Technology

First Line Software, the long-term partner of viastore Software, has great ambitions for its WMS and wider automation services in the UK and beyond in 2021.

Firmly established German intralogistics and material flow specialist viastore is to show a stronger focus on the UK in 2021, led by its long-term partner First Line Software, which represents viastore in the UK (as well as in the fast-growing markets of the Netherlands and Sweden).

Viastore is a big player in the warehouse automation space. It has completed intralogistics projects in 35 countries and over 3000 warehouses and DCs. It packs a powerful punch with its automation heritage, which includes equipment provision as specified with and for the customer, all spearheaded by its viadat WMS software. First Line Software represents the company fully both in the UK and the other significant territories of the Netherlands and Sweden.

Founded in 2009, First Line is a global operation. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and with a European HQ in The Hague, the company now boasts over 700 technical experts geared to software excellence. “Our core competence is in the networking, digitization and automation of material flows in logistics and industrial production” says Andrey Kazachkov, the company’s Head of Warehouse automation.

The WMS offers advantages to all warehouse stakeholders, according to Markus Mullerschoen, VP Sales of viastore Software. “To start with, we have one of the best user interfaces on the market. It is so intuitive to use on all devices,” he enthuses. “If you know how to use a smartphone, you will easily adapt to the viadat interface.”

He says it is easy to use and be trained in while for managers there is system-guided support of planning and decision making. “Important information is displayed automatically and context-specifically according to the push principle,” he adds. “There is freely configurable dashboard using widgets, monitoring of performance, occupancy and material flow data and processes. Meanwhile, end-to-end traceability, optimal utilisation of warehouse resources, Increased process reliability and productivity in warehouse and distribution are all enabled by the software.”

The functionalities listed would be enough on their own to transform any sagging warehouse operation, but viadat’s versatility to adapt to existing warehouse operations is another plus.

“We have adopted a well-supported scalability to handle manual warehouses as well as automated warehouses. We can integrate to each kind of automation, to conveyors, cranes - either our own viastore production or by third parties - shuttles, sorting lines, picking stations whatever else. So it is also a very strong point of the viadat that we have so much functionality to control warehouse automation systems,” he adds.

After-sales is another key USP for viastore and First Line Software. Andrey Kazachkov, Head of Warehouse Automation for the latter, describes the capability the partners can provide to its clients: “We have a hotline service 24 hours and seven days a week staffed only professionals, so it is not an ordinary call centre,” he points out. “Our service team is a group of professionals sitting behind the phone and PC providing services in six languages - English, German, French, Russian, and Portuguese. This is a normally online connection to the site and can help immediately if there is some fault or some error that appeared in the system. Additionally, we have after-sale services, of course, that means that if a customer bought software from us, they still would have a contact partner after finishing a project. They even have contact with a consultant where they can ask the questions directly. And if customer needs some changes or some improvements to the software, a consultant can help. As well as the after-sales services for software, we have a more comprehensive range of after-sales services connected with the automated warehouses. So here we have technicians and maintenance people ready to help.”.

The viastore team has enjoyed a partnership of over 15 years and over 40 projects with First Line, a relationship with considerable trust. “It means that they have the status to sell our solutions independently under their name and provide the full scope of services,” says viastore’s Mullerschoen. “That means they can start with the functional specification, go on with the customising, coding, onsite installation and commissioning, and Go-live.”

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