Panasonic acquires Blue Yonder in a $7B+ supply-chain software deal

Panasonic’s acquisition of Blue Yonder is the latest billion-dollar deal marrying a manufacturer with a software firm.

Let us introduce you to Blue Yonder, one of the world’s largest supply-chain software companies.

Last week, Japanese electronics maker Panasonic acquired the software firm for $7.1B, per Supply Chain Dive.

At this point, you’re probably wondering:

WTF is ‘supply-chain software’?

Here’s an example:

  • Panasonic manufactures a widget
  • Blue Yonder installs sensors and tracking technology in the warehouse floor that manufacturer the widget and logistics department that ships it
  • Real-time widget data on inventory, delivery, and sorting status all flow through a central Blue Yonder “control tower” to help improve operational efficiency

As highlighted in the deal’s presentation, Blue Yonder’s technology is used by 3k customers in 76 countries and includes 65 of the world’s largest retailers like Starbucks, Procter & Gamble, and Coca-Cola.

The pandemic has strained supply chains…

… and Blue Yonder’s software provides a way to manage more frequent planning cycles and a massive shift to ecommerce.

In business jargon, the ~$30B Panasonic Corp. — which manufactures everything from EV car batteries to consumer TVs — says the deal “will connect the digital and physical layers.”

This is actually the 2nd deal in as many months by a giant Japanese manufacturer acquiring a software firm: Hitachi recently plunked down $9.6B for Silicon Valley-based GlobalLogic.

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