The Story of Ongoing

In April 2024, Ongoing had 11 857 users in 30 countries and with integrations to 150 softwares. The integrations make it possible for the WMS to handle around 3 million orders per month shipped to 194 countries around the world.

But it has not always been this way. It all started back in 2007 when Gerhard Guron and Henrik Ekman met for the first time. Here, you can read more about the story of Ongoing and how it became the success it is today.

Ongoing story 2007

The Ongoing idea is born

In 2007, Gerhard Guron and Henrik Ekman meet for the first time which would later be the spark for their future business together. At the time, Gerhard works as a manager for a logistics software company, while Henrik runs his own business, developing logistics systems for an international market. They both share a vision of a new way to develop, distribute, implement, and update software within the warehouse and logistics industry. Their new business idea, a cloud-based WMS as a Software as a Service is born.

To embody their shared vision and make time for planning the start-up of the company they have both envisioned, Gerhard quits his position at the logistics software company. In the meanwhile, Henrik continues developing his WMS software and making it ready to eventually hit the market.

Ongoing story 2008

Ongoing is founded

In 2008, their vision finally becomes reality as Ongoing is founded in Gothenburg, Sweden, by Henrik Ekman and Gerhard Guron. Since the duo strongly believes in their product and hopes for a rapidly growing clientele, no loans or credits are taken to finance their new business but their own savings.

The meaning behind the name Ongoing origins from the founder’s idea that the company, employees, and software should be ever-evolving and move forwards. Once the company name is set, the first logotype is developed.

The first office is located in the attic of Chalmers University of Technology. At the time, Gerhard puts all his effort into selling the product while Henrik helps the first customers get boarded.

Ongoing is now offering a cloud-based Warehouse Management System (WMS) as a software as a service (SaaS) product that is easy to get started with. The customers do not pay a starting fee, but instead, a monthly fee based on their number of software users. This pricing model makes it easier for companies to get started.

At the time, existing WMSs and other logistics systems often required big investments to get started. In addition, they were generally very time-consuming to implement. Most of the time, the systems were locally installed, meaning that to operate their systems, the customers needed to house their own servers and manage their own database license, among other things. And once the systems finally were live they tended to, however, be troublesome to use and update. Furthermore, they were often heavily time-consuming and complicated to integrate with other systems.

The first two customer were different in size but had similar needs. The two were Tranås Åkeri, a small, privately owned logistics provider in Sweden and the logistics giant Schenker, at the time using Ongoing in five warehouses in Sweden. The CEO for Tranås Åkeri, Thore Göransson, as well as Schenker believed in the company and were in need of a cloud-based WMS for managing goods for multiple clients. To this day, they are both still customers of Ongoing.

Ongoing story 2009

Goal of 1000 customers

In 2009, the first employee, Mattias,  is recruited. He is a 21-year-old student attending the Chalmers University of Technology and is working some extra hours in parallel to his studies.

At the time, the main clientele is small-sized logistics providers, but there is also a growing interest coming from bigger companies. The carrier DB Schenker and the supply chain management company Scandinavian Supply Chain are the first sizable companies to evaluate the product and eventually become customers.

Gerhard and Henrik are happy with their success and set the goal to at some point in the future reach 1000 corporate customers.

Henrik continues developing the system in close collaboration with the customers. In Ongoing’s first years, service providers are the main clientele who are in need of a flexible WMS that is able to handle their multiple goods owners simultaneously.

The shipping platform Unifaun (nowadays Nshift) becomes the first integration partner.

Ongoing story 2010

The Logistics Fair in Gothenburg

The company is growing at a high rate and soon outgrows the attic at Chalmers. The next office is on the second floor of a villa in Örgryte, Gothenburg.

Employee number two, Samuel Kjellberg, is soon hired in 2010. Just like the first employee, he has a master’s degree pursued at Chalmers University of Technology. Today, Samuel is COO of Ongoing and has a been a key person during the continued growth.

Ongoing now has ten customers and successfully exhibit at the Logistics Fair in Gothenburg.

Ongoing story 2011 2012

Nordic expansion

In 2011-2012, Ongoing expands its business in Scandinavia thanks to a growing collaboration with several integration partners. The first Norwegian customers are Moss Transportforum and Colliflow. In Finland, the first customer is Kaukokiito, one of the biggest logistics providers in the country. The biotech company NOVO Nordisk becomes the first customer in Denmark.

A young and energetic computer engineer, Karl Henke, is hired to help onboard new customers. He is a newly masters grad from Chalmers University of Technology. Today, April 2024, Karl is Technical Sales Manager and a driving force in Ongoings successful growth. 

Ongoing story 2013

Baltic expansion

Once again, the office is outgrown, and Ongoing moves to another villa in central Gothenburg in 2013. The business expands outside of the Scandinavian borders. The logistics provider Boomerang, located in Estonia, becomes the first Baltic customer.

Four more people join the Ongoing team, a well-needed addition to handle the company’s growth. They are all software developers with master’s degrees from the Chalmers University of Technology. 

Ongoing story 2014 2015 2016

Fredrik Einarsson becomes CEO

A wider assortment of integrations for shipping, business, and ecommerce platforms increases further growth.

More competent engineers are hired, and the company reaches the milestone of 100 customers. The 100th customer is the Norwegian logistics company RST Logistikk.

Fredrik Einarsson becomes the next CEO. Fredrik already has two years of experience within the company, first as a software developer and then as a sales manager.

The international expansion continues. Tiesse, a logistics provider in Italy, becomes a customer. One of Scandinavia’s biggest logistics providers, Aditro, becomes a customer.

Ongoing story 2017 2018

Strong ecommerce growth

The clientele of customers operating their own logistics and warehouses rapidly increases. The heavy progression of ecommerce creates a demand for a cloud-based WMS. One of many new customers is Proteinbolaget, the distributor of a dietary supplement.

The growing demand for communicative software paves the way for Ongoing’s strategic decision to not only make their own integrations, but also technical interfaces known as APIs to facilitate the development of integrations built by different parties.

Ongoing story 2020 2021

Halfway to the goal of 1000 customers

Ongoing receives their 500th customer, the German logistics provider ITG Fulfillment GmbH.

Beyond the growing existence of ERPs, web shops, shipping platforms, and automation systems, many more integrated systems such as return management and purchasing systems are added.

At this time, Ongoing also makes a bigger design update of the digital interface.

Ongoing story 2022

8500 users in 24 countries

Ongoing grows its amount of customers as well as employees. To keep up with the growth, the office space is doubled.

Over 6 000 company goods flows are run in Ongoing, and 8 500 users in 24 countries are using Ongoing on a daily basis.

The ecosystem of integrated software is rapidly growing. As of May 2022, there are 119 software integrated with Ongoing. The integrations make it possible to handle around 2 million orders per month in Ongoing, all shipped to 195 countries around the world with the only exceptions of South Sudan and Somalia.

The visual identity gets a facelift and Ongoing gets a new logo.