TEC/PJ: As for your recent "Kronos for Logistics" announcement, I suspect that the likes of RedPrairie, Manhattan Associates, HighJump, and Infor don’t feel Kronos is a real threat in the logistics side of their business for several reasons. What is your take in that regard?
Kronos: We have over 1,000 customers in pure logistics such as Southwest Airlines, NFI, Kuehne Nagle, Con-Way, Pepsi Americas, and strong presence in the retail distribution side as well, for example, Staples, Roundy’s and Hannaford’s.
As you may have seen, last year as a company we made a strategic decision to increase our vertical focus and investment. As such, we are building on our existing success in the industry with increased investment and additional focus on tailoring our application and services to satisfy the special needs of Logistics providers. In short we feel good about what we have to offer today and are very excited about the success our customers have achieved with Kronos already, and our plans for the future.
TEC/PJ: First and foremost, the abovementioned competitors claim that they rarely see calls for standalone WFM. Everyone is looking for WFM tightly integrated with warehouse management system (WMS), which you currently do not offer and have no experience with.
Kronos: WFM is a mission-critical, high value class of software. Kronos is seeing a good business for standalone WFM and is in discussions with prospects and customers determining how to extend the value of WFM.
We have seen, among other things, the desire to tightly integrate WFM and WMS data and in fact we have built and deployed a unique solution – Distribution Center Monitor – that does just that. Distribution Center Monitor is currently in use in the market giving real-time visibility into labor allocation and analyzing it against order status so that users can hit delivery deadlines and timeframes while increasing labor productivity. We connect the “people part” with the flow of goods in the warehouse, taking into account absenteeism and real-time performance.
TEC/PJ: How about their claims that Kronos has no street credibility in Logistics?
Kronos: We have a strong reputation with our over 1,000 customers in the Logistics space. We are visiting and listening to these customers with a goal of improving awareness in the Logistics industry. If we continue to listen and deliver value, hopefully we will continue to earn the respect and trust of the market.
TEC/PJ: Last but not least, you don’t have major industrial engineering capabilities for designing preferred work methods or establishing engineered labor standards in warehouses – and that is where the real value lies.
Kronos: We have extensive industrial engineering capabilities and have been in the business of helping customers establish labor standards for years both in the retail and the distribution space. We are currently exploring the idea of expanding our services practice in this area for the expressed purpose of assisting our Logistics customers with their industrial engineering needs.
TEC/PJ: What do you generally say to all these assertions? I am sure you have had similar first reactions when you tried to tackle other industries (mfg., retail, healthcare, etc.) and how did you overcome the obstacles in those sectors?
Kronos: Kronos focuses on what we can control and improve. The approach to tackling an industry is actually fairly straightforward: invest in domain expertise, listen carefully to what customers are saying, tailor (don’t customize) services and products to meet the special needs of the industry, focus on making customers successful, document the success, and repeat all the previous steps. The bottom line is that if Kronos can solve important business problems such as Controlling Labor Cost, Minimizing Compliance Risk, and Improving Workforce Productivity better than anybody else – Kronos wins and more importantly, the customers win.