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Special Technology Report: TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT
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Outperforming traditional order fulfilment methods with Automated Case Picking Food allergen labelling rules are changing â€“ are you ready? Elektron Technology improves customer service levels thanks to WMS from BEC Breaking the fulfilment speed barrier
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Drivers behind the Internet of Things The Internet of Things (IoT) concept is attracting an ever greater level of interest among analyst, the technology press and the user community. In brief, IoT refers to a network of physical objects that are fitted with embedded technology in order for them to communicate and interact with their internal states or the external environment. A number of regular commentators within this journal have championed the enormous potential of the concept, and have pointed out that it will have an increasingly powerful impact on a number of industries over the coming months and years. So, who will be the main movers and shakers of IoT going forward? Interestingly, according to Gartner, makers and startups – rather than tech providers, consumer goods companies or enterprises – will be the main drivers in terms of acceptance, use and growth in IoT through the creation of a multitude of niche applications. The information technology research and advisory firm predicts that by 2017, some 50 per cent of IoT solutions (typically a product combined with a service) will originate in start-ups that are less than three years old. Gartner defines ‘makers’ as inventors, tinkerers and entrepreneurs who create and manufacture products using traditional tools and new digital design and rapid prototyping and manufacturing technologies. ‘Start-ups’ are fledgling businesses that are often technology-focused and have the potential for high growth. Pete Basiliere, research vice president at Gartner, recently commented that conventional wisdom is that the growth of the Internet of Things is driven by large enterprises. “As is always the case, there is an element of truth in conventional wisdom and major consumer goods companies, utilities, manufacturers and other large enterprises are, indeed, developing IoT product offerings,” he said. However Gartner's Maverick research finds that it is the makers and the start-ups who are the ones shaping the IoT. Individuals and small companies that span the globe are developing IoT solutions to real-world, often niche problems. “They are taking advantage of low-cost electronics, traditional manufacturing and 3D printing tools, and open- and closed-source hardware and software to create IoT devices that improve processes and lives," said Basiliere. According to Basiliere, managers often assume the IoT is about business-to-business and business-to-consumer opportunities, relying on technologists within their enterprises to develop the necessary systems and connected items. “However, these firms are slowmoving elephants that cannot react quickly to what is happening underneath their feet," he remarked. "Product development processes within most large enterprises are too ponderous and ROI-driven to produce anything but high-volume, lowest-commondenominator IoT objects. The result is the development of a low number of IoT uses that garner high amounts of revenue, while makers, startups and crowdsourcing efforts result in high numbers of low-revenue niche IoT applications."
Ed Holden Editor
For this reason, Basiliere believes senior management and emerging technology strategists within large enterprises must transform their product discovery processes. Whether at consumer goods companies or in the healthcare, utilities, wireless, manufacturing or other vertical markets, Basiliere maintains that managers must encourage makers within their organisations to develop IoT concepts, and they must closely examine the output from these makers and check the feasibility of transferring the underlying ideas into their own organisations. In the meantime, makers and start-ups worldwide are charging ahead with identifying numerous, often niche problems and innovating solutions using IoT concepts. “They will drive not only consumer and enterprise acceptance of the IoT, but also the creative solutions that enterprises could not possibly discern, resulting in an ‘Internet of Very Different Things’,” commented Basiliere. Similar to other technology advances historically, Basiliere believes the growth promise associated with the early stages of IoT will lead to the creation and funding of a large number of start-up organisations that will manoeuver to capture what they perceive to be early opportunities or overlooked product niches. This, he continues, will lead to creative solutions and a wide range of products, many of which will fail in the market. Nevertheless, he believes the process will lead to growth as the successful solutions are often consolidated by larger suppliers, and the overall market expands. As a result, makers enable people in underserved and niche markets worldwide – people who would not otherwise encounter the IoT offerings of large enterprises – to experience and benefit from connected device. Whether driven by start-ups or more established organisations, it is largely a given that IoT will remain a key talking point and area of technological development for many years to come.
IT October 2014
CONTENTS Manufacturing and Logistics IT October 2014 The European magazine promoting the effective use of IT in supply chain applications
Special Technology Report 6
Editor: Ed Holden
Transportation Management Contributors:
Wolters Kluwer Transport Services: With Transwide solutions, the Paul Hartmann Group
David Upton, DA Systems
strives towards logistics excellence
Bas Dumoulin and Remko van Gils, Vanderlande
BSH Group improves transport transparency and tendering processes with Transporeon
Jeff Taylor, Honeywell Scanning and Mobility
DA Systems: Will population growth require transport providers to hone green credentials?
PTV: Meet at the dock – new service for dynamic optimisation of the supply chain
DA Systems: A to Z Couriers saves over £0.5 million annually with ACI Publisher: Dean Taylor Designer: First Sight Graphics Ltd, www.firstsightgraphics.com
Supply Chain Management 26
DynaSys: Thinking ahead Access: Breaking the fulfilment speed barrier delivery customers
Production: Carolyn Pither
Warehouse Management Systems
Circulation: Carole Chiesa
Elektron Technology improves customer service levels thanks to WMS from BEC Vanderlande: Outperforming traditional order fulfilment methods with Automated Case Picking
IT Manager: Ian Curtis
Accounts: Sarah Schofield
Manufacturers report a 20 per cent reduction in revenue due to poorly performing applications
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Imperial Tobacco Group selects Aras as enterprise PLM backbone
Columbus: Exheat upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics AX2012 to support organic growth
Slimstock: Spar boosts service levels to 99.5 per cent through more effective daily planning OM Partners: Styrolution live with OMP Plus in short timeframe
Printing & Labelling 39
Zebra Technologies: Food allergen labelling rules are changing – are you ready? Sato launches the CL4NX series of truly universal industrial thermal barcode printers
Automatic Data Capture 44
Honeywell Scanning and Mobility: Getting the stamp of approval Secure Retail receives Attestation of Validation of its P2PE solution Microscan presents simplified machine vision solutions for automated inspection Traceall Global tracks new business overseas thanks to UKSE
B2M Solutions' new Elemez software delivers holistic, enterprise mobility insights
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Special Report Transportation Management
Meet ing the demand Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with some of the major players within the field of transportation management about current key talking points within this fascinating technology field; including changing demand trends, security and how transportation solutions might continue to develop in the near future. here are many ongoing
in the supply chain,” he said, pointing out that
need to have a starting point, and that starting
developments within the world of
Zebra offers the technology building blocks
point is meaningful data,” he said. “AIDC and
that enable the Internet of Things, through
related technology is the starting point of data
solutions space. Not least of these
barcode, passive and active RFID and its own
collection – data that can be used to make
is the ‘Internet of Things’ (IOT), a
IoT platform – Zatar (www.zatar.com). “Even
smarter and more informed decisions. This
concept that is, and will likely continue to
our printers taken in isolation have been
access to and enablement of data is a key
become, increasingly pervasive in a number
designed with this in mind, featuring our Link-
driver for changes and innovation in the
of industry sectors. In the view of Chris Ayres,
OS platform which makes them easier to
transport management space.”
ISV programme & development manager
integrate, manage and connect to the Cloud,”
EMEA, and vertical marketing manager
Transport & Logistics at Zebra Technologies, IOT is the hottest topic at the moment within
Regarding key drivers for development, Ayres
Fabrice Maquignon, managing director of
the transportation world, and he is convinced
maintains that the problems that companies
Wolters Kluwer Transport Services, considers
it will increasingly have a major impact on
face and the solutions they seek will arise
that one current trend is that companies are
transport management and the supply chain
from one or more of the following:
looking for modern, web-based solutions that
in general. “The connection of mobile
compliance, reducing costs, increasing
are easier to scale and integrate. “A transport
devices, people, vehicles and other M2M
efficiency, and increased control and visibility.
management system (TMS) in Software as a
communication allows for end-to-end visibility
“In order to tackle these issues, companies
Service (SaaS) mode is a growing trend for
Chris Ayres, ISV programme & development manager EMEA, and vertical marketing manager Transport & Logistics,
that reason. It allows
returned to distribution centre hubs,” states
same-day delivery; sometimes referred to as
carriers and shippers
the report. “This translates to increased costs
the final mile or same-day logistics. He added
not to invest in an IT
for delivery service providers and reflects
that the company does also operate in the
structure on their
poorly on sellers, resulting in pronounced
next-day delivery marketplace on the mobile
side as the software
consumer dissatisfaction. The last-mile
solutions side within the transportation
is available on the
delivery conundrum is not a recent
management space, although same-day
Internet. It eases the
occurrence but has become cost-prohibitive,
delivery is what it mainly concentrates on.
especially for retailers and their logistics
“When you look at most types of
between all parties
partners with the explosive growth in e-
transportation management systems available
involved and avoids
commerce trade.” The report goes on to
in the market there aren’t that many that
human error in
suggest the marketplace needs more
mainly cater for that final mile piece,” he said.
double entry data.
proactive information sharing between
“This is probably because it’s considered
consumers and delivery personnel, which will
quite a niche industry. However, both in the
alleviate frustrations and also trimmed down
business-to-business and business-to-
and a network of
consumer space, demand for same-day delivery is one of the key growth areas within
logistics service providers has become an important element
According to the report, data capture
transportation today. If I buy something from a
of a TMS solution.”
hardware and software, along with
department store, for example, and I want it
improvements in delivery processes, will play
delivered within the hour, or I send copies of
a pivotal role in improving last-mile efficiency.
a bound tender document to a particular
As a consequence, Maquignon believes that one of the major innovations will be to propose a community-based application that facilitates the communication between all parties, reduces the execution phase (lead time = time between the creation of a transport order and its execution), and optimises the transport plan on a qualitative
AIDC and related technology is the starting point of data collection – data that can be used to make smarter and more informed decisions. This access to and enablement of data is a key driver for changes and innovation in the transport management space.” – Chris Ayres, Zebra Technologies.
(better sourcing) and quantitative “Further application of existing technology
prospect and it has to be there by 12 noon
solutions and taking advantage of recent
today, but I only finish writing it at 11am, or if I
Maquignon considers quality management
developments/advances can better address
have some medical devices that need to be
and cost controlling to be the key drivers of
many of the inefficiencies apparent in the last
transported within the short timeline, an
those changes; especially in a challenging
mile,” it states. VDC expects camera-based
efficient same-day service can be critical.”
economic situation where the need for a
images to be at the forefront of these
structured, cost-efficient and end-to-end
operational enhancements. “These solutions’
Upton added that same-day delivery is, of
supply chain is reinforced. “Transportation
ability to capture images is a particularly
course, very much a premium-rate
software enables manufacturing companies to
desired feature to determine liabilities
marketplace, and customers pay for an
provide greater service to their clients, it is
associated with damaged packages,” says
express same-day service based on distance
therefore becoming an important element of
the report, adding: “This is more relevant
rather than weight; the latter being the
commercial strategies,” he said.
today than ever because of the explosion in
the sheer number of packages that retailers
delivery mode of
and their logistics service partners ship and
transport each day across the globe, with
In a new VDC Research report titled ‘From the
figures running into the billions annually.
is a real surge of
Last Mile to the Last Meter’, Richa Gupta,
Therefore, it becomes hard to determine who
interest in same-day
senior analyst at VDC Research, along with
to indemnify for damages incurred, especially
Michael Sack, intern with David Krebs,
given the many stages in the order fulfilment
said. “This kind of
executive vice president of VDC Research,
process before the item gets to its final
hybrid model of
comment that the final-mile delivery presents
course isn’t without
(optimisation of the means) basis.
a unique set of challenges ahead to the rest of the supply chain. “Packages often do not
David Upton, managing director of DA
reach their intended recipient on the first
Systems, points out that the area of speciality
talking about tighter
delivery attempt, resulting in items been
that DA systems mainly operates within is
time windows and
David Upton, managing director,
Special Report Transportation Management
Also, in the blue-collar environment such as field service and logistics, Upton observes some industry commentators arguing that BYOD is the future. However, he believes the reality is it’s not that simple. “On the one hand, from a customer’s point of view, there can be issues concerning professional perception,” he said. “For example, if a customer, whether a consumer or business client, receives goods and is asked to sign for them on a small consumer-grade device by running their finger across a screen that has probably been touched by another 20 or 30 or so people that same day, that can certainly leave a bad impression.” Upton adds that there is also the fact that in the field service and transportation less scope for planning than you would have
Device (BYOD) remains an interesting area
businesses, couriers will need to operate their
working within a next-day model. With this in
of debate, although he believes it is a
mobile devices in some challenging
mind, we can provide mobile device software
concept that works in certain marketplaces
environments. “Therefore, some consumer-
that can calculate the best routes that
better than others. He commented: “For
grade devices, regardless of whether they are
couriers should use for making a same-day
someone working in an office doing typical
fitted with a rugged case or not, can prove to
white-collar work and engaging in social
be less resilient,” he said. On the other hand,
activities at the weekend, having a
if workers are told that their ruggedised
From a business-to-consumer perspective,
smartphone has become an important
business-grade devices are more or less
Upton believes the move towards the same-
accessory in that, people are now able to
indestructible, Upton believes they are not
day model is largely due to consumers
access both social and work-related emails
likely to treat them as carefully as they should.
increasingly wanting almost instant
etc., which can both enhance their social
One way to overcome this potential issue, in
gratification. “They know that they can go onto
and business worlds. There may, of course,
his view, is to give drivers some form of
iTunes and download a whole album within
be implications regarding security and
financial incentive to treat their mobile devices
less than 60 seconds; so people’s digital
supportability when using consumer devices
with more care. “For example, if the driver is charged with the first £250 of the repair costs,
which could maybe be taken out of a small
Transportation software enables manufacturing companies to provide greater service to their clients, it is therefore becoming an important element of commercial strategies.” – Fabrice Maquignon, Wolters Kluwer Transport Services.
bond, this can prove to cut down repair outlays considerably,” he said. David Williamson, UK key account manager at Transporeon, has observed that the
expectations are starting to spill over into the
for business purposes. For example, it would
Internet logistics platform format is becoming
physical world,” he remarked. “Organisations
be advisable to have an activated passcode.
increasingly popular in the world of
such as Google, Amazon and eBay are
There is also the possibility of the device
transportation management. “Through better
heavily testing these kinds of demands in the
getting damaged by, for example, being
collaboration between the shipper and its
marketplace. Eventually, I think we will end up
dropped onto a hard surface; potentially
network of carriers, optimising individual loads
with a model we haven’t quite imagined yet,
compromising the user’s ability to go about
can be achieved more easily,” he said.
and I believe this won’t be the traditional
his or her daily tasks within the work
“Companies working within the transportation
same-day courier or traditional next-day type
environment. However, with the rugged cases
management space naturally want to reduce
model, but will be something in between;
that are now widely available, this can militate
transport costs and ‘empty miles’ etc., and
something that can ensure same-day
against serious damage in many instances.
there’s only so much they can achieve by
deliveries more efficiently and over a wider
So, although there are some justifiable
taking the physical cost out of the equation.
concerns regarding the use of consumer
The key then is to find an IT solution that is
devices for business purposes, I don’t believe
best able to optimise the fleets involved.
they are absolute showstoppers.”
There are functions within Transporeon’s
Upton also considers that Bring Your Own
Software as a Service (SaaS) based Internet
based transportation management solutions
Hernandez added that transport and logistics
logistics platform that facilitate the better
services as one of the key developments in
is becoming a very competitive industry, and
utilisation of fleets and the operations of the
recent times because he believes it to be a
the only way to keep up with increasing
people involved. However, it’s important to
highly attractive deployment model when
demand is to integrate new technologies
point out that it’s not a software planning tool.
considering the benefits to the end customer
quickly. “Ability to manage mobile workforce
There are many software packages for
– no least because there is no need for
more effectively is crucial,” he remarked.
software optimisation and route planning
lengthy implementation on premise. de Roo
“Transparency is a growing trend and
optimisation currently available, but these
adds that there is also little or no up-front
customers want to be able to access real-time
solutions tend to look at a particular company’s own specific requirement – its own vehicles and own routes – as opposed to opening it out to
information from their mobile
Further application of existing technology solutions and taking advantage of recent developments/advances can better address many of the inefficiencies apparent in the last mile.” – Richa Gupta, VDC Research.
or the comfort of their home in a matter of minutes. With increasingly busy lifestyles, customers want to have as many delivery details
what other companies are
available as possible – location and timing
doing within the network.” capital expenditure required, and no need for In terms of the drivers for developments such
regular upgrades – users just pay a
as these, Williamson considers it is certainly
information being crucial.” According to Hernandez, access to information is vital not only for customers;
the case that cost reduction is one of the key drivers. “I think one of the reason’s Internet-
de Roo also comments that meeting
mobile workers need to be able to access all
based transportation management system
consumers’ requirements at multiple locations
information in real-time. In Hernandez’s view,
usage is growing at such a rapid rate is
with multiple transport modes at different
the easiest way to ensure swift flow of
because as supply chains take on more
times requires a flexible transportation chain
information and full parcel traceability is to
diverse forms there is an increase of inbound
that can react quickly to unexpected changes
provide devices that allow them to send and
freight coming to the UK from the continent
and circumstances. He points to apps and
receive information in a matter of seconds. He
now than we’ve seen over the past four or five
data driven transport management services
adds that such devices should provide:
years,” he said. “There is also more outbound
as a means to ease the transparency and
freight now, so it works both ways. As
data path among every stakeholder within the
shippers set about optimising their supply
supply chain. This can result in a more
order to know all the information inherent
chains and look at different possible lanes
connected form of transportation, in his view.
to the parcel to be shipped, and the
Online access to central database in
customer to receive the item (LAN and
and routes, and hauliers to become part of
their transport network, the whole operation process can become very complex, with
multiple modes and suppliers. This also
Rafael Hernandez, manager, EMEA industry
brings the visibility issues to the fore and how
marketing at Honeywell Scanning and
shippers communicate with these companies,
Mobility, believes web-based solutions are the
how the hauliers communicate back to the
only way for users to manage their
shippers and how they also communicate with
transportation systems. “Online solutions offer
the end customers. What they don’t want to
a way of knowing, a way of demanding
do is put layers of people, systems,
services, and a way of delivering information,”
paperwork or spreadsheets into play. So,
he said. “The transparency they provide helps
increasingly, there is a move towards Internet-
to keep information flowing. Customers have
based solutions that can make
easy access to different services; often
communication as seamless and real-time as
described in more detail, providing a wide-
possible for all parties concerned.” Another
spectrum of information from picking options
driver, in Williamson’s view, is the requirement
to delivery methods and special conditions.
for little or no upfront capital expenditure
Shipments can be easily tracked, again
when sourcing a transport management
offering further visibility to the customer
solution. “This is another major advantage of
through real-time information in a matter of
the SaaS model for users,” he remarked.
seconds. Such practice is now a standard and companies that do not provide a range of
James de Roo, business development
online services along with their usual offering,
manager UK at PTV Group, cites Cloud-
are very likely to lose out.”
Special Report Transportation Management
Efficiency, cost and speed Ebbie Khadem, managing director, Spirit Data Capture Ltd., maintains that, from the customers’ point of view, the main demands are efficiency, cost and speed. “So we make sure that our solutions embrace these key elements/requirements,” he said. “We designed a platform idea so most of the features are embedded within the platform itself, i.e. communication (such as WAN, Bluetooth, WIFI), printing, navigation (GPS), camera, device type (PDA, smartphone or tablet) and operating system (Android, Windows or IOS). These are fundamental elements when you are designing a platform. This approach offers a fast and efficient development cycle allowing the customer to choose from a range of hardware and • • •
Navigation system for planning and
information and a higher quality of services
optimising their route scheduling.
than ever before. “This generates an
GPS to help navigate and allow accurate
incredibly competitive environment, where
Khadem added that this approach allows
companies are constantly looking to provide
Spirit to develop applications rapidly with
Barcode reader or RFID interrogator for tracking the goods to avoid manual data entry which speeds up the delivery and minimises the error rate.
Camera for reporting incidents and ability to track signature as proof of delivery.
Consumers know that they can go onto iTunes and download a whole album within less than 60 seconds; so people’s digital expectations are starting to spill over into the physical world.” – David Upton, DA Systems.
Capability of mobile payment to provide
multiple payment options to the customer.
new solutions and adapt latest innovative
short testing and validation as the only
Ability to process all administrative
technologies,” he said. “Businesses have to
development areas will be the business logic
information in order to provide most
continuously improve performance in order to
of a task or a process and integration to the
accurate real-time updates.
keep their position on the market. Industry
back office system.
leaders have to be fast in adapting to Additionally, Hernandez comments that all
changes and often exceed customers’
In terms of transport and logistics, Khadem
administrative information (expenses, fuel,
expectations.” Hernandez also considers that
considers that one key area of concern
time management) will be reported to the
globalisation has provided many opportunities
concerns how quickly and efficiently they can
back office using this device. “Just as
for the transportation industry. “Less restricted
complete a task in the field. According to Khadem, the main drivers for this are the
mobile application, back office integration,
As shippers set about optimising their supply chains and look at different possible lanes and routes, and hauliers to become part of their transport network, the whole operation process can become very complex, with multiple modes and suppliers.” – David Williamson, Transporeon.
information about the performance of the system and driver behaviour. “A software solution must deliver this to the business,” he remarked. Another current talking point, according to
important as the delivery vehicle is for
flow of goods between different countries and
Khadem, relates to subcontractors. “Most
everyday operations, so is the device,” he
even continents has opened many fast-
transport companies don’t want to give them
growing markets to businesses, allowing a
expensive devices; they would prefer if they
speedy growth and development of a more
used their own smartphone,” he said. “This
In terms of changing demands, Hernandez
complex international network of service
means the solution has to cope with the idea
reflects that customers are demanding more
providers,” he said.
of ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD). The
application should easily be downloaded on
field-based Transportation Management
services that span a
these devices and hook up to the back office
systems and the back-office systems they
variety of previously
easily. As a result, the level of training
integrate with (such as ERP, CRM, WMS,
required will be much lower than the standard
Supply Chain Management Printing and
Labelling devices etc.) what do our commentators consider to have been some of
Continuing the theme of BYOD, Khadem
the key recent developments? Williamson
there hasn’t been
reflects that in the past the WIFI infrastructure
points out that, in the case of Transporeon,
any major revolution
within four walls has always benefited from
this is one of the most critical areas. He
in terms of the
BYOD, where the users have brought their
commented: “Our platform can interface with
devices and hooked on to the system at the
all main back-office systems; ERP, WMS etc.
place of work using the data security of place
It can also interface with legacy systems, if
of work. “This saves the companies the effort
required. When transportation management
of making devices available to the casual and
solutions of various types aren’t able to
contract workers,” he commented.
interface with back-office systems things can
naturally evolved over the years and moved to
become very manual and time-consuming.
the web service type rather than the older FTP
Khadem also makes the point that most
When we say to customers we can provide a
model,” he said. Ayres points out that mobility
manufacturers today try to bring in many
detailed report for, from creation of an order
brings efficiency and that it is being widely
features into one device to cover at least 90
in their system, through to transport and
adopted by organisations in many areas of
per cent of activities – 3G, 4G, Push-To-Talk.
delivery, and then say we can provide them
their operations; not only on the road, but also
He added that mobile device management
with this level of information – collection time,
within warehouses and distribution centres.
can monitor and manage devices from the
delivery time, POD etc. over a period of a
“We are seeing ERP and other software
field over these devices.
week or a month – within seconds, they often
vendors recognising this and building mobility
say that’s exactly what we need because in
modules into their software,” he said. On the
Richa Gupta, senior analyst, AutoID & Data Capture,
hardware side, Ayres explains that printers
Meeting consumers’ requirements at multiple locations with multiple transport modes at different times requires a flexible transportation chain that can react quickly to unexpected changes and circumstances.” – James de Roo, PTV Group.
are being designed around the changing needs of users – smarter battery management, lighter and smaller form factors, increased ruggedness, and of course connection to and management via the Cloud.
With regard to possible market drivers for
the past it had sometimes taken them four,
development, Khadem’s view is that
five or six hours to put together a report.”
According to Hernandez, information is key, and each element in the supply chain has to
requirements have changed. “The role of a mobile phone used to be just to make a call,
Maquignon maintains that companies are
be in sync. He added: “With the increasing
then to be able to send and receive
looking to replace multiple solutions from
demand for global operations, companies
messages as well; now we want more.”
various vendors (separate applications for
often hire multiple different contractors during
Khadem added that there is now a
truckload, LTL, parcel, and fleet operations)
different stages of the process. Sharing
requirement for one device to do it all. “So
with a single, more integrated solution. He
information internally but also with
hardware has changed significantly to keep
commented: “There is a real trend towards a
independent entities is crucial. This can often
up with this need,” he said. According to
certain level of application convergence as
be a tricky process due to different ERP, CRM
Khadem, there is a convergence and
supply chain organisations need to better
or IT systems used by the external
manufacturers are looking at that constantly –
orchestrate end-to-end processes across
contractors. The carrier has full responsibility
the desire for one device to do everything and
functional domains, to connect people who
for the parcel that is often handled by external
provide additional cost savings etc. Therefore,
are not from the same departments and are
contractors on various stages of the delivery.
one of the questions being asked is what
using different systems (ERP used by Finance
During these stages The Cloud is key for
development tools can be used to make
& Accounting, WMS used by warehouse
sharing information. Communication between
everything easier in order for rapid cost-
workers…). In that case, the TMS is the
the mobile workforce and back office has to
efficient changes to be made.
bridge between all of these functions that will
be accurate and interactive – running like
enrich the communications and allow the
sharing of real-time information and data. That
is why we work on end-to-end integrated
Khadem considers that back-office integration
In terms of the relationship between the more
solutions by connecting processes and
is possible as long as the correct tools are
Special Report Transportation Management
host of connectivity options, and our Link-OS printers feature dual band connectivity which allows communication via Bluetooth when out in the field, and seamless connectivity to Wi-Fi when back inside the four walls.”
Legislation Have changes in transportation-related legislation (either locally or globally) influenced the development of Transportation Management systems over the past year or so? Ayres stresses that compliance with legislation is critical within the supply chain, and failure to comply can have serious financial and legal consequences. He adds that the upcoming EU Regulation 1169/2011 effective December 2014 deals with highlighting allergens within food, but among other directives also mandates origin labelling of unprocessed meats from livestock. available and everything can be transmitted in
improvements for the user is that the TMS
a much easier manner. He adds that Spirit’s
enables to share real-time information across
Ayres also reminds us that the USA has the
platform is designed to get that done as soon
all the parties involved without double data
FDA Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA)
as possible. “Criteria for the initial request
entry. “Besides, connecting with carriers and
which was signed off in 2011. This in effect
regarding functional specifications is key, and
other trading partners can be labour-
requires those in the food supply chain to be
should be able to connect to anything as a
intensive, repetitive and thus time-
able to trace foodstuffs ‘one step backwards
back-office system,” he said.
consuming,” said. “Implementing a TMS will
and one step forwards’. Ayres adds that anti-
automate the tasks that have no or few
counterfeiting, especially in pharmaceuticals
And what have been the subsequent benefit
added-value, which means more time to
and fashion, is also high on the agenda of the
improvements for end users? Khadem
invest on other aspects of transportation
supply chain, as is avoiding the use of conflict
explains that security is much easier due to
management or on customer service and
minerals. “Traceability solutions using
mobile VPN/mobile device managements to make sure firewalls are in place to avoid security breach. And with wide-spread Internet access, Hernandez points out that customers can extend their search and be more selective with their choice of carriers.
The role of a mobile phone used to be just to make a call, then to be able to send and receive messages as well; now we want more…So hardware has changed significantly to keep up with this need.” – Ebbie Khadem, Spirit Data Capture Ltd.
“Companies have to be able to provide flexible services – home picking, packaging,
relationship. Then, only the management of
technologies such as RFID, serialisation and
tailored tariffs depending on time and
exceptional issues is done manually as
sensors can help minimise these risks,” he
destination and, most importantly, an option to
everything else is automated. This helps
change delivery details (time and location),”
supply chain managers to focus on optimising
their transport plan and routes.”
From de Roo’s perspective, improvements in
Ayres comments that advances in wireless
changed the requirements of carbon footprint
wireless communications and transparency
technologies have allowed for larger and
reporting, and that the Freight Transport
have been particularly notable, enabling
faster data transfer between devices and
Association (FTA) is currently working on
faster reactions and real-time optimisation as
networks. “In order to maintain the seamless
carbon reduction schemes with the
well as connection of fleets regardless of
data flow required in an end-to-end visibility
Government and with the transport industry.
whether they use the same telematics
solution, it is essential that the components
provider or not.
within the chain are enabled with the latest
Maquignon points out that Wolters Kluwer
wireless and related technologies,” he
Transport Services complies with the changes
remarked. “As such, Zebra printers have a
in transport legislation and adapts its TMS
de Roo explains that compliance and regulation issues concerning CO2 emissions
According to Maquignon, one of the main
helps them to win the race,” he remarked.
accordingly for customers. “The adaptation of
that can track orders real-time, giving
the CMR in Italy is an example, or fuel
shippers visibility of all their loads all in one
surcharge, like the Heavy Vehicle Transit Tax
place, irrespective of the company and the
Ayres observes that companies in the delivery
(replacement of the ‘Ecotaxe’) in France, or
transport company they use, without having to
chain require solutions that are reliable,
the German tax regulation called
go into their telematics systems. “This type of
technology-rich, and easy to use. He adds
‘Gelangensbestätigung’,” he said. “We have
innovation is important in order to satisfy
that products should also be easy to integrate
adapted our module functionalities so that the
growing trends such as same-day delivery in
into existing systems and have the ability to
TMS could indicate, calculate and analyse the
the most efficient way possible,” he said,
be managed remotely. Ayres stresses they
impact of those surcharges and taxes, for
adding that Transporeon’s new Mobile Order
also need the assurance that if support is
shippers to be well prepared for contractual
Management app serves exactly this type of
needed, it is widely and readily available.
negotiations with their road transport
demand. Maquignon considers that, today, the TMS
suppliers. A last example is the carbon footprint calculation that became mandatory
Hernandez believes mobility is a fast growing
market is a “vast, diverse and atomised one”.
in nearly all European countries. However, not
trend in transportation industry, and that the
“There are many transport companies, and
all carriers have the ability to retrieve those
adaptation of mobile devices into everyday
many TMS editors, often much localised,” he
data directly from their vehicles. A theoretical
operations has been a huge game-changer
remarked, adding that it is therefore difficult to
calculation can be provided by the TMS in
which has helped to improve effectiveness
differentiate and sort them by functionality
order to cope with the regulation.”
and quality of services. “It is now easier than
differentiators, as those evolve very quickly
ever to integrate different devices, often with
and such an overview would soon be
different OS, which helps to provide more
information to all stakeholders – customers
What are some of the current key differences
and employees alike,” he said. Hernandez
In his view, the criteria for a customer to
regarding the different brands and types of
added that integration of new technology can
select a TMS editor are: its investment and
often be the differentiating factor on the
technological capacity, its international
systems/devices currently available?
market. “The most adaptive businesses tend
dimension, its roadmaps, its range of software
Williamson thinks one of the key differentiators
to provide higher quality services and are
solutions, methodology and resources
concerns vendors who can provide solutions
often able to predict customers’ needs, which
deployment. “Traditionally, the buyers of TMS
Special Report Transportation Management
that have some
who specialise in a traditional next-day work
budget will easily
model will increasingly start to look at same-
day work,” he commented. In terms of mobile
And what of the specific benefits our
devices and the software they use, again
contributor companies have to offer? de Roo
he said. “Middle-
there aren’t that many vendors focusing on
explains that PTV provides components for
the same-day marketplace, observes Upton.
Cloud-based solutions, such as PTV xServer
can find a solution.
“One of the challenges is that the same-day
and PTV Map&Guide, while the new service
But the small
marketplace in the UK is very fragmented,” he
PTV Drive&Arrive and the TruckParkingEurope
companies don’t get
said. “There are just under 3000 registered
App are solutions designed to optimise
any offer. TMS
courier companies in the UK; some of these
transportation not only in the planning, but also
cannot be sold like a
are ‘one-man bands’ and some are big
in real time on the road. Ayres pointed out that
nationwide operators. So there’s a huge
Zebra offers a particularly broad range of
product. Still a lot of
variety. It’s also a very regionalised business;
printing and real-time location solutions to
pressure is on the shoulders of each person
there are over 100 companies, large and
identify, track and manage critical assets,
responsible for logistics with the rapidly
small, using our same-day transport
people and actions. He also explained that
changing legislation, etc.”
management software. However, there are a
Zebra’s wide range of products, deep
lot of systems out there that deal with the
understanding of its customers and productive
Maquignon explains that one could sort TMS
smaller end of the marketplace and they are
R&D enable the company to offer highly
through the following categories:
largely different systems. There isn’t a lot of
relevant solutions and services that meet
customers’ changing needs. “We have
Ebbie Khadem, managing director,
Specialised TMS, which provides expert solutions, dedicated to a particular market
thousands of customers in more than 100
(carriers, freight forwarders,
Because of this situation, Upton believes that,
countries, including more than 90 per cent of
commissioners, shippers ...) and/or to a
as the retail logistics type businesses really
all Fortune 500 companies,” added Ayres.
specific function (labelling station, cost
take off in order to satisfy the growing
Hernandez commented that Honeywell has
control, communication platform, route
demand for same-day delivery, more and
been a Proof of Delivery (POD) pioneer for
optimisation, loading optimisation, etc.).
more companies are going to want to use
years. He added: “Our rugged mobile
Supply Chain solutions, which are not
fulfilment partners that can offer the service
computers have proven to be an excellent
transport experts but generally coming
nationwide. “This is certainly something we
solution for postal services – with customers
from planning and warehousing
are looking to address by creating a central
like Exapaq, DPD and Deutsche Post relying
industries, they aim to provide end-to-end
point where all of these different types of
on our products. These companies need
Supply Chain software solution (they often
technologies can interface and interact;
robust devices that integrate technology in a
acquired TMS to complement their global
thereby creating unified sets of information at
the other end,” he said, adding that DA
Williamson cites a statement from customer
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning),
Systems will be announcing more on this in
BSH Group as clearly representing the types of
which opened their management tools to
the near future.
benefits afforded by using the Transporeon
the Supply Chain with solutions for sourcing, storage and transport. He adds that TMS can also be divided into the following categories, based on their platform: •
Traditional, primarily on-premises applications with the potential for cloud hosting.
Managed service providers which offer operational services beyond just the software.
In terms of same-day delivery service providers, Upton maintains there remains quite a large gap in the market, and this is what DA Systems is addressing. “Nevertheless, I think a lot of the TMS vendors
system. Thorsten Schlette, corporate
the Transwide TMS (Transport Management
within any transportation provider. A to Z
logistics/process management at BSH Group,
System) solution in SaaS mode. Another
Couriers, one of the UK’s longest standing
said: "A big advantage of freight transport
customer, Miller Brands UK, is one of the
same-day courier companies, achieved
assignment via Transporeon is that it saves our
world’s leading beer producers (Pilsner
significant ROI when it implemented ACI
dispatch staff a huge amount of time. In
Urquell, Bierra Peroni, Tyskie and Miller
technology, an end-to-end transport
addition, time slot management creates
Genuine Draft a.o.). According to Maquignon,
management solution from DA Systems. Data
transparency, both internally and externally.
the company had insufficient manpower and a
captured over time demonstrates that ACI has directly supported rapid business growth,
Demand for new services is increasing and businesses should be gathering feedback more effectively; this will give a more solid basis for improvement.” – Rafael Hernandez, Honeywell Scanning and Mobility.
saved the company in excess of £0.5 million each year, plus improved customer satisfaction. From day one of implementing ACI, the operations team gained feature-rich functionality to control their entire fleet. This spanned the time a booking is made to
The flexibility of Transporeon allows us to also
lack of transparency. “Transwide TMS provided
allocating a job to a driver through to invoicing
find goal�oriented solutions for very specific
them with the efficiencies and insight that they
the client and paying drivers. The solution also
processes. We therefore want to build on our
needed to support their growth,” he remarked.
provides electronic signature capture and proof of delivery. This ensures that instant,
good working relationships and further develop
James de Roo, business development manager UK,
Khadem spoke about the close partnership
seamless mobile data exchange between the
Spirit has with BEC (Systems Integration) Ltd.
office and couriers is always visible.
He explained that BEC provides the solution as
a whole, while Spirit develops the applications
highlighted the fact
used within the solution. Khadem pointed out
Security and confidentiality
that Blédina, a
that Spirit does the integration into the back
Are there any remaining security and/or
office and develops the files, and BEC’s
confidentiality concerns at the more ‘mobile’
manufacturer of baby
objective is to provide a complete solution; a
end of the Transportation Management
food products for
one-stop shop comprising hardware, helpdesk
solutions space? Upton comments that mobile
children from 0 to 3
etc. so customers know who to call on for what
device security is of course an important
years, has made
they require and to have one point of contact.
matter. However, when it comes to insurance
and service contracts etc., he believes there is
gains across its entire
Upton comments that IT systems have a big
now far too much paperwork involved. “Very
supply chain, due to
impact on productivity and cost efficiency
little has changed on the service side of things
Special Report Transportation Management
David Williamson, UK key account manager,
for some time, but
Interestingly, growth in the SaaS applications in
there seems to be a
mainland Europe has far outstripped uptake in
the UK. From a business application point of
sense of concern,”
view, European countries have become more
open-minded to SaaS over the past few years.
Many of us in the UK think nothing about using
are useful checklists
Cloud-based facilities in our private lives. Most
to be completed,
of us will do Internet banking and use
Facebook or any other form of social media
and be happy to post private information
online. However, when you introduce the idea
of a Cloud-based solution into business you
However, I think it’s
sometimes still come across obstacles such as
very easy to go over
companies with historic IT departments that
the top and invest huge amounts of time and
are happy to maintain legacy systems and see
money on something that has never really been
the Cloud as being in some way unsecure.
a major issue in the world of distribution and
However, in mainland Europe countries such
logistics. It may be different for large insurance
as Germany France Italy Poland have really
conglomerates that need to ensure millions of
embraced the Cloud and don’t give it a second
customer records aren’t lost, but at the end of
thought. Nevertheless, I’m confident that the
the day we’re talking about delivering parcels.”
UK will catch up because the terms Cloud and SaaS are definitely becoming more familiar with
know more: What is it? Where is it? What
Ayres considers the issues of security and
now, and slowly the security issue is taking a
condition is it in? Has it been dropped? Has it
confidentiality as equally relevant and
back step as the overriding benefits are being
been kept at the correct temperature or
important throughout the entire supply chain.
opened by someone other than an authorised person? And so on. Again, access to
“Therefore it is imperative to secure it from
meaningful data and the decisions that can be
end-to-end,” he said. “As the old adage goes; a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
The next move
made by analysing that data is only going to
Mobile devices outside of a secure
What might be the next key developments be
become more important in the next year or two,
environment can themselves be tracked via
over the next year or two? Hernandez reflects
and likewise the technology that enables this,
Mobile Device Management software, which
that there is always room for improvement. “It is
such as connected devices and M2M.” Ayres
can be managed from within Zebra’s Link-OS
important to innovate and make sure you are
also sees an uptake in the implementation of
environment.” Maquignon and Williamson
one step ahead,” he said. “In such competitive
Internet of Things applications in this space.
consider that there has been nothing that has
environment, businesses have to constantly
driven Internet-based transportation
ask what additional services can be provided
Maquignon agrees. “The Internet of Things will
management platforms in a certain way due to
to customers – even if the customer appears to
be an innovative topic to follow in the next
any recent legislative changes.
be satisfied. Technology will definitely continue
couple of years,” he said. “It is the idea to
to play key role in improving processes.
create objects that are connected with other
Hernandez believes the increased information
Automation is the new fast-growing trend – I
systems so that decisions and actions could
flow opens new opportunities to both
think we might see some interesting
be made.” Also, looking at the longer term,
customers and companies. However, he adds
developments in this area soon.” Hernandez
that gathered information can also potentially
also believes users are becoming more and
an important change
be exposed to security threats, which can
more tech-savvy, and are now quite often
will be that one day
damage confidentiality between the customer
demanding a similar level of tech-awareness
stop users will stop
and service provider. “Companies should take
from carriers. “Demand for new services is
using computers or
extra care when processing information,” he
increasing and businesses should be
laptops, and rely only
gathering feedback more effectively; this will
on tablet PCs and
give a more solid basis for improvement,” he
“Mobility is very
Williamson: With regard to our own Cloud/SaaS
important to take into
logistics platform, there have no security breaches. Our customers entrust us with some
Ayres observes that customer requirements are
very sensitive information and this must be
also changing. “Once it was enough to know
protected by a very robust system.
what something is, but now customers need to
regard to changing
Fabrice Maquignon, managing director,
end-user requirements over the coming year or
both the end-customer and the shipper
huge potential for
two, Maquignon believes the trending
informed of developments in real-time.” In
requirement for more connected and
terms of general trends going forward,
particularly at the
integrated end-to-end solutions will continue to
Williamson believes continuous improvement in
doorstep,” he said.
grow, as the supply chain continues to be
the way goods are shipped and delivered to
“Here, the delivery
more integrated into the core strategic
customers, both in the B2B and B2C space –
person can benefit
organisation of each company, for the benefit
continue apace. “And with the growing trend
of the end-user. He adds that what will also
for same-day delivery – often referred to as last
simplify the user-experience will be to manage
mile delivery – this is now more important than
a TMS solution like an app.
ever,” he said. “This is where real-time tracking
information related to
of orders by drivers with regard to all their
the customer and the
loads is important.”
particular order in
Williamson considers that in B2C consumers
Rafael Hernandez, manager, EMEA industry marketing,
increasingly want to know the estimated time a delivery is going to be made, and having this
Upton, like Williamson, also believes there will
example, maybe the customer didn’t take out
communicated to them via text message or
continue to be increasing interest in, and
the extended warranty on the product when he
phone call. “It’s all about having the technology
acceptance of, same-day delivery. “This
or she bought it online because they didn’t
in place to ensure you can keep customers
marketplace is definitely on an upswing at the
want to pay the extra £50. Here, there could be
updated regarding any re-planning and re-
moment, and on a global scale,” he said. “The
an upsell opportunity in that the delivery
scheduling that might need to take place due
US seems to be leading it but we are certainly
person could have an overlay in the glass
to unforeseen challenges such as road works,
seeing it happening in the UK as well.” Upton
pointing out that if the customer took out the
accidents,” he said. “One of the main
added that he believes wearable devices will
extended warranty on the spot it will only cost
challenges here come when you’re using
also become increasingly prevalent in the
£20 rather than £50. So, I believe there are
multiple carriers and how you can ensure all
world of distribution and logistics. “The use of
many efficiency and sales opportunities to be
parties concerned have the means to keep
devices such as Google Glasses certainly has
had with this type of technology.” n
With Transwide solutions, the Paul Hartmann Group strives towards excellence in the way it manages its inbound and inter-company logistics in Europe. showcase for the ‘zero defect’ logistics strategy applied by a world-leading supplier of disposable medical devices, the Paul Hartmann platform at Belleville-sur-Saône in France opened in 2010 and chose to use Transwide transport management and planning solutions to optimise all of its arrivals from factories, suppliers and dealers.
Operational needs The warehouse covers 48,000m² divided into 8 specialised units, and boasts 54 doors. It is at the cutting edge of logistics technology, with the “Pick to belt” system and automated preparation, and every day it has to manage the arrival and unloading of more than 30 vehicles. As Fabrice Mast, Paul Hartmann France’s logistics project manager, explained: “With this volume, it was crucial for us to have a centralised, accurate overview of arrivals in order to make sure everything runs smoothly, to optimise carriers’ schedules and guarantee unloading in under an hour.” To enhance its profile, reliability and operational efficiency, Paul Hartmann was looking for a software solution which could digitise and automate all aspects of inbound
transport management for its French platform. To guarantee centralised information and ensure a comprehensive overview, it was vital for the TMS to interface in real time with the SAP ERP, which is listing carriers and creating transport orders. On top of this was the simplicity and flexibility of using the solution, which had to integrate a new carrier in under 48 hours, and be totally accessible to that carrier online. “From the very beginning, we wanted every carrier or supplier, from the smallest to the biggest, to be able to embrace the planning solution in just a few minutes, without any extra material costs,” Mast pointed out. Which is why they chose a SaaS-based product, which only needs Internet access, and Transwide solutions, which fulfilled all their industry-specific and technological requirements. Another deciding factor in the choice of Transwide TMS solution was a survey of Paul Hartmann’s 30 carriers, which highlighted the benefits of a free, user-friendly planning portal, already used by many of them. “Drawing on their leadership of the market, which our carriers and suppliers confirmed, Transwide had a similar corporate culture to ours, where close relationships with clients and customer service is a priority,” continued Mast.
schedules online. Operational in less than two months, the Transwide solution was fully integrated into the logistics processes when the new platform opened. “A small project within a major project, the launch of our automated logistics platform, the roll-out of Transwide solutions to our carriers and suppliers happened quickly, almost intuitively,” clarified Mast, with a smile. “Transwide is a modular SaaS-based software platform that has already been tried and tested on the ground by shippers and carriers, and in no time at all has become an essential tool in our approach to optimising arrivals.”
Improvement in efficiency and productivity An integral part of Paul Hartmann France’s upstream supply chain, Transwide’s TMS solutions now manage 100 per cent of arrivals from factories, suppliers and dealers by road. As well as the fact that all low added value administrative tasks have been disposed of, it gives Paul Hartmann France a relevant, comprehensive overview of its actual traffic, so that it can anticipate and optimise the management of arrivals, in perfect harmony with the SAP ERP. Depending on the volume of supplies needed on a particular day, SAP prepares 20 or even 30 transport orders the previous day, which are automatically passed on to the carriers involved via twCall-Off.
The right choice On the strength of the results achieved in terms of operational efficiency in France, the Paul Hartmann Group now uses Transwide’s TMS solutions at all of its 40 European logistics centres to optimise the management of its intercompany traffic.
The Transwide solution chosen incorporates three modules: twCall-Off - dedicated to electronic communication of transport orders twSlot, designed to manage carriers’
These carriers log onto the web portal to schedule their day via twSlot according to the time slots available or requested (morning, afternoon, or specific time), and/or specific delivery requirements (designated building or
bay). Once the carrier is onsite and the pallets have been scanned, the transport order is closed and the purchase order created in SAP, so the pre-invoicing process can be managed in real time. As well as this, the Transwide system manages dealers’ remainders by offering the option to schedule deliveries for carriers not listed by Paul Hartmann. The Transwide modules have met the demands of the French platform perfectly, by harmonising and facilitating arrivals. To such an extent that Paul Hartmann no longer has any penalties for failing to fulfil unloading deadlines. Mast added: “The schedule planning managed by Transwide is incredibly accurate. There are zero defects in terms of shortages or congestion.”
What do logistics managers, warehouse managers and their carriers have in common?
With a view to taking the optimisation and management of arrivals even further using performance indicators, Paul Hartmann France has decided to add three new modules to its Transwide TMS solution: twData, dedicated to extracting data in Excel to generate KPIs; twControl, designed to send out notification emails about any issues; and twSelect for sequential or simultaneous ‘cascaded’ tendering and quota management. “With a transport budget of around 23 million Euros a year, we are always having to look for options for improving productivity in this area, at the moment focusing on inbound distribution, and in the near future for client deliveries,” explained Mast.
exchange Every Ev ery day, day, they need to o exchange hangee eliable partners information, work with rreliable sure that the goods to limit their costs, be sure ered to the end customer on time, ar aree deliv delivered sometimes manage man manyy documents in differ ent languages, solve solve unfor eseen different unforeseen ev ents that mak events makee their work difﬁcult difﬁcult.. All ar aree faced with decisions and actions to be tak en quickly. quicklly. taken
European rollout On the strength of the results achieved in terms of operational efficiency in France, the Paul Hartmann Group now uses Transwide’s TMS solutions at all of its 40 European logistics centres to optimise the management of its inter-company traffic. Fabrice Mast summed up: “We are witnessing a rise in the use of Transwide TMS solutions within the Paul Hartmann Group. Over a hundred of our employees are now using them every day.”
And the need to treat treat them efﬁciently. efﬁciently. A olters Att an anyy time, they can turn to W Wolters Kluwer TTransport ransport Services solutions to str eamline these critical business streamline pr ocesses and facilitate their daily daily work. All processes can collaborate effectiv elly on the W olters effectively Wolters Kluwer TTransport ransport Services integrated platform. A community of mor moree than 100,000 users in o ver 80 countries beneﬁt over fr om our inter connected solutions, our from interconnected global pr esence, the effectiv eness of our presence, effectiveness online network -based technology network-based technology,, the communications tools that we pr ovide provide for them to solve solve their most complicated challenges and to successfull successfullyy manage their transportation operations. Wolters Kluwer Transport Transport Services Wolters truly connects transport communities. truly
Fabrice Mast: “With a transport budget of around 23 million Euros a year, we are always having to look for options for improving productivity in this area, at the moment focusing on inbound distribution, and in the near future for client deliveries.”
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BSH Group improves transport transparency and tendering processes with Transporeon SH Group, manufacturer of domestic equipment, has strongly improved its transportation tendering and planning processes. Increased transparency, due to better data accuracy, has led to both cost savings and a reduction of the administration workload. The number of errors, as a result of human handling, is reduced as well. The project has been rolled out in several countries worldwide, which made it an interesting challenge for both BSH and Transporeon.
A solid company growth since the mid-1970s led to a complex international transport network with lots of carriers. The creation of tenders, keeping them up to date and processing them was time-consuming and required a lot of manual effort. Logistics contracts, freight rates and transport data were saved on several locations, which obviously didn’t provide the right overview. So, things had to be changed and that’s why BSH Group selected Transporeon for the implementation of several modules of its online transport platform which is developed to streamline transport related logistic processes and communication between industrial companies, trading companies, carriers, drivers and consignees.
Optimised tender processes The first step in the worldwide optimisation project was the implementation of Ticontract,
the tendering platform of the Transporeon group. It has been in use since 2005 for tendering road and rail transports throughout Europe and the US, and it is also used for setting up tendering processes of global freight contracts to Asia, Australia, Latin America and Africa. All this is done webbased. The Ticontract-solutions help in standardising processes, for example by offering templates for tendering. Once created, they can be used over and over again and offers can be compared in a standardised way. In addition, the history of the tender processes is visible, so transparency is created. Besides this, BSH Group also rolled out Ticontract’s Rate Management, which has been chosen as the preferred module to store all freight rates into a central database. The module provides an overview of current freight rates, the related validity and the corresponding tariffs. In addition the module has an archive function as rates of the past are stored. Ticontract makes sure that the BSH Group is able to manage all global freight in a centralised and transparent way. The interface between the Rate Management module and the ERP system of the BSH Group has made a switch
possible in invoicing. While previously manufacturers advised the carriers directly, today they inform BSH and BSH advises the carriers. BSH now has all shipment data in their ERP-system and via interface receives the calculated freight costs from Ticontract rate management. This speeds up invoice clarification significantly.
Reduced workload by electronically allocating transport orders The insight into all transport related activities has grown significantly, while the workload has been strongly reduced. One of the main drivers of this reduction is the change in assigning the transport orders. Previously this was done manually. The BSH Group checked the availability of freight forwarders by telephone and transferred the order by email. This process was very time consuming and error prone. Therefore, BSH implemented the Transporeon platform for transport. The notouch order module, is automating the transport assignment process, based on the contracts with trucking companies from Ticontract. When BSH users create a transport order in the ERP system the automatic carrier allocation module assigns this transport based on defined criteria such as transport lane or vehicle type. The transport allocation process is based on selected, predefined quota, as agreed upon in the contract. Previously, the BSH users were always confirming all details by email and telephone. Transparency is increased, because BSH-staff now can see which carrier currently has the transport order.
Capacity planning with time slot management One of the benefits, as a result of the implementation of the Transporeon platform, was the link between the transport orders and time slot bookings for loading and unloading. Time Slot Management allows trucking companies to book a free time slot directly out of the transport order, and once carriers have booked their free time slot, the loading crew knows the arrival time of the truck in advance. Another advantage is the transparency on the carrier side, which allows them to manage slot booking without consulting BSH-staff.
Evaluation of KPI’s and harmonisation of existing systems IT-wise a lot has changed since the global use of one common system within the company. The original configurations have been completely replaced, standards were defined and site-specific features are implemented. These important changes have resulted into one harmonised system that
demands of its users to follow stringent processes, it allows the evaluation of uniform KPIs and synergy effects. These are needed when international roll-out projects take place or when new interfaces are introduced. Measuring actual performance was difficult previously as e.g. transport order acceptance level of the carriers needed to be maintained manually. Important information which could help improving logistics processes was missing and the quality measurement of freight forwarders did not cover all aspects of the supply chain. Therefore the final step in the implementation process was the roll-out of the reporting tool. BSH Group adopted the solution as soon as it was available because it directly provides access to the data from the transport orders and information on the time slot management. Users can execute detailed analysis, for example on punctuality of freight forwarders, waiting times and loading and unloading times. This information is now easily available and can be used to enhance quality competitions or as a decision help in bidding processes. All these changes have improved the efficiency of BSH Group and their brands
around the world. To name a few, the main brands are Bosch and Siemens. In addition, there are several other brands such as Gaggenau, Neff and Junker, that are focusing on fulfilling special customer demands. The company portfolio contains a few very strong regional brands as well, such as Balay in Spain, Pitsos in Greece and Profilo in Turkey. The product portfolio is diverse and manufactured all over the globe and offers all kind of domestic equipment. It ranges from stoves, ovens and dishwashers to dryers, refrigerators and freezers. But there are also small home appliances such as vacuum cleaners, coffee vending machines and hairdryers to be found in the portfolio. Thorsten Schlette, corporate logistics/process management at the BSH Group, concluded: "A big advantage of freight transport assignment via no-touch order is that it saves our dispatch staff a huge amount of time. In addition, time slot management creates transparency, both internally and externally. The flexibility of Transporeon allows us to also find goaloriented solutions for very specific processes. We therefore want to build on our good working relationships and further develop the Transporeon modules together."
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Meet at the dock
– new service for
dynamic optimisation of the supply chain The Cloud-based service PTV Drive&Arrive provides every link in the logistical supply chain with the estimated time of arrival (ETA) of transport in real-time, allowing them to react immediately. It makes industrial, trade and transport logistics companies more efficient in their processes before and after transportation and particularly allows them to save on resources and costs at the dock, improve punctuality and reduce complaints and penalties.
and the docks and trucks themselves. The trips can also be retraced for invoicing purposes.
Expected time of arrival with added value This is often due to the fact that truck drivers are either not informed or not sufficiently informed about delays at the dock operator's end while en route. The dock operator on the other hand rarely has information about whether the driver is experiencing delays. This is where the new PTV Drive&Arrive development comes into its own: for the first time, everyone involved, regardless of their contractual relation to one another, has the same information available at any one time. This means compete transparency for everyone. James de Roo: PTV Drive&Arrive guarantees and accelerates company-to-company information flow for each link in the transport chain.
ong waiting times at docks are common: according to a 2011 survey by SCI Verkehr GmbH, 85 per cent of transport and logistics company respondents complain about long waiting times at docks. An Internet questionnaire by the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure in summer 2012 goes into greater detail. Assuming a waiting time of up to one hour as acceptable, 69 per cent of the transport companies taking part in the survey and 56 per cent of the industrial firms report waiting times greater than one hour at warehouses and identify with the idea that waiting times are a genuine economic problem. It leads to additional costs for all links in the logistics supply chain: Poor use of resources and added penalties and complaints from customers cost money.
The PTV Group service is a unique tool for estimating the arrival time of road haulage transport: it is vehicle-specific and uses both historical traffic information and up-to-date congestion and road closure announcements. It also factors in the legally required driving times and rest periods for drivers. PTV Drive&Arrive is particularly useful because in spite of proprietary systems it guarantees and accelerates company-to-company information flow for each link in the transport chain.
Networking with positive side-effects "Networking does not happen by itself, because generally, it brings economic advantages. Cooperation comes about only if every single player sees an individual benefit for themselves," said James de Roo, business development manager UK at PTV Group, explaining the basic reasoning behind developing the new service. "To begin with, the individual perspective on the needs of the specific parties involved is therefore important. Despite their different aims, when it comes to needs we always come back to two points: an accurate and constantly updated response to the question, ‘when is it coming’?" regardless of contractual relations and across the entire supply chain," said de Roo. "PTV Drive&Arrive also helps of course the scarce resource of transport infrastructure to be used more efficiently and to reduce negative environmental effects – that is a thoroughly encouraging side-effect.“
Technical networking On the basis of the real-time data, the scheduler can intervene in ways such as changing the stop sequence or re-planning trips. At the same time, the dock operator has the chance to optimise the resources at the unloading dock. All these measures improve punctuality and reduce costs and complaints. This approach also leads to better efficiency among dock staff, drivers,
But how do you network the participants together as simply as possible? "Consumerisation of IT has been a trend in the past two to three years“, de Roo commented. "Our service is also following this development and making the most of the opportunities which modern communication tools, media and online services offer today."
TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT A number of transport management system suppliers have already integrated the service into a simple application programming interface (API) in their products. The arrival information can also be received via a web portal and mobile apps for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets.
Dynamic transport management systems: an important contribution to the future of logistics In the final report of the BMVI survey "Dock interface: solutions to avoid waiting times", the authors emphasise that: "The participants view it as an approach with a high success rate in optimising processes across the entire supply chain from dispatch to receipt. James de Roo is therefore enthusiastic: "Soon already, new, dynamic transport management systems will plug large information gaps in the transport chain. They will increase the efficiency of logistics for every single company, but also tap into company-to-company potential for the first time. We are moving from the dock straight to the future of logistics."
TIME OF ARRIVAL 10:30 am - Difference +30 min
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Will population growth require transport providers to hone green credentials? By David Upton, managing director, DA Systems Ltd.
ithin the next 15 years, London’s population is tipped to exceed 10 million people, making it the most heavily populated city in Europe after Moscow. It’s already very busy and transportation management technology will inevitably play an essential role in cutting the impact the logistics operations inevitably have on the environment.
Reducing levels of congestion is one important aspect and ‘out of hours’ deliveries are a great first step. Support for e-commerce is another consideration because the amount of goods bought online either via the web or mobile devices, continues to rise and now accounts for 23 per cent of e-commerce sales according to IMRG. They forecast that UK retailers are on course to dispatch around 900 million orders or 930 million parcels in 2014 with 120 million orders in December alone. This puts ecommerce levels at over 10 per cent of the total economy in the UK, with two thirds of all adults in the country shopping via the Internet. Although online shopping reduces consumer road traffic to a degree, it increases the volume of commercial vehicles using the roads, so sustainability needs to be addressed. Environmental impact has always been discussed but with the Internet of Things and ability for devices to communicate with each other and existing systems, a truly sustainable approach can be achieved. It is only a matter of time before delivery companies are obliged to identify new ways to reduce their carbon footprints and environmental impact.
Good for business Investing in ways to become more environmentally friendly is good for business, makes financial sense and helps to differentiate transport providers. Retailers are image conscious and are starting to seek partners who share their values in trying to minimise environmental impact. Innovations in
‘almost every car and van’ to be zeroemission by 2050. Introducing mobile data technology such as ePOD to drivers has had a significant impact not just by reducing costs, but also by improving the company’s overall carbon footprint. And these cost savings are just as relevant to smaller and larger organisations.
the mobile world means obtaining green credentials is more attainable than ever. The availability of SatNav, job scheduling and signature capture on new devices with NFC and RFID capabilities and a more appealing ‘consumerist’ look and feel than previous rugged enterprise products, means greater user adoption. In addition to improving productivity and cost savings, using an electronic proof of delivery, real-time job scheduling and route optimisation systems for instance, has been shown to have a significant impact on reducing physical costs i.e. of consumables and labour costs. It also has an impact on reducing CO2 and carbon footprint. The transportation of raw materials and finished products are also a substantial source of carbon emissions in the supply chain. For some companies, logistics can be the primary component of supply chain carbon emissions. The Department of Transport found road transport accounts for 21.7 per cent of the UK’s carbon emissions. Of that, 19.8 per cent is attributable to heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and 15.2 per cent to vans. The Government is aiming to position the UK at the global forefront of ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) development, manufacture and use, and has a vision for
Clearer picture Not only will changing to logistics partners with greener credentials help meet a company’s corporate social responsibility and environmental policies, utilising technology enables a clearer picture of deliveries, scheduling, managing peak times; reviewing carbon emissions, plus driver behaviour – in readable, legible reports based on date- and time-driven events. A business can never entirely eliminate its environmental impact, but that is no reason to not take advantage of the technology available to reduce it. By having a green approach to your transport management helps to achieve positive environmental and financial goals. Sources: IMRG E-commerce Index and Boston Consulting Group.
A to Z Couriers
saves over £0.5 million annually with ACI T systems have a big impact on productivity and cost efficiency within any transportation provider. This case study illustrates the significant ROI achieved by one of the UK’s longest standing sameday courier companies, A to Z Couriers, when it implemented ACI technology, an end-to-end transport management solution from DA Systems. Data captured over time demonstrates that ACI has directly supported rapid business growth, saved the company in excess of £0.5 million each year, plus improved customer satisfaction.
The company was using a legacy DOS-based system, paper documentation and spreadsheets. This was time consuming, did not support its 300-strong courier workforce effectively and left the company unable to quickly verify whether deliveries had been completed or satisfy demands from customers for real-time information. It was becoming increasingly difficult for the control team to manage any increase in volumes of jobs with jobs being ‘lost’ and the level of information available to customers was lacking. From day one of implementing ACI, the operations team gained feature rich functionality to control its entire fleet. This spanned the time a booking is made to allocating a job to a driver through to invoicing the client and paying drivers. The solution also provides electronic signature capture and proof of delivery. This ensures that instant, seamless mobile data exchange between the office and couriers is always visible.
Five measureable benefits of using ACI
company has been able to achieve significant growth levels without the need to increase administrative headcount levels. The graph shows the number of jobs handled through ACI and the corresponding business growth achieved. 2. Paperless, mobile working reduces human resource costs Mobile data technology ensures couriers are provided with accurate delivery details and any special instructions. This eliminates errors and the need for couriers to call controllers to clarify details. This has not only saved on outgoing and incoming call charges, but freed up the time of controllers for more revenue generating activities. Without ACI, the only way business growth levels could have been sustained would be by employing more permanent staff within the operations function. This would have been uneconomical and would have had a big impact on profitability. The company operates entirely ‘paperlessly’ and can scale up and down to cope with peaks and troughs in demand with ease. 3. Improved customer satisfaction ACI provides a full audit trail; from time stamped proofs of collection and fully satellite tracked journeys, through to real-time signature capture and proof of delivery. Electronic proof of delivery (POD) is instantly sent through to customers and is also available to controllers. Through offering
proactive notifications to clients, the number of incoming queries requesting job progress updates has reduced and customer satisfaction levels have improved. 4. Improved management reporting Over 70 standard reports are available within ACI, ranging from KPI’s, gross margin, incomplete jobs, invoice profitability, period performance, POD / POD performance, telephonist performance. This allows management to monitor the volumes of jobs being handled for each account, calculate the percentage of SLAs being met and provide a clear measure of customer satisfaction levels. 5. Improved administrative capabilities The processes for generating invoices, calculating driver pay is fully automated, which means errors, queries and nonpayments are eliminated, together with a reduction to administrative overheads. Payment cycles are reduced and business cash flow is improved. Previously, it took a week to manually prepare invoices and calculate driver pay with ACI this process now takes one hour.
Jobs processed by ACI 1,400,000 1,200,000
1. Flexibility to scale business operations ACI provides the scalability and resilience to cope with dramatic increases in demand. Courier business levels can fluctuate and the volume of jobs to be undertaken can rise to over 3000 per day. Since ACI was implemented, the number of jobs handled has more than doubled yet the
1,000,000 800,000 600,000 400,000 200,000 0 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Thinking ahead Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with Ariel Weil, general manager of DynaSys, about the company’s 29 years of experience in providing integrated and collaborative planning solutions, and the benefits of being part of the QAD group of companies. rom its initial origins in France, DynaSys has always adhered to what is fundamentally the same strategy; to provide the best solution suite for demand and supply chain planning. “This has always been our key focus,” said Ariel Weil, the company’s general manager. “We’ve never ventured in the direction of ERP, supply chain execution, or transportation management etc. Our staff have all the technology knowledge and passion to develop absolutely state-of-the-art tools; mainly comprising of demand forecasting and supply chain planning. Indeed, many of our personnel have been with us since the formation of the company some 29 years ago, and as a team we have the level of experience needed to run one of the most competitive companies in our field.”
Weil reflected that demand and supply chain planning is one of the most important disciplines for manufacturers and retailers today. “Manufacturing companies in all vertical sectors need to manage minute pieces of information; they often need to manage millions of pieces of data and one cost constraint after another. This can be a very complex process, and something they need to get right on a regular basis in order to 26
single memory source accessible by all authorised personnel within the organisation,” said Weil. “You can be operating in a number of countries, you can have 10 or 20 plants and millions of SKUs, all the data in memory, and if one manager changes one piece of
make the best decisions related to the production or procurement of goods and in what quantity. So they need to be very alert and very reactive.”
Single-click collaboration technology Weil explained that these were some of the core reasons why DynaSys developed functionality called Single Click Collaborative technology, as part of the company’s Demand and Supply Chain Planning solutions suite (previously n.SKEP). Weil pointed out that Single Click Collaborative technology offers customers the flexibility they need for rapid, shared decision-making processes, and helps them to attain the agility they need to gain market share and improve competitiveness. He added that this type of high-performance technology can ensure that companies obtain the most from their system. According to Weil, some of the key benefits of Single Click Collaborative technology include: Improved turnover and profitability; improved customer satisfaction; reduced inventory; reduced operating costs; and improved order fulfilment. “Single Click Collaborative technology holds all your demand and supply chain data in a
Ariel Weil: “As a company serving a diverse range of clients in Europe and operating in all core industry verticals, we have also always been dedicated to serving the global marketplace. This has now become an even bigger focus since our acquisition by QAD.”
data in Thailand or the US this can be seen immediately in the UK, for example. Having this visibility means you can then make fresh decisions based on this new information immediately.” Weil also pointed out that customers can also rely on the full support of experienced DynaSys Supply Chain consultants, with proven industry experience in the food and beverage, consumer goods, pharmaceutical, chemical, cosmetics, distribution and retail industries.
Modular solution Weil also explained that caching information in the database’s memory in real time gives DynaSys the opportunity to develop its Demand and Supply Chain Planning tools as what is essentially one software solution. “We cover all the supply chain planning disciplines from the customer through to the suppliers,” he said. “Just one technology is needed; users don’t need a mix of technologies sourced from various solutions suppliers. If the user sources tools from various suppliers and tries to interface them as one solution they may succeed with the integration but they probably won’t have a consistent look and feel that makes daily operation as convenient as possible for the operators. Support could also be an issue if various different providers are involved. What manufacturers and retailers need is a single solution that is modular in format, so they only need to source the functionality they require, while also having the flexibility to add extra tools as and when needed. This is what we can offer at DynaSys.”
Ready To Plan Recently, DynaSys launched Ready To Plan 1.2 (RTP), a preconfigured Demand and Supply Chain Planning (SCP) solution for retail and manufacturing companies. It is also expanding its staff to better serve new and existing customers globally. “Strong growth in the in Europe, North America and Frenchspeaking markets has resulted in an increased demand for Demand & Supply Chain Planning solutions provided by us,” said Weil. In summary, Ready To Plan 1.2 addresses: •
Demand Planning: includes Sales Forecasting, Distribution Requirement Planning (DRP) and Analyses & Reporting. An accurate forecast is critical
to supply chain optimisation; Demand Planning ensures delivery of more reliable logistics, sales and budgetary forecasts. Production Planning: includes Finite Capacity planning and Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP). Production Planning helps optimise plans to meet customer needs while respecting production constraints. Procurement Planning: optimises procurement activities; calculates order and delivery schedules based on requirements forecasts and checks the feasibility of the production plan with regard to raw materials, packaging and other materials. Ready To Plan 1.2 is designed to specifically meet the unique needs of global retailers, specialised distribution companies and manufacturers. It consists of a single database and is delivered as a preconfigured solution which reduces complexity and speeds implementation by up to 50 per cent.
“Ready To Plan 1.2 delivers a comprehensive planning solution that better serves retailers, specialised distribution companies and customers in the manufacturing industries,” said Weil. “Our customers will be pleased with a new planning solution that is less complex, faster to implement and quicker to deliver ROI, all while providing robust and effective planning to ensure efficient operations in their respective industries.”
QAD advantage In 2012 DynaSys was acquired by QAD Inc., one of the world’s leading providers of enterprise software and services for global manufacturing companies. At the time of the acquisition, QAD commented that it had a vision for the future where every customer could call themselves an Effective Enterprise, with every business process working at peak efficiency and perfectly aligned to their strategic goals. QAD chairman and president, Pamela Lopker, said the acquisition would aid in making that vision a reality by adding additional strength to QAD’s existing supply chain planning capabilities. She added that DynaSys was rich in both talent and technology, with exceptional customer commitment, and that QAD saw a strong cultural fit between the organisations.
Customers can rely on the full support of experienced DynaSys Supply Chain consultants, with proven industry experience in the pharmaceutical, food and beverage, consumer goods, chemical, cosmetics, distribution and retail industries.
Global presence Weil said of the QAD acquisition: “As a company serving a diverse range of clients in Europe and operating in all core industry verticals, we have also always been dedicated to serving the global marketplace. This has now become an even bigger focus since our acquisition by QAD. For many years QAD has had a large number of established bases throughout the world, and this has meant we have been able to further leverage our level of demand and supply chain planning solution provision – together with service and support – into a wide number of global territories, with a strategic focus on emerging markets. We are now a truly global player and are constantly expanding our reach.”
DynaSys at a glance DynaSys S.A.S., a division of QAD Inc., provides Demand and Supply Chain Planning solutions. With 29 years of experience, DynaSys provides an integrated and collaborative planning solution that allows businesses to optimise their supply chains, including sales and operations planning, demand planning, network and inventory and business resources optimisations. DynaSys software enables customers and partners in the food and beverage, consumer packaged goods, life sciences, apparel, luxury, high tech, automotive, distribution and retail verticals to meet their goals of better managing Demand and Supply Chain Planning, and becoming more Effective Enterprises.
the fulfilment speed barrier delivery customers Speed of fulfilment was identified as a top challenge for 40 per cent of the companies that responded to a Supply Chain Management Survey carried out for Access. Speed is a critical factor in order fulfilment and failure to perform can cost businesses dear. Access has launched a new white paper based on this research, titled: 'Breaking the fulfilment speed barrier', which sets out how to speed up while maintaining accuracy. he biggest cause of fulfilment delay and inaccuracy is paper, according to the survey, which also suggests that a good supply chain solution will support a variety of technologies to eliminate paperwork. Warehouse planning will help speed picking, while supporting several different pick strategies will save time and increase labour efficiency. Other measures with a positive impact on fulfilment speed include an increasing use of mobile devices within a good supply chain solution. Robust sales forecasts, meanwhile, can accelerate preordering and manufacturing.
By giving all parties the visibility they need, the supply chain becomes not just faster but more flexible, and better able to understand and adapt to the impact of events.” – Ian Roper, Access. The white paper points out that in an increasingly e-commerce driven economy, speed, along with accuracy, of fulfilment is a critical factor that can differentiate one supplier from another, influence buying behaviour, and ultimately, win or lose business. Consumers, especially on the Internet, increasingly expect next day or even same day delivery as standard. Combined with minimal stock-holding, this is likely to add to the mounting pressure on supply chains to respond instantly to purchase orders and manufacturing requisitions.
Competitive advantage Ian Roper, director of Access, said: "Improving the speed and accuracy of 28
fulfilment while controlling the costs of execution is one of the key sources of competitive advantage available throughout business and commerce. While the necessary measures may start on the shop floor and in the warehouse, successful fulfilment depends on communicating and seamlessly integrating with all the partners in the extended supply chain."
visibility they need, the supply chain becomes not just faster but more flexible, and better able to understand and adapt to the impact of events. A good supply chain system will not only improve speed and accuracy within manufacturing and warehousing; it will help streamline and accelerate all the third party processes, from suppliers to carriers that influence successful fulfilment."
The Supply Chain Management survey was carried out for Access, the Supply Chain Solutions vendor, by Redshift Research.
He concluded: “'Fulfilment' implies the entire process from receipt of order to satisfactory delivery to, and acceptance by, the customer and there are many procedures and handovers that need to be streamlined and coordinated if the 'promise' is to be met in a competitive fashion. By giving all parties the
Supply Chain Evolution Enable Your Supply Chain Initiatives Control supply chain complexity Optimise your internal and external collaboration Increase turnover and proďŹ t margins
Sir Stanley Clarke House 7 Ridgeway, Quinton Business Park Birmingham, B32 1AF +44 (0) 121 506 6500 www.dys.com
Elektron Technology improves customer service levels thanks to WMS from BEC Delivering solutions to more than 7000 distribution partners worldwide with over 100,000 end users across all seven continents, Elektron Technology designs, manufactures and markets innovative technology products which form a highly diverse collection of brands.
rom ground-breaking ophthalmic screening, to connectors that carry power and data signals through hazardous and challenging environments, Elektron Technology’s products are created and developed to solve pressing problems, thanks to the combination of lateral thinking, practical engineering and cutting-edge technology.
The problem The legacy system which Elektron was using to pick products and packages for shipment
was starting to fail. It was error-prone, which was not only costly, it also didn’t fit with the company’s strong emphasis on the provision of complete customer satisfaction. Sunil Solanki, group infrastructure manager at Elektron, explains: “As a business, we are entirely committed to providing excellent levels of customer service. Our previous picking solution was paper-based, whereby workers would operate from a paper pick list to build up the packages for shipment. They would then manually record the quantities and serial numbers. These were subsequently transferred from the paper pick lists into our IFS ERP system using the IFS Shipment screens, which was not only very timeconsuming, but also tended to present us with a relatively high number of errors, which was something we needed to look into and ultimately improve upon.” In an effort to significantly reduce the errors which were occurring in its picking and shipment process and enable fast, real-
time, accurate and consistent transaction processing across the group’s companies, Elektron approached a number of data collection solution providers. After considering several options, Elektron chose a Warehouse Management Solution from BEC.
The solution After conducting a thorough process review, which involved carefully analysing Elektron’s previous data collection methods and its subsequent requirement with regard to a new data collection and processing solution, BEC recommended its eSmart Warehouse solution for IFS, running on the Motorola Workabout Pro handheld computer. The solution was then developed and tested at BEC’s headquarters, with implementation taking place soon afterwards at Elektron’s Tunis site, which was fully deployed after four days on location, and also at its Torquay site, which was fully deployed after two days on location. Andrew Briggs, technical director at BEC explains: “Our eSmart Warehouse solution has the ability to automate warehouse picking and packing operations, allowing for increased accuracy and productivity. It eliminates the need for paperwork and has the ability to seamlessly integrate into any ERP backbone. It also provides support for multiple warehouses and is fully
customisable to suit individual business needs, so for Elektron’s purposes it was the ideal solution, as it was able to fulfil all of their data collection needs and requirements – and more.”
The result Loaded onto the highly ruggedised Motorola Workabout Pro, which is designed for use within harsh warehousing environments, the solution has transformed Elektron’s picking procedure, allowing for high levels of accuracy and a great improvement in the service it is able to offer its customers. Pickers can now work much more quickly and accurately, helping Elektron to save money, thanks to a reduction in errors.
Andrew Briggs: “Our eSmart Warehouse solution was able to fulfil all of Elektron’s data collection needs and requirements – and more.”
Solanki explains: “The new solution from BEC has completely changed the way that we work. Picking errors have been significantly reduced and our overall warehouse processes now run much more smoothly and efficiently across our entire organisation. We are currently enjoying even
greater relationships with our customers since we are now able to provide improved levels of service.” Solanki continued: “In terms of BEC as a solution provider, we have been highly impressed with their consultative approach and process-driven analysis. Thanks to their strong track record within the warehousing and distribution sector, we felt safe in the knowledge that they are a highly experienced one-stop-shop who would supply, manage and support IFS integration, the mobile hardware, the printers, the infrastructure and the software. I was particularly impressed with the fact that we could call BEC at all hours to receive technical assistance if required. We are currently looking to roll out the solution to our other sites in the UK and the USA, and we very much look forward to working with BEC again to achieve similar successes throughout the remainder of our organisation.”
Is there more room for profit in your warehouse or distribution centre? BEC specialises in unlocking hidden cost within warehouses and distribution centres. Our eSmart Data Capture Software offers fit-for-purpose solutions to a variety of data capture challenges. Our customers recognise considerable business advantages with their overall IT infrastructure, whilst achieving a significant return on investment. This helps them to get ahead - and stay ahead - of the competition. Want to know more? Call us today on +44 (0) 1254 688 088, visit www.becsi.co.uk or email us on email@example.com.
Outperforming traditional order fulfilment methods with Automated Case Picking By Bas Dumoulin, systems engineer, Vanderlande; and Remko van Gils, market director food retail, Vanderlande.
he service level of a supermarket is much depending on the quality and speed of its replenishment. All processes in a food retail distribution centre are focused on delivering to the stores in an optimal way and at the same time, working with maximum efficiency. Vanderlande’s Automated case picking systems (ACP) provide the tools to outperform traditional order fulfilment methods. The fully robotised process enables shop friendly delivery, short delivery times and minimal transport volume at the lowest operational costs. These improvements not only affect the distribution centre but also the efficiency of the process in the stores. The Vanderlande ACP design is set-up to allow modular grow and ensure availability by parallel activities.
Well-filled shelves are a very important factor in the shopping experience. Replenishment personnel works fast and efficient to make sure that the shoppers always find products at the right place and are not hindered by pallets moving in the store. Invisible to the customer, there is a lot of logic at work to make this process run so smoothly.
Optimal stacking pattern When the store orders a replenishment shipment at the distribution centre, it is essential that the pallets will be created according to the same sequence of product groups as found in the stores layout. Before the pallets are actually stacked, the Load Forming Logic software defines an optimal stacking pattern, respecting this product group sequence. The software defines stable pallets that are filled to a maximum efficiency so that the transportation volume is as small as possible. Furthermore it ensures that products are not damaged by too much weight on top of them. Load Forming Logic 32
Efficient and robust way of building store-friendly pallets.
also respects the handling possibilities of the robots that will be used to stack the pallets. Finished pallets will be wrapped and transported to the stores, where there will be no need for extra sortation, so the pallets can be used immediately to refill the shelves. In short: the Load Forming Logic software optimises more than just the picking process. It also takes care of: • • • • • • •
Optimal fill rate. Lower transport costs. A ‘green’ solution, for you need less trucks for transport. Direct shelve replenishment. Improved customer experience. Lower cost in store. A total DC on the smallest footprint.
products will enter the system and need to have their foil removed at an ergonomic station. After verification of the pallet load, the depalletising process is started. A robot with a special mechanical gripper is used to take full layers of product from the pallet. The gripper will adjust speed and applied force, based on the previously stored properties. The layers are now deposited on a conveyor system where any present slipsheets are detected by a camera system and removed by a robotic arm. In a series of processes the products are singulated and rotated into the proper orientation. To ensure a safe handling in the storage system, the shape and orientation are checked by a 3 D measuring system using laser technology. The cartons are carefully arranged into trains that will travel into the storage area over a series of conveyors and elevators.
Robot technology In the Automated distribution centre, the process starts with measuring the products at the Teach In station. Dimensions, weight and various properties are registered precisely to ensure the correct handling of the product in the automated processes. Full pallets with
550.000 cases/day on 18.600m2 only Yes this is possible; by using shuttle technology the DC footprint has extremely
aisles, while respecting this sequence. Vanderlande delivers state of the art technology, tailored to your needs: •
Store-friendly delivery made possible by Load Forming Logic software.
been reduced. The storage system uses high dynamic shuttles, each of them travelling on a specific level in the storage rack. The shuttles use a combination of belts and telescopic forks to store and retrieve the products. This unique handling principle allows the products to be stored without trays. Multiple products can be stored per location, optimised to the dimensions of the individual product. The retrieval of the products is done in a sequence that allows the downstream processes to build the outbound pallets exactly to the stores requirements. Conveyors and elevators are used to combine the products that originate from different storage
• • • • •
Proven solutions will be configured to optimally suit your processes. Automated pallet warehouses. Automated depalletising. Shuttle-based storage systems. Robotic palletising stations. Consolidation systems.
The load forming logic is responsible for the definition of this optimal sequence and will also instruct the robotic palletisers on the exact positioning of the products on the pallet. The robotic palletiser starts by taking an empty pallet from a buffer. After a final check of the product properties the robotic palletiser will start stacking the products according to the planned recipe. A unique omni-directional transfer allows the robot to pick up the product in any required direction. The robot will adapt the handling speed and accelerations based on the properties that were defined at the Teach-in station to make sure that all products are handled safely. The load forming logic will ensure that the
stacking patterns are stable and respect the maximum weight that can be put on top of each product. While being stacked, the pallet will move down in steps, allowing the robot to work at an efficient level. When the last product has been stacked on the pallet, the pallet will be wrapped with stretch foil to ensure that the load will be stable in the further transportation. The pallet is now ready to be shipped to the store.
Ergonomic workstations To bring additional capacity in peak days, or when products can’t be handled automatically, products can also be palletised at an ergonomic workstation where the optimal orientation of the products is shown on a display. By working in pairs, the operators do not have to reach far to stack the products. The pallet can be lowered to allow an optimal working height and will be wrapped automatically when finished. Vanderlande offers users a first-class service. All disciplines are within our own organisation and we also offer on-site service teams.
Leading in warehouse automation your challenge, our solution Vanderlande is dedicated to improving its customers’ business processes and competitive position by providing automated material handling systems and services. We improve our customers’ logistics processes and increase their logistics performance today, tomorrow and throughout the entire life cycle.
\\\ Manufacturing \\\
Imperial Tobacco Group selects Aras as enterprise PLM backbone Aras, the enterprise Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software provider, has announced that Imperial Tobacco Group, the international tobacco company, has selected the Aras PLM suite for end-to-end global product lifecycle management. ollowing a comprehensive review of
leading PLM providers including Siemens PLM Software and Dassault Systèmes, Imperial chose Aras for the flexibility and
configurability of its PLM platform, which are must-haves in the fast-paced consumer goods industry. Under the agreement Imperial will implement Aras as an enterprise PLM backbone to streamline Product Lifecycle, eliminate redundant systems, and drive collaboration, process improvement and compliance worldwide.
Single, complete solution "In the highly regulated and extremely dynamic tobacco industry we require a single, complete solution that can keep up
Imperial's PLM requirements include a unique
Imperial brands include Davidoff, West,
with the ever-evolving needs of our global
blend of discrete manufacturing, formula and
Gauloises Blondes, Montecristo, Golden
business," said Bertrand Villoteau, head of
recipe, and quality and compliance
Virginia (the world's largest-selling hand
processes & systems Manufacturing and
management. With Aras, the company will
rolling tobacco), Drum (the world's second-
R&D at Imperial Tobacco Group. "We looked
replace outdated legacy systems with a
largest-selling fine-cut tobacco) and Rizla (the
at the leading PLM systems and chose Aras
single enterprise backbone across
world's best-selling rolling paper).
for its advanced technology, overall agility,
geographically dispersed manufacturing,
and cost-effective phased implementation
marketing and product development centers,
Driving innovation "Imperial Tobacco is a fast-paced company
We looked at the leading PLM systems and chose Aras for its advanced technology, overall agility, and cost-effective phased implementation approach. We also like that Aras has no distractions; the company is 100 per cent dedicated to enterprise product lifecycle management.” – Gerold Bublitz, Imperial Tobacco Group.
that values intellectual property and product development strategy as competitive advantages. Forward-thinking companies like Imperial reject slow-moving, off-the-shelf legacy systems, choosing instead to advance their business with like-minded technologies such as Aras that are as agile and responsive
approach. We also like that Aras has no
as well as external partners and suppliers.
as they are," said Peter Schroer, president of
distractions; the company is 100 per cent
Imperial will leverage Aras Innovator for BOM
Aras. "We are very pleased to be working the
dedicated to enterprise product lifecycle
and formula management, project and
Imperial Tobacco Group and we look forward
management," said Gerold Bublitz, head of
program management, packaging and
to helping them drive innovation throughout
supply chain processes at Imperial Tobacco
materials management, brand hierarchy
their global business."
management and more.
\\\ Manufacturing \\\
Manufacturers report a 20 per cent reduction in revenue due to poorly performing applications ew research from Ipanema
Technologies and Loudhouse reveals that manufacturers are struggling to deal with increasingly complex IT estates,
as 83 per cent of firms report a rise in IT complexity driven by more users, increased locations, new applications and adoption of cloud computing. Set against this backdrop is a concerning rise in IT performance problems, with a third of manufacturers reporting that ‘application downtime’ is on the rise, compared to just 20 per cent of firms that have seen a reduction in application downtime over the past 12 months. IT leaders at manufacturing firms are in agreement that application performance
commented: “Manufacturing firms are facing
leaders need to consider a strategy for
remains critical to their bottom line, as
a perfect storm of IT challenges. The
achieving an ‘application performance
research suggests poorly performing IT
business is asking CIOs to do more with less
guarantee’. If not, they ultimately risk falling
applications result in an average reduction in
while demanding the benefits offered by new
productivity as frustrated users find
overall revenue of 20 per cent. Common
advanced applications like Unified
applications are increasingly slow or
business problems caused by poorly
Communications and Video Conferencing,
unavailable with the Wide Area Network
functioning IT systems over the past 12
which can be transformative for collaborative
struggling to handle competing demands.”
months have included: products being
product design.” She continued: “Our
shipped late (42 per cent), lower employee
research shows that as IT estates become
For further information or to download a copy
productivity (42 per cent) and customer
more complex, application performance
of the full research paper visit
complaints (38 per cent).
problems are on the rise and this is costing
Today, manufacturers are struggling to address these challenges as 87 per cent of IT leaders
The sector’s top three IT objectives include
agree that guaranteeing application
productivity improvement (70 per cent), cost
performance is a priority but only 27 per cent
reduction (71 per cent) and implementing new
More than 400 interviews were conducted
have confidence in their company’s ability to
applications such as Unified Communications
with IT decision-makers involved in
rollout new applications quickly and easily. A
(66 per cent), all of which can potentially be
networking in manufacturing organisations.
large majority (70 per cent) of firms also confirm
jeopardised by networked applications that
The respondents’ organisations had at least
they do not have confidence in the ability of their
suffer slowness or non-responsiveness. In
1000 employees and at least 10 sites globally
firm to troubleshoot application performance
terms of specific IT projects, the sector is
linked via a Wide Area Network (WAN).
problems when things do go wrong.
heavily focused on virtualisation (69 per cent)
Interviews were carried out in the UK, France,
and supply chain IT projects (60 per cent).
Germany, Italy, Spain, Benelux, Switzerland
Perfect storm of IT challenges
About the research
and the USA. Respondents completed a Piquer-Durand added: “As manufacturers
survey in H2 2014. Research was undertaken
Béatrice Piquer-Durand, vice-president
embrace trends like Cloud Computing,
by Loudhouse, an independent research
marketing at Ipanema Technologies,
Unified Communications and BYOD, IT
agency based in London.
\\\ Manufacturing \\\
Exheat upgrading to AX2012 to support organic growth A designer and manufacturer of electric process and heating control systems is hotting up its growth plans as it upgrades its Microsoft Dynamics AX4 system, implemented by Columbus, to the latest AX 2012 version. The investment is expected to further improve efficiency across multiple office and manufacturing sites for the global business.
ounded in 1991 in Norfolk, globally
renowned Exheat develops systems suitable for installation in hazardous areas within the extreme environments commonly found in the
oil, gas and petrochemical industries. Having achieved constant organic growth, Exheat now has two manufacturing locations in the UK and offices in Singapore. Since implementing Dynamics AX4 across the entire business in 2009, Exheat has benefited from having a fully featured end-to-end ERP system, signifying a major step in the growth of the global business, crucially allowing it to efficiently operate across multiple office and manufacturing sites.
Since implementing Dynamics AX4 across the entire business in 2009, Exheat has benefited from having a fully featured end-to-end ERP system, signifying a major step in the growth of the global business, crucially allowing it to efficiently operate across multiple office and manufacturing sites.
Exheat commented that it made the decision to
Columbus' Business Process Modelling Tool
diagnostic phase it was clear that AX2012 was
upgrade to the latest AX solution to reap the
RapidValue was used during the diagnostic
the right choice for Exheat and Columbus was
numerous and widespread benefits that
phase to aid the decision making process and
the right business partner to guide us through
AX2012 delivers. These, it said, include
allow Exheat to clearly document the processes
the full implementation process.
increased functionality, improved BI, on-time
it had in place. Exheat benefited from
reporting, integration with other Microsoft
significant time savings during this phase and,
"The key benefit of RapidValue is the speed at
products and improvements to the company's
due to business process mapping, staff were
which it allows you to clearly document the
purchasing, planning and production modules.
better able to visualise and modify the
processes you have in place. The end goal of
company's processes used. Additionally,
our implementation process is to operate an
RapidValue's ability to accurately map Exheat's
efficient and well maintained ERP system, that
system with a set of process flows and links to
all of our employees can intuitively use."
The right information on time Zek Meadows, group finance director at Exheat,
the live AX2012 system will allow them to use
said: "The implementation of AX 2012 is
the tool as an effective and long-term training
Mary Hunter, managing director at Columbus,
obviously a significant capital investment for
feels that the upgrade will hugely benefit Exheat, and that the strong relationship
Exheat. However, as a group of companies we are known for the unrivalled quality of our products and their timely delivery. In order to
between the two companies will ensure the re-
implementation will run smoothly. "We've been
maintain this reputation it is essential that our
David Downes, group systems accountant at
working with Exheat for over five years now and
business is supported by a state-of-the-art ERP
Exheat, said: "The diagnostic phase of the
we therefore have a deep understanding of how
system that integrates all parts of our operations
project was a key stage in the decision making
their business operates. The upgrade project
worldwide. As with any business, having the
process as to whether the implementation of
will bring a number of key benefits to the
right information on a timely basis that the right
AX2012 was right for us. Columbus used
company as it continues to grow, and we're
people can see is very important to us, and we
RapidValue to identify the processes we
delighted to be working together through the
believe this can be achieved with AX2012."
currently had in place, and to highlight what
upgrade process to ensure maximum efficiency
best practice would be. At the end of the
is gained from their ERP solution."
lanning Success story
Spar boosts service levels
to 99.5 per cent through more effective daily planning As a consequence of huge fluctuations in demand and extensive product ranges, for many retailers, consistently meeting the needs of their customers can be a real challenge. In order to take a more proactive approach to supply chain planning, Spar Holding BV turned to Slimstock and their inventory optimisation software solution, Slim4. o absorb volatility in demand, the
retailer required a system which had the capability to automatically analyse the needs of their customers on a daily basis and
manage inventory levels accordingly. Within the first week of installing, the software enabled Spar to fragment their assortment into product groups, allowing their planner to focus their attention on the most important inventory issues. While Spar has already started to optimise inventory levels, with help from Slim4, the retailer hopes to achieve further supply chain cost reductions.
Keeping 500 stores stocked everyday From their two distribution centres located in Holland, Spar supplies a network of around
of their products. Due to Slim4, the retailer
and their warehouse management system,
500 stores including 250 supermarkets
can now reportedly achieve much higher
Locus, the retailer is now more responsive to
branded Spar, 140 smaller convenience
demand during Easter, Christmas and other holidays. In the retail industry, this is
stores and a further 100 stores located near
especially important for products with short
holiday destinations which provide fresh
months. In total, the retailer's product range
Complete integration with existing systems
encompasses around 8500 articles; 25 per
“We selected Slimstock as a partner for our
Brekelmans concluded: “With help from
cent of which are refreshed every year.
inventory optimisation project,” said Edwin
Slim4, our planners have improved our
Brekelmans, supply chain manager at Spar.
service levels to 99.5 per cent. In addition to
“Their extensive knowledge of the retail
a major improvement in on-shelf availability in
Minimising stock out situations
industry appealed to us and is evident in the
our stores, we are now better positioned to
user-friendly nature of their software.” Given
control waste costs and the stock turn in our
For food retailers, it is of utmost importance to
that Slim4 could be completely and easily
plan demand as accurately as possible. In
integrated with Spar's ERP system, DisRetail,
groceries for tourists during the summer
addition to this, Spar also wanted to minimise the effort required to ensure that all inventory was available at the right location at the right time. Through automatically recognising demand patterns, Slim4 has helped Spar gain greater control of their operations. By enabling the retailer to work more effectively, Spar can proactively reduce stock out situations while simultaneously reducing inventory costs and waste which comes as a consequence of the short shelf lives of many
Slimstock Retail at a glance Slimstock is an European inventory management solutions provider with more than 600 customers located across 20 different locations around the world. Since the company was first established 20 years ago, Slimstock has grown into an important player in the global market. With headquarters in Deventer, The Netherlands, and regional offices located around Europe, Slimstock is now active in the food, fashion and consumer goods sectors as well as a range of others. Through focusing on automatic replenishment across central warehouses, online stores and retail outlets, the company’s team of consultants and the Slim4 software solution can help businesses plan to ensure the right item is available at the right time.
lanning Success story
with OMP Plus in short timeframe Four sites of Styrolution have gone live with OM Partners’ Operational Planning and Scheduling solution OMP Plus within a four-month period. tyrolution, headquartered in
Germany, is a global styrenics supplier with a focus on styrene monomer, polystyrene, ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)
Standard and styrenic specialties. Started as a joint venture between BASF (50 per cent) and INEOS (50 per cent), Styrolution combines the key styrenics assets of the two chemical companies. BASF SE and INEOS Industries Holding signed an agreement for INEOS to acquire BASF's 50 per cent share in Styrolution. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014. The company provides styrenics applications for many everyday products across a broad range of industries; including automotive, electronics, construction, household appliances, toys/sports/leisure, packaging and healthcare. The four sites with styrenic specialties and polymers, now live with OMP Plus, are located in Germany: Ludwigshafen
All our requirements are covered via standard OMP Plus functionalities. After two demos, we were convinced that OMP Plus was the solution we were seeking. Benefits are starting to show quite clearly, both quantitatively and qualitatively." – Jörg Röhrig, Styrolution.
convinced that OMP Plus was the solution we were seeking. Benefits are starting to show quite clearly, both quantitatively and qualitatively." Kurt Gillis, director business development at OM Partners, said: "We are very pleased with this new OMP Plus go live in the chemical industry. The very short time frame of this implementation confirms the strength of OMP Plus in this industry."
(two sites), Köln and Schwarzheide.
OM Partners at a glance Key requirements The OMP Plus project ran in parallel with the finalisation of the SAP ERP implementation. As a result, a fully integrated SAP-OMP Plus planning and scheduling environment went live on 1 January 2014. OMP Plus takes key requirements into account like detailed batch sizing rules, advanced capabilities for
OM Partners is a software and consulting company that offers Supply Chain Planning Solutions to metals, plastics, floor covering, glass, paper & packaging, chemical, pharmaceutical, food & beverage, consumer goods and other industries worldwide. OM Partners has developed into one of the most important players in the Supply Chain Planning market since its foundation in 1985. OMP Plus is a comprehensive solution for all planning related issues, from the strategic down to the operational level. OMP Plus makes integrated demand planning, supply planning and scheduling a reality. OM Partners has headquarters in Belgium and offices in the USA, China, the United Arab Emirates, France, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK.
variable throughput scheduling, buffer storage restrictions and cleaning slot
scheduling rules. Jörg Röhrig, head of material management, stated: "A key element in choosing OMP Plus was the capability of the tool to cope with our specific chemical industry planning and scheduling constraints, including a mix of MTO and MTS. All our requirements are covered via standard OMP Plus
Styrolution is a global styrenics supplier with a focus on styrene monomer, polystyrene, Standard ABS and styrenic specialties. With world-class production facilities and more than 80 years of experience, Styrolution helps its customers succeed by offering the best possible solution, designed to give them a competitive edge in their markets. The company provides styrenic applications for many everyday products across a broad range of industries, including automotive, electronics, household, construction, healthcare, toys/sports/leisure, and packaging. In 2013, sales were at 5.8 billion euros, resulting in an EBITDA before special items of 442 million euros. Styrolution employs approximately 3200 people and operates 17 production sites in ten countries.
functionalities. After two demos, we were 38
Printing & Labelling
Food allergen labelling rules are changing – are you ready? Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with David Taylor, business development manager, manufacturing, at Zebra Technologies, and Ken Moir, marketing director at NiceLabel, about a new food allergen regulation due to come into force on 13 December, the implications for manufacturers and retailers, and the type of printing & labelling solutions regime necessary in order to ensure compliance. David Taylor: “From this December, food producers and outlets could be breaking the law simply by continuing to list the allergens separately to the ingredients list.”
n 13 December 2014 a new law EU regulation 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers comes into force that changes existing legislation on food labelling. For food manufacturers or food retailers time is running out to become compliant with this new legislation. The new rules will apply from 13 December this year, while the obligation to provide nutrition information will apply from 13 December 2016. The new law essentially combines 2 directives into one piece of legislation:
2000/13/EC - labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs. 90/496/EEC - nutrition labelling for foodstuffs.
The new EU Regulation 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers changes existing legislation on food labelling including: • •
• • •
Mandatory nutrition information on processed foods. Mandatory origin labelling of unprocessed meat from pigs, sheep, goats and poultry. Highlighting allergens e.g. peanuts or milk in the list of ingredients. Better legibility i.e. minimum size of text. Requirements on information on allergens also cover non pre-packed foods including those sold in restaurants and cafés.
Small yet critical adjustments Zebra Technologies’ David Taylor explained the background: “In 2011 the EU first announced that a new regulation around food allergen and ingredients labelling was due to come into force on 13 December of this year. In practice the rules surrounding this type of labelling may seem to be largely unchanged. However, there have been small yet critical adjustments in two main respects. One is in the format of the information and the way it’s displayed, and the other is the people who are affected by it. The format of the data is something that fits predominantly within the manufacturing area, while the increase in the number of people who are affected by it presides more within the retail space. From this December, food producers and outlets could be breaking the law simply by
Printing & Labelling
continuing to list the allergens separately to the ingredients list. This is because new European legislation states that, on or after this date, anyone Ken Moir: “NiceLabel packaging edible allows users with no programming goods must knowledge to create highlight whether their own printing solutions.” this food contains any of the 14 allergens (cereals containing gluten, crustaceans, eggs, fish, peanuts, soya bean, milk, nuts, celery, mustard, sesame, sulphur dioxide, lupin and molluscs), which should now be named within the list of other ingredients; not separately. This legislation aims to make allergens more legible and prominent on food packaging, and thereby limit the number of allergic reactions suffered by misinformed consumers.”
maintain, and even more importantly, there is still risk of printing wrong information.
Taylor added that many manufacturers and retailers could easily be forgiven for thinking this change in legislation could prove to be a logistical nightmare for their business. “Not only will they need to identify the 14 allergens within each of their products, but they will also need to automatically combine this allergen information with the rest of the ingredients in the product, and make this particular information stand out before printing it onto new labels and re-labelling all of their existing stock,” he explained. However, he added that, with 17 million Europeans suffering from food allergies, this legislation is important, and will no doubt benefit them.
Making things easier
Moir continued: “To help food suppliers achieve compliance as easily as possible, NiceLabel has developed a food allergens software solution that produces smart templates. This means food suppliers can use just one template design for all products, print it to any kind of printer and highlight allergens automatically without changing the product database. They only need to add the list of allergen ingredients in a table and the label automatically highlights them before printing. Smart templates automatically and clearly emphasise the 14 substances listed within the EU regulation. The solution is compatible with any label printer. Once implemented, the database of allergens is easily maintained, also in the case of multilingual labels. NiceLabel allows users with no programming knowledge to create their own printing solutions.”
Although it may not be immediately apparent, Taylor explained that the legislative change doesn’t necessarily complicate the way manufacturers or retailers package their products. “With the right printing and labelling hardware and software in place, companies can make
things easier by providing the technology to make this change quickly, affordably and efficiently,” he said. “In order to ensure they are ready for compliance, manufacturers and retailers should check their existing food label printer and software in order to have the peace of mind that it is fit for purpose and is able to adapt to the necessary impending regulatory changes.” Taylor added that, together with printing & labelling hardware and software, label media is also a key part of any food labelling solution. “It is not a case of ‘any label will do’,” he said. “Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004 sets out the rules on chemical migration from all materials and articles in contact with food. It includes provisions for materials and articles that are expected to come into contact with foods or to transfer their constituents to food (such as printing inks and adhesive labels). Zebra Technologies recommends that users look for FDA approval for printing and labelling devices that come into direct and indirect food contact with food.” Moir pointed out that most label printers don’t support the highlighting of allergens without special software. “If food suppliers do not have the right labelling software in place yet, right now is a good moment to upgrade to a complaint and future proof solution,” he said. “Interestingly, we also see many customers further streamlining their
Ken Moir, marketing director at NiceLabel, added: “The requirements of the new food labelling regulation make the label design and printing process particularly challenging for the companies producing many different food items in smaller quantities and thus printing labels ondemand. Their biggest challenge is highlighting allergen ingredients within the ingredient list and if they decide to have separate label templates for each product, this approach is time consuming, hard to
labelling process by using a touchscreen.” He added that print productivity and allergens compliance comes from software. “Software is a critical part of the solution,” he remarked. “A simple touchscreen-based allergens application helps small companies de-skill, increase productivity and reduce error. Larger companies should consider automating their printing from their MES systems or consider using web based printing solutions for franchises, shops or remote locations.” Taylor concluded: In terms of the technology involved in remaining legally compliant in the wake of the new rules due to come into force on 13 December, there are a number of software providers who are fully aware that their solutions must facilitate the easy management of data and label formatting, whether at the manufacturing or retail level. At Zebra Technologies, we are committed to ensuring that our technology partners, our resellers and the end-users of printing & labelling systems are aware that this new legislation is just around the corner. The bottom line is that if manufacturers and
retailers don’t comply with the new legislation, together with other potential
Printing & Labelling
changes to come into play, they could find themselves on the wrong side of the law.”
NO ONE SINGLE OUT OF THE BOX SOLUTION FOR COMPLIANCE By Chris Ayres, ISV programme & development manager EMEA, and vertical marketing manager Transport & Logistics, Zebra Technologies. Although not complicated, there is no one single out of the box solution for compliance – retailers and manufacturers have a number of choices. The solution involves a printer, label media and labelling software, all of which can vary depending on the type of labelling system being managed. Zebra can provide the printer; media and static labelling Chris Ayres: “This software, but for dynamic labelling systems, we regulation will have far-reaching recommend software from one of our Independent implications for the Software Vendor (ISV) partners. These ISVs specialise in market.” labelling solutions and have products available to meet the specific requirements of regulations such as EU 1169/2011. Our ISV Partner Programme facilitates testing and integration of our hardware with ISV software, so users can be assured that the heavy lifting of integration has already been completed, and the software will run with our printers. We believe that this regulation will have far-reaching implications for the market, and as such needs to be addressed as soon as possible. We have put together a dedicated ‘food allergen’ page, which outlines a full Zebra labelling solution. We also include links to our ISV Partners, to full information about the regulation, and to the EU Q & A document. The page can be found here: http://www.zebra.com/food-allergen-labelling
Printing & Labelling
Sato launches the CL4NX series of truly universal industrial thermal barcode printers
ato, the barcode printing, labelling, and EPC/RFID solutions provider, recently launched the CL4NX series of industrial thermal barcode printers, capitalising on its 33 years of development as a pioneer in thermal barcode printing since 1981. The CL4NX is Sato's first truly universal printer engineered for the ultimate operator experience, and is crafted to support new and legacy printing applications across a wide array of verticals that would require a durable and dependable printer for years to come. The CL4NX Series is a state-of-the-art industrial class printer utilising Sato's global design philosophy to provide an easy-to-use platform for the most demanding customer applications and environments with available print resolutions of 203, 305 or 609dpi. A simple, colour LED indicator alerts users when the printer is operating normally (blue) or if an error condition exists (red). If an error condition is present the CL4NX provides an innovative form of communicating and addressing such an error. Operators are guided through steps to clear an error condition and quickly return the printer back to duty. All operators should be properly trained on the use of any new printer, but not every employee is able to retain all of the required information for each activity related to the proper use of the equipment. This is especially true when it comes to maintenance or error resolution. If operators have to contact supervisors, refer to product manuals, or contact the manufacturer, these processes can lead to costly downtime. The CL4NX solves this problem using onboard video assistance. The printer ships 42
pre-loaded with video tutorials for operator guidance and error resolution that can be viewed directly on the printer display. These videos provide instantaneous â€˜selfhelpâ€™ for operators right on the shop floor, while also reducing the time and expense required for training and re-training.
Maintenance made easy
withstand harsh environmental conditions, reduce potential breakdowns, and lower the total cost of ownership and operation. The bi-fold cover design reduces the overall area required for operating in restricted spaces, with a space reduction of 53 per cent in width and 27 per cent in height compared to competitive industrial models. Accessing the interior of the printer is also easier. The CL4NX features a wide-angle print head opening of 60 degrees, which is nearly twice the opening you would find in other printer models, for easy access and maintenance of the print area without restrictions.
The CL4NX was designed to reduce the number of potential printer errors or printrun failures, and to speed up the processes of routine maintenance. Operators of the CL4NX are enabled to clean and change out print heads and platen rollers quickly, via tool-less procedures, and thereby minimising production downtime. Construction of the CL4NX offers a high level of durability by way of its metal exterior, die-cast chassis. Its exceptional print quality and accuracy are the result of its print head mechanism, print head heat control, placement of the head in relation to the present position and Label Tension Damper System (LTDS). The ruggedized construction means the printer can
Tool-less head pressure adjustment provides easy set up and modifications for a variety of label widths and substrates, while a label guide and damper system (LTDS) provides consistent resistance to the media, reducing printer jams and improving print quality, as well as precise label placement. A large media window makes it easy to view label and ribbon supplies. The
straight through label route is clearly visible and accessible, which helps avoid wasted time associated with replenishing consumables. The internal roll label holder includes an easy slide guide that can extend the standard roll use from 8-inch O.D. to a 10inch label roll. The new thermal transfer inkribbon rewind with an oversized core and coreless capabilities provides stable rotating torque to reduce ribbon wrinkles. An optional internal re-winder is also available, providing liner take up when the optional dispenser is used.
Printing & Labelling
following mandatory information: • • •
• • • • • •
Name of the food. List of ingredients. Labelling of certain substances or products causing allergies or intolerances. Quantitative indication of ingredients. Net quantity. Minimum durability date, ‘use by’ date and date of freezing. Storage conditions or conditions of use. Name or business name and address of the food business operator. Country of origin or place of provenance. Instructions for use. Alcoholic strength. Nutrition declaration.
Software and regulatory compliance
• • •
The The CL4NX comes with Sato labelling software that brings a complete barcode printing solution and RFID smart label printing solution to desktop, mobile and network users. Concerning New Food Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011, labelling of certain substances or products causing allergies or intolerances requires the
Sato’s Windows-based label design software ensures that listed allergen names and any associated descriptions are automatically accentuated on the product label. Allergen ingredients are marked in the product database, and the product database is compared with an allergen ingredients database.
Real-time processing for faster throughput The CL4NX's dual 800MHz CPUs architecture supports real-time processing for faster throughput, while the dedicated second CPU leverages the flexibility of the printer’s operating system. Its dual CPU architecture champions an expansive internal memory of 100MB for format storage, large graphics, custom fonts, and other downloads. In addition to the 30 display languages, Unicode support enables 47 print languages, providing even greater flexibility for companies with global operations. Standard host interfaces include LAN, USB (type A & B), IEEE 1284, RS-232C, EXT, and Bluetooth, as well as optional wireless LAN support for 802.11 a/b/g/n. The USB port allows users to easily download additional fonts, file caption, firmware, emulations, videos, printer settings, and optional devices.
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AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE
Getting the stamp of approval Jeff Taylor, sales director transport & logistics EMEIA, Honeywell Scanning and Mobility, provides advice on how to choose the right technology package for an optimised delivery process. n recent years, the postal industry has
travelling for hundreds of miles through
faced a number of difficult challenges.
different countries. Each item has to be
Declining mail volume and demand for
sorted, checked and then delivered –often at
faster and more efficient services has had
a very specific time.
a dramatic effect, forcing postal operators
to review all elements of their business. In
Speed and accuracy are of highest
many cases, the decline of letter traffic (which
importance. Workers need to access all
is expected to go down even more every year,
necessary information immediately and there
according to UPU predictions) has led to
is no room for error. Therefore the technology
mergers amongst postal operators hoping to
has to keep up with the human worker. It has
realise greater economies of scale.
to minimise the space for errors and help to access information on the spot. It also needs
Additionally, many postal operators have
to provide an opportunity for items to be
acquired logistics and parcel businesses to
traced. A critical success factor in reliable
exploit fast-growing B2B and B2C parcel
postal delivery is the ability to accurately track
growth, as online commerce continues to
and trace items from first to last mile. This
replace traditional retailing. The growing
data must be made available to all
demand for international parcel shipments
stakeholders, who must have confidence that
Jeff Taylor: “A key element in delivering postal end-to-end excellence and value added service differentiation is the integration of new processes and newest technology.”
has also forced a lot of operators to work
it is reliable and consistent, throughout the
customer as a self-service retail checkout
more globally – often in partnerships with
process. On this basis, best practice and
lane, expects the barcode to be decoded
various postal operators in different regions.
efficiency gains can be highlighted and new
instantly, whether on a piece of paper or the
The demands of both the business and
value added services conceived and
screen of a mobile device.
consumer sector are ever-increasing,
implemented. Barcode scanning and mobile
especially in the face of rapidly growing
technology play a role in driving data
acquisition, worker communication and
Technology is the modern saviour
2D barcodes are fast becoming the standard in mail and parcel operations, as they can
First mile collection
store more data and be decoded very quickly.
In such fast-paced environment workers have
Post box, parcel locker, post office and
collections, another technology is required.
to be prepared to be one step ahead of
doorstep collections all require fast and
Optical character recognition, or OCR, has
customers’ expectations and meet their needs
reliable barcode scanning. Mobile devices
been used in automation of mail sorting for
before they are voiced. This is where
used by postal workers must be capable of
some years, but only in recent years domain
technology comes into play. Postal services
scanning 1D and 2D bar codes at any angle,
experts have engineered this technology to
have changed dramatically over the years.
including damaged barcodes. This capability
be available on mobile devices. Mobile
The increasing demand has called for greater
speeds up data capture, avoids delays in the
technology must help to provide a complete
automation and even bigger usage of
collection process and ensures postal
customer solution, so that ad-hoc collection
technology which has to be completely
workers do not suffer strain or fatigue in trying
labels, both hand-written and printed, can be
reliable and work fast and precisely in even
multiple angles to scan a barcode. This must
captured in nearly the same amount of time
the harshest conditions. The average postal
also be the case for scanning engines used
as a barcode scan. Additionally, OCR
worker has to deal with thousands of letters
by parcel locker manufacturers. For the
technology can be used to verify the address
and parcels a year. They have to be delivered
optimal customer experience, the individual
and postcode on the package. This ensures
to customers in a perfect condition, often after
collecting a parcel from the locker, just like a
that data captured at the earliest point in the
IT October 2014
However, for hand written address labels on
AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE
printers used to create them, postal codes
times have we all seen a mobile worker’s
can be one of the most difficult types of
device with pen marks and scratches on the
codes to find and decode in real world
screen – and visible regardless of weather
environments. Postal codes are also often
conditions. If a sign-on screen is not a legal
damaged and covered by plastic due to the
tender, then signed document capture must
rough handling they have to endure. Both can
be swift and executed in one press of a
cause major problems for the high-speed
button, without the operator needing to move
decoding systems used to scan them.
the device around in multiple angles to obtain the image. This means that postal operators
delivery cycle and dealt with before cascading errors leads to delivery failure and
Higher read rates are extremely important to
must deploy imagining technology with
postal applications and slight increases can
automatic de-skewing, colour correcting,
greatly reduce a facility’s cost associated with
cropping and rotation of the image.
On the road
finding, reading and sorting letter, flats and parcels. The technology employed by
In many geographies, mobile postal workers
Mobile devices are critical to delivery
automated sortation machinery must decode
will also be responsible for collecting
operators. These tools record collections and
virtually all 1D, 2D and postal barcodes on
customer payment at the doorstep. Snap-on
deliveries, communicate with the back office
the first read, including poorly printed,
card, where chip and pin is not legally
and customers, and can even be used to
damaged or obscured by plastics barcodes
required. In these countries where chip and
monitor driver performance – essential
travelling on conveyor belts at speed in
pin is utilised, a two piece solution is
element of reliable communication which is
excess of 600 ft/min.
generally favoured. This allows the operator to see the transaction on his mobile device
key to efficient delivery service.
whilst the customer uses the chip and pin pad
timely service agreement (SLA) failure alerts
Last mile delivery is one of the key end-to-end
of accreditation and certification of such
allow mobile workers to proactively notify
components by which recipients and
device is much cheaper than this of one
customers when unforeseen events occur.
regulators judge service quality of postal
When operators are delivering optimum
operators. Mobile computing and barcode
service levels, technology providers must
reading technologies are the platform for
ensure seamless roaming is available through
accurate first-time deliveries for operators.
use of software-definable radios and dual SIM
They also enable the valuable data captured
Partnerships bring future success
cards for carrier choice. This is particularly
to support the future optimisation of walk
A key element in delivering postal end-to-end
evident where vehicles are crossing borders,
sequences, vehicle routing and marketing
excellence and value added service
and coverage or air time costs can be
services through demographics and survey
differentiation is the integration of new
inhibitors to service delivery.
data. Additionally, GPS location management
processes and newest technology. It is
can assist zonal pricing delivery initiatives.
important for technology system providers to
For example, immediate task allocation and
which helps to avoid fraud and error. The cost
work closely with postal workers in order to
Additionally, convergence with fleet telematics systems must be considered to ensure
GPS and geographic information can also be
help improve and speed-up the key
economies of scale when investing in
employed to record specific locations where
processes. The increasing demand for
separate vehicle and mobile computing
items can be delivered when the recipient is
transparency and tractability of items is
systems, such as wireless communications
not present, or specific drop boxes. Coupled
probably the most challenging aspect,
and GPS. Integral to a successful mail
with colour imagining, the same technology
especially with increasing volumes of
delivery operation, vehicle and driver
employed at post office counters for
international shipments. Carefully chosen
performance metrics can be used to initiate
document capture can be used to verify proof
technology that is capable of working along
improvement and cost reduction programmes.
of condition/location imagery. Geo-codes can
the people without extra effort to process
Therefore, mobile computers must have
also be easily embedded in the image for
information is what can help to reduce the
underlying technology required to integrate in-
location accuracy, minimising delivery issues
costs and make the processes as seamless
in geographies where addresses and post
and easy as possible.
codes are not standard or even used at all.
Electronic proof of delivery by signature or
Postal facilities encounter a number of
document capture is essential for updating
difficulties in efficiently identifying and sorting
online track and trace systems, so that
items using the postal barcode found on each
shippers and recipients can view their
one item. Because of the small size of a
consignment status. Sign-on glass
typical postal barcode and low-resolution
technologies must be rugged- how many
AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE
Secure Retail receives Attestation of Validation of its P2PE solution ecure Retail, a specialist provider
of payments hardware, has received an Attestation of Validation (AoV) for its Point to Point Encryption (P2PE) solution,
industry recognition that the company is one of the companies at the forefront of ongoing PCI compliance for its range of clients. Important for any business involved in the supply of a P2PE solution, the AoV provides a recognised level of assurance that Secure Retail's solution environment and procedures for VeriFone terminals are compliant with all the relevant parts of the P2PE standard. Secure Retail engaged the services of Foregenix, a Payment Card Industry Point to
their solutions on the VeriFone platform into the
Point Encryption Qualified Security Assessor to
marketplace, something that no other company
conduct an assessment of its P2PE solution.
(beyond VeriFone themselves) can do."
Activities included rigorous technical testing, interviews with staff, as well as reviews of
Benjamin Hosack, director, at Foregenix,
documentation and processes.
added: "We have been consistently impressed with Secure Retail's ability to utilise the PCI
Due to Secure Retail's industry knowledge and
standard and ensure that their customers and
processes, the company can begin the chain
clients remain compliant. This is a step forward
of custody of PIN Entry Devices (PED) for their
for the industry as many Payment Service
life cycle. Secure Retail can now load P2PE
Providers are working on their P2PE offering
keys into devices within its protected Key
meaning Secure Retail is a very attractive
Injection Facility, configure and customise the
proposition for payments partners who can be
devices to the required specification and ship
reassured that the company will be with them
them securely in a P2PE compliant manner to
every step of the way in the drive to make
the customer, whilst maintaining a fully
payments more secure."
Foregenix at a glance Foregenix is an independent, specialised information security business, headquartered in the UK, with a global service delivery capability. The Foregenix team has been closely involved with the Payment Card Industry since 2004, and has carried out PCI DSS assessments, PA-DSS assessments, penetration tests and forensic investigations on hundreds of organisations. The company’s technical team has extensive experience in digital security, having worked as security consultants, analysts and engineers in a wide array of environments; including global financial institutions, global networking and security providers and private security contractors.
auditable trail of all terminal movements throughout the configuration and shipping processes. Gary Fletcher, head of technical services, at Secure Retail, said: "We are delighted to have been awarded the Attestation of Validation (AoV) for our P2PE solution which is industry recognition that Secure Retail is at the vanguard of PCI compliance. This is important for our customers as they are always looking to improve the integrity of their card payment solutions. The AoV enables us to work with P2PE solution providers to help them release
IT October 2014
Secure Retail Secure Retail is the specialist provider of payments hardware and services for the retail, hospitality and unattended sectors, providing the backbone to customers’ secure payments strategy. Secure Retail delivers high levels of security across user’s hardware, software and network infrastructure, providing solutions that minimise users’ business exposure and complexity, to meet the rigorous demands of the latest PCI standards. As a distributor of hardware to the channel and direct end users, Secure Retail manages payments devices throughout their full product life; from installation to decommissioning. The company’s solutions for fixed, mobile, attended or unattended devices deliver a wide-ranging support structure. Secure Retail is the preferred distributor of VeriFone payment terminals and a provider of Miura, Atos, PowaPOS and Displaydata technology; ranging from portable and fixed PIN entry devices, mobile POS, tablets, unattended terminals and electronic shelf edge labelling. The company also provides complementary cradling and tethering solutions from Tailwind, Us and Ergonomic Solutions.
AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE
Microscan presents simplified machine vision solutions for automated inspection icroscan, provider of
user to deploy a full range of expert-level
barcode, machine vision, and
inspection tasks. IntelliText Optical Character
lighting solutions, invites new
Recognition (OCR) allows machines to
and experienced users to
interpret hard-to-read text such as date and
explore the range of
lot codes printed on low-contrast labels and
capabilities in its award-winning AutoVISION
packaging or inconsistent surfaces.
machine vision suite and the PanelScan PCB Traceability System at the VISION 2014 show.
New barcode quality verification tools ensure
Microscan will exhibit at the show in Hall 1,
the long-term readability of codes throughout
booth I45 at Messe Stuttgart, 4 to 6 November
the supply chain as well as compliance to ISO
and AIM barcode quality standards. Four new
easy job portability from camera to camera, or
password-protected security levels control
to Microscan's advanced Visionscape
AutoVISION empowers users at any
access to software functionality for engineers
software without the need to change cameras.
experience level to implement robust
to operators working from the same inspection
In addition to AutoVISION, Microscan will give
inspection operations quickly and easily.
job on the line. Lastly, the CloudLink web-
a live demonstration of the new PanelScan
Manufacturers, integrators, OEMs, and
based HMI is a new feature in AutoVISION 3.0
PCB Traceability System at the VISION 2014
resellers looking for a single system to
that allows users to visualize inspection
show. PanelScan is a user-friendly and easily-
automate barcode reading, quality
results from any device with a web browser,
integrated machine vision solution for
verification, measurement, defect detection, or
including smart phones and tablets.
capturing all 1D and 2D barcode data from multi-array PCBs at once, intended for
guidance operations are invited to explore
installation at the front-end or mid-stream on
In its latest release, AutoVISION 3.0 maintains
All Microscan smart cameras, including the
replaces error-prone manual scanning with a
its ease-of-use and adds new high-caliber
new Vision MINI Xi with Embedded Ethernet,
solution that allows for inline reading and
machine vision functionalities, enabling any
run on the same vision software platform with
keeps electronics production lines moving.
AutoVISION at Microscan's booth.
any SMT line. This fully-packaged system
Delphian Systems announces arrival of SecuRemote Smart Delphian Systems (Delphian) has launched its next generation Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) based technology that makes OEM products interoperable with mobile devices and capable of forming wireless mesh networks automatically. he SecuRemote Smart (SR Smart)
automatically and stay connected with the
makes SR Smart the solution that OEMs have
technology is an end-to-end
Cloud with utmost security and ease of use.
been looking for."
make their products or devices a)
"SR Smart devices within 200 ft. â€“ 400 ft. from
Delphian uses ultra-low power wireless chips
directly interoperable with mobile
one another become nodes of our proprietary
from Nordic Semiconductor (Nordic). "Our
devices, b) able of recognising, connecting,
LAN mesh network that offers some very
shared vision with Nordic about the Internet of
and communicating with one another, and c)
unique features," commented Delphian's Todd
Things includes smart internet-connected
capable of connecting to the Cloud directly.
Piatnik. "Specifically, nodes do not require
devices that give people more freedom,
configuration, each node has both signal
convenience, and control of their lifestyle,"
With the SR Smart SoC (System on Chip),
repeating and beacon functionality, and each
said John Veleris, chairman of Delphian.
OEM products can now be Bluetooth Smart,
node maintains Cloud connectivity through
"Nordic's class-leading performance and
communicate with applications on millions of
cellular broadband. Each LAN can support
sophistication at a low cost allows our
existing Bluetooth Smart smartphones and
240 SR Smartdevices. End-to-end Cloud
technology to be used in even the most cost-
tablets, form wireless mesh networks
connectivity along with end-to-end security
sensitive consumer product applications."
solution for OEMs who need to
AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE
Traceall Global tracks new business overseas thanks to UKSE UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE), the Tata Steel subsidiary tasked with economic regeneration, has invested a six-figure sum in high-tech tracking and monitoring expert Traceall Global Ltd. to create new jobs and extend the company's market reach.
raceall Global provides
companies, predominantly within the food and drink sector, with products and software designed to monitor multiple critical
variables such as temperature, humidity, flow rate, CO2, location, and impact through the supply chain using state-of-the-art sensors and sophisticated software, as well as managing detailed supplier and product information for major brands nationally. The company has already employed three members of staff since the start of the year and is recruiting a further three this month with the intention of creating another 14 jobs by the middle of next year due to Traceall Global's rapid growth. The additional members of staff will include software developers, installation and support engineers, commercial and support staff and
Traceall Global has recently secured a seven
administrative support. Famous names
figure contract with The Coca Cola Company
including The Coca Cola Company, Jamie
to provide the drinks giant with global asset
Traceall Global is based at UKSE's
Oliver Group and Selfridges are already using
tracking and is about to embark on a major
Grovewood Business Centre, within
Traceall Global's services to monitor their
pilot project in the US with one of the world's
Strathclyde Business Park, in Lanarkshire.
products and better manage their business.
Steele added: "UKSE's managed workspace
Alan Steele, managing director at Traceall
identity and purpose. The space adapted well
Global said: "This is a really exciting time for
to our business requirements and having such
Scott Webb, regional executive at UKSE said:
our business and we are looking forward to
a base has enabled us to progress as a team.
"Traceall Global is providing unique and
seeing where this investment takes us. The
And being based in Bellshill has not hindered
innovative technology and services from
investment will allow us to introduce our
our growth into global markets at all; in fact, it
Scotland to some of the biggest brands
technology to new international markets and
has helped the team to service our customers
around the globe. It is very exciting for UKSE
we have already been able to put our brand
far more effectively"
to be investing in a company with such huge
in front of companies across the Atlantic, with
potential and an already strong market
several new exciting business opportunities
UK Steel Enterprise claims to be the first
presence. While the company is making deals
arising as a result. It is extremely encouraging
organisation to introduce the managed
worldwide, the management team is
to have UKSE's support and the financial
workspace concept into steel areas. UKSE offers
committed to creating jobs for local people in
backing has given us a platform to promote
office and workshop accommodation in a range
Lanarkshire which is exactly the kind of
our business and to put ourselves in front of
of different-sized units while offering tenants a
business we are keen to support."
key industry contacts."
variety of business support services.
has given the company a real sense of
IT October 2014
AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE
B2M Solutions' new Elemez software delivers holistic, enterprise mobility insights B2M Solutions has launched Elemez, a mobile insight and analytical software tool that gives mobile device OEMs and managed service providers a way to give their customers real-time information about the performance of mobile devices used for mission critical activities.
2M Solutions comments that
says Elemez not only monitors and analyses
entire device population at the fleet level, and
Elemez will give companies with
mission-critical mobile enterprises, it also
can be drilled down to an individual device.
field-based teams previously
gives customers a much needed way to easily
Elemez has been designed to learn the
hard to obtain insight that will
measure the ROI of their deployments.
device usage patterns and using its built-in
help them make improvements to
performance and productivity, no matter what
intelligence will spot when there are issues or changes that are affecting performance. A
use. Elemez Cloud-based software is
Monitoring and measuring â€“ not enough
compatible with any mobile device
"We knew a long time ago that monitoring and
partner to give to customers, detailing
management (MDM) software. Elemez
measuring were not
automatically takes a holistic, intelligent view
enough," said Caines.
of key attributes such as data usage and
network connectivity, device reboots, battery
analytics will help our
status, and application utilisation to optimise
channel partners guide
employee productivity, reduce operational
their customers to make
costs and boost customer satisfaction.
sound decisions that go
mobile device management platform they
right to the bottom line. The Elemez architecture was developed by
Elemez gives their
B2M Solutions based on the company's 12
years of experience in the mobile device
they need to know to
environment, including its popular mprodigy
optimise their mobile
software that delivers advanced device
report summarising the key findings and trends can then be produced by the channel information about
Business-centric analytics will help our channel partners guide their customers to make sound decisions that go right to the bottom line. Elemez gives their customers everything they need to know to optimise their mobile device investment." â€“ Ron Caines, B2M Solutions.
specific analytics as well as robust MDM
reoccurring problems as well as provide suggestions for improvements that can be acted on immediately. Caines added: "The reporting capability of Elemez opens up an entirely new managed services sell for the channel, regardless of the mobile device
functionality. B2M Solution's Ron Caines,
An easy-to-understand dashboard provides a
management solution in place. With Elemez
global vice president for sales and marketing,
snapshot of critical information about the
there are no closed doors, only open ones."
Enhanced employee productivity No personal data is captured by the Elemez software. However, a wealth of utilisation information on deployed devices is readily available to enhance employee productivity and identify potential application problems. This includes verifying that the correct number of devices are in the right places at the right times. Additional Elemez features include battery analytics that can determine if batteries are lasting a shift, disruptions analytics that can help identify the root cause of constant rebooting and application analytics that include most used, most installed and battery draining apps.
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