Panasonic And Blue Yonder Accelerate Autonomous Supply Chains

Panasonic has announced that it is making an equity investment in supply chain software provider Blue Yonder, accelerating the benefits of the autonomou...

Jack Grimshaw
|May 21|magazine7 min read

Panasonic has announced that it is making an equity investment in supply chain software provider Blue Yonder, accelerating the benefits of the autonomous supply chain.

The investment sees Blue Yonder’s enterprise value reach $5.5bn, with Panasonic gaining a 20% minority ownership stake in the company, with a seat on the Board of Directors included. The partnership, an expansion a joint venture announced in April 2019, will use the Internet of Things (IoT) technology that Blue Yonder specialises in to deliver autonomous outcomes. Machine learning technology will also help in the delivery.

Resources from the two companies will be combined, as they work with partners across Japan to accelerate growth, selling Blue Yonder’s Luminate solutions and developing new innovations on the Luminate platform. These solutions will be used to enhance consumers’ capabilities for supply and demand forecasting, inventory and labour optimisation and streamlining business operations. 

“Modern day supply chains face a number of challenges including rapidly shifting demand, hyper-personalization of consumer needs, labour shortages and operational inefficiencies, so by further developing our relationship with supply chain software specialists Blue Yonder, I believe we will be able to make larger, more transformative contributions to a greater number of customers,” stated Yasu Higuchi, Representative Director of Panasonic Corporation and CEO of Panasonic’s Connected Solutions Company.

“In order to do so, we aim to gain a deeper understanding of Blue Yonder’s advanced global solutions and business model so that we can augment and further elevate our own solutions capability. Through this collaboration, we aim to become a global leading provider of frontline process innovation.”

“I am excited about this collaboration to realize our joint vision for digital supply chain — where Blue Yonder’s platform synchronizes with Panasonic’s edge offerings to deliver more autonomous, successful business outcomes for retailers, manufacturers and logistics providers,” said Girish Rishi, CEO of Blue Yonder. “We look forward to working within our Joint Venture in Japan to deliver tremendous customer value.” 

Kazuhiro Tsuga, CEO of Panasonic Corporation also commented, “I believe this investment is a vital step for the business transformation that Panasonic’s Connected Solutions Company is undertaking. Until now, the Connected Solutions Company has taken the lead in promoting corporate culture and workstyle reforms, and with this investment, we are now delving into transforming our actual business model.

Specifically, we will be adding the provision of software, consulting, and services to our traditional business model of selling hardware. This will allow us to support fundamental innovations in the supply chain field.”

New Mountain Capital and Blackstone will continue to operate as majority shareholders, retaining their original investments in Blue Yonder.