Since righting its ship in 2004 or so, Descartes Systems Group (DSG) has made nearly 20 tuck-in acquisitions to address the needs of multi-modal logistics, global trade, and routing and mobile tracking in the cloud. Painstaking as it is, this is really the only way to master global logistics expertise and deliver solutions that help its customers make and receive shipments.
Logistics is the backbone of commerce. There is still a lot of room for improvement in logistics software in terms of geographies (knowledge of local carrier and freight forwarder landscape), languages, duty and tax regulations, accounting practices, and even industry languages (vernaculars, data interchange standards, etc.) before an ideal single logistics system of record is attained, uniting all trading partners.
Descartes’ acquisitions tend to not only increase its customer base, but also extend its functional footprint and geographic presence. The acquisition of Exentra Transport Solutions Limited, a leading UK-based provider of software-as-a-service (SaaS) driver compliance solutions for the European Union (EU), expands Descartes’ UK truck fleet community and its renowned Routing, Mobile, and Telematics solutions with advanced optimization and integrated real-time solutions.
In the EU, every vehicle weighing more than 3.5 tons is required to have a tachograph, which is a device fitted to a vehicle during its production to automatically record its speed and distance, together with the driver’s driving time and rest time. Exentra’s cloud-based compliance management platform, Smartanalysis, helps customers leverage the data from a vehicle’s tachograph to comply with EU-wide legislation governing driver compliance, such as the EU working-time directive. The EU driver compliance legislation has been in place longer than comparable regulations in North America.
Exentra’s experience strengthens Descartes’ Routing, Mobile and Telematics suite to address the US regulatory environment, while the combined solutions should also have an immediate impact on the quality and safety of route planning for their collective UK customers. Exentra brings thousands of UK routing-centric customers to Descartes’ Logistics Technology Platform, where more than 35,000 trading partners connect and collaborate to improve logistics operations. Descartes’ EU customers should benefit from an enhanced Routing, Mobile, and Telematics suite that integrates compliance and route-planning applications. This integration can help achieve improved and safer delivery route plans and reduce working-time driver violations.
In the UK market Descartes has a history of route-planning success with marquee customers such as John Lewis Partnership (see the customer testimonial) and Wolseley.
Descartes’ acquisitions have several benefits and I am sure the deal will take the organization to great heights. With innumerable benefits for the organization, the deal is indeed the right thing to improve efficiency and improve overall image of the company.