software expertise.
Dematic is an intralogistics innovator that designs, builds and supports intelligent, automated products for manufacturing, warehouse and distribution environments. With engineering centres, manufacturing facilities and service centres in more than 25 countries, Dematic’s 8000 employees have helped achieve more than 6000 worldwide installations for some of the world’s leading brands. Headquartered in Atlanta, Dematic is a member of Kion Group, a specialist in industrial trucks, supply chain and related services, and a provider of warehouse automation.