Ottawa-based Kinaxis adds Honda to growing list of automotive customers


Already riding high on a wave of big-name customer wins and plans to relocate to a brand-new, substantially larger headquarters to accommodate its growing workforce, Kinaxis said Friday it’s adding another marquee name to its client list.

The Kanata-based firm, which makes software that helps major enterprises such as auto manufacturers and electronics firms manage their supply chains, announced that Honda will begin using the company’s products at its auto plants in Japan.

Honda, Japan’s third-largest carmaker, joins an already impressive list of other automotive customers on Kinaxis’s roster, including Ford, Nissan and Toyota. 

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“The pace of innovation makes it an exciting but challenging time for the automotive industry,” Kinaxis CEO John Sicard said in a statement. “From increased personalization in product features to emerging technologies like autonomous driving, the industry needs to adopt more sophisticated supply chain practices to manage for success. We are proud of the opportunity to work with Honda to provide a true end-to-end view of their network and to foster faster decision-making and better supply chain management.”

Kinaxis’s main product, called RapidResponse, uses big-data analytics to help customers get a better handle on their inventory, preparing them for a range of “what-if” scenarios that could disrupt the manufacturing process and ensuring they have the right amount of raw materials they need to keep the assembly lines rolling.

Friday’s announcement continues the local tech darling’s string of positive headlines over the past few years. 

Founded in 1984 as Cadence Computer Corp., Kinaxis has been adding employees at a steady clip of about 20 per cent annually in recent years – a rate the company expects to continue en route to doubling its headcount in the next five years. The firm now employs about 600 people, 400 of them in Ottawa.

Earlier this summer, Kinaxis – which surpassed the $150-million mark in annual revenues for the first time in fiscal 2018 – announced it would be moving to a new head office in the Kanata West Business Park that will be more than twice as large as its current headquarters on Silver Seven Road. 

In recent months, Kinaxis has also bolstered its customer list with high-profile firms such as Yamaha Motor Co. and Johnson Electric.

“We’ve got over a hundred customers with thousands to go,” Sicard told OBJ in late July. “We’re just getting started. There’s a tremendous amount of runway, and we believe we have the right talent. We’re building a Canadian giant.”

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