WhereNet, the leader of wireless solutions for tracking and managing enterprise assets, announced today that it significantly expanded its European market presence in 2005 as major automakers, retailers, and transportation and logistics providers installed the standards-based WhereNet active RFID, real-time locating system (RTLS) technology to reduce operational costs and inventory while increasing throughput and productivity.
WhereNet has nearly 30 installations in more than 10 European countries. The more notable WhereNet European installations and expansions for 2005 include:
BMW – Already installed at BMW plants in Dingolfing, Munich, and Regensburg, Germany, the WhereNet vehicle location system went live in 2005 at additional BMW plants in Leipzig, Germany, and Rosslyn, South Africa; and at the MINI plant in Oxford, England. The MINI plant also leveraged the same hardware infrastructure to deploy an application of WhereNet technology for inline vehicle tracking on the assembly line.
Broekman Group – In what will be the world’s largest active RFID/RTLS installation, the Broekman Group is deploying WhereNet technology at a 750,000+ square-meter automotive logistics terminal at the Port of Rotterdam. Spanning the Rotterdam Car Terminal and Rotterdam Car Center, both part of the Broekman Group’s automotive division, the WhereNet wireless tracking system will precisely locate any one of 40,000 vehicles parked in the facility at a given time.
Land Rover – Expanding on the WhereNet wireless parts replenishment system that it implemented in 2001, in 2005 Land Rover added a WhereNet Vehicle Tracking and Management System to further enhance operations at its Solihull, West Midlands, United Kingdom factory.
Tchibo – This large international retailer originally installed a WhereNet RTLS and wireless local area network in 2004. To keep up with its continued growth, last year Tchibo expanded its system to support a second tower at BLG Logistics’ 120,000-meter facility in Bremen, Germany — the largest and most modern logistics hub in Europe. As the exclusive user of this state-of-the-art facility, Tchibo relies on the WhereNet system to expedite the throughput of more than 6000 pallets of consumer goods every day and ensure that the right pallet is delivered to the right dock door at the right time. “It takes both industry knowledge and technology expertise for RFID vendors to rise above the noise and land customers, and WhereNet is following this recipe both in the U.S. and Europe,” said Warren Wilson, practice director for Summit Strategies Inc. “RFID is still a relatively nascent market, so vendors must paint a very clear picture for prospects, identifying specific processes and pain points in the customer’s environment — from an RF-intensive automotive factory to a spacious marine terminal — where RFID-based solutions can provide tangible business benefits with a return on investment measured in months, not years.”
“The greatest validation of our company and technology comes when customers begin replicating our solutions across multiple sites and leveraging our RTLS architecture for additional applications,” said Egon Guilliams, EMEA director of professional services for WhereNet. “As evidenced by our strong growth in 2005, Europe continues to be a very strong market for WhereNet. Through productivity enhancements and inventory reductions, our technology consistently delivers a complete return on investment in 6-12 months while simultaneously offering our customers increased revenue opportunities.”
To keep up with its significant growth in Europe, WhereNet is also expanding its offices and adding more executives, having recently hired Florian Erber as director of sales and business development, for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).
Having joined WhereNet in January 2006, Erber is responsible for managing WhereNet’s European and Middle-Eastern sales and business development activities. Erber initially became acquainted with WhereNet in 2002 when he worked as a sales and marketing consultant for the company.
Prior to joining WhereNet Europe, Mr. Erber spent six years as an investment manager for Wellington Partners, a leading European venture capital firm, where he was responsible for investments in the technology and infrastructure areas. Mr. Erber has also worked as a consultant for Oracle GmbH and engaged in I.T. consulting projects for other German companies, including Siemens.
Mr. Erber holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering and information technology from the Technical University of Munich and a post-graduate degree in economics and Business management from the University of Munich and the University of California at Berkeley.
WhereNet is the first company to deliver a single wireless location and communication infrastructure that reliably and cost-effectively manages valuable mobile resources and delivers a complete return on investment within 6-12 months. Based on patented, standards-compliant technology resulting from a collective 100+ years of development, the WhereNet active RFID, real-time locating system solutions enable companies such as BMW, Ford Motor Company, and NYK Logistics to reduce inventory, lower operating costs, and improve operations. The company has received the Henry Ford Technology Award; was recognized for strong ROI by Computerworld; was ranked among the top 10 in the InfoWorld 100; and has been recognized as a wireless innovator by Forrester Research, Computerworld ROI, Frontline Solutions, Plant Engineering, and Supply Chain Systems magazines. WhereNet is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, and has offices throughout the United States and Europe. For more information, visit the WhereNet Web site at www.wherenet.com, or call 408-845-8500 (in the U.S.) or +32 3 286 84 50 (in Europe).