Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Looking behind the Intermec Vocollect acquisition

The acquisition will strengthen Intermec's portfolio of warehouse solutions
By Bob Trebilcock, Editor at Large
January 20, 2011

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on the web site of LM’s sister publication, Modern Materials Handling.

What happens when you combine the #1 provider of voice recognition solutions with the #3 provider of automatic data capture solutions? That’s a question Intermec and Vocollect will begin to answer over the coming months and years.

Earlier this week, Intermec announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Vocollect for $190 million in cash.

Intermec was #3 on Modern’s 2010 list of the Top 20 suppliers of automatic data capture solutions, while Vocollect was #14. Intermec has not announced its complete 2010 results just yet, but based on estimates, the combined companies will have in excess of $795 million in revenue for 2010 – enough to give Zebra Technologies a run for the #2 spot behind Motorola.

In the press release, Intermec laid out some of the rationale for the combined companies:
• The transaction will expand Intermec’s product and application offerings in the warehouse space …..
• It also establishes Intermec as a player in the fast growing area of voice in industrial applications …..
• Finally, both Intermec and Vocollect gain access to expanded market channels, customer bases and partner networks.

Earl Thompson, Intermec’s senior vice president of mobile business solutions, expanded on the press release. The acquisition, he said, will further Intermec’s corporate strategy to be a much stronger player in the warehouse. He also believes there are real opportunities for voice to expand, both geographically into new territories and markets, and in how the technology is applied. “Clearly, there’s an adoption opportunity for voice in emerging markets in Latin America and Asia,” he said. “But we also think North America is an under-penetrated market. Voice is only in 10 to 15% of facilities and it’s mostly focused on picking applications. We think voice is still an early and disruptive technology that can be applied to more workflows beyond picking.”

The acquisition also suggests that voice may be ready to evolve from a point solution – one that is installed by the voice solution provider – to a larger, integrated data collection solution that integrates with other modes of data collection, said David Krebs, director of the mobile and wireless practice at VDC Research: “We think there a lot of greenfield opportunities for voice as we enter this emerging wave of multi-modal applications that combine voice with other technologies.”
Krebs added that he will be watching to see how Intermec’s ADC competitors respond.

“The acquisition strengthens Intermec’s warehouse portfolio,” he said. “If they can integrate Vocollect into their portfolio, it will be interesting to see how Motorola, LXE and Psion respond. They all compete indirectly against Vocollect and now they’ll be competing directly against Intermec as well.”

For now, Vocollect solutions will be offered by Intermec; but, Vocollect will continue to go to market with proprietary hardware and software solutions that are available to end users that may have someone else’s hardware in place for bar code scanning and mobile computing. “At this point, there’s no reason to change that go-to-market strategy,” said Thompson.

Intermec to acquire Vocollect
Vocollect will broaden Intermec’s applications and solution offerings in the warehouse workflow and help to establish a leading position in software-oriented solutions.

About the Author

image
Bob Trebilcock
Editor at Large

Bob Trebilcock, executive editor, has covered materials handling, technology and supply chain topics for Modern Materials Handling since 1984. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484 and .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

In the third-party logistics (3PL) sector, the ongoing trend of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity never seems to take a break. That is apparent in recent weeks alone, with XPO Logistics recent acquisition of Norbert Dentressangle for $3.53 billion, Echo Global Logistics scooping up Command Transportation for $420 million, and Kuehne+Nagel buying ReTrans for an undisclosed sum.

During this webcast attendees will learn about technology that is delivering real-time tracking on freight and putting an end to the all too common question of “Where’s My Brokered Load?”. Whether you’re a broker, 3PL, shipper, or carrier, find out how you can gain automated, TMS-integrated visibility on all your shipments.

FedEx recently took another step in its plans to acquire Netherlands-based TNT-NV and a provider of mail and courier services and the fourth largest global parcel operator for $4.8 billion, which it announced in early April. The company said it has “submitted the required filing to the European Commission to obtain regulatory clearance in connection with the intended recommended public cash offer all issued and outstanding ordinary shares in the capital of TNT Express.”

The American Trucking Associations last week praised Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) for her bill that takes some positive steps towards alleviating the current environment regarding the truck driver shortage.

Global third-party logistics (3PL) services provider Kuehne+Nagel (KN) said this week it has entered into an agreement to acquire ReTrans Inc., a Memphis-based provider of multimodal transportation services.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA