Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Swisslog sets up Middle East operation for warehouse automation

Steve Rogerson
June 4, 2015
Warehouse automation specialist Swisslog is extending its presence in the Middle East with an office in Dubai and new legal entity, Swisslog Middle East.
The new business is intended to provide stronger local support and is in response to the growing importance of automation in the region, particularly in the retail business and in sectors where temperature control has a significant impact on the supply chain.
Swisslog Warehouse & Distribution designs, develops and delivers automation systems, offering integrated products for warehouses and distribution centres as well as services from a single source.
Behind the company’s success are 2300 employees worldwide working across two divisions, one covering warehouse and distribution and the other healthcare, and supporting customers in more than 50 countries. With the establishing of Swisslog Middle East in Dubai, the Swiss company aims to develop further its presence in the region, and follows a similar strategy of local offices in developing automation markets such as Singapore and the USA.
The Dubai office will be headed by Frédéric Zielinski, general manager of Swisslog Middle East, who joined the business in 2004. He sees Dubai’s position as a regional hub as playing an important role in the future development of the Middle Eastern logistics market.
“We have seen a lot of development in a short space of time,” he said. “Dubai’s strategic importance as a centre for international shipping and air-sea-land logistics means the market has always offered great potential. Now, with the increasing impact of e-commerce and temperature controlled solutions, the time is right for us to increase our local presence, increasing the reach and capabilities of our customer service and support.”
The region has seen remarkable growth over recent years with manufacturing activities increasing dramatically and the logistics sector responding accordingly. The subsequent effects of these developments have had a major impact on modern warehouses, with many existing operating models no longer fitting their intended purpose. The trend towards automation has gathered pace, as investment in technology is viewed as a long-term benefit.
Swisslog’s portfolio consists of different key technologies, such as conveyor systems, automated storage and retrieval, automated guided vehicles, monorails, and software to help businesses increase their intra-logistics potential.
Daniel Hauser, managing director of Swisslog, believes the Middle East offers real potential for the automation industry.
“It’s a big step for us, but one which we are incredibly excited about,” he said. “Our aim with all our regional offices is to develop our local business knowledge and reach, and to support our loyal and growing customer base. With this commitment to the Middle East market, Swisslog continues to follow its strategy to be close to customers, not only to deliver services, but to learn from their challenges and to allow us to develop even better systems and support.”
Swisslog hopes to develop the market further, with its range of modular products that provide order fulfilment, split case picking, returns management and other common warehouse processes.
Later in the year, Swisslog will also take part in Material Handlings Middle East exhibition, 14-16 September, at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre.
Zielinski, a ten-year company veteran, joined Swisslog in 2004 and has held several positions, including project manager for large-scale general contractor projects and head of the automated guided vehicles group, during his tenure with the company. He holds a master’s degree in computer science and control theory from ENSISA in France and an MBA from the SBS Swiss Business School in Zurich, Switzerland.