Mobile apps play into the growth curve at supply chain software firm HighJump
April 6, 2015 11:56 AM
Supply chain management software company HighJump Software Inc. is upgrading its web site to make it mobile-friendly, so that its thousands of global business-to-business customers can call up their warehouse inventory, labor and other data at any time. The new site is also being launched in response to sales growth and a recent merger, says David Houser, senior vice president of international sales.
The company, the result of a merger last year between two rivals—the former HighJump Software and Accellos—is upgrading its web site to better connect with the increase in clients following the merger and to meet the growing demand for mobile apps for managing supply chain and warehouse operations, Houser says. In July 2014, Accel‐KKR, a private equity firm which had a stake in Accellos, acquired the former HighJump Software for an undisclosed sum and merged it with Accellos. The merged company took the HighJump Software name and retained the Accellos brand for its mid-market software products. The new HighJump Software is headed by Michael Cornell, who was the CEO of Accellos before the merger.
HighJump doesn’t publicly state its revenue, but the merger produced a company with revenue of $160 million and 11,000 clients, according to a report on the merger by technology research and advisory firm Gartner Inc. Following the merger, HighJump acquired Atlas Products International Ltd., a provider of supply chain management software
HighJump’s clients include Sears Holdings Corp.; Quality Bicycle Products, a distributor of bicycle parts and accessories to more than 5,000 bicycle dealers; and Etilux, a Brazil-based distributor of consumer products including tools, cosmetics and cutlery.
HighJump has also been expanding abroad. In 2013, it strengthened its position in in Europe with the acquisition of Evenex, a Denmark-based company that provides cloud-based software for integrating electronic data interchange systems, procurement and invoicing systems and financial management software.
HighJump is launching its new web site at the company’s annual Elevate conference April 15 with a focus on mobile, addressing what it says are the digital preferences of a younger generation of clients who don’t want to deal with paper and expect to be able to manage their warehouses even when not sitting in front of a desktop computer. Warehouse managers can sign in to the software's mobile application store at HighJump.com and download up to 12 supply chain management mobile applications, such as inventory threshold management, labor utilization and product trace and tractability.
“In the warehouse, executives want to be able to approve shipments, and proactively be alerted when inventory reaches a certain threshold,” Houser says. “They want to be alerted proactively that there’s something on its way. They can do much more of their business on their iPhone or on their Android, whereas before all business was done behind a computer or ream of paper. We’re making them more mobile.”
Warehouse managers in China, for example, can use the “Labor” mobile app to assign extra staff in anticipation of the big sales on days such as Singles’ Day on Nov. 11, an online shopping holiday in China.
Logistics firms will also be able to use HighJump mobile apps to stay abreast of government regulations and requirements related to the movement of goods, Houser says. 80% of HighJump’s clients are multinational third-party logistics, or 3PL, firms, Houser says, companies that store and move goods on behalf of clients. For example, the app can be ensured that no oil-based products are stored or transported above food products, adhering to a U.S. government regulation.
HighJump is using HTML5, a version of the foundational programming language of the web designed to incorporate features geared to mobile devices.
The website acts as a marketing tool for HighJump sales reps, which handle all of the company’s sales.
In order to optimize the site for Internet search results, the new site will employ search engine optimization terms, or the words and phrases people commonly use to search for HighJump services online, such as “warehouse,” “supply chain” and “electronic data interchange.”
In the future, HighJump is testing Google Glass, the latest mobile device from Google Inc., to its warehouse services to make products more visible throughout the supply chain. Worn like eyewear, Google Glass is a wearable computer that can run apps, record video, take pictures, share those images online and search the Internet. Houser is intrigued by the technology, but declined to disclose exactly how HighJump will use the glasses to improve transparency within the supply chain.
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