Davanti: small name, big player
Asset In-house Day Davanti: a participant’s review of the day
Due to my board year at Asset | Strategy & Logistics I was well aware of the Asset In-house Days in advance to the actual deadline of subscription. However, honestly spoken, I did not consider Davanti a real possibility to spend my day. Why? I don’t know. The name is maybe not familiar enough, it is not one of the big names that usually are associated with supply chain companies; therefore, I did not view it as a relevant way to spend my day. I could not have been more wrong.
When we started to promote this day to all the students of Supply Chain Management at Tilburg University, I decided it was time to fully investigate what Davanti was and what it does, in order to give a full picture to possible participants. During this investigation I found that, although Davanti is (for me) a relatively unfamiliar name, it is a big player in warehouse management systems. Davanti even designed their own two warehouse management systems, which are used in Europe, America, and Australia. To stay in film terms, it was a case of ‘you had my attention, now you have my curiosity’, I decided to weigh the odds and subscribe myself for this day, way too close to the deadline but still on time.
I went in with fairly neutral expectations. Not knowing exactly what Davanti does, I did have a small clue but not enough to form a real expectation of the day. Davanti was extremely hospitable. Since it is an in-house day, we went to the offices in Zaltbommel. However, being students and coming from Tilburg there was no transportation from the train station to the offices. Luckily Davanti was nice enough to offer rides to the offices, making our trip considerably more comfortable.
Once the group arrived at Davanti it was time for a nicely prepared lunch and some small talk with the employees. Looking around the lunch area it already showed that this was a close team, everybody came out of their own offices to have a common lunch, talk and laugh with each other. Seeing this, and Davanti’s willingness to help was pleasantly surprising. After the lunch had been eaten, and the coffees made it was time for a general introduction about the company.
The reason why
During this introduction we learned that Davanti has two mayor warehouse management systems, Corax and MLS. Although the systems are the same in essence, they are managing warehouses, the differences are substantial. Where MLS is the high-end solution, uses their own servers, and can be personsalized infinitely, Corax is the online solution. Corax can be used via internet on any device, is less adaptable to specific customer needs, however it is very user friendly. We got the opportunity to get a taste of both of these systems during two case rounds.
The first introduction was to Corax, and can definitely be considered interesting. Although the system is user friendly, we ran into some problems like the handheld device jamming multiple times. Corax is truly user friendly however it required a bit more explanation than was given during the case rounds. There was no time for a thorough explanation, however, and with three full-time Davanti employees present at the case rounds, they did everything they could. Nevertheless, it was a fun and different way to get to know the company and their product.
The second case round revolved around their MLS system, which is more susceptible to specific customer wishes than Corax. This case started with an explanation about this system, and a real-life example. Under our noses a working warehouse was presented. We could watch what this system was doing in a warehouse in Germany! We could actually see the pallets moving while sitting in an office in Zaltbommel. After this presentation, it was time to start a workout for our brains once again. We needed to come up with key performance indicators of the mother company of Davanti, Newcold. This case was slightly shorter than the Corax case, so after presenting the key performance indicators we had enough time for the informal network drink.
Outlook on life
Looking back, I do not know why I waited so long to subscribe. Davanti is a good-natured company, with a supply chain and information management outlook on life. The day was very nicely arranged with just enough presentations, good time management, getting to know their products, and friendly faces. Apart from the small frustration concerning the jamming handheld device, the day had a very positive feeling over all. The network drink ended with Davanti driving us to the train station again, a nice goodie bag and, for me, a changed view of this company. Davanti truly presented themselve as a big player.