Keeping customers at the heart of supply chain management solutions, HighJump’s CEO paves the way to tomorrow’s fulfillment with new technology and resources
Some came to see what’s next in supply chain technology. Others came for networking and swapping ideas with old friends over a cold one. Most of all, people came to the HighJump Elevate conference to solve a problem. From March 3-6, over 800 people from 25 countries joined HighJump in San Antonio to find answers to their supply chain challenges and to push their operations over the top. And with HighJump waving its message of “Future Forward, Together” high and clear throughout the event, they came to the right place.
Elevate kicked off with a keynote from HighJump CEO Chad Collins. Setting the table, Collins announced over 100 sessions spanning 10 learning tracks and also provided his vision for the HighJump customer base—emphasizing innovation and empowering progress for their respective businesses through smarter, more profitable supply chain operations.
Doing the Right Thing for Customers
Collins touched on many topics that would become the focus of the educational sessions held throughout the conference. His message was clear:
- HighJump is re-investing resources from a record-setting 2018 to better serve customers and end users of every solution in the supply chain execution company’s portfolio
- Several partnerships and acquisitions are strengthening HighJump as a platform, widening the HighJump portfolio and building upon industry-leading expertise in supply chain management software—all to the benefit of customers
- With new technologies come new opportunities for customers to meet operational needs today and get ahead of tomorrow’s challenges.
“One of the core values we have at HighJump is ‘Do the right thing,’” said Collins. “And often this means to do the right thing for the customer. It’s my responsibility to put in place the right processes, technologies and tools to do the right thing for our customers.”
In addition to new technologies (more on that later), Collins highlighted several areas of focus that will further empower customers to leverage their solutions. For example, HighJump created dedicated support teams for cloud operations and general customer support. “With the growth of our cloud business, and the increasing requirements around security and compliance, we felt we needed a dedicated team to focus on the cloud operations while preserving the world-class support we’ve provided over the years,” said Collins.
Support is critical, but HighJump is all about flexibility and empowering end-users to own and optimize their operations. So, the newly revamped Enablement Program offers classroom training, e-learning modules, documentation and knowledgebases that provide DIY resources and best practices to help identify strategic opportunities to optimize operations.
HighJump’s Vision for the Supply Chain of the Future
Now for the juicy parts. It wouldn’t be a supply chain technology conference without loads of new tech, and Collins delivered six technology announcements that will drive innovation for years to come:
Throughout the day, Collins emphasized the power and importance of cloud-based solutions for the future of supply chain. That’s where HighJump™ Now comes into play. “It’s clear there’s a market preference for cloud,” said Collins as he recited several statistics and forecasts lauding the adopting of cloud from major analyst firms such as Gartner, IDC and ARC. “Some of the emerging technologies around big data and artificial intelligence require massive amounts of computing power. When you’re an on-premise customer, there’s challenges getting access to that computing power. If you’re already running in the cloud you have access to that power on-demand.”
Topping 1,000 customers using HighJump’s cloud solution, over 70% of new customers have opted for cloud-based supply chain solutions since 2018. Collins attributes this swing in part to HighJump’s ability to offer the same system flexibility of the on-premise solution in a cloud-based environment. Another major factor is HighJump’s recent partnership with Oracle Cloud. Oracle as a partner offers a backbone built for tomorrow’s supply chain. Beyond the GDPR and SOC compliance announcements made, other highlights include:
- Best-in-class disaster recovery to mitigate data loss
- Achieved 99.7% uptime (including scheduled maintenance)
- Highest compute performance and SLAs
Voice technology is a great companion, helping warehouse teams execute on data delivered from the WMS. With tighter integration and deeper functionality, this bond is only getting stronger. has been a big part of HighJump’s portfolio for years. “With voice technology from the Körber family, we’re able to bring in new software capabilities such as screen-to-voice, VoiceMan Warehouse Execution System, deeper integrations into our WMS, and the ability to run voice applications on the Android platform.”
Network Design Optimization
Through sister company Cirrus Logistics, HighJump now offers strategic capabilities to assess optimal locations for distributions centers. Factoring critical components such as transportation cost, order volumes by region, manufacturing capabilities to find the best cost-to-value solution.
Once again capitalizing on the possibilities as part of Körber, HighJump is bringing warehouse simulation technology from sister company Cirrus Logistics to customers. Dubbed HighJump CLASS, this solution allows businesses to model warehouse design, workflows, and processes by running simulations before going live. In a demo of CLASS, Collins noted the advantages of this technology. “If you’re going to configure the layout of your warehouse differently; if you’re introducing material handling equipment; if your product characteristics are changing; if travel paths are changing, you can simulate these scenarios,” Collins noted. This ability to measure twice, cut once will allow supply chains to be more strategic and optimize up-front rather than disrupting operations to implement changes.
Automation and Warehouse Control System
With the hefty investments behind warehouse automation, it’s critical to put the right systems in place to optimize the robotics and fixed hardware that require immediate and big returns on those capital investments. “It’s clear that with pressures on labor and advances in technology around automation and robotics, warehouses are only going to get more automated. And key to controlling automation is the warehouse control system,” said Collins.
He went on to describe HighJump™ Warehouse Control System (WCS) as the technology layer between material handling equipment (MHE) and the warehouse management system (WMS). WCS fits hand-and-glove with the hardware and WMS, optimizing material flow (and re-routing when necessary) while increasing order visibility from pick to pack to ship processes. The WCS from HighJump is an agnostic system, meaning that no matter what hardware is bolted down or rolling throughout the warehouse, the WCS can relay data from the WMS to the MHE and vice versa. It’s a single layer of tech that brings together the WMS and hardware.
It’s fitting that Collins’s last technology announcement focused on HighJump’s core philosophy for its solutions: flexibility and adaptability. When end-users not only have a robust platform, but also the ability to own process changes within the tools, technology doesn’t just solve problems…it enables efficiencies and future-proofing for challenges to come.
The HighJump™ Solution Designer brings core tools such as Advantage Architect and Page Editor together in a single environment, allowing end-users to more easily craft workflows and processes that fit their operations.
“Not only does it bring together these capabilities, but for years I’ve heard ‘Why can’t we write freeform scripting in the tool?,’” said Collins. “Solution Designer also brings in access to our software development kit so if you need to do advanced things to adapt and configure solutions you can.”
Just the beginning...
You know what they say: “Give a person a fish and he’s fed for a day; teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
HighJump believes that with the right tools, training, and support each customer can achieve higher levels of efficiency, productivity and profitability while having everything they need to pivot when new challenges surface. “With our unique ownership structure with Körber, we can have a long-term view on our strategy; make the right investments, and have the right focus on customer relationships,” said Collins. If Elevate was any indication, the supply chain of the future is looking brighter than ever.