Acme: Accelerating Automation Uptake in Saudi Arabia

The industrial sector is the core of Saudi Arabia’s exponential economic growth. Saudi’s vision for sustained and inclusive economic growth involves the development of its industrial growth, increasing the volume of Saudi exports, and maximizing local output of services and products at a national level.

As per its National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP), a key pillar of Vision 2030, the industrial sector’s GDP contribution will reach SR900 billion ($230 billion) by 2030. The Kingdom’s industrial sector has already enjoyed steady growth since the launch of Vision 2030, with investments in manufacturing reaching $132 billion.

As Saudi Arabia is quickly transitioning into a global industrial hub, companies nationwide are increasingly looking for ways to boost operational efficiency to keep pace with the rapid pace of market changes. Innovations that fuel the efficiency of warehouse and logistics operations are becoming compelling choices for companies as they aim to optimize their supply chain, leading to a higher and urgent demand for automation solutions.

The vibrancy of the automation sector in the Kingdom unlocks a new window of opportunity for global firms like Acme, which is leading the charge in the factory and warehouse automation space in the Kingdom. 

Strong Track Record in Saudi Sets the Stage for Visionary Growth

Acme, founded in the UAE, boasts 50 years of experience and a substantial presence across a wide range of industries, including retail, e-commerce, FMCG, food and beverage, and pharma. Its manufacturing facility in Jebel Ali Free Zone serves as a cornerstone of Acme’s commitment to enabling companies across the GCC to implement Industry 4.0 technologies.

Leveraging its vast experience, technological strength, and global clientele, Acme emerges as a normative power, fueling the next business transformation wave in the Kingdom. Navin Narayan, CEO of Acme, mentioned that the company had recently completed over ten factory and warehouse automation projects, reflecting its dedication to empowering Saudi companies and expediting their next growth chapter.

He added that “one of [Acme’s] most notable achievements was designing and implementing a state-of-the-art distribution center for a major dairy company in Jeddah,” resulting in an increase in the warehousing capacity and a lift in the overall client’s throughput. This was accompanied by the installation of a fully robotic palletization system, one of the largest in the region, as well as an automated truck-loading system in another facility for the same customer. 

As one of Acme’s core sectors, the company’s transformative impact was reflected in its recent completion of two of the largest automated distribution centers for a key retailer in the fashion industry. “The scale of these projects demonstrates our expertise in handling complex automation projects and our commitment to supporting the growth of key industries in Saudi Arabia,” Narayan added.

The Kingdom’s industrial sector accelerated the nation’s GDP by SAR340 billion ($90 billion) in 2023 after industrial establishments increased by 50% ever since the launch of Vision 2030. As Saudi Arabia strengthens its industrial sector to the number of factories to 36,000 by 2035, including 4,000 which will be fully automated, leaders such as Acme are at the forefront of contributing to this vision. 

Economic Diversification Driving Automation Across Sectors

For over a decade, Acme has been serving Saudi clients from its headquarters in the UAE. Its recent footprint expansion in Saudi Arabia was largely supported by AstroLabs and aimed at capitalizing on market opportunities and driving growth in the critical industrial sector. 

Considering the growth prospects, the company is focused on doubling down on its presence in the Kingdom with the opening of a Riyadh office, making significant strides in the ever-growing automation sector, and accelerating automation uptake.

Vision 2030 and the cross-sector diversification strategy are cited as the motivation for Acme’s increased footprint in Saudi Arabia, said Narayan.“Vision 2030’s focus on industrial diversification and automation adoption aligns perfectly with Acme’s expertise in providing Industry 4.0 solutions.”

He further added that key governmental initiatives such as NIDLP play a pivotal role in attracting foreign investments as well as boosting the demand for local upskilling and innovation, contributing to the creation of “a skilled workforce capable of operating and maintaining these advanced systems.”

The domino impact of diversification efforts has also resulted in an accelerated need for innovative solutions in logistics facilities and fulfillment centers, especially in light of the rapid ascent of online shopping. This, coupled with an intensified push towards content localization, is the top factor driving Acme’s robust presence in Saudi Arabia.

Highlighting Acme’s contribution to enhancing the warehousing capabilities of e-commerce firms in the Kingdom, Narayan revealed the company has recently implemented over six sortation centers across the Kingdom for leading global e-commerce, playing a crucial role in increasing efficiency in fulfilling customer orders. 

As the industrial sector in the Kingdom is embracing transformation at a rapid speed, Acme’s pivotal role in becoming stronger in their fields and more agile will accelerate the implementation of the objectives of NIDLP and the wider Vision 2030.

“Looking ahead, the Saudi automation sector is on a promising growth trajectory. With continued government support, rising demand from diverse industries, and a focus on advanced technologies, the sector is well-positioned to play a crucial role in achieving the goals outlined in Vision 2030,” Narayan added.