Posted by Lori Ayre on January 7, 2021

Today we got word that Lyngsoe acquired P.V. Supa.  Here's the Press Release.  If you are one of their customers, you are probably wondering what is means to you. 

Immediately, it might not mean much.  Both products will continue to be supported and the P.V. Supa brand will carry on for the time-being. The first step will be to bring the P.V. Supa customers onto the Lyngsoe support program.  That's a good thing.  Lyngsoe has a solid support infrastructure and they already have experience supporting P.V. Supa products so that shouldn't be a big ask.

Both companies take a similar approach to automated materials handling focusing their product lines on one-at-a-time patron inductions (versus the drop-and-go approach of Tech-Logic) so again, not a big transition to be made on that score. P.V. Supa has fewer customers in the United States and that has been a challenge for them. P.V. Supa customers and the customers they do have are largely on the West Coast so P.V. Supa's existing presence out here (I'm in CA) will be great for Lyngsoe who's been slowly building up their presence here.  And, P.V. Supa customers scattered around other parts of the country will benefit from having more Lyngsoe support engineers and account managers available to take care of them.  P.V. Supa has a nice manufacturing facility in Finland and another presence in Plano, TX so they bring that to table, to supplement Lyngsoe's presence in Maryland and Denmark. Some of the products now sourced by Lyngsoe from third parties will be able to be manufactured in house.

What I see as differences between the companies are their approaches to product development. P.V. Supa tends to be quicker to develop new products and give them a shot. They have consistently delivered clever solutions before anyone else including their self-service return shelves, Anytime Library, auto-loading systems for the sorters, and (one of my favorite developments) Agilon.  Lyngsoe on the other hand takes a lot more time to deliver a new product but when they do, it is rock solid and designed to be easy for them to support (which is always good for the customer).

P.V. Supa is a privately held company out of Finland that  has focused on libraries from the beginning.  Lyngsoe, on the other hand, is a much larger logistics company of which the Library Division is just one part. This merger means that the only signficant privately-held library AMH vendor is Tech-Logic with Bibliotheca and Lyngsoe both being owned by private equity firms. Lyngsoe has been around in some form since 1952 so having a private equity firm (CataCap) hold a majority stake in the company isn't too worrisome and the entrepreneurial spirit of  P.V. Supa combined with a bigger source of cash and support infrastructure might well result in some exciting new library products!

All in all, my take is that this is good for the library community but I wouldn't mind seeing some more vendors enter our market to try to give them a run for their money.  More competition is always better in my book.