Dematic, a global leader in supply chain logistics and warehouse automation, is celebrating its first year in Waterloo. The Waterloo team, which is focused on software development, now has 22 employees, and is expanding into adjacent space to accommodate more growth.

Dematic chose to build a software team in Waterloo because of its thriving high-tech community, world-class universities, and talented people. Pete Devenyi, a former software executive at BlackBerry, joined Dematic in early 2014 as Vice President of Global Software Development. He says that management realized they had to invest heavily in software and were seeking world-class skills to speed up their level of differentiation.

“I knew we had something truly unique to offer,” Devenyi said. “We’ve built a great team in a short time.”

Six months after Devenyi joined Dematic, Scott Wahl, another BlackBerry executive and former colleague, joined him. According to Wahl, the team is working on a number of strategic projects for Dematic, including a next-generation analytics platform which will put the power of real-time decision making at the fingertips of warehouse managers.

“Not only are we taking on exciting and challenging work, we have a unique culture,” Wahl said. “It feels a bit like a startup, with all the great things a startup can offer, yet we’re backed by one of the most successful logistics companies in the world.”

Dematic has been active in the local tech community since opening its doors here. They have established a strong research partnership with the University of Waterloo’s Optimization Lab, attended local technology conferences, and participated in Communitech recruitment events.

“The tech community in the region is the reason we opened our office here,” Wahl said. “We want to contribute to making that community even better, and make connections with other companies in related fields.”

While most people in Waterloo Region are unfamiliar with the Dematic name, they do rely on their technology. When online orders are placed over the Internet, it’s likely that a Dematic system is picking and moving those orders through a warehouse and into a truck. The technology helps enable goods to arrive at customers’ doorsteps the next day, sometimes even the same day. Retailers and manufacturers have an increased reliance on logistics systems from companies like Dematic to provide the competitive advantage they need. Consumers expect retailers to provide a rich online presence, to offer access to a wide array of products, and to manage rapid delivery.

According to Devenyi, a logistics revolution is taking place, creating new challenges and new opportunities for companies like Dematic.

“It’s primarily the result of changing consumer expectations,” Devenyi said. “For the first time, it’s the consumer, not the manufacturer or the retailer who holds all the power. Consumers want what they want and they want it now. It’s our job to help make that possible.”