- Microlise was formed in 1982 by Keith Bendon. Along with 2 software developers, working out of his home, Keith developed a Warehouse Management software application. Microlise’s first customer was Nestle, their first international customer was Christian Salvesen.
- By the end of the eighties, Microlise had grown to 50 staff and had numerous prestigious customers, including Carlsberg-Tetley, Kellogg’s and United Biscuits - all using Microlise Warehouse Management Systems.
- In the late eighties, exploiting burgeoning microelectronics technology, Microlise developed their own range of Fork-lift Truck mounted and hand-held Radio Data Terminals, eventually supplying global players like Symbol Technologies (now part of Motorola), until the mid-2000’s.
- Microlise recognised the need to provide system integration skills to be able to connect their warehouse systems into third party control systems which led to developing a Systems Integration business, which delivered, often bespoke, control and automation solutions – including ones which were RFID based emerging as one of the earliest adopters of low and high frequency passive RFID tags and readers into the supply chain.
- Roy Allum, one of Microlise’s first employees back in 1982, took over ownership of the company in 1992.
- At the start of the new millennium, after one customer said “Using Microlise’s WMS, I can tell you exactly what stock I have, in what location and what is allocated to what order and when it needs to be picked, packed and delivered – yet I then entrust these same goods to a driver, with a pen and a piece of paper and everything disappears into a black hole” Microlise, and their now experienced staff, developed their Fleet & Distribution offering which comprised vehicle tracking & proof of delivery. At the heart of our solution was the Transport Management Centre, which allowed users to manage all journeys and deliveries on an exceptions basis.
- Microlise quickly became amongst only a handful of players in the Transport Management Systems space that offer a one stop solution and service shop. They develop and test all their own software and also manufacture their own tracking & telematics hardware – the latest version of which is the MTU3. They control their own roadmap, their own priorities, their own costs, technology, and quality.
- In 2007 Microlise underwent a management buyout. This change in ownership, with a new Chairman and Financial Director coming on-board, really helped to take Microlise and its Transport Management Systems business in particular, to new levels of success.
“From what started out as 3 staff, delivering a solution to a fleet of 90 trailers, the portfolio has grown over the last 9 years to encompass a wide range of features, which we are delivering to over 600 new customer vehicles a month just in the UK. In 2009, through our channel partners, we have signed contracts in Europe which will more than double this figure” stated Matthew Hague, Microlise’s Product Strategy Director.
He went on to say, “America is an equally exciting opportunity – off the back of our success, with both our direct customers in America and the coup of having our technology chosen from a large list of vendors to be used in the Ford CrewChief™ solution, we are forecasting exponential growth in America also – we intend that our new USA specific Hours Of Service module, for which we have been receiving rave reviews from customers and law enforcement alike, will really help us in this regard.”
- Ford are not the only automotive partner Microlise have, they signed their first automotive deal in the mid-2000’s with MAN Trucks UK, who re-brand the Microlise solution as Trucknology. To date, they have deployed Trucknology to over 5000 MAN trucks and over 300 end-customers.
“We are equally excited about some of the fledgling partnerships we have with other automotive manufacturers and we were really excited to agree, in late-2009, a deal with JCB to provide the same core technology as used by Ford and MAN into their construction equipment business in 2010.” concluded Hague.