Bringing an Independent Systems Integrator to the European Market

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Companies are excited for a new systems integrator in the European market

European Flags

Why is there excitement around a new systems integrator entering an already competitive European market? The simple answer lies in the need to provide material handling systems that precisely fit each company’s needs.

As you may have heard through various press releases, Bastian Solutions is expanding its operations to Europe. This is such an important milestone for our company as well as the European market; let me tell you why.

Europe is a thrilling market space. It is one of the most automated spaces in the planet, and as a region, it has the largest Gross Domestic Product in the world. With a large population that possesses a more-than-comfortable purchasing power, it creates a space where goods must move a lot; making automated solutions in both production and distribution a necessity. On the other hand, being a mature market, Europe only has moderate growth in automation year over year.

Bastian Solutions has a strong interest in servicing this region with local offices, but we know that our message requires a clear value proposition that will allow us to grow strongly and rapidly to become the reference solutions integrator in Europe. And we are confident we have the key factors to do just that.

The Independent System Integrator Model

Bastian Solutions will bring independence to Europe which is greatly needed.  In the European integrator model, companies are typically limited to technologies which they internally manufacture. On the other side of the Atlantic, there is a different model where integrators don’t focus as much on the production of technology, but rather on the integration of it, optimizing relationships with strategic partners that can fabricate just the right components, designed uniquely for the client that has this need.

With the above in mind, Bastian Solutions has recognized the need of a large independent systems integrator in Europe. The material handling industry has changed drastically in recent years because the business space of our clients, in the vast majority of industries, has dramatically changed. The order profiles, times to market, inventory variation and seasonality, etc…has made it so that each distribution center needs a very unique material handling solution.

Take for instance goods-to-person technologies. A little over a decade ago, the closest technology to goods to person would be a miniload ASRS. Today, small differences in order profiles or inventory rotation require specific throughputs, SKU selectivity and storage density, which gave way for an array of technologies to fill in the gaps and specialize in a specific range of requirements. Autostore, Perfect Pick, and various other shuttles are all technology responses to this specific need. These technologies aren’t exactly in competition with each other (although, they may be at times in particular projects), but rather dominate a certain set of requirements and operational profiles. Herein lies the value of a true independent integrator: complete objectivity to propose, supply and integrate a system that fits like a glove.

Unit sortation would be another area in which I see Bastian Solutions will be clearly differentiated in the European market. To offer flexibility, it is important to provide a deep bench of technologies when it comes to sortation, because different industries and applications will require significantly different technologies. By developing our own sorters and having strategic partnerships with other sorter manufacturers like Hytrol, Beumer, Optimus, etc., we enable our clients’ access to the right solution. Among others, this may be shoe sorters, tilt tray or cross belt sorter, tray pushers, narrow belt sorters, and slat sorters to name a few.

Independent Supply Chain Consulting

Lastly, I consider our consulting group at Bastian Solutions as a key piece in the turnkey solution we provide. Our consulting contracts need to be both solution oriented (solve a problem or improve processes) and focused on the transfer of knowledge, from the consultant to the end user. In order to do this, a purely academic consulting approach does not suffice, and it is important to bring to the table expertise in the industry. Knowing not only the data that drives a design, but also knowing the “soft” requirements–those requirements only gained and understood through experience in implementing and supporting operations. This could be actual knowledge from years in the field learning which technology is easier and cheaper to install and which is easier and cheaper to maintain or support down the line.

Our consulting team has deployed solutions in almost every continent, making sure they look at a problem objectively when the time comes to recommend a specific automated solution or process. By having the right technologies as part of your solution, not only will a system operate more efficiently, but most times, will be more cost competitive.

Bastian Solutions has 64 years of experience integrating a vast number of technologies, some developed internally, some working with our partners across the world. We have been operating implementing solutions in Europe for years, but now with local offices in Europe (UK and Spain), we will be better equipped to not only support our existing clientele, but also be able to respond quickly to new client requests.

I would be more than happy to personally talk to you about our expansion, and how Bastian Solutions could serve you in the European market. Please contact me at: [email protected].

Guillermo Albaladejo is International Business Director at Bastian Solutions, overseeing the company's Latin American and European offices.

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