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DA Systems

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4 February 2015

Home delivery expansion drives Paragon acquisition

Paragon Software Systems has acquired a majority shareholding in Axida, its long-term partner in software solutions for home delivery services.

The two companies have already worked together on projects such as Paragon HDS, which integrates multi-channel order management with continuous route optimisation. Paragon’s routing and scheduling products are also integrated with Axida’s full HDi product.

The companies have a number of joint clients, including Argos, Dreams, Wickes, Wincanton, Indesit and IKEA.

The share purchase coincides with the retirement of Axida co-founder Len Robinson, who formed Axida with Wayne Holgate back in 1995. Holgate will retain a large part of his existing shareholding, and says he is fully committed to working with Paragon and continuing to head up the Axida business.

The acquisition is said to ensure continued investment in and development of the combined portfolio of home delivery products, which, according to Paragon managing director William Salter is a key to the group’s future growth in the expanding home delivery sector.

Salter describes the deal as “a very exciting opportunity” for both parties, and an opportunity for Paragon to expand in the fast-growing home delivery sector. It also means Paragon will be able to sell Axida’s proof-of-delivery software product, fleXipod, to its existing client base.

“The acquisition gives us an end-to-end solution, which is attractive to customers,” Salter told Telematics & Mobile Data Guide. “With home delivery an expanding sector around the globe, we felt it was important to have complete control over product development. Bring the Axida team in-house gives us that.”

Paragon and Axida will continue to operate as individual businesses. Axida will now be known as “Axida – a Paragon group company”. Paragon will also stay at its Dorking headquarters and Axida will remain in Hull, giving the group two widely separated bases.

“There will be significant benefits to our respective customers as there will now be a single supplier for their system,” points out Axida’s Wayne Holgate.

Salter will join Holgate on the Axida board, as will with Paragon’s Glyn Royles (sales director and chief operating officer) and Graham Cooper (financial controller), while the existing Axida management team and staff will remain unchanged. 

China

Paragon is also busy expanding its presence in the US and the Far East. Simplified Chinese has been incorporated into the routing software, which now includes national street level mapping for mainland China.

“We are gradually expanding our operations into the Far East,” says William Slater, “and we recently launched national street-level mapping for routing vehicles in Japan.

The company has announced two new appointments to support its growing operations in China. Danvers Dai is based in Shanghai, and is working closely with Paragon’s UK team to explore new business opportunities in mainland China. Liz Zheng, a supply-chain and logistics management graduate from Cranfield University, has joined the Dorking-based support team.


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