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Special Technology Report: PRINTING & LABELLING


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Supply Chain Management in the Cloud


Enterprise Asset Intelligence and the hardware to deliver it





Label management and the extended supply chain




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IT /94*:3;



CONTENTS Manufacturing and Logistics IT October 2016



Editor: Ed Holden


Electrium Sales Ltd.

Special Technology Report

Contributors: Ken Moir, NiceLabel Samuel Mueller, Scandit JĂśrk SchĂźĂ&#x;ler, Citizen Systems Europe Richard Scott, SATO David Stain, Zebra Technologies Paul Swaddle, Pocket App Mari Waldron, Honeywell printers


Printing & Labelling


Citizen Systems Europe: Gain the competitive edge with the right printers

Printing & Labelling NiceLabel: Label management and the extended supply chain Honeywell: Mobile printers improve productivity Seiko Instruments launches new MP-A40 Series mobile printers SATO: Application-enabled printing solutions for the manufacturing and logistics industries

Publisher: Dean Taylor Designer: First Sight Graphics Ltd, www.firstsightgraphics.com

Automatic Data Capture


Zebra Technologies: Enterprise Asset Intelligence and the hardware to deliver it Scandit: Mobile barcode scanning – capturing top performance without breaking the bank

Production: Carolyn Pither

Voice Picking Circulation: Carole Chiesa


BEC: Modernising the warehouse puts Raleigh ahead of the pack Voiteq launches VoiceMan Data Analysis

IT Manager: Ian Curtis

Warehouse Management Systems Accounts: Sarah Schofield


Vanderlande: Automation paves the way for ifm’s success Iptor Supply Chain Systems adds ProTrack Labour Management to Warehouse Management solution

Published by: B2B Publishing Ltd PO Box 3575, Barnet, Herts, EN5 9QD UK Tel: +44 (0) 1707 664200 Email (publishing): info@logisticsit.com Email (editorial): editor@ibcpub.com

Chess Logistics Technology: Cloud-based warehouse stock control for e-commerce business

Manufacturing 40

Eco-friendly packaging manufacturer prepares for growth with QAD ERP solution upgrade

Printed by: The Magazine Printing Company, www.magprint.co.uk

Supply Chain Management No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publishers. No liability is accepted for any action arising from the contents of this publication; readers are advised to check any manufacturer’s or supplier’s claim for products. The publishers do not endorse opinions expressed in any article by an outside contributor. While every care is taken over photographs and illustrations, which are returned when requested, no liability can be assumed by the publishers for the loss of such materials.


Oracle: Supply Chain Management in the Cloud Gartner announces ranking of top European supply chain organisations for 2016

Transportation Management 46

PTV Group acquires DPS and invests in Cloud-based trip planning Maxoptra helps Thornbridge Brewery keep the beer flowing




Pocket App: Mobilising the logistics supply chain




Electrium Sales Ltd.


Energising IT Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with Paul Simpson, head of residential supply chain management at Electrium Sales Ltd., about recent and ongoing enhancements to the company’s IT estate and the business and operational rationale behind the changes.


lectrium Sales Ltd. is one of the UK’s largest electrical installation equipment manufacturing companies. The company’s supply network operates throughout the UK, as well as exporting to more than 40 countries worldwide. All Electrium products are designed, manufactured and tested in accordance with British and international product standards in quality-assured and approved factories and laboratories. Each Electrium brand is well-recognised and long established with most achieving over 100 years of service to the electrical installation market – brands such as Wylex, Crabtree, Britmac, Volex Accessories and Appleby.

the company have been separated into two primary aspects; Residential and Commercial. “Commercial is more project-oriented, covering things such as large distribution boards and high power applications, while Residential is more focused on electrical wiring accessories for homes, offices and factories; under-stairs consumer units, plugs and sockets, lights etc. My colleague on the Commercial side deals with more of the highvalue, lower-volume demand, which equates to around 15 to 20 per cent of Electrium annual turnover. On the Residential side, I am responsible for the higher-volume, lower cost, fast moving products.”

From a supply chain perspective, Paul Simpson, head of residential supply chain management at Electrium, explained that since 2014 the supply chain activities within

Demand Planning In terms of the Electrium’s most recent IT deployment, the company went live with

DynaSys’ Demand Planning software solution as recently as May this year. The DynaSys sourcing and implementation project was largely led by Simpson and the Residential side of the business to deal with some of the complexities that go hand-inhand with volume and transactional activities, and all the product managementrelated aspects involved. Prior to sourcing DynaSys, Electrium largely relied on Excel spreadsheets for its demand planning processes. “The data was mined out of our SAP ERP system and downloaded into a spreadsheet, from which we sought to determine what our daily, weekly or monthly requirements were in order to satisfy product or component demand,” explained Simpson. Interestingly, DynaSys’s business consultant, Gary Shaw, worked for Electrium up until 2005. “During his time with the company Gary was involved in forecasting and the demand planning for Electrium’s retail customers,” Simpson pointed out. “He was the commercial sales lead for this aspect of the business, while also liaising closely with the operational side, which largely dealt with providing the right product at the right time in the right format for the customer.” Electrium was then acquired by Siemens in 2006. “Gary and I kept in touch over the years,” continued Simpson, “and last year he invited me to attend a supply chain conference in London, which DynaSys was sponsoring. I accepted the invitation and




October 2016




Electrium Sales Ltd.

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during the event Gary explained what DynaSys solutions could offer. Upon further investigation I realised that DynaSys offered the type of statistical and scientific discipline to the whole supply chain and demand forecasting process that we were looking for within Electrium.� After the Electrium board had agreed to source the DynaSys Demand Planning solution, Electrium established two main sponsors for the project; Simpson, who was given responsibility for the functional outputs and requirements, and Dave Woolham, Electrium’s head of IT. Simpson and Woolham then liaised closely with both Shaw and Barry Drummond, DynaSys’s business development manager. Commencing in April 2015, the Electrium and DynaSys teams had a number of strategy meetings, during which the decision was made to source the DynaSys’ Easy On-Boarding Demand Planning solution. Implementation then commenced during the latter part of last year, with Chris Yates, programme manager at DynaSys, becoming involved and liaising with the Electrium team, including the company’s logistics manager Karen Taylor. “The whole process, from discussions with DynaSys to scoping and deploying the system has been impressively fast,� said 6




October 2016

Simpson. “When sourcing a new system, it can be tempting to make something of a monster out of the deployment by customising its functionality to the exact perceived requirements of the whole team within the company. By doing this, systems can grow a life of their own and become rather cumbersome. However, DynaSys’ Easy On-Boarding solution gave us all the key functionality that we required, whilst retaining its inherent flexibility.� One of the things Electrium needed to determine early on during the scoping process was whether DynaSys was able to easily extract business and operational data from its SAP ERP solution and then be able to upload the updated demand management information back into SAP while respecting the Siemens’ security and confidentiality protocols. In this regard, one of Electrium’s ‘satellite’ software solutions, Phocas, became an invaluable part of the mix. Phocas was initially deployed by Electrium prior to sourcing its first iteration of SAP some 12 years ago for the purpose of mining sales and related data out of SAP on a frequent basis. “Phocas was already mining the data out of SAP and putting the information into a data table, so all the information we required was already mined and accessible in accordance with Siemens’ security and

confidentiality protocols,� said Simpson. From that point it was just a case of understanding how DynaSys worked as a demand planning tool. With this in mind, DynaSys familiarised Electrium personnel on using the software with products that were unrelated to Electrium’s normal range. “Through this type of training and familiarising technique, we got to understand the system from a purely functional perspective,� said Simpson. “So we were able to forget about the product detail and concentrate more on how the DynaSys system worked from a purely demand-orientated perspective without getting hung up on specific product details related to our own company.� Electrium then set up working groups comprising people who were going to use DynaSys as part of their daily routine, and began a training process based on utilising the system within the context of Electrium’s own portfolio of products.

Sales & Operations Planning One of the key selling points of the DynaSys solution for Simpson was its Sales & Operations Planning functionality. “DynaSys looks at 20 different algorithms and chooses the best fit for each product based


Electrium Sales Ltd.

upon historical demand. And because Electrium deals with the retail, wholesale and export markets, DynaSys also helps us make forecast adjustments for each of these segments.� Simpson explained that DynaSys gives Electrium statistical validity at the granular/item level, so each product can be treated in a different way. “For example, a two-gang switch socket normally attracts a very high demand, and prior to deploying DynaSys we may have held six weeks’ worth of stock for the product. Because DynaSys gives us the capability to treat the requirements of each product individually, we could more easily determine that, because stock demand patterns for twogang switch sockets are so predictable it might only be necessary to keep three weeks’ worth of stock, thus freeing up capital and space in the DC.�

ERP In terms of its ERP requirements, Electrium relies on SAP. “Prior to first sourcing SAP around 5 years ago, we had used an IBM AS -400 PRMS (Physical Resources Management System),� remembered Simpson. “However, this became increasingly customised inhouse. When users wanted to operate the system in a particular way we would append the system. With SAP you have the ability to adjust the system to your requirements while also benefitting from greater functional rigidity and reliability within the system.� Simpson added that, from Electrium’s perspective, one of the key benefits of SAP is that users can easily mine deep within its data banks to access detailed information related to any particular item in stock or on order. However, in order to maximise the ease, speed and flexibility of accessing data related to the 14,000 SKUs in its distribution centre (DC), Electrium designed additional functionality within Phocas so that it was able more easily to present data in different groups. “We group products into what we call ‘P types’, and we can mine data out of Phocas to look at sales orders within a particular P-type group. So, essentially



the process involves accessing data within SAP at the granular level, and then analysing it as a product group within Phocas. This functionality is important in that it allows us to cluster products together, moving sideways between groups of product, and then diving down into the detail to establish what is going on.�

orders to ascertain which suppliers were the most reliable terms of on-time delivery etc. “For a number of years now, this aspect of Phocas has been a highly respected facilitator of this type of supply chain data,� said Simpson.

On the sales and commercial side, Phocas was first implemented around 15 years ago. “This gave the company directors the ability to analyse the activities of sales personnel and how they were responding to different targets etc.,� explained Simpson. “For example, you could drill down to the national sales manager level for a particular brand and then you could drill down to regional teams or to individual salespeople. So it was very useful in terms of gaining a feel for what was going on in the business and determining which areas of the business needed more support.�


About nine years ago, Simpson and Electrium’s then head of supply chain management, John Gair, sat down and discussed how the supply chain side of the commercial Phocas functionality could be enhanced so that the company could more easily drill down into customer orders to determine which customers were buying the most stock, and survey supplier purchase

In terms of warehouse management, Electrium’s SAP WMS has proved itself to be a highly effective system for stock control and stock accuracy, according to Simpson. “We’re well into the realm of 99.9 per cent stock accuracy in the DC,� he enthused. “It used to take four to five days to complete a stock take with our old PRMS system; now within SAP we can complete a wall-to-wall stock check – every single product every single location, all 14,000 SKUs on site – in less than three days. This offers major additional benefit in terms of reduced downtime when counting items. There are also the functional day-to-day benefits that you get in terms of knowing exactly what aisle and shelf location you need to go to in order to pick a particular type and quantity of product.� Additionally, Simpson pointed out that if an issue arises regarding a particular product on

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October 2016




Electrium Sales Ltd.

customer experience, in terms of ensuring order information is stored in one electronic iteration; cutting back on the need for paperwork and the dual-keying of information,” explained Simpson. “The system also helps us to remain compliant regarding regulatory rules and regulations.” The order entry tools are SAP-based; although Electrium’s IT staff have customised these assets with some additional SQLbased functionality.

Lean methodology

a particular day that particular product doesn’t have to be isolated within the DC universally. “If we have two different locations for the same product – one delivered on 5 September and the other on 5 October – and we find we have an issue with the batch code of 5 September, we can freeze that location while still being able to deliver the product we received on 5 October.” Simpson reflected that, because of the SAP WMS’s functionality richness, when the system was first implemented it took Electrium staff in the DC a while to determine what flags to turn on and which ones to turn off. “However, we put the time in upfront and had a particularly effective team employing that approach. So it wasn’t long before we had 40 to 50 people within the DC gaining major accuracy and time-saving benefits from the WMS during every day of the week. Because of these benefits the payback period for the system was impressively short too.”

Order entry Electrium has also developed new order entry tools over the past year. “They’re primarily aimed at providing a better





October 2016

Simpson pointed out that a Lean IT methodology is something Electrium is keen to develop further going forward. “Deploying the best IT solutions, customised where necessary to our specific needs helps us minimise waste within the business, whether this relates to maximising the daily efficiencies of staff performance, keeping the right level of inventory in the DC in the best accessible locations, storing and best reacting to customer information, improving manufacturing processes and so on.” One of the more mature and long-proven IT solutions within Electrium’s IT armoury is its Gemba OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) software package. It helps Electrium to visually express objectives and performance metrics using live data, helping to drive continuous improvement where it is most needed – for example, in terms of job sequencing, maintenance, tracking and removing the need for paper-based operations wherever possible. “This is a very valuable and reliable OEE reporting tool for us,” said Simpson. “Among its benefits is its ability to track the productivity of individuals in the production area producing, assembling or labelling. Essentially this tracks and assesses output quality and yield, and formulates percentage-based appraisals which are then multiplied together to form what is referred to as an OEE statistic. We can then focus on improving performance in any area that is deemed to be under-performing. This also ties in with our in-house Lean manufacturing

regime. It’s essentially our version of the Single-Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) concept – a proven methodology for reducing waste within manufacturing processes. We refer to it as a ‘three-second pit-stop’; making changeovers as quickly as possible.”

Data capture In terms of data capture, Electrium has relied on RFID labels from Checkpoint Meto for a number of years. The company also used Motorola RF scanners in the DC for picking and packing. “We don’t actually scan specific item barcodes themselves because they are not universally applied to the products. Instead, we have a set of barcodes that we utilise for various different warehouse locations and different packaging SKUs – the packaging SKUs could contain anything from 1 item to 100.

Printing & labelling Within the Electrium Residential production facility are a number of Zebra inline printers for the generation of 2-D and QR barcodes. The barcodes are required mainly to meet the requirements of the company’s retail customers. Electrium also uses a Hand Held Products inline laser verifier, which checks the validity of the barcodes; e.g. that they are positioned at a certain level in accordance with the requirements of the customer.

Greater efficiencies In summary, Simpson said Electrium sees the value of investing in state-of-the-art IT solutions and related equipment, “The type of financial commitment we put aside for systems such as DynaSys Demand Planning is a no-brainer when you consider the business and operational benefits they can bring to the table, not to mention the enhanced service we are then able to provide to our customers.” 


Unlock Supply Chain Potential

Sales & O Operations Plan nning

To better analyse, plan, simulate and optimise your Supply Chain, yo ou need a comprehensive, inte egrated and collaborative solution. A solution tha at aligns cross-functional priorities while increasing proďŹ tability. Experts in Demand & Supply Chain Planning solutions for over 30 years, DynaSys offers the DSCP suite, a solution that will optimise the strategic, tactical D and operational levels of your extended Supply Chain. BeneďŹ t from our unique expertise in Supply Chain to help deliver your organisational strategy.

Sir Stanley Clarke House 7 Ridgeway, Quinton Business Park Birmingham, B32 1AF +44 (0) 121 506 6500 www.dys.com / contact@dys.com

Special Technology Report

Printing & Labelling

Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with a number of experts from the vendor and analyst communities about recent developments in the world of printing & labelling technologies.


the most vibrant and fast-changing technology

with a kiosk at the grocery store – maybe all

By 2025, new US OEMs such as Local Motors

areas actively deployed within the

within the last day,” he said. “This ease of

are expected to increase adoption of

manufacturing, logistics and retail fields. Michael

technology understanding and adoption has

microfactory business models to:

Dizdar, project manager, Panorama Consulting,

driven advances to end user labelling and

opens the debate by observing that labels are

printing requirements.”

his report will consider a host of

the day-to-day lives of consumers has

current key discussion points and

significantly impacted the changes in the

tools such as jigs, fixtures, and moulds. •

Prototype parts, such as Ford’s 4-cylinder

recent and ongoing areas of

labelling and printing environments. An end-user

EcoBoost engine and F-150 exhaust

innovation and development with the

of a label mostly likely has a ‘smartphone’, has


printing & labelling space; one of

played a new video game, and/or interacted

Print parts at authorised representative locations, reducing supply chain

moving away from being a display mechanism

complexities and cost.

for static, dated data. “Gone are the days where

Viroop Narla, mobility research analyst, Frost &

a label was printed two days’ ago when a pallet

Sullivan, considers 3D printing and the

was received (and may or not be correct at the

technology’s impact on the automotive industry.

current time) to a vessel that can give updated

This, he states, has primarily been in research

and changeable information based on

and development (R&D), but OEMs are turning

transactional events and environmental factors,”

the corner into commercially printed parts for

he said. “New labelling advances from

mainstream production. Frost & Sullivan

Expansion of 3D printing in the value chain is

companies like Thinfilm allow real-time

research indicates that in 2014, 90% of 3D

expected to face multiple challenges, such as:

temperature data to be produced accurately

printing applications in the automotive industry

and timely based on the needs of the current

were for prototyping and 10% for production,

user, not what was produced in the past based

enabling OEMs and suppliers to:

• •

• point that the pervasiveness of technology into


The high cost of 3D printing machinery and materials.

Conventional component manufacturers lobbying governments against 3D printing.

In terms of drivers for change, Dizdar makes the



Enable convenient and quick vehicle servicing to maximise customer satisfaction.

on stale information.”


Expand crowdsourcing and collaborative design to capitalise on a diverse talent pool.

October 2016

Create proof of concepts with localised manufacturing.

Customer patent infringement implications for OEMs and suppliers.

Fabricate complex and unique production


Printing & Labelling

Special Technology Report

A shift from 3D prototyping to production is

hearing aids, implants and surgical tools.

voice to the item it

expected by 2030 due to:

However, they comment that while there are a

is placed on.

lot of 3DP technologies that have promise and

More and more


An expected 40% reduction in raw material

have moved beyond the proof of concept phase

we are seeing,

prices for 3D printing.

at companies, not every organisation is ready to

however, the

Price similarity: A conventionally

adopt. Further, merely adopting 3DP in a

need to connect

manufactured part now is 78% cheaper

vacuum can be a recipe for disaster, they said,

the printer to the

than one that is 3D printed; the gap is

adding: “The majority of organisations still need

network so status


expected to shrink to as low as 11%.

to adapt or create new internal processes for

can be observed.

handling 3DP workflows, data, hardware, supply

Also, the ability to

Gartner analysts, Michael Shanler and Pete

chain management and products. The

connect quickly to

Basiliere, comment that the 3D printing (3DP)

mainstream media, vendor capitalists (VCs) and

other peripherals

industry continues to see growth, innovation and

vendors are still creating a very ‘hyped’

such as scanners

many new players. “While several of the seven

environment where 3DP can solve everything –

or mobile computers is key to efficiency and

3DP technologies have existed for nearly 30

from 3D-printed food to end world hunger to

years, those early tools had limitations to speed,

creating body parts so people can live forever.�

quality, resolution and performance,� they said.

intelligence.� •

Availability. People will wait for goods and merchandise if they get accurate and

“They provided limited value to enterprises beyond prototyping in manufacturing. Over the

,# /.(0,/-) !-'.#*0%/+/$.-)0

convenient delivery commitments. Those

Internet of Things

that won’t will shop around, so inventory

last five years, the ‘maker movement’ catalysed

David Stain, senior vertical marketing manager

visibility is key and getting the stock to a

numerous 3DP activities and inspired 3DP

EMEA manufacturing, field mobility &

convenient location for the customer just as

solution vendors and end users alike to begin

healthcare, Zebra Technologies, comments that

key. Track & trace is vital to both.�

leveraging 3DP in ways to create brand new

developments we see taking prominence are

values and societal impacts. Many industries

the need to bring the Internet of Things (IoT) to

have moved beyond leveraging 3DP in

life in the printing/auto ID world. This, he

experiments and will be approaching an

explains, is about making the print devices

Centralisation and standardisation

inflection point within the next five years, where

visible across the user estate where there may

Ken Moir, VP marketing, NiceLabel,

executing on 3DP is industrialised into the value

be several hundred or thousand devices,

comments that, first, there is more


flagging their status, use rate and being able to

centralisation and standardisation taking

manage them from a central location.

place because companies want to increase

Shanler and Basiliere added that, recently,

the agility of their business. “These types of

major aerospace and automotive companies

process optimisation benefits can mean

have leveraged 3DP to create new products


companies are able to ship product faster,

and assemblies that were previously impossible

Another development of note, according to

sell more product, have less downtime, have

to build or to shorten delivery times on orders.

Stain, is the appreciation that the labels

less product returns, reduce inventory,

“New materials have been 3D-printed in the

themselves have become much more

mitigate the risk of mislabelling etc. – these

retail industry to create new aesthetic and

configurable by use case; for example, new

are the key drivers for change,� he said.

performance characteristics, as well as to satisfy

RFID tags designed specifically to work better

Also, Moir points out that web technology now

consumers' growing appetite for personalised

on metal components, shelf-edge labels that

allows companies to do client-side web printing.

products,� they remarked.

peel away more easily when being replaced

“This is now fully usable,� he said. “The latest

and wrist bands for medical applications. Stain

web technology doesn’t require Silverlight or

Shanler and Basiliere

considers that the drivers for change can be

Flash plugins, and doesn’t require administration

also make the point

characterised as follows:

that the medical device and healthcare

Customisation. “Both end user and

anywhere across the extended supply chain for

enterprises want products and components

any authorised user. It can be deployed across

moved toward

that are right for them. Hence we are seeing

your own business, your stores, your franchises,

improved patient

mass customisation or product variants

your suppliers, your contract manufacturers or

being produced to fulfil this need.�

your 3PLs etc., and all be controlled centrally.�


community has

outcomes and reduced cycle times .*.0/&,(,.-.)0/+/(&*)0

rights for users to install software locally. So web-based technology can now be deployed


Visibility. “In a connected world, all devices

by delivering 3D-

need to be connected and indeed the

Moir adds that the latest integration systems

printed personalised

outputs of a printer – the tag or label –

and service buses also allow companies to

dental devices,

enable the connectivity by giving a digital

take advantage of universal templates and




October 2016



Special Technology Report

Printing & Labelling

print from any device on any operating

“Our mobile print solutions seamlessly integrate

system. “So a big part of the story here is

Greater business efficiency

with industry-leading software, meaning the set-

mobility; it’s not just PCs that you can print

Ioana Nitu, product manager at ICT services

up and incorporation of the technology into

from, it’s also tablets and android devices,�

provider Brother UK, states that the main

existing systems is straightforward. We've also

he remarked. “Most retail stores and

function of mobile and label printers in the

invested in the range of connectivity options

warehouses use mobile devices and it’s now

manufacturing and logistics industry is to

available on our products, helping to ensure

easy to actually print from these devices. You

increase business efficiency by allowing

they're compatible with a both iOS and Android

no longer need to hard code or generate and

employees to print simply, quickly and easily

devices. Print speed has always been a key

embed printer command templates in your

while on the move, and this hasn't changed.

feature for us, coupled with the continued need

applications. This is what NiceLabel calls

However, what has changed in her view is the

for reliable, hardwearing and compact solutions.�

next-generation mobile printing.�

capabilities of the technology in facilitating this, and that is what is steering the biggest trends at

Mari Waldron, global business development

Previously, explains Moir, some vendors

the minute. “As businesses across all sectors,

manager, Honeywell printers, points to key areas

would offer template printing solutions

including this one, broaden the devices they're

of development as being simplicity, ease-of-use

whereby users could design a label, print it to

using, connectivity has become more important,�

and connectivity – with command language auto

file, take the printer command language and

said Nitu. “Manufacturing businesses are

sense, printers automatically analysing incoming

embed it within their application. “However,

investing resource into innovative new

data streams. This, she explains, means a user

what users now want are universal templates,�

technology to help employees work more

can pull the printer out of the box and

he said. “Integration systems now make it

efficiently while reducing costs, and any print

immediately start printing, which makes the start-

easy for iOS, Android etc. to print universal

systems need to be compatible with these.�

up process quick and simple for the end user.

intelligent labels; they don’t need to store

“Customers have come to expect user-friendly

separate templates for different mobile

Running almost parallel to this, according to Nitu,

design, including a large, multi-colour touch

devices. It’s now easy to integrate mobile

is the growth of different technology used across

screen with easy-to-use commands,� said

computers into label management systems

businesses and the impact this has on how

Waldron. “This is driven by consumerisation

(LMS) so that users can print to any printer,

easily these different devices integrate. “As

trends, which means a familiar interface and

whether mobile or fixed. It doesn’t matter what

technology develops, businesses are

compatibility with consumer devices, such as

printer you use. The point is that mobile,

continuously trialing new software and hardware,


desktop or tablet computers can be easily

making it more and more challenging to ensure

integrated into LMS.�

these different systems are compatible with each

In terms of motivation for change, Waldron

other,� she said. “We're finding that customers,

believes the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

In terms of the key drivers for change, Moir

now more than ever, want mobile printers that

and the need for connectivity is driving retailers,

comments that, in addition to reduced product

integrate easily with existing systems and cause

manufacturers and supply chain firms to invest in

returns, reduced inventory, reduction in

minimum disruption.�

technology to enhance their business

labelling errors, etc., there are drivers

performance. She points out that companies look

concerning legal compliance. “In life sciences,

Additionally, Nitu considers that the evolution of

to connected devices to improve flexibility,

the FDA UDI deadline recently passed in the

technology over the past decade has raised the

efficiency and profitability.

US,� he pointed out. “The next thing regarding

bar in terms of customer expectations. “In

medical device manufacture is going to be the

everyday life people want solutions which have

EU medical device

an instant impact with minimal inconvenience,

directive. In

and this is certainly the case in this sector,� she

Increased adoption of consumer technology


said. “Customers are looking for high-speed,

In addition, Waldron explains that Honeywell

there will be further

compact devices that increase business

customers place a strong emphasis on ease-

changes regarding

efficiency and empower employees from any

of-use when it comes to technology for their

serialisation and


workers. “This is partly driven by an increased

track and trace over

/,0*/,+)0&.+,'.-*,#/(0%/-.*,+$ %/+/$.-0 %/+"/#*"-,+$)0,.( %',(,*00 ./(* #/-.)0



Nitu added that the speed that technology has

“Workers on a manufacturing or distribution

years. This is all

developed in recent years has led to a

centre floor expect the devices they use to be

naturally driving the

continuous need for investment in Brother’s

familiar and intuitive. This is particularly

need for a more

products. “All of our solutions are designed with

important when hiring and training new


the customers’ needs front of mind, and we

workers. For seasonal workers hired during


spend a lot of time understanding the sector and

peak times, a printer must be easy to use in


the challenges they're facing to ensure our

order for the new staff to be productive in a


products can help meet these needs,� she said.

short amount of time.�



adoption of consumer technology,� she said.

the next couple of

October 2016


Printing & Labelling

Special Technology Report

JĂśrk SchĂźĂ&#x;ler, marketing director EMEA for

ways; for example, Bluetooth and WiFi,� he

patterns also helps

Citizen Systems Europe, maintains that


organisations to manage printing

omnichannel, mPOS and reverse logistic are some of the most interesting current talking

Lassus added that printers with intelligence

activities. “As

points where printing and labelling is involved.

onboard, such as SATO Application Enabled

electronic business

“For example, customers now receive and return

Printing (AEP), mean that separate printers and

and communication

goods in a variety of ways, which can be

PCs are no longer required. “An application-

processes gradually

challenging for warehouse and logistics

enabled printer not only has its own internal

replace paper,

operations,� he said. “To ensure this process is

processing power – so it can connect to other

organisations are

efficient and not overly costly for the goods

devices such as weighing scales, a handheld

reducing costs by

provider, it requires perfect integration. For

barcode scanner, or a keyboard, and it can print

moving pages from

instance, let’s say a customer who ordered

without the need to connect to a PC – but it is

printed to digital form

something online opts to pick up the

designed to be readily reprogrammable,� said

and printing only

merchandise in store but return it via a courier if

Lassus. “With increased intelligence, printers can

when and where they

they decide not to keep it. The customer will

also monitor their status, reporting back to the

truly need physical documents,� she said.

receive a receipt from the store, and also a

maintenance team 24/7, and alerting them before

returns label to send back the goods. This

any problems occur. This reduces downtime as

Print providers, in turn, evaluate, transform and

places different demands on printers. The way to

well as unnecessary regular service costs.�

adapt to a maturing technology market and

/"-.+*0/&&"&) $.+.-/(0%/+/$.%/-.*,+$00!-'"#* %/+/$.%.+*)0

businesses' impending challenges, commented

overcome the challenge is to combine the use of mobile POS and label printers or box printers,

Also, Lassus explains mobile printers that are

Lam. “The need for organisations to manage

and perfectly integrated them – through Wi-Fi or

portable and easy to operate allow users to print

printing costs and move content freely back and

Bluetooth – into the shop’s retail system.�

on the move, where and when required,

forth from physical to digital is creating

regardless of having to be near a power supply

opportunities for providers,� she said. “The need

Regarding motivation for development, SchĂźĂ&#x;ler

or infrastructure. In Lassus’s view, drivers for

to better manage printing costs in organisations

explains that these changes are simply driven by

development include the continual need for

led to the growth in managed print services

the changing world and the different demands of

businesses to work more efficiently, and

(MPS) over the years. As organisations seek to

shoppers. “Potential customers are always online

streamline operations, with the adoption of

digitise their work processes and manage their

nowadays and they expect the same from

Cloud-based technologies.

workflow more efficiently and effectively, print providers are investing in expanding their range

shops,� he said. “They demand the same user

of solutions, such as data capture and retrieval

experience from the tools they use at home as they do in their professional lives. The line


solutions, document management services and

between private and professional IT is blurring

Gartner analyst, Lai-ling Lam, states that

managed content services (MCS), that help

more and more, with the user experience

providers can no longer rely on the success

companies to this end. Investment in high-

becoming a critical factor in the success of

formulae of print hardware and supplies to thrive

volume digital printing technology is increasing

implementing different technologies.�

in this industry. Printing cost, being one of the

as print service providers gradually shift from

nonpriority expenses, was high on the cost-

offset to digital printing.�

Laurent Lassus, general manager marketing &

cutting lists of most organisations. To control

product management, SATO, believes the

printing costs, Lam points out that organisations

Lam added that the growing trend toward Cloud

most current trends in printing and labelling

have embarked on projects to optimise their

delivery, digital transformation and global

are connectivity,

printing fleets, reduce hardware purchases, and

adoption of mobile devices leads to revenue

more intelligent

control excessive printing and supplies usage.

opportunities for print management solutions and

printing and mobility

As a result, print volume has shrunk, followed by

a possibility for managed IT services that extend

of equipment, and

lower consumables sales. Total end-user

beyond printing.

that they all relate to

spending on printers, copiers and multifunction

the wider Internet of

products (MFPs) has declined for the past five

Things (IOT)

years. In 2015, total end-user spending on

megatrend. “End

printers, copiers and MFPs declined 6.2% while

Printable electronics and the packaging industry

users are demanding

consumables spending for enterprises shrank

Mike Hopkins, project manager, CDi Yorkshire (a

printers that easily

13%, and the outlook for the next five years is not

special interest group of the BPIF), explains that

connect to the

expected to improve despite having small

the increase in the use of smartphones and the

network and can

pockets of growth, such as production printing.

incorporation of printed electronic solutions and


Lam comments that adoption of print

printed logic into consumer products is creating

through a number of

management tools to track and monitor printing

a global billion-dollar industry. “In 2013, over 967

/-,0/(-'+)0 $('/(0"&,+.&& ..('!%.+* %/+/$.-)0




October 2016



Special Technology Report

Printing & Labelling

million smartphones

predominantly manufactured with conventional

of-the-art Printing and Labelling systems, what

were sold to

electronic components. The project is continuing

do you feel have been some of the key recent

consumers worldwide

to work to overcome the challenges of creating a

changes? Nitu believes this ties into the growing

and it is projected that

hybrid label which will be manufactured with

trend for seamless integration. “Businesses are

by 2019 sales of

both conventional and printed electronics that is

looking for one solution to help them increase

smartphones will

able to survive the rigorous application process

business efficiency and cost savings,” she said.

reach over 2 billion,”

and post labelling electronic quality control.

“Our customers don't care if it's different companies providing these services, so long as

he said. “The capabilities of

Hopkins explains that the printing of electronic

they work together as one solution which is why

smartphones and the

functionality will enable designers to embed

simple integration is key.” Nitu adds that due to

way in which we use

technology into their designs, creating innovative

the flexibility that technology has offered

them has changed

components that are smarter, lightweight and

businesses, customers are also now demanding

since the first

wireless without the need for expensive and rigid

bespoke end-to-end solutions that serve their

smartphones came onto the market in the late

silicon chips. “Typically, the technology has been

specific needs. “No one business and their

1990s. Today’s smartphones include touch-

embedded into RFID (radio frequency

requirements is identical, so it's important ICT

screens, high-speed internet access and NFC

identification device) tags used for tagging and

services providers spend time understanding the

(near field communications) which has altered

tracking purposes,” he said. “These electronic

company and ensuring its mobile print or

the way we interact with people, and objects,

tags (circuits) contain data which can then be

labelling solution is going to achieve optimum

conduct business and make purchases.”

transmitted back to an antenna using radio

results,” she said.

.+0',-)0 %/-.*,+$)0

frequency signals. But NFC is an emerging As the market opportunities and demand to

technology which goes one step further. An NFC

Dizdar considers one revolutionary change to be

incorporate NFC into smart products grows,

chip, which is embedded into a device, operates

the increasing incidence of data that originates

Hopkins points out that so does the demand to

as one part of a wireless link. Once it is activated

outside of the ‘system’ (ERP/CRM/WMS, etc.)

produce high-volume printed electronic

by another chip, data can then be gathered and

and ends up being printed via a label or other

components at low cost. “This is essential to

transferred between the two devices when held

‘hard copy’ means. “Data collection is no longer

extend the reach of electronic intelligence into

a few centimetres apart.”

restricted to the four walls of a facility,” he said. “Instead, information can be obtained via any

everyday objects, where conventional siliconHopkins adds that printable electronics is

number of devices – whether a personal phone,

moving from niche applications into more

an anchored RFID reader, or a camera attached

The BPIF is involved with project SCOPE, the aim

lucrative mainstream applications. One such

to a traffic light. These different collection

of which is to develop new processes,

application area is packaging and labelling. “As

mechanisms are driving consistency and

equipment and applications – in essence

the unit price for a printed electronic system falls,

openness with the ERP/CRM/WMS vendors in

building a UK supply chain – in order to meet the

smart packaging is set to become a reality and

order to allow their customers ease of integration

growing demand for high volume (billions or

may even evolve into what futurists are heralding

and use.”

even trillions) units incorporating various

as an ‘Internet of Packaging’,” he said. Hopkins

components, at low cost. It will also provide a

observes that brands, packaging companies

Waldron considers that, increasingly, users are

technology platform to develop new, innovative

and retailers are all keen to embrace this

wanting to print their own shipping label directly

and ultimately more complex and novel

technology for applications such as:

from their smartphones to reduce cost and

based electronics is unsuitable,” he said.

increase speed. “It is important for printers to

functionalities and applications, build skills and • Anti-counterfeiting/brand protection.

integrate with smartphones – supporting the

• Consumer management.

major mobile

Initial concepts have been carried out to develop

• Logistics track and trace.

operating systems –

low-cost, high volume, printed logic for

• Monitoring a pack’s contents.

in order to seamlessly

capabilities and strengthen the UK supply-chain.

connect the devices,”

integration into labels, for smart packaging and product branding on fast moving consumable

“All of these functions can be framed within

she said. “For

goods for the end user. Initially prototypes were

the umbrella term ‘smart packaging’ as a set

example, a consumer

produced using a combination of conventional

of technologies that allow packaging to

needs to ship a

and printed electronics, including Labels

contain, evaluate and transmit relevant

parcel. He or she

incorporating LEDs, used for promotional

information,” he said.

books the shipment with a smartphone

purposes by one of the UK’s major fast moving

app and takes the

consumer goods manufacturers. While the prototypes demonstrated the potential for printed

Back-office relationship

parcel to a store to

electronics, the concepts have been

In terms of the relationship between some state-

ship. Using the





October 2016

-0# (.-) %/-.*,+$0,-.#*')


Printing & Labelling


Special Technology Report

phone’s camera, the

that integration can, of course, cover everything

Moir points out that SAP is the ERP system of

consumer scans a

from document design and device integration

choice for many companies, particularly the

barcode from the

through to device management and developer

larger ones. “We realised that more and more

store’s printer screen,

tools. Regarding developer tools, he thinks it is

companies wanted to deploy LMS and see

which pairs the device

important that users provide an SDK developer

previews of labels inside SAP before they printed

to the printer and

kit to their suppliers to allow them to use the app

them as finished labels; basically, they wanted to

communicates the

in the way that suits them best. This, he adds,

see the label with the master data in the ERP

shipping data. The

can also enable the devices and the Cloud

system,� he explained. “However, there wasn’t

printer immediately

platform to connect better.

an easy way to get a preview into SAP from

prints the shipping

LMS. Realising that some of our clients had

label, thereby saving

Stain said many of the Cloud challenges that

spent a considerable amount of time trying to

time and giving the

Zebra comes across are around what the

achieve this, we decided to develop an add-on

shopper a user-

company terms terminal emulation, for

for SAP, which has proved to be very popular

friendly process. Honeywell’s PC43d printer

companies that want their brand on the label,

with our customers. We are now looking to

offer a hi-res, colour display to enable this

and also want standard format and standard

develop similar pre-built solutions for other

process.� Another trend highlighted by Waldron

label sizing. “These companies want the format

systems so that more companies are able to

involves the use of smartphone apps and

of that printer to be able to be emulated across

achieve faster time to value.�

mobile printers in transportation & logistics

all the devices on their estate,� he explained.

space. “Delivery drivers are being utilised for

“This is an area where the Cloud can really reap

In SchĂźĂ&#x;ler’s view, one key change that stands

other doorstep services, such as collecting

benefits because you can place your template in

out is the relationship between mobile and back-

parcels, for which a receipt or label would be

the Cloud for, as an example, front of store for

office systems, which is so close that they have

needed,� she said.

houseware and this can then be downloaded by

to become one system. “This combination helps

each store as a when they are need it.�

enterprises to work more efficiently by reducing

Stain believes touch to pair on devices is without

time and increasing precision,� he said.

a doubt of massive benefit to enterprises that see a huge time saving as configuring printer to


scanner or mobile computer, is done in seconds

Stain adds that in the retail world ‘convenience’,


– almost like the speed difference between

is becoming the watchword; hence the click &

What are the current key discussion points

contactless card payment transactions and the

collect and home delivery markets are

concerning convergence within the printing &

PIN number method. Stain also makes the point

developing to fulfil the consumer need, as well

labelling technology space? Dizdar comments

that manufacturing is in the midst of Industry 4.0

as seeing into other store branches’ stock levels

that convergence is a consequence of

(the 4th Industrial Revolution). “That means one

to check availability. In terms of the healthcare

technological advancement, thus it is a

of the key elements is better visibility of material

market, Stain points out that Positive Patient ID is

positive force for the end user and the

flow through the line extending right back to the

the cornerstone of secondary healthcare. He

marketplace. “End users are going to

supply chain = AIDC and RFID deployment,� he

also makes the point that, with the digitalisation

continue to demand increasing functionality

said. “Transport & logistics business are seeing

of records, administration of the right treatment

from any technological device in the future,�

parcel delivery increasing and the need for

and medication is now much more accessible.

he said. “Technology that can only perform a

accurate time slot of delivery. Waiting in all day

“In hospital, that means giving the patient a

single task is going to be seen as outdated

for a parcel is no longer acceptable for the

digital voice via a wristband,� he said.

when compared to other multi-function

consumer. 30- and 15-minute delivery windows

technologies. For example, the ability to take

are here along with a stream of notification

Lassus believes the methods of communications

a picture via a

capabilities to the customer on status of

have seen the most development. “Bluetooth-

smartphone is now


enabled printing has been available for a

commonplace; thus

number of years, but now printers are being built

for many purchasing

with SIM cards and 3- and even 4G capabilities,�

a camera to take

SaaS and Cloud

he said. “Near field communication (NFC) is also

pictures is now

In terms of device integration, Stain points out

being introduced into equipment which allows

unthinkable. From a

that Zebra offers Cloud Connect, which allows

users to simply copy the settings from a printer


Link-OS printers to interact with the Cloud. It also

to an Android phone, so they can send the same

perspective, a

drives areas such as SAP or Oracle ERP

settings to other printers while they are switched

movement towards

integration as well as Zebra’s Link OS PDF Direct

off. The NFC also allows users’ phones to view

multiple functions

capability that allows the printing of PDF

some of the printer’s settings which is an

(with printing as one

documents without middleware. Stain explains

advantage for service.�

of the basket of


,-''!0/-(/)0%',(,* -.&./-# 0/+/(&*)0



October 2016



Special Technology Report

Printing & Labelling

functions) for a device will be seen as

smaller environmental footprint and efficient use

access data via

commonplace and necessary at a minimum.�

of valuable space. We also see this in the field

labels or printed

for connecting mobile workers and enhancing

material,� he

Moir believes there will be an increasing level of

productivity. Logistics and direct-store-delivery


convergence in terms of, for example, labelling

firms are implementing PrintPads which combine

and direct marking solutions. A good case in

a mobile computer and a printer, vehicle-mount

SchĂźĂ&#x;ler reflects that

point is the dairy company he referenced earlier,

printers and wearable printers.�

labelling & printing are commodity

which has adopted a NiceLabel LMS solution that satisfies both its labelling and marking

Stain explains that Zebra is putting labels on hot

solutions nowadays.

requirements. Moir is also seeing convergence in

ingots of steel for Tata Steel. “If you have this

“They might be

the ability to access label master data from ERP

type of convergence capability regarding

enhanced in a way

and MES on mobile devices such as

adhesives and labelling within the business it

that they are APP like

smartphones and tablets; as well as on desktop

starts to open up many more avenues of

and web-based

PCs. “Again, the requirement for greater

application,� he said. “I think part of the

systems, so for the

standardisation and centralisation is driving

challenge for many print companies is they don’t

next year or two I think usability might be the

conversion,� he said. “We also see that more

have a print supply business, whereas Zebra

main focus,� he said. Waldron believes linerless

and more companies want to reduce IT

does. In terms of marking, from etching through

media presents interesting, environmentally

complexity because this also helps to reduce

to direct part marking, our scanners can read

friendly opportunities in printing and labelling in

costs and unplanned downtime, as well as save

both.� Stain added that tap to pair is another

industrial applications. “When printing linerless

time and increase agility.�

convergence where NFC enables printer and

labels, backing paper, which may end up in

scanner to be paired swiftly.

land-fill, is eliminated,� she explained. “In

Stain considers that technology will continue to

tripping over any backing paper hanging off a

offers the chance to choose best of breed

advance, but believes we need to remember

printer in linerless printing.�

solutions,� he said. “Besides that, IT isn’t any

that many enterprises want scalability. “So even

addition, there is no risk of workers slipping or

SchĂźĂ&#x;ler sees the convergence trend as very positive. “The acceptance is much higher and it

,.0 '!,+&)0 !-'.#*0%/+/$.-)0, '-& ,-.00/0&!.#,/( ,+*.-.&*0$-'"!0'0* .0

longer a secret or bad things. Most people fully

though sensing technology could be seen as a

Waldron added that the future of the printing &

understand that it is making their work life and

threat to the printed barcode, having a portfolio

labelling marketplace will be dynamic as

private life much easier.� Lassus also believes

that embraces both positions the supplier in a

companies look for ways to reduce costs and

the convergence of technology is a good thing

more strategic light with customers as it gives

increase productivity. “Consumers and retailers

for manufacturers. “With printers using the same

them choices as to which technology to deploy

are increasingly moving away from printed

common languages to communicate, installation

based on use case and density of visibility

receipts and instead receiving their confirmations

and operation will become much easier, so users


and invoices by email,� she said. “Printer manufacturers need to continue to find new ways

can ensure their workplace runs more efficiently,�

to deliver solutions that still provide Return on

he remarked.

The future

Investment where demand is reduced.�

In general, Waldron considers technology

What might be the next key

convergence to be a positive trend. “Today,

innovations/developments to look out for over

Stain believes we will see the 2D barcode get

businesses face constant pressure to do more

the next year or two within the printing &

a lot smaller; to micro label size. “This can be

with less,� she said. “More often, enterprises are

labelling technology space? Dizdar

very valuable from a security and authenticity

looking at Smart Printing, in which the printer

anticipates continued development of the

(fake product) standpoint, for example,� he

runs apps and

ability for a printed document or label to give

said. “Zebra has already supplied micro

doesn’t require a

‘real-time’ information in a proactive instead

labelling to a number of electronic

computer, to support

of a reactive manner. “Instead of a label

manufacturing businesses. This means the

convergence. This

‘waiting’ to be accessed by a user, the label

companies are able to identify small parts very

can help reduce

will utilise rules and data to determine when

easily and readily using 2D barcodes with scan

costs as a company

to inform due to changes in the entity that is

capabilities on the other machines. Therefore, I

does not need to

labelled,� he said. Another development,

believe marking, and certainly 2D printing, will

invest in additional

states Dizdar, is to continue to allow for a

increasingly become not just about ID; we will

computers to support

user outside of a closed system to access

also start to see more security features too.�

their printers. Smart

data via a label or printed document. “This

Stain also maintains that interoperability

Printing also leads to

will allow organisations to market better

between devices will grow, and that will yield

decreased energy

transparency between themselves and the

unprecedented ease of use, configuration and

consumption, a

end customer due to the end user’s ability to

manageability. Also, he believes the ability to

,# /.(0 /+(.-) /+/(&*)0





October 2016


Printing & Labelling

Special Technology Report

embed identity into a small form factor will help

Narla considers that the future price of 3D

however, their revenue

lead to an age of total transparency.

printing is expected to stagnate if speed,

contribution would

Hopkins observes that developments in smart

machinery technical capabilities, software usage,

remain a small part of

and connected electronics applications are

and material specifications do not change

the overall print

opening up significant new market opportunities

significantly; conventional manufacturing

industry. Lam adds that

in areas such as e-health, intelligent packaging

techniques are still expected to dominate.

total enterprise print spending will still shrink

and wearable technology (IoT technology). Hopkins reminds us that the Internet of Things

He added that the cost of difference between

throughout the forecast

describes a world in which every day physical

conventional manufacturing and 3D printing is

period. However, “the

objects or ‘things’ are embedded with

expected to shrink to only 11% by 2030 based

shift to Cloud,

electronics, sensors and connectivity which

on close parity to raw material prices. A

increased workforce

enable them to exchange data with the

summary of some of the key future indicators

mobility and digital

manufacturer, operator and/or other connected

regarding 3D printing from Frost & Sullivan’s

business transformation are opening up


perspective is as follows:

opportunities for print providers to sell related

He adds that, although embedded computers

'/+/0,*")0!-'"#* %/+/$.-)0

MCS solutions”, she said. Large-scale commercialisation of 3D printing

have been able to communicate wirelessly for

is expected to bring about faster and

Shanler comments that while there are myriad

years, the majority of these have been closed

localised production, but only by achieving

options for 3D printing of concept ‘non-

systems that are only able to communicate with

economies of scale.

functional’ prototypes to assist with iterative

Current high cost of materials and

design and feedback, users could consider

a central computer. “With the Internet of Things,

devices are able to communicate with other

machinery, and low printing speeds, prohibit

driving 3DP for creation of ‘functional

devices,” he points out. “They have the ability to

large-scale manufacturing.

prototypes’. “This could mean leveraging more

Only very-low-volume production can be

advanced 3DP technologies, such as powder

(such as RFID and NFC), are able to report on

undertaken when tooling investment is

bed fusion and directed energy deposition, that

activities worldwide through sensors, and they


may deliver more exotic materials than

communicate through wireless technologies

can be controlled or accessed from anywhere in

the world. The Cloud provides the power to store and exchange information, irrespective of location.” Hopkins explains that we are able to: •

Connect to things simply by scanning them

Prices decline exponentially as quantities

traditional acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene

increase since cost is spread over

(acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastics,” he


said. Shanler added that using 3DP for

In the future, low prices for materials and

prototyping can assist with reducing new

machinery are expected to lower production

product development schedules via faster,


frequent and more insightful feedback when in

Printing time and material availability

the concept/ideation, research, development

Monitor things remotely.

challenges still expected to prohibit wide

and beta-testing phases.

Manage things better, from traffic flows to

adoption and stagnate prices.

with our smartphone.

Moir considers that IoT will increasingly

use of energy within the home. •

Control things, such as smart thermostats.

Lassus believes the next generation of printers

empower managed print services (MPS) and

will have look and feel of tablets and

predictive maintenance etc. He anticipates that

smartphones, becoming PCs that print, rather

further Cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS)

Project SCOPE

than simply printers. “Users will come to expect

development will also continue to change

Project SCOPE, in which the BPIF’s role is to

a similar user experience throughout their

things. “In the near future, LMS could move to a

connect the technology and technology

industrial applications as they find in their typical

model that’s something similar to Office 365,

providers to the packaging industry, began in

day-to-day personal lives,” he said.

and a lot of this will be multi-tenancy in the Cloud,” he said. “I think when people become

late 2014 and will conclude in the middle of next

more confident about having business-critical

year. Towards the end of the project the BPIF will

Lam comments that weak demand for print

devise awareness and training programmes to

hardware and consumables will remain the main

manufacturing applications in the Cloud this will

inform the industry of the new opportunities that

challenges for print vendors as demand for

become more prevalent. It is possible that

the technology will open up. Hopkins points out

printed pages stagnates or declines, and

smaller users will move to this type of solution

that of particular importance will be the

content moves from paper to digital. She adds

before some of the large businesses, then more

brainstorming with the technology experts to

that consumables spending will fall at a faster

and more companies of all sizes will adopt it.

understand the potential applications of the

pace than hardware spending within the forecast

The main point is the Cloud and SaaS will

technology both now and in the future and how

period. Lam also maintains that print services

change LMS in the future. Indeed, I think we will

the label industry in particular can integrate into

and solutions will become growth drivers that

start to see SaaS LMS in the Cloud within the

their production runs.

place print vendors in front of enterprises;

next few years.” 




October 2016



Printing & Labelling


Gain the competitive %% $#&#%& $#& $!#% "& -2("*1-#2%.-1/0,$2'0-1(/+-22+-20/01,2!)/1%)2 -+&1#21&*.0,)2"+ &.!0,$2.//1,/0+,2/+2/"12/"0,$)2/"./2.-12+/1,2(+,)0'1-1'2)%.**2'1/.0*)#20,2&.-/0( *..-(+'12.,'2*.1*2&-0,/1-)#20**2"1*&2*+$0)/0()20-%)2%.1210(01,(!20%&-+1%1,/) .,'2$.0,2.2(+%&1/0/0121'$120,2/"12)./ -./1'2*+$0)/0()2)1(/+-

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ith more than 63,000 companies operating in the sector, the UK logistics environment has arguably never been more competitive. New small businesses and the consolidation of larger companies, combined with increasing fuel prices and the fluctuating value of sterling, has resulted in significant pressure on prices and therefore margins.

Everything from transportation management systems to unmanned robotics is now a possibility for the logistics industry, yet it is often the smaller elements that can have the biggest impact on operations. Take printers, for example. They are an essential fixture in any warehouse for producing documents, slips and labels that if specified correctly can streamline processes and boost productivity, but if not can waste resources, cause considerable delays and, ultimately, eat into profits. This is especially true when it comes to barcode label printers as poor image reproduction can result in rejected deliveries and the associated significant, unnecessary costs that come from extra transport and administration fees. In the case of shipping perishable goods, these costs can be particularly steep and cause weighty damage to a supplierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bottom line and reputation. Equally, some printers are not designed to withstand the demanding warehouse environment and will succumb after only

short operating lives, requiring frequent replacements and resulting in yet more unnecessary dents in the budget. The job calls for rugged devices that can cope with challenging environments and consistently produce high quality, fast and reliable results over high volume workloads if tangible time and cost savings are to be realised. In response, market leading printer manufacturers that understand the challenges experienced by the logistics industry have been developing technology that delivers exactly that to help firms manage costs, achieve the best possible return on investment and maximise profitability. The latest generation of industrial desktop printers, such as the CL-S700 from Citizen Systems, are specifically designed to provide extreme efficiency over long operating lives in busy warehouses. These robust yet compact machines offer high performance printing at up to 10 inches per second and excellent quality definition for accurate DataBar, QRCode, Datamatrix and PDF417 reproduction.

Indeed, considering the growing opportunities in emerging markets, the competitiveness of the sector is only going to intensify in coming years. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s therefore becoming increasingly critical that logistics firms focus on finding new ways to save time, increase efficiency for enhanced performance and deliver greater value to customers. In his foreword to the Freight Transport Association (FTA) Logistics Report 2016, FTA chief executive David Wells pinpointed greater technical innovation as a key opportunity, and one which has the potential to make UK logistics firms among the best in the world. This could not be truer, as the technology is there for the taking.





October 2016

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simple operation and feature USB, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as iOS and Android compatibility, meaning that they can be operated using a standard mobile smartphone or tablet with suitable software or an application.

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They are also ideal for the logistics industry where space is often at a premium as they include clever features like vertical opening, which does not expand the already small footprints of the units when the lid is opened for media or ribbon changes. Another innovation in the printer market that is delivering huge benefits to logistics companies is the introduction of mobile printers. Harnessing the increased capabilities of mobile devices, these industrial handheld units are an ideal solution for quick and easy label and receipt printing. They have been specially designed for

Unlike some other mobile technologies, these printers are built to last and withstand tough, frequent use. Citizen’s CMP-40L, for instance, is IP54 rated and made with a durable and shock-resistant moulded plastic housing that means it can survive being dropped from up to 1.8 metres and keep on running. These models also provide exceptionally long battery life and ample media capacity for reliable operation over long periods of time without having to be charged or the media being changed.

Reduced risk of errors As well as providing a high quality print output, convenient mobile printers can help logistics firms to achieve substantial time

c, e p s High dget! u b w o l

Printing & Labelling savings and increased productivity by eliminating the need for unnecessary trips backwards and forwards between a point in a warehouse and an office, where a static printer might otherwise have been located. Similarly, this instant, on-the-spot printing in situ reduces the risk of errors. The units are also extremely quick and easy to set up and configure and require minimum maintenance for uninterrupted label and receipt production. Consequently, the time saved can be spent elsewhere on other areas of the business that perhaps require more attention for better operational efficiency. Although the competitiveness of the sector might be daunting, there are routes that individual businesses can take and options that can be explored for enhancing operations and delivering greater value. Giving due attention to the smaller details – even down to the label and receipt printers in a warehouse – can create significant improvements in efficiency, productivity and profitability that give logistics firms the competitive edge. 

Citizen CL-E720 If you‘re searching for a printing solution that can help you to achieve efficiency savings, look no further! The CL-E720 is packed with features usually reserved for higher class machines. It is a highly reliable and cost effective printer, perfect for busy environments. Further key benefits: • Space saving design • Hi-Open™ Case • Easy media loading • Simple maintenance operation Scan for more Info.


MANUFACTURING www.citizen-systems.com 19

October 2016



Printing & Labelling


Label management ! #%&%#%!%&"&$! !21,2+0-#2 2%.-1/0,$#20(1.1*2 different label printers, and continuous inkjet printers (CIJ) at dairies around the world. Each dairy would undertake its own type of integration with the Manufacturing Execution System (MES). There were also a number of local IT companies providing integration support for connecting the printers to the MES. This resulted in escalating IT costs or sometimes even unplanned downtime.

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or many years, label design was largely something that was undertaken using a software package installed on a PC. However, todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s state-of-the-art web-based printing and labelling solutions can allow companies to maximise value for their own businesses â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and their partners â&#x20AC;&#x201C; by providing a single, scalable platform to manage all their global labelling and marking management needs. At NiceLabel, we call this new category of solution LMS (label management systems). Initially it was mainly the larger companies that began to deploy this type of technology. Now, based on the compelling deliverables enjoyed by these enterprise-level organisations, we are seeing an increasing number of smaller companies taking on board this type of solution â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and across all core vertical sectors.

The silo issue

Some production lines had no integration and the printers where operated standalone with manual data entry. If a user typed in the wrong best-before date, the item would ship to, say, a large supermarket chain and it would be rejected, and would be scrapped because it was perishable. Lost sales can naturally have a serious effect on a companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s profitability. Even if this amounts to just 1% of a companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s turnover this could equate to millions of Pounds. So the cost of LMS software is completely irrelevant by comparison.

marking needs. This allowed the company to benefit from having a single unified solution with standardised integration with the MES at each dairy to automate the printing process. The company can now provide all its dairies with this pre-built integration. Also, because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a single solution â&#x20AC;&#x201C; rather than various different methods of integration â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the company can provide its own centralised global 24/7 support. This results in significant reductions in IT costs as well as a more consistent, centralised means of support, which results in less unplanned downtime, which helps to secure a fast return on investment (ROI). However, the really big numbers are to be found in less rejected product due to more accurate data entry.

Selling more

Therefore, the company decided to move away from relying on many different printing and labelling systems throughout their dairies globally and standardise on one LMS for all its labelling and marking requirements. It initially approached some of its existing providers of labelling and marking solutions to come up with a standardised solution, but this proved not to be forthcoming, largely due to different providers only being able to support their own printing equipment.

Another NiceLabel client within the food & beverage sector is a Belgian bakery company that sells freshly prepared sandwiches in its stores. Because people need to queue to buy their fresh sandwiches during busy periods, the company wanted to find a way to sell sandwiches pre-packed. However, when sandwiches are pre-packed a label must be put on the package in order to comply with allergens and nutrition regulations. With NiceLabelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s centralised web printing solution managed at the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s HQ, staff at all its stores can now simply log in, access the solution and print the labels out on-site. This queue-busting advantage means the company now sells more sandwiches.

Standardised integration Extended supply chain

Within the food & beverage industry, for example, one of the largest global dairy companies is standardising on a NiceLabel LMS. Previously, they relied on a number of





October 2016

The remedy was for NiceLabel to share the dairy companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vision and develop standardised drivers not just for its labelling requirements but also for its direct

Greater control and collaboration within the extended supply chain is now more important than ever. Take the retail sector,


for example. NiceLabel works with a number of retailers on supplier labelling. In the case of a leading luxury goods retailer, our LMS was initially deployed within a number of regional warehouses, then to several manufacturing sites and has now just been rolled out across the business. The next stage of development for the retailer is to deploy the solution within its branded shops so that labels and tags can be reprinted in store so products don’t have to be sent back to the warehouse, which could result in lost sales opportunities.

More than a million companies use NiceLabel technology to reduce the complexity of barcode labeling.

Brand protection Also, from a brand consistency and brand protection perspective, the retailer is now able to control suppliers’ labelling activity and to be able to stop production overruns by building-in anti-counterfeiting RFID methodology that can be controlled via the web. [subhead] Quality or regulatory compliance Any company that relies on a quality management system to remain ISO 9001 compliant should consider LMS as it provides similar quality controls and procedures for the entire labelling process. Highly regulated industries such as life sciences (medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical) require a centralised, standardised labelling solution and it is critical in order for these companies to remain compliant. Regulatory requirements are very similar in both the medical device and pharmaceutical sectors. In the US, for example, both are regulated to 21 CFR Part 11, part of the Code of Federal Regulations that establishes the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations on electronic records and electronic signatures (ERES). One of NiceLabel’s clients in this area is pharmaceutical manufacturing company Krka, which delivers medications to more than 70 countries worldwide. The company has centralised and standardised its labelling operations with NiceLabel’s LMS. The solution has improved Krka’s master data management, streamlined compliance and provided a next-generation system to support future growth.

Find the solution that best meets your needs

Start producing professional labels without IT help.

Complete system Labelling systems have moved away from being a ‘box’ to becoming a complete business system offering greater agility and empowering business users to streamline the whole labelling process. It’s about not relying so much on IT; for example, for making label change requests. We see this need across all industries and among all sizes of company. Companies want universal intelligent labels and the ability to consolidate label variations. They also want to mitigate risk and optimise processes by being able to seamlessly integrate with the ERP’s or MES’s master data. NiceLabel is dedicated to helping businesses to modernise and achieve significant financial and productivity gains from their labelling process. We call this ‘print productivity’. 


Streamline label printing to control labour costs and eliminate errors.

Standardize your entire labeling process to meet quality requirements.

Streamline your labeling


Printing & Labelling


Mobile printers $ %  #$$# !2.-02.*'-+,#2$*+.*2 )0,1))2'11*+&%1,/2%.,.$1-# +,1!1**2&-0,/1-)

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usinesses are faced with more and more complex supply chain requirements, including shorter delivery times, the need for greater accuracy and pressure to reduce costs. Companies need to optimise their processes to prevent disruptions that can lead to supply shortages, financial losses and damage to a companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reputation. One of the unsung productivity tools in the supply chain is the mobile printer, which is used for packaging and labeling of goods, spare parts and shelves. Virtually every product needs a label: during storage, repackaging for short-term storage and eventually shipment. These processes involve a high potential for error if distribution centre or manufacturing staff have to pick up labels from a stationary printer. To avoid duplication of work, they may print the labels in groups and fix it to





October 2016

the corresponding package. In this method, they risk applying a label incorrectly, which leads to delays in processing or an error in the delivery.

printers are the ones that are constructed on a solid cast metal frame and protected with metal die-cast covers.

Mobile printers can solve these challenges and enhance operations in industrial and warehouse environments considerably. By attaching printers to vehicles such as forklifts, they save valuable time and reduce errors. Labels and receipts are printed immediately and directly attached. These mobile receipt and label printers must meet high demands because the floor of the manufacturing or distribution centre â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or on the loading dock â&#x20AC;&#x201C; presents a

Print in confined spaces On the manufacturing or distribution centre floor, space is incredibly valuable and the smaller the printer, the less space it occupies. Compact printers must have the flexibility to be installed in a variety of configurations on-site using additional brackets and mounting plates. In addition to the normal standing position, printers may be installed vertically, on the wall or even upside down.

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number of challenges such as confined spaces and harsh environments. The following tips and recommendations will help operations managers select a mobile printer that meets their needs.

Durable design Fork trucks present a challenging work environment for printers. The devices are exposed to harsh conditions for long periods of time. Printers must be able to handle shock, vibration, high and low temperatures and humidity throughout the day. For these rigorous industrial environments, the successful rugged

Easy access to electrical power is important. During space planning, owners should consider placing a charging station in a central location to avoid work interruptions. With a voltage converter, a mobile printer can be connected to the fork truckâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s battery. To avoid damage in this configuration, mobile printers should offer power spike and vibration detection.

Small but powerful Users should also make sure that the device is easy to use and powerful enough to meet their needs. For example, the new model of Honeywellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s MP



Printing & Labelling • High print quality. • Direct thermal and thermal transfer printing. Performance • Option for processing wide label rolls. • Larger rolls mean fewer changes and interruptions of work. • Connectivity to voltage onboard industrial trucks. Ruggedness • Resistance to extreme temperatures, moisture, drops, shocks and vibrations. • Protective housing, such as cast metal. • Additional brackets for multiple mounting positions.

Compact printer weighs less than eight pounds, making it easy to mount on tables, walls or a mobile cart or forklift truck. It supports higher media capacity to reduce the frequency of reloading media during a single shift, ultimately helping to boost productivity. The Honeywell MP Compact printers support large label rolls, which are typically less expensive to produce and thus cheaper to buy.

Ease of use A user-friendly design is significant when choosing a new printer. To prevent loss of time when changing media, it is important that the printer can be easily operated by workers wearing leather or rubber gloves. Look for a printer that allows fast reloading by using a paper feeding form or a slot on the side of the device. Ideally, rolls can be changed without an employee having to open any doors or removing covers. Parts should be interchangeable and not require special tools to replace. Finally, printers should support quick and easy integration into existing IT infrastructures.

spare parts. In some extreme cases, certain printers may not have spare parts readily available. Also important to consider is having access to maintenance service and support that is available around the clock to fix defects quickly.

Intuitive operation • Easy operation by workers with leather or rubber gloves. • Intuitive label feed.

The following is a checklist that buyers should consider for choosing the correct mobile printer:

Quick integration into existing IT infrastructure • WLAN (802.11 a / b / g / n) with WPA2 security protocol. • Connectivity options: USB, serial connection, Ethernet. • Compatibility with common software.

Printer type • Compact, mobile printer solutions for more flexibility in the supply chain.

Low total cost of ownership • Availability of products and spare parts. • Service and support options.

Long-term thinking When selecting printers, buyers prioritise which devices offer the lowest possible total cost of ownership, which includes factoring in costs for service, repair and


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October 2016



Printing & Labelling

Product News

Seiko Instruments !%" !%& &% $%"&$%& $!#% "


eiko Instruments USA Inc. (SII) Thermal Printer Division, recently launched a new mobile printer line, the MP-A40 Series. The printer offers a 100mm/second print speed and is said to be able to withstand multiple drops from up to 6.6 feet. With up to a 4-inch paper width, and weighing just a little more than 1.5 pounds, the MP-A40 Series mobile printers are built tough â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but that doesn't mean they lack in style or simplicity. With intuitive drop-in paper loading and easy access button, the printers offer a smart and robust design that fits into the palm of your hand, or belt clip; a small carry-on case offers the option of over-the-shoulder transport.

Printing & Labelling

and Wi-Fi capabilities, providing added value and easy transition from cable to wireless communications.

Ergonomically designed The MP-A40 Series mobile printers are ergonomically designed to be used in â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;front-of-houseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; verticals like retail and hospitality, but also have the ruggedness and strength for usage in areas such as direct-store-delivery, warehousing and logistics, field service, and public utilities. Other important features of the new mobile printer line include compatibility with the latest operating systems, including Windows 10, as well as SDK availability for both Android and Windows CE print class libraries for added mobility. The printer also offers auto-detection Bluetooth interface

"At a time when today's end users are looking to further mobilize their business processes, it was only natural that the MPA40 mobile printer line was designed with these trends in mind," said Kaz Onishi, vice president of Seiko Instruments USA. "In addition, our partners are realising the demand from their customers for this technology, which is something that was at top of mind during our research and development process." 

Company News

Epson Europe appoints &$ %# &# %% #%& %$!&""#$!$$#&$#%!#"


o enhance and accelerate sustainability commitments to customers, employees and the communities in which it operates, Epson Europe has announced that Henning Ohlsson, managing director for Epson Deutschland, will also take on the new role of Epson corporate social responsibility (CSR) director for Europe, Middle East and Russia (EMEAR). Epson, provider of printing, wearable devices, robotics and visual communications solutions â&#x20AC;&#x201C; comments that the appointment formalises the company's long-standing commitment to sustainability in Europe, building on a global CSR track record that stretches back eight decades to actions taken in the 1940s.

Epson's forward-thinking on the environment is contained in its Environmental Vision 2050, established in 2008 as a long-term guide for environmental action, which includes the goal of reducing CO2 emission by 90% across the lifecycle of all of its products and services by 2050. 24




October 2016

Sustainability Report Ohlsson's appointment coincides with the publication of Epson's Sustainability Report 2016, a new downloadable document detailing the company's CSR actions in the development of environmentally responsible products, initiatives to develop its own human resources with diverse values and capabilities, steps taken to enhance corporate governance and volunteer programs launched in communities local to Epson operations. Rob Clark, senior vice president, Epson Europe, said: "Bold sustainability actions are our duty as a leading technology manufacturer, considering the scale of the environmental and social challenges that the world faces. More than ever, sustainability actions are also a business imperative, helping us to deliver differentiated value to our customers, retain and attract the best talent in the industry, and enhance the communities in which we

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live. Henning's role in leading our CSR initiatives across Europe is therefore critical to our long-term success across the region." Ohlsson commented: "My role as CSR director will include amplifying the environmental benefits of our product range, ensuring our regulatory compliance, and raising employee awareness and engagement in local and regional CSR initiatives. I'm proud to lead this effort and to work for a company that takes its environmental responsibilities so seriously." 


Embodiment off ef e ficiency Streamlined: Ever y thing you need to get it done d , nothing you don’t. How do we do streamlined? Strip away the distractions. Leave behind all the fl ash, fluf f, and flourish. Streamlined is ever y thing you need to do the job, nothing you don’t . It’s straight for ward, focused, economical – the embodiment of ef ficiency. And when it means making the labeling par t of your job fast , easy, and on demand: It’s the new PC42t Desk top Printer. For more information, please visit w ww.honeywellaidc.com/produc cts/printers/desktop © 2016 Honey well International. All A rights reser ved.

Printing & Labelling


Application-enabled printing "#$!"  &#%&!# $!&!&$"#$"&$!"# $%" !2 0(".-'2(+//#2 -+&1.,2&-+' (/2%.,.$1-#2  technologies to make the production of labels and tags more flexible and cost-effective. While businesses want label printing solutions that are tailored to their individual needs and work processes, too often they are offered a standard non-intelligent package that either does far more than they need and is complex to install and maintain, or one that must be laboriously built up from a kit of parts. The result can be multiple labels where one would suffice, plus wasted staff time and resource. :2,95/=$2866"=-7:;<77<7=95<=94)9+7=488#:;3=.85 )9+7=68=)85#=*<66<5=9;/=185<=<..:2:<;64+%=9;/=8;< 95<9=),<5<=1985=39:;7=95<=0877:*4<==<70<2:944+ :;=19;-.926-5:;3=9;/=483:76:27==:7=05:;6:;3(


n the age of the Smart Phone, almost everyone is familiar with â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;appsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;- or applications - in mainstream technology, which allow users to take a standard piece of equipment and adapt it with software to easily configure a device that is perfectly suited to the individualâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s use. Perhaps what is less well known or considered however, are the huge benefits that this technology holds for the business world.

It should come as no surprise that the leading printer manufacturers are now incorporating this ability for end-users to customise their product, giving the concept of customer satisfaction a whole new meaning by helping businesses streamline their printing processes. In this paper, I will discuss how Application-Enabled Printing technology is offering manufacturing and logistics environments sophisticated and flexible solutions which are set to revolutionise the way we do printing. Businesses are always looking for ways to work better and more efficiently, and one area where major gains are possible â&#x20AC;&#x201C; especially in manufacturing and logistics â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is printing. In particular, the use of new intelligent printing





October 2016

Smart Printing was one of the first technologies to address these problems, and it offered a partial solution. It allowed a printer to be used stand-alone by making it programmable and able to operate without being attached to a PC. However, it had the drawback that once programmed, the smart printer became a single-purpose device until it was taken back and reprogrammed, with all the potential downtime it might entail. That might be acceptable in some industries, but not in more fast-moving areas that we find in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s era of e-commerce. To put it briefly, in the world of manufacturing and logistics, one size does not fit all. Enter application-enabled printing (AEP), a new generation of technology that leaps far beyond the smart printer in capability. AEP brings intelligent printing into the 21st century, helping businesses get a grasp on their printing processes. An application-enabled printer not only has its own internal processing power â&#x20AC;&#x201C; so it can connect to other devices such as weighing scales, a handheld barcode scanner, or a keyboard, and it can print without the need to connect to a PC â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but it is designed to be readily reprogrammable. Unlike smart printers which can only hold one program at a time, new applications can be added to an existing AEP, as you might add multiple apps to an iPhone or Android smartphone.

For example, in a manufacturing and logistics environment an app could be downloaded to automatically calculate and print thaw and use-by labels â&#x20AC;&#x201C; relying on the printer's internal real-time clock. Another app might use its internal product and price database to correctly calculate and clearly print markdown labels to clear older stock. Not only does this mean that you could start with a printer with one function, then add others as the needs arise, it also means that the printer can be customised to include exactly the right set of applications for a given purpose. The product more accurately fits the user's needs, yet at the same time it also means fewer components in the chain â&#x20AC;&#x201C; fewer devices to look after, fewer interconnections to manage, and fewer things to go wrong. It can also mean a simpler package that is easier to understand. That is because it can be easier to set up and tailor an AEP app for a specific purpose than it would be to set up a large PC-based software suite of which only a few elements will actually be required. And because AEP devices can be powered by batteries, they can operate free of connection to a PC and do not need a mains lead. Printing can therefore be located where it is required such as, on a trolley or a table in the centre of a warehouse and away from any power sockets, not where the infrastructure dictates. AEP devices are also designed to be userfriendly. Some of the current models have a mobile phone-type keyboard which will be familiar to most users. Both the buttons and the display screen are designed for ease of use â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the buttons are large and the screen is wide. Future models could include a smartphone-type touchscreen, too. Apps can be downloaded to the AEP unit either using a



Printing & Labelling

PC running a utility program, or loaded directly as a package containing all the necessary elements, such as a pricing database. They can be loaded via a USB cable, a wireless network (Wi-Fi) connection, or on a memory card, with some AEP units accepting the same SD-cards that are widely used in digital cameras and other devices.

Programmable printing So-called smart printers are not new, of course: the ability to set a printer up and then use it independently of a PC has been around for many years. What has changed now with the arrival of application-enabled printing is the sophistication and flexibility of those printers, and their ability to grow with the customers, providing far greater levels of investment protection. The ease of programming has also changed dramatically, mirroring the huge advances that have taken place in application development tools in recent decades. Gone are the days of having to write code in BASIC, and instead we look for advanced scripting languages, and development tools that abstract most of the heavy lifting involved in creating new applications. Called AEP Works, these app development tools include a PC-based printer simulator, enabling developers to load new apps and test or demonstrate them. It also helps that the AEP is a system with well-defined functional areas, unlike say an Android or Apple smartphone which might be called upon to be a telephone one minute, a satnav the next, and a videogame thereafter. Add advanced programming tools to an AEP therefore, and you have a system that allows new applications to be created and deployed – and subsequently updated – remarkably easily. A major benefit of being able to add applications for the AEP is customisation, with no need to buy an entire suite of printing capabilities if you only need certain specific ones. It allows an AEP to be set up to exactly meet the user's needs by mixing and matching from a standard set of apps,


,<= =$<5:<7=05:;6<57=.<96-5<7=$ 7==6<2,;8483+%=8..<5:;3=-7<57=9=185<=.4<:*4<=9;/=2876<..<26:'< 806:8;=.85=6,<=05:;6:;3=8.=49*<47=9;/=6937(

either written by the manufacturer, or bought in from other programmers, appstore-style. If further customisation is needed, existing apps can be modified or new ones written to suit. AEP apps are also able to run on multiple platforms, so there is no need to redevelop apps if you change or update your printer. Instead, an app developed for the first generation AEP units should also run on subsequent AEPcapable devices, whether they are desktop printers, mobile printers, or other printcapable devices. And of course if the manufacturer is not sure yet what their needs will be, that does not matter: they can choose an initial app or set of apps to load now, then change that mix or add more apps later on as their use of the technology grows and as the need arises. These capabilities are not entirely free of effort, and some programming skills are required to modify AEP programs. Today's implementation of applicationenabled printing is just the start. The same concept will be implemented on multiple classes of printers in the future, including both mobile and desktop printers ranging from low-end to high-end. All these devices will be able to run the same AEPdeveloped apps. It is also possible to run the intelligence behind AEP on a separate device, such as a smartphone or tablet computer, and have it print to a mobile printer, or even a suitably-equipped desktop printer.

SATO’s NX Series The NX Series printers features SATO’s AEP technology, offering users a more flexible and cost-effective option for the printing of labels and tags. SATO’s NX Series printers are quick and easy to install and maintain, all these help reduce downtime and improve productivity. For businesses which are often running 24/7, reducing downtime is key to responding to customer queries effectively while improving operational efficiencies. Minimising costs associated with maintenance can also go a long way to improving the bottom line. SATO’s CL4NX/CL6NX are plug-and-play printers that are easy to set up, without needing specialists to install them. They can also can print immediately. Printers that have been designed for parts to be replaced by the users, without having to call in technicians are also preferable. They are designed to allow for fast parts replacements. ‘Wear parts’ such as print head and platen roller are quick to replace with no tools needed, while help videos are also available in the front display, to aid with maintenance. The SATO NX display reads in up to 31 global languages and are intuitive and simple to operate, reducing the time spent on staff training. In addition, SATO’s NX family is equipped with 100MB user accessible memory allowing formats, large graphics and custom fonts while delivering best-in-class speed processing and fast throughput, which is also essential when it comes to fulfilling orders as fast as possible. 



October 2016





Enterprise Asset Intelligence and the hardware to deliver it By David Stain, senior vertical marketing manager EMEA manufacturing, field mobility & healthcare, Zebra Technologies. s manufacturing and logistics


manufacturers both improve productivity and

businesses strive for products

deliver better experiences for their customers

that deliver on their promise

through sensing, analysing, and driving

together with flawless fulfilment,

business actions. Using tools and technologies

realising these can be

that give you real-time operational visibility into

challenging. Today’s customer invariably not

people and things, you get a full sense of what

only wants more product customisation as

is happening in your enterprise, helping you to

standard but also transparency of when the

simplify and improve operations.

product or merchandise is available. Relationships and revenue streams are built

Where it is all-pervasive and potentially

around the ability of suppliers to deliver on

overwhelming, we help you to extract and

their promise of when components will be

analyse the most appropriate data and

delivered to a manufacturer and onwards from

formulate actionable information to drive

the manufacturer to its promise of when it will

smarter business decisions and enhanced

deliver finished product to a customer.


A manufacturer may be driven by its customer to comply with a product specification and deliver those products on a just-in-time basis. This in turn often drives that manufacturer to either look at its environment to establish pinch points and compliance challenges.

and increased collaboration. Today’s

The use of technology in these environments is critical, and whilst investment can be seen as a barrier it is something that must be overcome if companies are to survive and grow.

Enterprise Asset Intelligence and how it helps

Sense – Analyse – Act

technologies can help to create a smarter,

The key features and benefits of Enterprise

complete visibility, enabling you to take a

Asset Intelligence solutions include:

holistic view of operations and know what’s

going on across your demand chain.

form of Enterprise Asset Intelligence, a full cycle of visibility for the manufacturing sector.

Enterprise Asset Intelligence is about delivering visibility solutions to help

A functionality portfolio that addresses every point in the plant manufacturing

At Zebra, we have looked at the challenges you face, and come up with a solution in the

more connected business that incorporates

lifecycle; from supply in, to build, to supply

By capturing the data available, and turning it


into actionable information, you can streamline

Adherence to operational KPIs – on cost,

processes and make positive steps towards

on plan, on specification, safely.

optimal production. The two themes of focus

The ability to extract the maximum value

that resonate across the manufacturing sector

from the Internet of Things (IoT).

were identified as:

These solutions are developed to optimise efficiency, productivity and asset utilisation.

Track & Trace

Process Compliance

What the solution looks like Forrester, over 80% of firms indicated that IoT

Tell me something I don’t already know

solutions would be the most strategic

As a technology company it is sometimes a

technology initiative for their organisation within

lottery as to how much a customer’s enterprise

a decade.

actually knows what technology can do for

In a 2014 survey Zebra commissioned from

them. They are busy people, and taking on

Technology becomes the enabler to follow due process by making work instruction visible on a mobile PC screen or voicedirected via a mobile PC in the ear of the operator etc.


IT October 2016



IoT and mobile capabilities provide operational

new technology or refreshing their current

and actionable data on the location and

hardware can be daunting. However, the

condition of assets. This gives you better

following are just a few insights that might start

control of processes and costs and helps to

to help you realise that the challenge is worth

mitigate risk, while enabling more functionality

the effort.



Maintenance operations


powerful visibility engine that drives inefficiency out and enables agility to

Industry 4.0 - the fourth industrial revolution –

unpredicted events.

has arrived. The cyber physical world is where the human-to-machine interface is becoming critical, so to bring this into the

Stage and gate

here and now think about the way you

Track & trace and process compliance – the

manage your critical machine assets (be that

foundations to smart manufacturing. There’s a

a manufacturing line machine or your vehicle

tendency for different cells and areas of

fleet). Maintenance – be that preventative or

plants and supply chain to operate as silos.

reactive – can be much better served by

Stage and gates help to cross these divides.

providing technicians with the information they

With eKanban forming the basis of an efficient template to work with, the opportunity to shrink storage space at manufacturing facilities and drive the supply chain to deliver just in time to line side means that barcode and RFID working together can drive unprecedented efficiencies across the demand chain.

need real time; the schematic drawing on a

A gate is a point for tracking, checking and

mobile PC, the ability to scan a barcode label

auditing – for example, at goods-in to check a

on the machine to determine the model type

delivery manifest against arriving materials or

or calibration setting, the ability to locate parts

components. The stage is the area between

on the system all make sense.

two gates. It follows that the more gates there

information to mobile devices the visibility that

are, the more visibility you have. You can

results, when incorporated into wider

Assembly line

automate the data collection processes at

operations, helps to assure compliance, drive

gates by using barcode and RFID labels and

product quality and optimise process

As we think about manufacturing line

tags. The data on labels can be captured


operations the ability to bring new staff on

using handheld scanners or automated

board or to cross-skill staff becomes

systems whereby fixed RFID readers in your

A manufacturer may be driven by its customer

imperative. With technology tools such as

facilities track the location of items as they

to comply with a product specification and

wrist-mounted wearable computers, voice-

move through.

deliver those products on a just-in-time basis. This in turn often drives that manufacturer to

guided assembly and intelligent ID badging, the skills uptake becomes much more

With the data from tags shared over Wi-Fi

either look at its environment to establish pinch

achievable within a shorter time frame, with

networks with your back office and control

points and compliance challenges. Technology

the potential of a clear audit trail generated

systems, and your team’s mobile devices, you

becomes the enabler to see these areas and

giving operations undertaken, when, by who,

can keep a constant eye over the progress of

also the enabler to follow due process by, for

and using what tools.

the manufacturing line. Best practice track

instance, making work instruction visible on a

and trace embeds the right technologies into

mobile PC screen or voice-directed via a

Another point worthy of mention is as product

every element of the stage and gate process,

mobile PC in the ear of the operator. Scalability

complexity increases the correct components

giving every physical asset a digital profile,

is the key so that the investment can be staged

fitted to an assembly is critical. Build manifests

and every action a measurable and

as the organisation grows.

are the backbone of process compliance, so

manageable value. In this scenario, on time in

the notion of scanning in components used

full is very much achievable.

processes, solutions and people in place, the

and of printing on-demand the new assemblies’ identity makes a lot of sense for product assurance and for audit trail needs in the event of a quality or efficiency issue.

With the right combination of technology,

Process compliance

potential to create a world-class

Today’s technologies can help operations to

and not to be missed.

manufacturing operation is very real indeed,

execute, monitor, diagnose and resolve asset

Line side parts

and equipment issues to decrease downtime,

With eKanban forming the basis of an efficient

They can improve inventory accuracy and

Gartner projects that 25 billion connected

template to work with, the opportunity to

reduce associated time and costs of

things will be in operation by 2025. With smart

shrink storage space at manufacturing


sensors and labels and tags attached to items

increase repeatability and supply efficiency.

facilities and drive the supply chain to deliver

Transforming visibility

the Internet of Things promises to transform

just-in-time to line side means that barcodes

The key to working this way is to give every

visibility over your production line and through

and RFID working together can drive

physical object a digital identity or signature

the demand chain. As Abraham Lincoln, 16th

unprecedented efficiencies across the

using a combination of mobile computers,

President of the United States, said: “An

demand chain. Technology in this instance

barcode printers, scanners, tablets and RFID

investment in knowledge pays the best

can link up the demand chain silos into a

readers. By also capturing and presenting





October 2016




Data Capture

Mobile barcode scanning – capturing top performance without breaking the bank By Samuel Mueller, CEO, Scandit. urchasing barcode scanners has

environments. By deploying ruggedised

become a matter of varied

smartphones, or smartphones protected by

choices. No longer are enterprises

rugged cases, enterprises can further lower

Some organisations are even leveraging

restricted to selecting from an

TCO and benefit from the same durability

employee's personal devices instead of

array of dedicated scanners or

as traditional rugged mobile computers or

investing in enterprise hardware. Apps that

dedicated scanners.

utilise a smartphone's camera can be extended


traditional mobile computers. Barcode

Employee familiarity

to personal devices via bring your own device

scanning options now include smartphones. Organisations must determine which device

Mitigating the higher hardware costs of

(BYOD) IT policies, eliminating hardware costs

will deliver the scanning performance needed

rugged smartphones is the fact that they

from the TCO equation. Training on iOS and

at the right price.

still have a much lower TCO than the

Android-based smartphones may also be

dedicated scanning devices traditionally

easier and more cost-effective, simply because

As any IT buyer knows, one of the most

used in demanding scan scenarios. [1] Even

of employee familiarity.

important considerations in a technology

so, mobile computers can still cost over five

purchase is getting the biggest bang for your

times as much as a rugged smartphone

Other benefits, which may further reduce the

buck. Upfront costs are only one of many

over the device's lifetime. Meanwhile,

TCO of a consumer smartphone (ruggedised

factors barcode scanning device buyers need

rugged smartphones developed by

or non-ruggedised), include its applicability to

to include in their evaluation. Others include

traditional barcode scanning hardware

numerous non-scanning functions. As

how long the device will last, how frequent

manufacturers can cost three times as

opposed to a dedicated scanning device,

and expensive maintenance and repairs will

much as standard iOS or Android

smartphones can also be utilised for tasks

be, ruggedness, the amount of training


such as communication and navigation.

needed, ergonomics, scan performance levels, and how many different tasks the device will handle. Taken together, these and other elements comprise the total cost of ownership (TCO).

Mitigating the higher hardware costs of rugged smartphones is the fact that they still have a much lower TCO than the dedicated scanning devices traditionally used in demanding scan scenarios.”

TCO accounts for all hard costs (such as the device itself, the software that runs on it and associated software development costs) and

Fortunately, other options exist for

Rugged smartphones, as well as

soft costs (such as training, operation and

enterprises seeking to perform rugged

smartphones protected by ruggedised cases,

downtime expenses).

scanning operations without paying too high

offer a lower TCO by a large margin. IT

a price. In good news for supply chain

buyers and supply chain managers should

Lower TCO

managers seeking convenient and efficient

note they also offer alternative advantages to

scanning solutions, enterprise technology

businesses with a barcode scanning

First, it's important to understand that

providers offer cloud-based software that

requirement. With fully-ruggedised and

smartphones can be deployed as

utilises the built-in camera and flash of a

encasement options now available,

consumer-grade devices to be used in a

smartphone to turn it into an enterprise

smartphone-based scanning solutions offer a

variety of enterprise workplaces. However,

scanner. Many smartphone manufacturers

more economically viable alternative that will

they are also available in rugged models to

also offer ruggedised smartphones

suit the rigours of even the most demanding

ensure operation in physically demanding

designed for use in harsh environments.


[1] [2]

TCO Models for Mobile Computing and Communications Platforms – VDC Research Total Cost of Ownership of Mobile Barcode Scanning – Scandit


IT October 2016





online.zebra.com/track-and-traceML LIT

V OICE technology

Success Story

Modernising the warehouse puts Raleigh ahead of the pack sk anyone in the UK to



difficult and further slowed down their

remember their first bike and the

Raleighâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Parts and Accessories business


chances are that one brand is

was running a manual, completely paper-

mentioned more fondly than any

based warehouse system, which was not as

The solution

other â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Raleigh. The company is

efficient as it could have been in terms of the

Raleigh knew it needed to change and brought

one of the most successful bicycle brands in

picking process, resulting in a lot of location

in BEC (Systems Integration) Ltd., a UK-based

history, stretching back to its foundations in

errors. Furthermore, the admin team were

leader in data capture solutions for supply

Raleigh Street, Nottingham, in 1885, and

always a few hours behind actual stock levels

chain logistics and manufacturing, to map out a

growing to become one of the largest

on products, so managing sales in real-time

project to automate the warehouse in its

manufacturers and distributors of bicycles and

was impossible. This was compounded by

entirety. BEC proposed a two-phase project

accessories in the UK and around the world. For many bike fans, Raleigh is adored for its iconic Chopper, Mustang and famed â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Bananaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; road bike from the 1980s, which is now a sought-after collectorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s item amongst British hipsters. Raleighâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pioneering designs and


BEC proposed a two-phase project using its eSmart WMS software underpinned by Honeywell hardware to update the goods-in and goods-out sides of Raleighâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Parts and Accessories business.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Philip Jarrett, BEC.

reliability have kept it at the forefront of the bike

the seasonality of the bicycle business, which

using its eSmart WMS software underpinned by

business for decades. In order to keep pace

means that Raleigh employs seasonal

Honeywell hardware to update the goods-in

with its flourishing e-commerce business,

workers at peak times of the year to keep

and goods-out sides of Raleighâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Parts and

Raleigh undertook a project to transform its

pace with customer demand. However, the

Accessories business. At every stage of the

warehouse into a faster and sleeker operation.

paper-based system only made training more

process, BEC was on hand to help ensure a smooth delivery of the project. Phase One focused on the receiving and picking side of the business, eliminating existing issues around stock control by ensuring that all the stock received into the warehouse was barcoded. Raleigh used Honeywell barcode scanners to make sure that everything coming into the business was scanned and coded appropriately and that the data was correct before products could move forward into the storage and distribution process. Honeywell CK3 mobile computers were selected for receiving goods-in as they are







October 2016

designed for rugged warehouse environments. For packing, Raleigh opted for 3820 cordless Bluetooth scanners, which are ideal for


Success Story

scanning applications where freedom of

immediately working with great accuracy.

V OICE technology

available stock, whereas it used to take between two and three hours to update the

movement is essential. For Raleighâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pickers and packers, the Voice

system. Furthermore, BECâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eSmart solution lets

Phase Two dealt with picking and

system works well and is quick, being much

Raleigh manage an unlimited number of

replenishment, equipping warehouse staff with

more efficient than paper. The workers report

concurrent orders, which is essential in

Vocollect A730 Talkman devices, which are

that the headsets are extremely comfortable to

enabling the management and growth of its e-

purpose-built for Voice-recognition in

wear and that they forget they are wearing them

commerce business.

challenging warehouse environments. The

in no time. The improvements have led to an

A730 integrates a Voice-activated scanner so

increase in worker productivity, enabling them

The benefits of the new system have even

workers are completely â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;hands-freeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, while SRX2

to pack and launch much more quickly,

spread to the physical layout of the warehouse.

headsets allow them to communicate directly

accurately and effectively.

Raleigh has been able to create a flexible pickface which has quadrupled the number of

with the warehouse management system. Raleigh also has access to more data than ever

locations it has for picking without increasing

The results

before regarding all the picks, packs and

the physical space. Due to the success of the

When the management team at Raleigh first

processes happening within the warehouse.

Honeywell and BEC system, Raleigh now plans

informed the workforce that they were looking at

One of the key benefits is that Raleigh is now

to extend the solution across the rest of the

implementing Voice and scanning technology,

able to produce individual carton packing lists,


there was a degree of trepidation, especially

which it couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do before.

about how effective the Voice technology would be, however it was well received and there

Compared with paper, the use of Honeywellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

have been no negative issues.

scanners and the Vocollect Voice system gives more accuracy and control. It also adds the

Introducing Voice-directed workflows into the

benefits of real-time stock control because

warehouse has had an additional benefit for

personnel are recording directly into the

training seasonal workers, who can now be fully

Warehouse Management System about stock

trained up within a couple of days and are

movement, allowing for a real-time view on

Benefits  ""   "! !""

  ! !""!"     !  !""  ! ""! !" !   !" ""!" " 

!  "!

BEC eSmartÂŽ Voice WMS Enabling Complete Door-to-Door Voice Solutions  Increase worker productivity by up to 35%  Reduction in picking errors by up to 50%  ROI typically within 6-12 months  Built with voice technology at its core, not as an add-on  Based on our proven eSmart Warehouse platform  Real-time dashboard reporting & status updates  Seamless integration into any host ERP system   



Call BEC today and speak to the experts: October 2016 www.logisticsit.com +44 (0)1254 688 088 or visit www.becsi.co.uk





V OICE technology

Product News

Voiteq launches VoiceMan Data Analysis Voiteq, global provider of Voice-directed work solutions, launched its 'next generation' business intelligence solution, VoiceMan Data Analysis, at IMHX 2016. ommitted to providing its

button, whether it's for one site or multiple

data analysis capabilities. VoiceMan Data

customers with highly reliable

operations across the network.

Analysis is the next generation analysis tool."

Analysis has been developed to

Isabel McCabe, managing director, Voiteq Ltd.

meet the growing need for

said: "Supply chain is under increasing

Predictive analysis â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 'what-if?' capabilities

actionable insights in the supply chain;

pressure to reduce costs and meet ever

In addition to current and historic information,

providing understandable and usable

increasing demands. So visibility into logistics

VoiceMan Data Analysis includes predictive

information to improve business processes and

operations is vital. Customers are realising that

analytics, calculating future outcomes for

performance. With Data Analysis, customers

big data is the solution and are looking for

proactive management and allowing 'what-if?'

are able to benefit from interactive

more powerful tools to access the information

analysis of future scenarios, including year-on-

visualisations; supporting more informed

needed to run smarter operations.

year comparisons. Data Analysis can also be


and innovative solutions, Data

used to simulate the short-term impact of

decision-making for both short and long-term planning.

"We've always been at the forefront of the voice

operational changes, such as reallocating

market and our latest solution proves that we

resources or workloads around a busy

With the latest business intelligence

are staying ahead of where our customers

distribution centre. This gives managers the

technologies, VoiceMan Data Analysis uses

need to be. We have invested a lot into our

ability to plan ahead and proactively manage

predictive analytics for users to test future

data capture and reporting methods.

service levels and performance.

'what-if?' scenarios. An easy-to-use application,

Understanding the market and our customers'

the new solution doesn't require any changes

needs, we are now taking data to the next

Deep-dive analytics

to be made to existing host systems and data

level, moving from static reporting to providing

Data Analysis works in near real-time providing

visualisations are available at the touch of a

a platform with dynamic, advanced, interactive

clear visibility of critical operational information





October 2016


Product News

V OICE technology

and processes; converting raw data captured

within the workplace. Multi-language support is

to highlight data most important to their

by VoiceMan into valuable, actionable

simple, reflecting the capabilities of the


information and making it available for deep-

VoiceMan system itself.

diving analysis by managers and staff in a

Data can be filtered as required, and then

Supports better decision-making

single site or across a warehouse network.

exported to CSV files for seamless integration

Isabel McCabe added: "The value of data

into other reporting tools. Data Analysis users

comes when it is distilled to help make better

Big picture and tiniest detail

can also query the data warehouse directly,

decisions. Resourcing, managing seasonal

Data can be analysed with a high degree of

enabling customers to add VoiceMan

peaks, identifying process improvements and

granularity without 'walking the floor' – ranging

generated data into any existing investment in

responding to trends are just some of the

from identifying bottlenecks, weekly and daily

business intelligence.

areas where our new VoiceMan Data Analysis solution can deliver significant benefits to

shortage counts, mismatches in staff deployment to reviewing productivity rates by

Interactive visualisations

person, team or zone, and much more.

Rather than traditional reports and dashboards,

Historical information can be retained for long-

Data Analysis offers more sophisticated,

"Often business intelligence tools are

term analysis. This allows for precise

interactive visualisations including a blend of

controlled by IT departments. Operational

comparison of performance over time against

text, charts and images that can be viewed on

staff can find that data is either out-of-date or

standard or bespoke KPIs or amongst

desktop, tablet or mobile devices and feature

too rigid to get the information they need. With

individuals, teams and sites.

touch-friendly user interfaces. With the ability to

VoiceMan Data Analysis, operations teams

drill down and move through data to access

can have access to valuable information when

Flexible access

the information when needed – users don't

they need it to help them run a more efficient

Accessed via a browser, data can be viewed

have to switch from report to report or across

business and identify opportunities for further

by remote or off-site personnel. Access can be

applications. The powerful, yet simple user

process improvement." 

assigned to specified users, limited by

interface, also means that customers can 'self-

parameters (team, zone, date) or broadcast

serve'; easily creating custom views and filters


Hearing a Smarter Vo oice The logistics world is constantly changing, with more SKUs and an increased frequency of smaller deliveries, keeping on top of it all is a challenge. It’s crucial for you to be in control and responsive to consumer spending habits as well as seasonal peaks; Vo oiteq offers a solution that will flex and grow with your business. Business intelligence should be at the core of every operation; at Vo oiteq we are data-led. Using our powerful Data Analysis tools, rich visualisations enable you to see, understand and interact with your data d t – enabling bli you to t make k better b tt decisions d i i in your smarter warehouse.

Hear a smarter voice, run a smarter warehouse Visibility Improved Productivity Increased Accuracy 24/7 Support





October 2016



Warehouse Management


Success story

Automation paves the way for ifmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success


ince its foundation in 1969, ifm, based in Essen, Germany, has developed, produced and sold sensors, controllers and systems for industrial automation worldwide. The company has over 5500 employees, with around 700 working in research and development (R&D) and 3800 based in Germany. In 2013, it achieved a turnover of â&#x201A;Ź 630 million and this had grown to more than â&#x201A;Ź 720 million in 2015. Essen is home to its new 6,200m2 worldwide distribution centre, which supplies the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s distribution network in over 70 countries.

Turning challenges into opportunities ifmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ambition is to develop into an integrated provider of hardware, IT and services, which through the course of Industry 4.0 will help companies with the maintenance and monitoring of their machines. However, the company recently faced a number of challenges in realising its growth potential. One of the challenges was that its old warehouse was too small to handle the groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s next phase of development. Order processing was predominantly carried out manually at the site and the number of existing storage locations was no longer sufficient for the constantly increasing number of products. Warehouse staff worked from picking lists and RF terminals in determining what products to select from shelves and flow racks. This was a labour-intensive method, with picking errors and relatively low operator performance not uncommon. Within the confines of the old warehouse, it was simply not possible for ifm to increase its packaging output. In addition, the inefficient manner of picking goods did not match ifmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s image as a company at the cutting edge of technological innovation.

New home, new horizons ifmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s solution was to move to a new location in 36




October 2016


which a future-proof, automated solution could be implemented. In January 2015, ifm selected Vanderlande to help it plan for â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and realise â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a new solution to overcome its logistic challenges.

a high level of control and shortened lead times. In addition, it can change rapidly to match varying business requirements, and represents a favourable ROI. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We preferred a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;hybridâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; system, which combines goods-to-person and person-togoods technologies,â&#x20AC;? explained ifmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Managing Director Thorben Petersen. â&#x20AC;&#x153;ADAPTO is an excellent solution for moving goods to the operator, but for faster moving items, we chose a Pick-to-Light system, in which the operator moves to the goods. This combined approach is a perfect match, and its flexibility and scalability are two of the key features.â&#x20AC;?

The two organisations worked closely during the initial phases to develop a solution based on Vanderlandeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ADAPTO system. This is a 3D solution that ensures easy access to around 8000 different products in 23,320 locations at all times. It comprises: a racking structure across ten aisles with an integrated shuttle track system; 25 multidirectional shuttles; and seven lifts that allow the shuttles to move between rack levels and system exits/entries. Each shuttle can reach every location in the system, keeping service levels at a maximum. Maintenance platforms with additional staircases also allow quick operator access for fast troubleshooting if and when required. This is also supported by a spare parts package, as well as a maintenance and hotline contract (to follow). ADAPTO performs independently of the number of SKUs and order size, and maintains

The optimum process The process begins at the receiving stage, when trucks deliver pallets of goods from either ifmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s production facility in south Germany (daily), or the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s other manufacturing plants in Poland, Singapore and the USA (less frequently). Additional deliveries are also received every day from different couriers. At the ergonomic workstations, pallets are


Warehouse Management

raised to an optimum height and operators position the individual cartons on trays and scan these on to the system. The cartons are filled with either one product or different items spread across four compartments. If the barcode is positioned on the outside of the carton, this indicates that only one product type is contained inside. If there are multiple products, the operator scans the four compartments internally in a clockwise direction. In this way, the system knows the exact layout of the compartments, which is vital when it comes to the picking stage. The cartons are moved down a conveyor and into a lift, which connects them to another conveyor. This feeds the new stock on to one

of the shuttles, which carries it quickly to an available location within the racking. There are two optional destinations when a tray is recalled by the system and leaves ADAPTO again via one of the shuttles: the fast movers (top 250 products) as replenishment for the flow racks directly connected to ADAPTO; or the slow movers for order-related picking at the goods-to-person workstations (CPS). ifm utilises four types of cartons – the largest (600 x 400 x 200mm) is used for both shipping and storage on site – and three smaller varieties for shipping only. The numbers of each shipping carton required are assembled via a fully automated carton erector. These are automatically labelled and either transported to the flow racks or the CPS workstations. The cartons required for order picking are ‘married’ to an order on their way to the designated flow racking. With Pick-to-Light, operators at the three zone-pick workstations can select from 300 channels through the ‘pick-pack’ procedure. The barcode on the carton is scanned and the operator is advised of the direction for locating each product, which is more accurately indicated by a light.


Success story

ADAPTO delivers the cartons in the correct sequence for each of the three goods-toperson compact-pick workstations. The sequence is built within the three-dimensional shuttle cube, which means that an extensive installation of loops – found in conventional systems – can be omitted.

Cost efficiencies ADAPTO is also providing ifm with a range of other benefits. The cost efficiencies are significant as, in addition to the optimised storage density and maximum system availability, there is a better return on the investment should the structure of the business change. “The current system is set up for 800 shipping cartons per hour, so with that level of technology at our disposal, we can comfortably reach our 2026 turnover target,” said Petersen. “The biggest benefit to us is that we can copy this design to other warehouse locations in the world, in fast-growing markets. It is therefore the blueprint for the development of these sites and the springboard to offer this solution to other markets.” 


Reliable partner for value-added logistic process automation

The pressure on your warehouse is increasing with the explosive growth of e-commerce, the high number of stock items and short lead times required to meet demand. The need to optimise the flexibility of your processes has never been greater – and this is where Vanderlande can help. We are a reliable partner for many of the world’s largest retailers, wholesalers and e-commerce operators, who benefit from our vast experience. Whether it’s a new or refurbished facility, we are a leader in innovative systems, intelligent software and life-cycle services for warehouse automation solutions. Want to know more? E: info@vanderlande.com. > vanderlande.com

Warehouse Management


Product News

Iptor Supply Chain Systems adds ProTrack Labour Management to Warehouse Management solution


ptor Supply Chain Systems, formerly IBS - the supply chain management, planning and logistics software and services provider â&#x20AC;&#x201C; has partnered with TZA, the supply chain labour management solutions provider, to include TZA's ProTrack Labour Management Software as part of its Warehouse Management solution. TZA's ProTrack software is a Cloud-based solution that helps users measure, monitor and motivate workforce productivity and utilisation for increased performance, lower cost-per-unit and greater competitive advantage.

"Considering that almost 60% of the costs involved in running a distribution centre track directly to labour, adding the proven labour performance capabilities of TZA's ProTrack to our Warehouse Management solution is a huge value-add for our customers," said Jayne Archbold, Iptor Supply Chain Systems CEO.

Real-time visibility and decision support As an integrated part of Iptor's WMS, ProTrack will give users real-time visibility and decision support for proactively planning, deploying and

Warehouse Management

managing associates on the warehouse floor via any enabled mobile device. "Logistics operators face critical labour issues today, including an aging workforce, a shrinking pool of skilled workers and rising wage costs," said Evan Danner, CEO at TZA. "Together with Iptor's WMS, ProTrack software provides the tools to respond to these labour challenges and sustain a high performance operation and culture."


"With the ProTrack interface, Iptor's Warehouse Management solution becomes even more powerful for customers," said Bill Tomasi, Iptor senior vice president of product management. "In addition to excellent control over material movement, storage and the transaction processes associated with running a warehouse, customers will benefit from labour management capabilities that drive additional supply chain productivity gains." 

Company News

PathGuide and QubeVu power Cascade Orthopedic Supplyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s win at PARCEL Forum 2016


athGuide Technologies, provider of warehouse management systems (WMS) for industrial and retail distributors, together with QubeVu, a dimensioning systems provider, has announced that its customer, Cascade Orthopedic Supply, has won PARCEL Forum's 2016 Game Changer of the Year Award.

Measurable savings This award recognises a leading company for its successful implementation of a significant innovation that resulted in measurable savings, enhanced productivity, and other benefits to improve shipping or distribution operations. 38




October 2016

Cascade Orthopedic was chosen for its successful deployment of PathGuide's Latitude Manifest and Shipping System, together with QubeVu's dimensioning solution. "QubeVu offers the most advanced technology in the dimensioning market today," said Kim Karvonen, sales manager at QubeVu. "Our solution provides certified dimensions of any object, regardless of shape. Together with PathGuide, we've deployed a system at Cascade that seamlessly handles irregularlyshaped items, helps to lower shipping costs and provides online customers transparency into stock availability and shipping costs. This has literally been a game changer for Cascade's business."

Designed from the ground up "Latitude WMS was designed from the ground up to be compatible with a host of ERP platforms and other vendor solutions like QubeVu," said Mark Van Leeuwen, regional sales manager at PathGuide. "In addition to helping Cascade reduce shipping costs, this feature-rich combination has helped the company optimise warehouse space while maintaining a 97% same-day shipping rate. We're very pleased that Cascade has been recognised for its innovative and comprehensive approach to operational efficiency and customer satisfaction." 


Warehouse Management


Product News

Cloud-based warehouse stock control for e-commerce business ProSKU is a new Cloud-based warehouse stock management application that enables online retailers to manage and track inventory in warehouses and store rooms efficiently to enhance customer service, reduce cost and minimise administrative input.


he application integrates quickly and easily with all popular ecommerce platforms including eBay, Amazon, Woo Commerce, Magento and Shopify, as well as traditional CRM solutions such as Sage. It supports the essential warehouse stock management functions including receipt and putaway, picking and despatch, stock management, and reporting. ProSKU has been developed by Chess Logistics Technology, which has delivered enterprise warehouse management systems for nearly 30 years. Many online retailers offer exceptional customer experiences but struggle to manage their stock effectively; particularly as their businesses grow. Inaccurate stock information and failure to identify where items are located in the warehouse can limit a retailer's ability to provide customers with stock availability or fully meet order demand on request. Stock levels may be too high, leading to inefficient use of space and hidden cost, or too low, leading to missed opportunities.

Supports single and multi-site operations ProSKU sets out to provide a well-featured and easily deployed solution designed to meet the current and future needs of online retailers. Single and multi-site operations are supported. During set-up, users follow simple and intuitive on-screen workflows to create their warehouse layout and enter stored product data which along with customer, supplier and live inventory data can be entered manually or imported in any common data format. The application also incorporates an API for rapid integration with other web applications. ProSKU is hosted on secure backed-up servers. This is claimed to ensure a robust and resilient stock management component to


the integrated e-commerce solution with maximum possible service availability and almost no risk of data loss. The application can be accessed from any PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone using any modern browser. Pricing is based on a simple monthly pricing plan with a minimum commitment of one month and no hidden start-up costs. The system is accessible to the extent that set-up can be undertaken by the user with minimal assistance from the vendor. Detailed operating guides and video tutorials are provided to assist but ProSKU also provides cost-effective support services for those customers who require more handholding during the key implementation phase. After commencing live operations, a range of support options is available to suit varying needs.

Stock control and warehouse management functions ProSKU incorporates all mission-critical stock control and warehouse management functions: Receipts and putaway: simple and flexible management of incoming stock items. Users can process receipts rapidly while recording important data accurately. The system makes intelligent automatic decisions but also allows manual operations. It generates pallet labels and documentation for putaway execution, and allows rapid confirmation or amendment of successfully completed movements. Post confirmation, all receipt data is archived with full movement history, as well as periodbased goods-inward reporting. Picking and despatch: these functions facilitate rapid conversion of orders to despatches. Automatically imported (API or CSV) or manually keyed orders can be viewed, selected and processed. Flexible picking strategy allows order selection by

ability to fulfil with pre-process check to verify product quantities. Single, wave and cluster picking options are standard. Standard stock rotation is FIFO (first in, first out) or BBE (best-before-end), with specific criteria selection including date, batch and status also available. Standard task documents and on-screen confirmation are provided with an optional handheld scanning module to allow combined execution and confirmation. Handling of pick exceptions ensures full integrity at the confirmation stage. The despatch function offers dual options to confirm onward consignments. A standard despatch process allows quick validation and despatch paperwork print, while a 'scan and pack' feature offers order scanning at product or item level to ensure despatch integrity. Stock Management: all the essential stock management functions are included, providing users with the ability to control and deal with all stock-handling scenarios and exceptions. Stock check functions allow verification by location, product or ownership, offering the flexibility for regular cyclic stock checking. Reporting options are designed to offer stock and movement data in a highly accessible form while allowing considerable scope for formatting. Reports have pre-defined fields and allow additional user field definition. Sequence selection, filtering, sorting and totalling are also available where appropriate. All reports will be selectable by key identities like depot and stock ownership. 



October 2016



\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Success story

#$(+)*! ,'#'+* manufacturer prepares for growth with QAD ERP solution upgrade auser is a worldwide


producer of industrial packaging. The company manufactures and reconditions a wide range of

plastic, steel and fibre containers including drums, injection-moulded packaging and bottles. Working with agricultural, petro, industrial chemical, medical waste, food and beverage, paint, and pharmaceutical companies, Mauser supplies them with reliable, perfectly

effectiveness and put it in the best possible

The challenge: keeping ahead of the curve

position as the company implement its â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;buy

acquisitions and joint ventures, Mauserâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

Mauser has to deal with a wide variety of

â&#x20AC;&#x153;We believe all things have a life cycle,

major focus is on expansion of its global

customer needs and distribution challenges

including our ERP system,â&#x20AC;? said Dr. Bernhard

presence and reconditioning business.

as well as the volatile European economy. The

Rohde, global CIO at Mauser. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We need our

Mauser has:

company also has to accommodate different

financial and planning systems to stay ahead

currencies and the business and tax

of the curve.â&#x20AC;?

sealed products that reduce risks and prevent industrial spills and accidents.

and buildâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; plans.

Using a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;buy and buildâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; strategy of global


More than EUR 1 billion revenue.


4400 Employees.


82 Facilities at 57 production locations in

Mauser has been running QAD enterprise

18 countries worldwide.

resource planning (ERP) solutions since 1994.

Joint ventures in Europe, Asia and the

The company realised an upgrade of its


current system was needed to maximise its


practices of widely diverse cultures.

The solution: thoughtful design and testing make for a successful upgrade QAD met with Mauser to discuss its current and future ERP needs, set goals and determine an upgrade timeline.

Strategic goals â&#x20AC;˘

Growth through acquisitions and joint ventures.


Continuous refining of delivery abilities.


Expansion and enhancements of product offers.


The most effective, flexible and easily/quickly deployed ERP system possible.






October 2016

Optimised business processes with


Success story

\\\ Manufacturing \\\

streamlined IT support strongly based on

time frame from the first planning meeting to

QADâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ERP solution as the core

going live in Germany was only seven months

transaction system.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; fast and right on schedule. There were few technical problems and the entire process

Mauser determined an upgrade to QAD

was quite painless from a system point of

Enterprise Applications Enterprise Edition

view. The standardisation efforts to harmonise

(QAD EE) was the best solution and upgrade

system data have been immense and promise

goals were defined.

to be a big ongoing success.â&#x20AC;? With the upgrade to QAD EE, Mauserâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

Upgrade goals

financial processes have seen many improvements mainly in the ease and speed money and be more efficient.â&#x20AC;?


Enhanced financial functionality.

of the financial closing process. The new


Better built-in reporting functionality,

features facilitating the booking in local GAAP

easily customized by the user.

and the group-wide IFRS standard are

Mauser has seen a 20% improvement in

Ability to better forecast and more

particularly a tremendous benefit. Closing the

reporting and won a QAD Visionary Award for

accurately compare actual vs. budget.

books is now faster and more accurate,

record implementation.

Clean-up and standardisation of existing

resulting in both an increase in effectiveness

processes including data structures in

and a decrease in costs. Moreover, Mauser

â&#x20AC;&#x153;We can now more effectively manage the

accounting, master data, and harmonised

was fully prepared for the general switch to

supply chain, especially transport of goods to

customer, supplier and item numbers.

the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) bank

customers,â&#x20AC;? added Rohde. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With the success

Easier ERP maintenance through

transaction required in Europe.

of the upgrade process and the immediate

â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘


reduction of customisations. â&#x20AC;˘

Greater transparency and granularity on freight costs with QAD Trade Activity Management.


More effective management of the supply chain, especially transport of goods to


We took the ERP update project as an opportunity to reconsider our core business processes and to discuss, optimise and document them on a companywide basis.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Dr. Bernhard Rohde, global CIO, Mauser.

customers. The new user interface has received positive

and long-term benefits we are seeing, this has

Mauser and QAD partner Kontext-E worked

feedback on ease of use as well as the better

been a great intellectual and cultural

through the system design, which was based

reporting functionality. QADâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Browses have

investment for us. QADâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and their partnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

on a strategy from the QAD Customer

become a major part of day-to-day work, and

care and concern for Mauserâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs during

Engagement Process. The superior

the ease to filter and export data has

the planning and implementation process was

internationalisation features built into QAD EE

improved process efficiency.

very impressive. When the time comes for the next upgrade, I will not hesitate.â&#x20AC;? 

made it easy to design the system to accommodate the current countries Mauser

Budgeting has become easier and more

does business in and prepares for future

accurate as forecasting improved with the


addition of more weeks of concrete orders in the system to better predict customer

Each of Mauserâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s project objectives was

demand â&#x20AC;&#x201C;resulting in budget versus actual

discussed, carefully considered and


incorporated into the system design. Financial aspects were a particular focus. Mauser was

â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have seen improvement sooner and it

open to testing, which helped the design

has been more tangible than we ever

process move forward more quickly, avoiding

expected,â&#x20AC;? said Dr. Rohde. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Standardisation

problems later in implementation.

is taking hold in our data structures including accounting, master data, and global customer, supplier, and item

Benefits: bigger, faster, better and primed for the future

numbers. Our IT department is happy that with the upgrade. ERP maintenance is reduced as fewer customisations are

â&#x20AC;&#x153;This upgrade was a major success for us,â&#x20AC;?

needed, and the greater transparency on

says Dr. Rohde. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was a huge project but the

freight costs has already allowed us to save


Highlights $'*, )'!"'(&)(%, *!"%&(,


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October 2016



Supply Chain


Supply Chain Management in the Cloud Manufacturing & Logistics IT attended Oracleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Modern Supply Chain Experience event in London earlier this year to find out about Oracleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s views on forward-looking supply chain software developments and strategies.


not â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;ifâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. He added that Oracle has embraced supply chain Cloud as one of its key areas of development, as is evidenced by the launch of Release 11 earlier this year, a package that has been built for use in the Cloud â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;from the ground upâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.

Rick Jewell, SVP applications development at Oracle, said that over 80 per cent of all companies either are using, or plan to use, Cloud applications for their supply chain management requirements. Jewellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s view is that adoption of the Cloud model for supply chain management is now a case of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;whenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;,

Jewell said that some of solutions vendors simply adapt existing SCM solutions and offer them in the Cloud realm, but he stressed that this is simply dressing up something designed for the supply chain world of yesterday into something more fashionable. However, he added that the modern supply chain environment is markedly different from that of a few years ago. Indeed, he made the point that the way companies interact with each other â&#x20AC;&#x201C; shipping, buying and selling goods â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is constantly changing and adapting to current needs. Therefore, supply chain professionals need a software solution that is

t Oracleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two-day Modern Supply Chain Experience event staged at the Intercontinental London â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The O2 earlier this year, professionals from the manufacturing, logistics and retail sectors were able to hear presentations and participate in roundtable discussions covering the current state of play and likely future trends regarding a number of manufacturing and supply chain-related topics. One of these themes was supply chain management in the Cloud.

able to change and adapt easily as the market trends themselves. This is why, said Jewell, the level of rigidity within many onpremise systems, together with issues surrounding integration with other software packages, can stifle effective business performance rather than enhance it. With this in mind, Jewell said Oracle has set about developing entirely new SCM capabilities with a focus on ease of use, flexibility and cross-functional business flows, making integration with the wide portfolio of complementary Oracle Cloud solutions a straightforward process.

Shift in mindset Vikram Singla, product innovation and supply chain apps leader, Oracle UK, added that due to the increasing level of

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October 2016

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confidence and satisfaction in Cloud-based applications among manufacturers and logistics professionals there is now a significant shift in mindset towards the Cloud. He added that while the majority of today’s supply chain solution adoptions are still undertaken in the traditional on premise fashion (whereby the solution is normally owned and maintained by the user company’s IT department), the Cloud model is being seen as increasingly compelling among Oracle customers.

Routes to Cloud deployment In terms of the route to Cloud adoption, Singla explained that individual companies will find that their level of required change may differ. “This is why we champion a fully flexible deployment model leading to the Cloud,” he explained. “For instance, a company may already have an SCM solution installed on-premise, and it may still satisfy the company’s core requirements on the whole. However, the company might wish to add extra functionality in order to, for example, maximise compliance or security. This extra functionality could be provided as an SCM Cloud solution. We refer to this process as complementary change.”

number of years and is looking to replace it, then a more transformational approach could be the best option,” he said. “Here, the company could set about moving to the Cloud wholesale for its SCM needs. Similarly, in the case of a start-up business, where the strategy is to become operational and efficient very quickly, while also avoiding often expensive up-font capex and ongoing consultancy costs associated with the onpremise option, then Cloud has to be the route to go down,” he said. Singla explained that SCM in the Cloud also offers greater levels of smart supply chain connectivity, enabling Industry 4.0 to be realised.

Platform enhancements So, it can be seen that Oracle’s SCM functionality offerings in the Cloud are fully flexible and broad-ranging. But what of the platform server options on offer, whether for Oracle’s SCM solutions or an array of other complementary suites? Last month (September), Oracle announced new additions to its Cloud Platform, which enable customers to get the best of both multi-tenant and singletenant environments. These new additions include Oracle Bare Metal Cloud Services, Oracle Ravello Cloud Service, Oracle Container Cloud Service and enhancements to existing Oracle Cloud services.

Supply Chain

Oracle Cloud Platform offerings now also support Oracle MySQL Cloud Service, Oracle Big Data Cloud Service and Oracle Event Hub Cloud Service in addition to enhanced levels of support for Oracle’s existing Platform-as-a-Service offerings. “As more and more enterprises leverage the Cloud, they want a simple, seamless way to migrate their large and complex IT infrastructures to the Cloud, and to use the security and management controls that their IT teams already know,” said Thomas Kurian, president of product development, Oracle. “The latest additions to the Oracle Cloud Platform enable organisations to seamlessly connect their existing resources to the Oracle Cloud using Virtual Cloud Network (VCN) and select from a wide variety of computer services including bare metal, virtual machines and engineered systems as if it were a part of their own datacentre.”

Carefully phased migration Singla concluded that whether a company’s path to the supply chain Cloud is transformational, incremental or complimentary, Oracle can help with a carefully phased migration, with a focus on ensuring that SCM in the Cloud delivers everything the customer wants, and more. 

Singla explained that the second level of change – which Oracle refers to as incremental change, is one whereby the user’s SCM Cloud functionality of choice is able to offer the flexibility to be fully and seamlessly integrated within an existing IT suite; whether as a hybrid (part on-premise and part-Cloud) model or whether these solutions are sourced from the same provider or other vendor. He then pointed out that Oracle describes the third potential mode of change as transformational. “If a company has been relying on an old legacy SCM system for a




October 2016



Supply Chain


Gartner announces ranking of top European supply chain organisations for 2016 Gartner, Inc., revealed its 2016 ranking of the top 15 supply chain organisations based in Europe at its annual Supply Chain Executive Conference, held from 19 to 20 September in London. "In this year's edition, four of the top five European supply chain organisations from 2015 (see Table 1) remained in the top five. H&M and Inditex switched places at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively and Schneider Electric made its debut in the European top five," said Stan Aronow, research vice president at Gartner. "Three new companies also made the supply chain top 15 ranking in Europe this year, with Bayer joining the list for the first time and Nokia and Ahold Delhaize rejoining after several years." This year, Unilever not only maintained the No. 1 spot in the European supply chain ranking, but also ranked No. 1 globally. Unilever has made supply chain a true





October 2016

partner to the business in delivering its broader Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, with the aim of doubling revenue and halving its environmental impact by 2020. H&M climbed one place to gain the No. 2 European ranking this year, reflecting a strong record in sustainability and workers' rights, as it quickly grows its business. Uncertainty in Europe exists and has increased since the UK's decision to leave the European Union. "More than ever, leading organisations in Europe will need to optimise their supply chain functions and embrace bimodal capabilities in order to drive growth and remain competitive in new markets," said Aronow. "They will also need to deliver

strategies that add real value to consumers, be mindful of new competitors capitalising on this period of uncertainty, and incorporate corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals into their supply chain strategy and operations." Gartner has outlined below some of the common challenges and key supply chain capabilities of this year's leading European supply chain organisations:

Growing emphasis on corporate social responsibility This year, for the first time, Gartner included a CSR score in order to highlight CSR



Supply Chain

&'((&%#$'%((&"$(!( ("$(%!'(!%( 

Return on Assets CSR Component Inventory Turns2 Revenue Growth3 (ROA)1 Score4

Composite Score5
































Schneider Electric










































Reckitt Benckiser














British American Tobacco







Ahold Delhaize













Notes: â&#x20AC;˘ 1 ROA: ((2015 net income / 2015 total assets)*50%) + ((2014 net income / 2014 total assets)*30%) + (2013 net income / 2013 total assets)*20%) â&#x20AC;˘ 2 Inventory Turns: 2015 cost of goods sold / 2015 quarterly average inventory â&#x20AC;˘ 3 Revenue Growth: ((change in revenue 2015-2014) *50%) + ((change in revenue 2014-2013) *30%) + ((change in revenue 2013-2012) *20%) â&#x20AC;˘ 4 CSR Component Score: Index of third-party corporate social responsibility measures of commitment, transparency and performance. â&#x20AC;˘ 5 Composite Score: (Peer Opinion*25%) + (Gartner Research Opinion*25%) + (ROA*20%) + (Inventory Turns*10%) + (Revenue Growth*10%) + (CSR Component Score*10%) Source: Gartner (September 2016)

excellence within Europe's top supply chains, with seven of the top 15 European companies scoring a maximum of 10 and four more scoring nine of out of 10. "The emphasis on CSR is not only driven by investors, but also by consumers, employees and the general public, all of whom expect businesses to run socially responsible supply chains and for their methods and results to be made public," said Aronow.

Increased adoption of advanced analytics The use of predictive and prescriptive analytics is becoming more prevalent within


leading European organisations across all sectors. For example, NestlĂŠ uses predictive analytic algorithms to support its global engineering process flows and expand its supply chain. BASF is developing a single platform supply chain control tower, applying advanced prescriptive analytics to remove silos in its supply chain and create a valuebased supply chain ecosystem.

Digital business and innovation increasingly featured Digital business is increasingly featured as part of the capabilities of leading supply chains. Companies such as Unilever are spending a substantial proportion of their

marketing activities on digital, and the supply chain is being reconfigured to leverage digital opportunities. Schneider Electric receives more than 70% of its orders digitally, which substantially reduces order processing time. Supply chain innovation is no longer used just to make supply chain more efficient, but also to drive a new level of competitive advantage for leading organisations. For example, L'OrĂŠal uses its supply chain technology and analytics to monitor the safety of its ingredients, thereby reducing the need for product testing on animals; also, H&M has a supply chain designed to move a garment from design to the hanger within 20 days. 



October 2016




Company news

PTV Group acquires DPS and invests in Cloud-based trip planning


TV Group in Karlsruhe, Germany has acquired the British company, Distribution Planning Software International Ltd. (DPS). Both companies supply software to the transport logistics market and plan to expand the international market coverage of their products. The range of solutions will grow for both companies, and both will profit as a result. The transport logistics market is benefitting from a new cloudbased product for trip planning via routeoptimiser.com. Vincent Kobesen, CEO of the PTV Group, said: "The integration of DPS, with all its employees, products and offices, into our group of companies has come at exactly the right time. It enables us to further extend the geographical coverage for our logistics software business in the UK, Sweden and South Africa, gaining new planning and optimisation products at the same time." The DPS Route Optimiser product enhances the existing PTV product range by adding trip optimisation to its Cloud solutions. Logistics companies now have easier access to powerful technology in today's connected environments.

Growth objective Both companies own international sales units that are mutually complementary. PTV has had its own office in Birmingham since 2013 and has set itself the objective of further growth, not only in the traffic sector, but also in transport logistics. To achieve this goal, the local sales and marketing presence in the UK and Scandinavia will undergo further expansion. DPS is based in Birmingham, with additional offices in Sweden and South Africa. In future, these offices will market the range of solutions offered by both companies under the PTV Group flag. In North America, PTV is already well-





October 2016

established in the traffic sector with offices on the East and West Coasts. With its Cloud-based route scheduling PTV Group has yet another product in its portfolio, which is expected to put it in a strong position to specifically target the logistics market.

Global market presence

Paul Palmer, founder and previous owner of DPS, added: "DPS benefits from an extended reach and immediate access to a global market presence for its products. I am excited to be part of the PTV/DPS journey in my new role in the expanded This takeover allows us to business." As a new PTV subsidiary, DPS can continue to strengthen our operate in the market with market position, especially in a broader solution the UK, and double our existing portfolio.

"This takeover allows us to continue to strengthen our market position, especially in the UK, and double our existing revenue in this region. DPS is now 100% owned revenue in this region.” PTV Group has been by the PTV Group,” said – Vincent Kobesen, PTV Group. operating for almost 40 Kobesen. “All staff have years, with 700 employees been retained. We even supplying software for traffic and transport plan to take on additional personnel. We logistics to the entire world from their guarantee to all customers that existing headquarters in Karlsruhe. The business has contracts and product service agreements performed extremely well over the past few will be continued. Later changes are years. The company currently produces a possible but are not foreseen in the near turnover of over 100 million euros.  future.”


Success story


Maxoptra helps

Thornbridge Brewery keep the beer flowing Independent brewer, Thornbridge, is improving delivery costs, increasing driver efficiency and minimising the environmental impact of its mobile operation following the implementation of a dynamic delivery route planning solution.


he Maxoptra Cloud-based software is helping the brewery ensure customers receive their beer in a timely and costeffective manner. Since introducing the online delivery route optimisation system, Thornbridge has also seen an improvement in customer service and is planning, with the continued support of Maxoptra, further expansion of the business. James Walker, logistics manager at Thornbridge Brewery, said: "We discussed in detail what we required from a route planner, including all possible factors that needed to be taken into consideration when scheduling. We then trialled a number of solutions before concluding that Maxoptra was the most user friendly and fitted all of our needs perfectly." Thornbridge Brewery was founded in the grounds of Thornbridge Hall, Ashford-in-theWater in Derbyshire. The first craft beers were produced in 2005, and Thornbridge rapidly expanded opening a new state-ofthe art, 30-barrel brewery in 2009. Thornbridge has won more than 350 awards

Automated process Prior to the implementation of Maxoptra, each of Thornbridge's drivers were manually planning their own deliveries. This required returning to site at the end of every day to collect delivery manifests in order to prepare the next day's schedule. Using Maxoptra, this process has been entirely automated. Routes are prepared in advanced and in accordance with customer specific requirements, such as opening times, weight of deliveries and time required onsite.

Ambitious growth plans Stuart Brunger, head of business development at Maxoptra, added: "It is very exciting to be supporting Thornbridge at such a critical time in the company's

Walker continued: "Since we started using Maxoptra, we have seen a noticeable reduction in mileage, and therefore costs and emissions, and driver time is better utilised. We have also improved customer service with better communication and are confident that, as our business continues to expand, Maxoptra will support us along the way.”


Since we started using Maxoptra, we have seen a noticeable reduction in mileage, and therefore costs and emissions, and driver time is better utilised. We have also improved customer service with better communication and are confident that, as our business continues to expand, Maxoptra will support us along the way.” – James Walker, Thornbridge Brewery.

since opening, is considered by many to be the UK's first craft brewery and distributes beer to more than 38 countries. Thornbridge also operates six public houses in the Sheffield area and, in an exciting new venture, their first pub outside of the UK in s-Hertogenbosh in the Netherlands.

development. The use of Maxoptra is already delivering tangible benefits and returns on investment, and will help underpin the brewery's ambitious growth plans. It has to be said, site visits to Thornbridge are also a pleasure." 



October 2016






the logistics supply chain By Paul Swaddle, chairman, Pocket App.


egardless of the sector, be it banking, insurance, retail or utilities, the whole world seems to be adopting a digital or mobile-first strategy at breakneck speed â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and the logistics industry is no different. The reason for this digital transformation is simple; organisations are positioning themselves for the future, and with the smartphone arguably weighing in as the greatest technological disruptor of the 21st century, you have to either get with the programme or get left behind. There are real monitory reasons why transport and logistical companies should

be embracing mobile technology. Not so long ago, I read a survey conducted by Intermec, which showed how transport and logistics companies could save approximately ÂŁ303,855 per annum as a result of process re-engineering and the implementation of mobile technology across workflows. The survey also revealed that nearly three quarters (72%) had not evaluated their existing processes for at least two years. By digitally transforming their business, companies in this sector would be better placed to satisfy customer demand, streamline internal processes, meet business expectations, stay ahead of global competition and, most importantly, improve that bottom line.

Is adopting a mobile first approach going to be expensive? Having worked for many years on the frontline of app development and digital transformation in the enterprise, I've witnessed a widespread misconception that this can only be done at great expense, and having worked with a number of logistics companies, I've seen that this concern is indeed prevalent in the industry. This fear is understandable; the words 'digital transformation' even sound expensive. People hear them and assume they have to change every aspect of their organisational structure overnight, but this isn't the case. Many






October 2016



businesses can take huge leaps forward just by focusing on small, fundamental changes. A prime example of how a relatively low cost digital change can have a dramatic impact is a project we undertook for Bridgestone Europe, a global manufacturer of tyres and rubber products, and provider of services and vehicle management. Bridgestone required a means of monitoring tyre pressure more efficiently than the manual procedures that were in place, so we developed a smartphone-based system which monitors pressure readings from Bridgestone's TPMS sensors using a Bluetooth Transceiver. Transmitters on the valves of each tyre send data to the Bridgestone Capture Pack (BCP), and then to the smartphone via Bluetooth. The phone displays the number of tyres that are under minimum air pressure, indicating which need to be serviced. Before Bridgestone had this mobile system in place, drivers had to monitor their tyre pressure by inserting a manual pressure gauge into each tyre, which took a huge amount of time and effort. Thanks to the mobile solution, Bridgestone is able to more efficiently ensure that its tyres are at the optimal pressure, and that the company is therefore getting the most value out of its fleet. That said, we know that measuring tyre pressure is not a key concern for everyone, and this is just one of many examples of how mobile technology can improve business and



logistics operations. Here are other ways an organisation might benefit:

Receipt of data in real-time Perhaps the greatest advantage of implementing a mobile app is the ability to deliver crucial data in real-time to both business employees and customers. Apps can also record and store valuable data, yielding more responsive business decisions by making it easier to perform accounting, billing and regulatory reporting tasks. In addition, paper waste is eliminated, manpower is reduced and human error is diminished, which in turn, will improve profitability and enhance your bottom line.

Tracking and notifications For companies in areas such as shipping or transportation, access to accurate tracking facilities and notifications that can be sent automatically at each stage of a journey will enable companies to easily keep track of vehicles and their cargo. Logistics companies were previously only able to track deliveries each time they arrived at a key destination (depot, port, or at the customer's location). Mobile makes it possible to track an individual parcel on a meter-by-meter, second-bysecond basis, monitoring the transport processes and not only identifying issues when they arise, but predicting problems before they appear.

Improve customer service The opportunities to improve customer service by utilising mobile apps are virtually endless. An app can allow customers to track shipments, arrange updates to deliveries or even live chat with a company representative. From a business perspective, an app can also be used to communicate product news and offers with customers.

Automation of existing paper-based processes Finally, one of the main benefits that mobile technology introduces is the automation of existing paper-based processes. Nowadays, you can eliminate paper forms by replacing them with instant mobile reports. This will not only save you time, but you can also be sure that your data is safe and collected in one place. The logistics industry, like most modern business sectors, is continuously transforming and evolving, as business race to meet customer demands and keep up with increasingly sophisticated competition. The continued growth of ecommerce sees no signs of abating and this is putting pressure on all aspects of the supply chain. With the increasing popularity and ever-expanding functionality of mobile affecting companies worldwide it is essential that organisations recognise how mobile can prove not only beneficial but relevant. 



October 2016





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The European magazine promoting the effective use of IT in supply chain applications

Manufacturing & LogisticsIT - October 2016  

The European magazine promoting the effective use of IT in supply chain applications


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