Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

UTi to deploy Cquential warehouse management in Asia

Steve Rogerson
December 3, 2015
Supply chain management company UTi has chosen to implement the Cquential Rapid Deployment warehouse management system at several of its own distribution centres, as well those of its customers, in South Africa, the Philippines, Thailand and India. The company chose South Africa-based Cquential after a rigorous process to select a system that was both cost effective and quick to deploy.
“Cquential’s solution was a close fit with our requirements, and we were extremely comfortable with its architecture and deployment model,” says Jacques Retief, global vice president at UTi. “We also saw that they could be a strategic partner for us given their client focus and desire to expand internationally, our need for a solution that would support our expansion into key emerging markets and our desire to replace several legacy warehouse management systems with a single platform.”
Developed in South Africa by a team of supply chain experts, Cquential was designed as a specialist warehouse management system delivered via the cloud. The cloud model means the system can be deployed rapidly, making best-of-breed technology available without high upfront capital costs, a benefit that Retief said UTi found commercially attractive.
Cquential CEO Steve Mallaby added: “We are obviously delighted that an international company of UTi’s stature has chosen to partner with us – initially in key developing markets in Asia – but with the prospect of expanding our relationship to further territories. Skilled labour is both plentiful and affordable in these emerging economies, so the fact that our solution can still deliver value shows the power of both the technology and the cloud model. With Cquential, companies can benefit from top-rate warehouse management software regardless of location.”
Mallaby said Cquential integrated well into the leading enterprise resource planning systems. Thus, aside from improving operational efficiencies within the warehouse environment, it also contributes to enhanced financial and management reporting and planning.
Cquential is deployed in some of South Africa’s leading retail, manufacturing and pharmaceutical enterprises. Mallaby said the business benefits highlighted by these major companies included reduction in the need for manual labour enabling greater staff productivity even where volumes had doubled.
“Clients also report dramatically improved stock accuracy and enhanced customer service with significant reduction in order turnaround times,” he said, adding that UTi’s US and European operations had shown keen interest in implementing the Cquential warehouse management system.
• In October, UTi Worldwide entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Danish transport and logistics company DSV for approximately $1.35bn. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year.
"After careful consideration of our strategic alternatives, we believe this combination appropriately recognises the value of UTi's customer and supplier relationships, while providing holders of our ordinary shares with a meaningful cash premium to the recent stock price,” said Roger MacFarlane, chairman of the UTi board of directors and a co-founder of the company. “This transaction represents an exciting new chapter for UTi."
Kurt Larsen, chairman of DSV, added: "This is a great step for both UTi and DSV. I know that the combined business and workforce will reach new levels together – we will create a stronger company with an expansive footprint in the 3PL space and an exciting value proposition for our customers. We look forward to joining forces and welcoming our new colleagues from UTi to DSV."