Savoye- Peter de Henau: "Innovation is more than just technology alone"
Savoye is one of the eighteen Innovation Partners of Log!Ville. The company specialises in automated supply chain intralogistics systems and software with a broad focus on order picking, an activity that has been gaining in technological pace in recent years. Peter de Henau, CEO of Savoye Benelux, explains how the company capitalised on that trend and how innovation plays a key role.
How would you describe Savoye?
Savoye is headquartered in Dijon and is an international creator and integrator of tailormade logistical solutions. We cover the entire supply chain, from manual to robotised installations and including mechanised solutions. We also create software for order management, transport management and warehouse management. We have production sites and offices in France, the United States, China, the Benelux region, Italy and, since recently, in the United Arab Emirates.
Around two years back, Savoye devised a new strategy that focuses on the full-service approach, and it was decided to continue growing under a single brand name and to create a greater local presence.
What did that mean for this region?
Savoye has been active in the Benelux region for many years, but now there is a dedicated site in Breda that offers a wide range of services and support, including consultancy, sales, system design, project building and customer services.
Which industries do you primarily aim at?
Our principal target is the industries that perform a great deal of order picking – pharmaceuticals, spare parts, ecommerce, nutrition, FMCG and others. In reality, we devote ourselves to all industries where storage and order picking are combined.
What are your main products?
The core of what we offer is systems for order picking, whether person-to-goods (P2G) or goods-to-person (G2P), and related products and systems. That includes conveyors, ergonomic picking stations, robot item picking, shuttle systems, mini-loads and now also autonomous mobile robots such as the Haipick and Fleexee.
For pallet storage and handling we offer 3D shuttle systems such as the Magmatic and Atlas 2D, and we also integrate the more traditional ASRS systems and layer or case picking robot systems. And, of course, all the integrated systems are controlled using our own WCS and WMS software.
Another one of our stars is the Jivaro, which was the first available packing machine that could reduce the height of cardboard boxes so that less unoccupied space was being transported – an improvement in terms of both the environment and shipping costs.
Innovation is exceptionally important in what you do. How does Savoye approach it?
We have a twofold approach. On the one hand, we believe 'incremental' innovation is crucial, such as R&D to improve our own products, while on the other we also focus on 'disruptive' innovation, such as robots. The latter is often done together with specialists in a given product, with our partnership with Hai Robotics for the Haipick serving as a good example.
Our twofold approach is prompted in part by the fact that logistics-related technology is advancing at breakneck speed, a dynamism that makes it difficult for clients to make the right choices. That is why a factor such as scalability – being able to grow as storage capacity or throughput grows – is becoming so important. We are also dealing with innovative solutions and services or business models, such as robots-as-a-service (RaaS). While the technology will always be at the foundation, much innovation is also found in how one makes optimal use of that technology.
What role can Log!Ville play in this respect?
We consider Log!Ville to be an excellent location for disseminating such innovation. In the past few years Savoye has launched five new innovative concepts on the market and one of them – the Haipick – is now set up in the demonstration centre. This is a form of what I refer to as consultative marketing. At a trade fair I'll only exhibit my own products, but here I can make clients more aware of the need for innovation, because Log!Ville is a much wider platform with multiple parties aboard. And so I can give clients a much broader picture here. Meanwhile, we also receive more market input in this environment, and joint ventures can arise through contact with other suppliers that could lead to co-creation. In that sense, I consider Log!Ville to be a market accelerator for innovative solutions.