Trimble, Sunnyvale, Calif., has agreed to buy privately held TMW Systems, Beachwood, Ohio, for $335 million cash. TMW will be part of Trimble's Transportation & Logistics unit, which also includes PeopleNet and other providers.

"We are real excited to have TMW join the Trimble family," said Ron Konezny, general manager of Trimble's T&L Division, in an interview following the announcement. He pointed out that TMW is among the leaders in trucking management software solutions in a variety of segments.

Konezny noted there are many synergistic possibilities with the technology that Trimble has in the cab through PeopleNet and other technologies.

"In transportation, what we are hearing from customers is that they would really love to have a solution that spans the back office and into the field. For that segment, this is really a wonderful opportunity," Konezny said.

"We are pretty excited about the opportunity to work with Trimble," said Dave Wangler, TMW president and chief executive officer. "We have a great relationship with PeopleNet and I think over time, we can really bring to market some very compelling solutions."

Not Shutting Out Other Companies

Both Konezny and Wangler stressed that each company will continue to work with their existing partners in terms of mobile communications and truck management providers.

"I do want to emphasize that both TMW and other Trimble companies like PeopleNet will continue to work with their respective counterparts," Konezny said. "TMW has a wonderful relationship with Qualcomm and other onboard computer providers, and PeopleNet has relationships with McLeod Software and other trucking management software providers. We will continue to do what's in the customer's best interest, but over time we think there will be a tremendous amount of value by more tightly integrating the PeopleNet and TMW solutions."

In a statement delivered to media, Norm Ellis, Qualcomm vice president of sales, service and marketing, said "Qualcomm enjoys nearly a 20-year partnership with TMW as we share hundreds of customers together. Just as we have always fostered open, unbiased relationships to ensure we're able to do what's right for each customer and work with all best-in-class providers, we expect TMW will continue to do the same as they have during our tenured relationship with them."

Many Markets

Wangler said being part of the Trimble family would allow TMW to continue to focus on for-hire carriers, private fleets and 3rd party logistics providers.

"With the acquisition of Appian last year, we have a premier routing and scheduling solution, but the key element to delivering that solution for an awful lot of fleet customers is that they are also looking for a telematics solution at the same time. Being able to work closely with the Trimble businesses should help us there a great deal."

Konezny said the acquisition creates a huge potential for marketing TMW's offerings to the construction and agriculture markets.

Wangler agreed. "What we have today is the ability to deliver our solution to construction and agriculture. What we haven't had is the channel to go there. This gives us a quick opportunity for both of those segments."

"This is really a growth story," Konezny said. "This is not about cost reduction; this is about how to we together grow the market faster than we could separately."

While TMW will remain a separate business unit under Trimble's T&L division, there will be "intense collaboration" in making sure that all appropriate planning information: routing, optimization, dispatching, etc., that the TMW products are doing are fully communicated to the mobile asset and that the asset is collecting the appropriate data to be placed back into the next planning loop.

"We will also be collaborating on analytics," he said. "Both PeopleNet through their Vusion group as well as TMW have a tremendous amount of momentum in business analytics and intelligence. And we think there are some exciting developments that can be brought to the industry."

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Related stories:

7/21/2011 - Trimble to Acquire PeopleNet.