"We have nothing but opportunities ahead"

As John Baysore slips on his beloved ice skates, his business is not far from his thoughts. "I love this sport. It's fast-moving, it's competitive and it’s collaborative. You need your teammates in order to win. And it represents a good parallel with what we do here at Dematic," says John Baysore, CEO of Dematic and President of the Supply Chain Solutions operating unit.

On this cold morning at the Patterson Ice Arena in south-east Grand Rapids, Baysore is waiting behind the barrier for his cue, his eyes fixed on his fellow players. It is 6 am but he shows no signs of tiredness, far from it. With a brisk movement, he leaps onto the ice in his red jersey and throws himself into the game. It was only in 2003, at the age of 44, that Baysore, an engineer turned executive by profession, took up ice hockey.

"Our corporate culture is defined by people who love to win."


John Baysore

CEO of Dematic and President of the Supply Chain Solutions operating unit

His competitive spirit is clear to see. "Our corporate culture is defined by people who love to win," he says. "The things that make Dematic special are its culture, and also the market that we serve. It is extremely exciting, competitive and it is growing."

That is indeed the case. Between 2010 and 2015, the company – which is among the top 3 supply chain solution companies in the industry – has seen its revenues rise on average by 12.3 per cent a year. This has partly been fuelled by the boom in e-commerce, which has resulted in the emergence of new high-tech warehouses everywhere. Shorter and shorter delivery times are expected for online orders and, in some places, the goods are even delivered the same day. This is only possible if a huge amount of digital technology is integrated into logistics operations.

Change has always been a part of our DNA at Dematic

"Our software platform, which we call Dematic iQ, is at the centre of our business," John Baysore explains. "We provide a comprehensive software portfolio. And as we offer more intelligent systems, we will reduce the use of hardware, and create a solution that is more competitive and more profitable for the customer. This will ultimately increase our growth as well."

Baysore has proven that his formulas work. Heading up Dematic's North American business, he has seen order intake spiral up from $300 million to $1.4 billion. His approach is all about aligning the needs of customers with the skills of his workforce and the requirements of the supply chain. "We work together as a team because we achieve much more that way. We want to win, and the desire to come out on top can be felt throughout the organisation. If all our energy is focused on the customer, then we are going to win."

"Whether it’s technology, whether it’s our customer focus – it doesn't matter what aspect of the business we are talking about – we are always on the path of continuous improvement."


John Baysore

CEO of Dematic and President of the Supply Chain Solutions operating unit

John Baysore believes that only good can come of change – and that includes having KION as the new home of Dematic. "Change has always been a part of our DNA at Dematic," he says with conviction. "Whether it’s technology, whether it’s our customer focus – it doesn't matter what aspect of the business we are talking about – we are always on the path of continuous improvement.” He believes that this applies equally to the company's new owners, the KION Group. "This is a positive change that will allow us to help each other improve performance."

When looking at the respective geographical strengths of the companies, this is certainly the case. "KION is number one in Europe and China, and Dematic is number one in North America. We will get to know each other's customers, combine our strengths, and increase the growth in both our markets by presenting a total comprehensive solution."

By his own admission, John Baysore is just as comfortable in his own market – the market for supply chain solutions – as he is on the ice. "It's a vibrant market that is showing double-digit growth and exceeding the rate of growth in the global economy. Seeing the business develop is exciting and it gives me and everyone in the company a real buzz," he says. "We have nothing but opportunities ahead, and the only question is how we rise to the challenges and meet the needs of our customers. If we do that, the growth will follow." Of that he is certain.

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