Panasonic Corporation yesterday announced an expanded partnership with US-based Blue Yonder with the goal to accelerate the autonomous supply chain. Harnessing the edge via the Internet of Things (IoT), Blue Yonder’s platform uses machine learning to drive faster, more context-aware business decisions – all to deliver autonomous outcomes.
The two companies will combine resources and work closely with partner companies in Japan to fuel growth by selling Blue Yonder’s Luminate solution, as well as to deliver new jointly-developed solutions on the Blue Yonder Luminate Platform that enhance customers’ capabilities for supply and demand forecasting, inventory and labour optimisation, and streamlining business operations.
“Modern day supply chains face a number of challenges including rapidly shifting demand, hyper-personalisation of consumer needs, labour shortages and operational inefficiencies, so by further developing our relationship with supply chain software specialists Blue Yonder, I believe we will be able to make larger, more transformative contributions to a greater number of customers,” said Yasu Higuchi, representative director of Panasonic Corporation and CEO of Panasonic’s Connected Solutions Company.
He added: “In order to do so, we aim to gain a deeper understanding of Blue Yonder’s advanced global solutions and business model so that we can augment and further elevate our own solutions capability. Through this collaboration, we aim to become a global leading provider of frontline process innovation.”
Girish Rishi, CEO of Blue Yonder, said: “I am excited about this collaboration to realise our joint vision for digital supply chain — where our platform synchronises with Panasonic’s edge offerings to deliver more autonomous, successful business outcomes for retailers, manufacturers and logistics providers. We look forward to working within our joint venture in Japan to deliver tremendous customer value.”
The joint venture in Japan 13 months ago, and with the two companies’ expanded partnership, Panasonic is making is an equity investment in Blue Yonder via a secondary sale of shares values at an enterprise value of US$5.5 billion. Panasonic will have a 20% minority ownership stake and one seat on the Board of Directors of Blue Yonder.
Meanwhile, Kazuhiro Tsuga, CEO of Panasonic Corporation said their investment in Blue Yonder is a vital step in the ongoing business transformation of Panasonic’s Connected Solutions Company. “Until now, the Connected Solutions Company has taken the lead in promoting corporate culture and workstyle reforms, and with this investment we are now delving into transforming our actual business model. Specifically, we will be adding the provision of software, consulting, and services to our traditional business model of selling hardware. This will allow us to support fundamental innovations in the supply chain field — many of which have been highlighted as mission-critical amidst COVID-19 disruptions — and thereby enable us to evolve our solutions to directly address our customers’ challenges. I am certain this is a bold step in the right direction.”
Blue Yonder’s global customers include many of the leading brands in manufacturing, retail and logistics, including Best Buy, BP, Caterpillar, Coca-Cola, DHL, Lowes, Mercedes Benz, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, Unilever, and Walmart. At the core of Blue Yonder’s solutions is its end-to-end Luminate Platform, which delivers seamless digital fulfilment experiences through AI-powered supply/demand planning and execution orchestration.