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C-Suite Interview with Frank Jewell of Datex, Leading the Way in the Material Handling Industry

MODEX 2024 is a leading indicator of good things to come in the material handling and supply chain industries.

MODEX 2024 is a leading indicator of good things to come in the material handling and supply chain industries.

MMH: What is your number one takeaway from MODEX 2024?

Jewell: The record-breaking attendance at MODEX 2024 signaled that the industry is transitioning from being intrigued with technology to one that views technology as essential to remain competitive. We are clearly seeing a shift in mindset to technology as a “must have” rather than a “nice to have.” Robotics and automation are now more commonplace in the warehouse and represent proven tools in reducing operational and labor costs. It’s also clear that companies no longer want to be dependent on a software developer and want the ability to make changes, grow and adapt their businesses independently.

MMH: What are the top three market trends that you’re seeing right now?

Jewell: The first is the continued search for more advanced data analytics and proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). The second is the increased demand for more flexible, scalable software and adoption of advanced technologies including automation and robotics; and a third is the increased acceptance of SaaS-based solutions. Supply chains are more dynamic today, and because of the lessons from disruptions, reducing response time to get goods on shelves and into the hands of consumers has become even more critical. This requires technology that can provide visibility, improve throughput, provide accurate, timely forecasting and keep costs under control. Having the ability to replace human workers with automation and robotics reduces work disruption and provides needed stability while also lowering operating costs.

MMH: How is Datex responding to these market trends?

Jewell: Datex recently debuted the next generation of our warehouse management software called Footprint. This innovative WMS is one of the few developed on a low-code application platform (LCAP), specifically built and hosted on Azure, and Datex is one of the first to leverage this technology in the WMS market. LCAPs can provide users with rapidly tailored experiences; expedite customer and associate onboarding; accelerate revenue generation and by extension, return on investment (ROI). With our platform, customers can seamlessly integrate with third party solutions such as automation and robotics, quickly adjust for changing requirements with our intuitive drag-and-drop workflow engine, and develop applications alongside the WMS. All of that is accomplished without impacting the applications base code, limiting the impact on upgrades. Datex Footprint WMS provides inherent flexibility and advanced capabilities and analytics that helps companies quickly react to disruptions and adapt to changes in their operational processes, ultimately increasing the flexibility and responsiveness of their supply chains.