JASCI Software, a provider of SaaS warehouse management software (WMS), has acquired NextShift Robotics, an autonomous warehouse robotics company based in Lowell MA. NextShift will be rebranded to JASCI Robotics, and focus on warehousing and logistics applications.
The pandemic has turned the warehouse automation market into a hotbed of activity over the last year. The record increasing in e-commerce and online buying by consumers during the pandemic along with the scarcity of labor has resulted in massive growth and opportunity for robotics in logistics applications. WMS software providers have covered the “top-end” of the automation stack by managing and queuing customer orders. Warehouse automation providers typically manage the “bottom end” of the automation stack by coordinating the picking and packing of customer orders. This acquisition brings together two companies that have no overlap in capabilities, to deliver a solution that that covers the complete warehouse automation stack.
“JASCI is uniquely positioned to help customers reach their goals by offering a complete solution — software and robotics hardware in a single platform – without complex integrations and coding projects. We bring an entirely new way of delivering flexibility, speed, efficiency and accuracy to match the service levels required in today’s commerce,” said Daniel Napoli, CTO/Co- Founder of JASCI Software.
Mary Ellen Sparrow, CEO/Co-founder of NextShift Robotics is a well know robotics expert in Massachusetts, where the robotic evolution is happening. Mary Ellen will be joining the new company as a co-founder and is the co-author of many robotic patents. The NextShift patent portfolio contains 8 robotic patents, with three unique patents and one patent family containing five additional patents.
NextShift innovated the market with a robotic operating system that senses and learns the warehouse environment in real-time. By incorporating LIDAR and cameras, the autonomous robot has pinpoint accuracy in its movements along with a mapping/traffic management system. Hundreds of robots can navigate the warehouse simultaneously with efficiency and safety alongside humans and material handling equipment. JASCI provides the ability to task and orchestrate all of this in real-time leveraging our patented SmartTask workflow technology.
“We are innovating the logistics industry by addressing labor shortages, staff turnover, fulfillment speed, inventory accuracy and even pandemic viruses. The ability to smartly orchestrate people, robotics and material handling automation in real-time from a single platform, eliminates silos of complicated technology that were previously needed,” said Craig Wilensky, CEO & Co-Founder of JASCI Software.
JASCI’s SaaS cloud native architecture leverages ORACLE’s autonomous cloud to provide limitless ability for growth and scaling businesses globally. It provides elasticity, security and reliability, so customers can work 24×7 in all continents. Autonomous robotics on the industry’s autonomous cloud!
“Robotics as a service (RaaS) is on our radar, as it can provide attractive ROI’s and quick payback for companies looking to invest in this technology, without having to commit to a big capital investment,” added Mark Rechan, CFO JASCI Software.
This is an interesting acquisition, as NextShift Robotics has been struggling to keep its head above water for the last couple of years. The company currently lists only 7 employees on LinkedIn, and the last blog post on the corporate blog was in October 2019. NextShift was early to the warehouse automation market, had some early success, but then flatlined. During that same time period, other solution providers like Locus Robotics, inVia and 6 River Systems have grown into market leaders and can barely keep up with customer demand. Although NextShift brings a pile of patents to the new relationship, it hasn’t innovated in either its software stack or hardware for the last 18 months. The fact that JASCI is an experienced software company, with an established sales channel and existing customer base, bodes well for the combined solution. Now the question is: how fast can the newly minted JASCI Robotics pull together the new solution and deliver it to market?