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MAY 2012

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

Special Report: AIDC/MOBILE COMPUTING CLOUD/SOFTWARE AS A SERVICE Retail special feature: CATH KIDSTON Also in this issue: Advanced Planning Route Optimisation Taking security beyond the office walls ‘Visionary’ WMS Mobile commerce raises expectations on delivery

www.logisticsit.com 14th Annual European Supply Chain and Logistics Summit 2012 19th - 21st June 2012 Maritim Hotel Berlin, Germany


IF YOUR WARE WAREHOUSE EHOUSE CO COULD OULD TALK.... ...it wo would ould tell you that voice-enabled voice-enab bled technology can help you yo ou reach much higher levels s of accuracy. fa c warehousse operatives, Today Today’s y’s voice systems provide a far ar more accurate method of communicating with warehouse deliv o 99.9%. dless of spoken language and d dialect, helping them to deliver ver accuracy rates in excess of regardless regard return crediits to provide for those returns returns – and, most ns to process and fewer credits This means m you’ll have fewer returns riight time.. tantly, happier customers with h the right shipments at the right importantly, import Are yo ou listening? you

The Vo Voice oice of The Warehouse

www.voiceofthewarehouse.com ww ww.voiceofthewareho ouse.com


IT

MANUFACTURING

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If the price is right… In this edition of Manufacturing & Logistics IT you will find not one but two in-depth technology reports – one focusing on current talking points within the Automatic Identification & Data Capture (AIDC)/Mobile Computing space and the other concentrating on Cloud/Software as a Service. Regular readers of this journal will be aware that we have visited these themes before as themes for our special report series; however what becomes quickly apparent when reading through our fully up-todate offerings is the sheer pace of change that has occurred within both these technology verticals within a relatively short space of time. We hope you find them interesting and of valuable to your business. Continuing the Cloud theme mainly within a slightly different context – that of the economy – the level of uncertainty surrounding the current economic climate in some quarters would appear to be encouraging many more organisations to look at alternatives to on-site IT infrastructures and resources – with one-in-three organisations citing managed services as a more affordable option, according to a survey conducted by hosted services provider Rise. The research, carried out at a recent event, surveyed over 100 IT industry representatives, regarding their willingness to embrace Cloud computing. The results revealed that over one-third of the respondents stated that ‘affordability’ was a key driver when looking to move from on-premise to managed services. Cost was also referenced when it came to the demands of end users considering a migration to the Cloud. The potentially huge cost savings that can be realised by such a move was ranked second highest in a list of various demands. The results also suggest that while firms are starting to gain a better understanding of Cloud computing, there still exists a level of uncertainty when it comes to the actual adoption. Over 50 per cent of respondents highlighted issues such as a lack of understanding, as well as security and complexity concerns as reasons for not migrating. The results from the survey also highlighted that almost two-thirds of participants are looking to migrate to the Cloud within the next two years, and 63 per cent of participants identified cost and maintenance as the biggest challenge when it comes to managing existing IT systems. Also, over 50 per cent of interviewees stated loss of control and security and storage as barriers to Cloud entry.

Ed Holden Editor

According to Steve Holford, director at Rise, the results suggest that while uncertainty still exists around Cloud uptake, the cost benefits are forcing many organisations to take a more serious look at managed services. “The uncertainty hovering over the financial markets has acted as a bit of a wake-up call, forcing people to actively go out and see where savings can be made, and Cloud is most certainly one of those areas,” he said, adding: “The financial commitment that goes with maintaining an in-house IT infrastructure is huge, and Cloud computing represents an opportunity to do away with expensive upgrades and maintenance costs.” Of course, for many organisations, the on-premise model still offers many tangible benefits. But the Cloud model would certainly appear to be taken increasingly seriously by a wide number of business sectors, including manufacturing, logistics and retail. Holford pointed out that Rise appreciates that a lot uncertainty still exists with regard to the Cloud, “and that is why a hybrid Cloud model offering the benefits of a hosted service while keeping sensitive data on site might also be an attractive option,” he said. If you would like to join in the debate concerning Cloud, on-premise, hybrid etc., I would like to point you in the direction of our brand new Blog Zone. You can find this on our www.LogisticsIT.com website. One thing’s for sure, we will certainly continue to hear a great deal about this deployment model for some time to come.

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IT May 2012

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CONTENTS Manufacturing and Logistics IT May 2012 The European magazine promoting the effective use of IT in supply chain applications

Retail Focus 6

Cath Kidston

Special Technology Report

Editor: Ed Holden

9

Contributors: Kurt Hochanadel, Eurotech Dave O’Reilly, Voxware UK Stuart Miller, ByBox

17

AIDC/Mobile Computing

Special Technology Report Cloud/Software as a Service

Publisher: Dean Taylor

Manufacturing

Advertising: Alex Prodromou

23

Pankl fine-tunes its production planning with Orchestrate from Production Modelling Eurotech: Storing device data in the Cloud

Designer: Ian Curtis, First Sight Graphics

Planning

Production: Carole Chiesa

28

Ortec provides Advanced Planning Route Optimisation to Apetito

Circulation: Sarah Schofield

Printing & Labelling

30

IT Manager: Peter West

Zebra solution provides automatic identification and ensures food safety Datamax-OʼNeil begins shipping the E-Class Mark III Professional Series

Accounts: Carolyn Pither

Automatic Data Capture

Published by:

B2B Publishing Ltd Latimer House 189 High Street, Potters Bar, Herts EN6 5DA, UK

32

Box Technologies accepted as Microsoft Windows Embedded Silver Partner Motion and Becrypt take security beyond the office walls Honeywell unveils integrated AIDC scanning and mobility device management solution

Tel: +44 (0) 1707 664200 Fax: +44 (0) 1707 664800

Email (publishing): info@logisticsit.com Email (editorial): editor@ibcpub.com Printed by: The Magazine Printing Company plc, www.magprint.co.uk 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 manufacturerʼs or supplierʼs 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.

Voice

38

Voxware UK: Warehouses – the new front line of online customer satisfaction Vocollect: Voice reaches further

WMS 41

Chess: Dynamic picking solution for seals warehouse Vanderlande Industries launches Quickstore Microshuttle Snapfulfil SaaS WMS is ʻVisionaryʼ

Transportation Management 46

Paragon integrated routing and vehicle tracking plans Wadworthʼs beer deliveries FleetMatics releases white paper on the impact of Vehicle Tracking on customer service ByBox: Mobile commerce raises expectations on delivery

ISSN:1463-1172

TomTom delivers sweet success for Krispy Kreme

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www.LogisticsIT.com

www.LogisticsHandling.com

www.TransportDistributionEurope.com


Cath Kidston

Retail

Home-grown success Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with Mike Padfield, IT director of Cath Kidston, about the company’s rise to retail prominence, and the IT backbone that facilitates greater data control and operational efficiencies. ath Kidston is a distinctive British lifestyle brand best known for its witty vintage inspired prints and wide array of household and fashion products – from floral china to polka dot bags. Founded by its namesake in 1993, Cath Kidston is one of the most influential and original design companies to emerge from the UK in recent years. Currently, there are over 50 shops and concessions in the UK, and Republic of Ireland, and over 25 in Asia.

C

IT backbone In terms of the IT backbone deployed to manage Cath Kidston’s business and

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operational activities, IT director Mike Padfield centre based at its distribution centre in explained that the EPoS equipment deployed Cambridgeshire, and also as part of its ERP in Cath Kidston outlets in the UK and Ireland package. Order and sales data is compiled in utilises a software Maginus and then shared solution developed by with a third party called It’s largely about seeking Futura. Futura also More2 for CRM data deextends to Cath duplication, analysis and to understand our customers’ Kidston’s head office in segmentation. requirements as clearly as London where it is used for things such as possible in order to best serve Another key component in merchandising, Cath Kidston’s IT armoury is their requirements.” allocation iForce, a new partnership replenishment and which has recently taken product stock control. Padfield also explained over the operation of the Cambridge that Cath Kidston relies on Maginus software distribution centre for warehouse for its web front-end and general CRM data management and e-fulfilment. Padfield gathering and sharing. Additionally, Maginus pointed out that he and his 12-strong IT team, is used for the running of the company’s call together with iForce’s own technicians, are

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Retail

currently in the process of interfacing Maginus into iForce. “Our own in-house IT personnel and the external iForce team are currently focused on this integration piece as a priority,” said Padfield. “Our own internal team is busy with the specification and testing work, while the iForce team are focusing on the specifics required to ensure the best possible integration between the Maginus and iForce systems.”

intuitive for Cath Kidston’s retail outlet personnel to operate. “Staff in store need minimal training on the use of the Futura software,” he said. “Once they’re generally au fait with using the POS system at the till then using the software is a very straightforward process.”

Cath Kidston

Enhancement opportunities Padfield commented that, although Cath Kidston already has in place a highly effective and flexible IT portfolio – and currently has the integration project in hand – it is nevertheless constantly looking for

Key benefits Padfield outlined some of the core benefits of Cath Kidston’s IT portfolio. “In our stores, Futura ensures greater speed and efficiency of sales throughput,” he said. “Basically, using Futura means we are able to serve instore customers more promptly and efficiently. The system also allows us to capture customer information, which then helps us to make better informed decisions about the types of products customers like to buy at certain times of the year and in different regions. It’s largely about seeking to understand our customers’ requirements as clearly as possible in order to best serve their requirements.” When customer information gathered by Futura is relayed to the Maginus system this is when the data analysis stage commences.

All things are being considered as part of the IT strategy that we're building and refining at the moment.” And, as Padfield explained, because Maginus is involved at the ecommerce end too, this means that data from both Maginus and Futura allows Cath Kidston to be able to analyse cross-channel customer buying trends – for example, whether some types of customer buy mainly online, whether some buy predominantly in-store or whether many of our customers regularly buy goods both in the high street and on the Internet. In terms of the user experience in store, Padfield considers that the Futura software is very

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Cath Kidston

Retail

opportunities for further enhancement in order to keep at the cutting edge of business and operational performance in the retail space. “What we are doing is looking at our business processes, reviewing them and seeking to understand where any pinch points might be,” said Padfield. He added that, in terms of its international operations, Cath Kidston’s partners – which predominantly comprise successful wholesalers in their respective global regions – use IT systems that they feel best suits their local everyday working requirements. However, explained Padfield, in addition to the integration work currently taking place in the UK between Cath Kidston’s Maginus and iForce packages, it is also presently working on an integration layer to retrieve partners’ sales information on a weekly basis. “When completed, this will mean we have immediate access to sales data from all our global stores in the form of FTP files,” he said. “This sales information will then be imported into our local data warehouse to gauge sales trends on a more international level.” One new technology area currently being considered at Cath Kidston is opportunities concerning multichannel and how this could further enhance the company’s data capture and communication regime. “For example, this might involve sourcing tablet PCs or handheld devices in stores for queue busting or scanning loyalty cards – another idea we are currently considering,” said Padfield. “All things are being considered as part of the IT strategy that we're building and refining at the moment.”

Future expansion

expansion is also high on the company’s agenda. This includes plans to open an outlet in Shanghai, China, with further Chinese presence planned following on from the opening. “We are looking at steady growth as opposed to spreading into multiple territories too quickly,” Padfield explained.

Future expansion is always high on Cath Kidston’s list of priorities. The company recently In the Far East Cath We are looking at steady opened new stores in Kidston relies on a Westfield Stratford, network of wholesaler growth as opposed to spreading Bournemouth and into multiple territories too quickly,” partners. Padfield Aberdeen, with another explained that once due to open in Jersey the company has the later in the year. “So we’re very proactive in right partner in place to successfully manage terms of expansion in the UK at the moment,” stores within a certain territory it then looks to said Padfield. Additionally, future global move into other geographies with the help of

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other partners. “We operate internationally out of our London office while at the same time keeping in close contact with all our global partners,” he said. “With the impending full integration of our Maginus and iForce IT systems, this process – including global sales data sourcing and analysis – will mean we are in an even stronger position to offer the very best selection of goods. Ultimately, it’s all about serving the customer in the best and most efficient way possible.” n

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Special technology report

Innovation reach Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with some of the leading solutions providers within the AIDC/Mobile Computing arena about recent and possible future developments within this vibrant and fast-changing technology space. here can be few technology areas

T

that continuously push the

browser-

envelope as much as the

based

Automatic Identification & Data

applications that don’t

Capture (AIDC) marketplace. And,

require a software download and

as well as keeping up with the current state of

can be accessed through a simple URL.

the art, it is tempting to pause from time to time and consider where things might be in

And, according to Kidari, “while there has

mounted and

the next year or two – one thing’s for sure, it

been much hype about Android and other

tablet-docked computers to

won’t have stood still on anybody’s watch.

operating systems, the safest environment for

connect directly to the vehicle to

With this in mind, we asked a number of key

enterprise is still Windows and many

capture diagnostic information about the

players within the AIDC sector about current

companies perceive a leap to something

vehicle. “That means, for example, that a

trends, a few concerns and what might lie

different a risk”. This, says Kidari, is one of the

single tablet used in a truck could replace the

around the corner in terms of future

reasons why Windows 8 – which is both

truck’s black box, serve as the Electronic On-

innovations and enhancements. To begin,

designed for touch navigation and includes

Board Recorder (EOBR), communicate with

Khalid Kidari, director of product management

app-based functionality – is so highly

dispatch, manage inventory and more,” he

and marketing at DAP Technologies, points

anticipated. In Kidari’s view, another key

said.

out that one fundamental development in

development is a transition in the market from

AIDC and mobile computing is the

1D to 1D/2D barcodes. “The multiple

widespread availability of wireless LAN and

symbologies in 2D barcodes allow more data

‘Cell phone effect’

wireless broadband. This, he explains,

to be captured,” he said, adding: “In addition

Freddy Trompet. EMEA product manager

facilitates real-time data collection and

to the SKU, the 2D barcode can capture

(Supply Chain Products) at Honeywell,

management so that information can be

expiration dates, manufacturing dates, lot

believes the key issue today that has

shared immediately across multiple users and

numbers and more.” Kidari also comments

captured the attention of both AIDC

devices. He adds that it also allows for

that there is a trend towards allowing vehicle-

consumers and providers is what is referred to as ‘the cell phone effect’. “The big question is whether any or all mobility applications across the supply chain and other use cases can be fully satisfied with a cell phone,” he said. “While functionality and ergonomics are discussion points as well, the price point of a phone is what has everyone questioning it. Clearly some vertical applications have already adopted cell phones as the tool of the trade while other verticals appear to be comfortable with the rugged devices they have been using for years. With that said, we believe even these die-hard rugged device applications will have an ‘era of experimentation’ with cell phones. In other words we fully expect mobile software

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Special technology report

AIDC/Mobile Computing

application providers to offer cell phone

“They want a solution that will make them

version of their mobility software even if they

more efficient,” he said. When it comes to

don’t think cell phones will survive the

specific examples of benefits, Owens points

environment in the end analysis. The obvious

out that Motion has tablets in use in

benefit to the end user is hardware cost

manufacturing and logistics companies to:

savings.” • Nigel Owens, senior VP of worldwide sales

reports on production status throughout

and GM of EMEA at Motion Computing, makes the point that as Motion specialises in

every stage of production process. •

rugged tablets for field-based workforces, it is

driven applications. •

manufacturing and logistics. These, he says, generally relate to one of three key issues and

Ensure thorough quality control and inspection processes through menu-

seeing a lot of interest in the possibilities afforded by mobile computing in

Track materials movement and access

Achieve higher quality output due to more accuracy in parts ordering & allocation.

set of benefits:

Improve staff productivity and reduce errors due to centralised data management.

Complexity: manufacturers and logistics

companies alike are facing unprecedented

by accessing real-time order requests and

levels of complexity – in the market(s) they serve, the processes that comprise operations

Enable efficient warehouse management confirmation of dispatch of goods.

Accelerate the speed at which materials

and the established IT infrastructure. Tablets

and finished goods are available, due to

are a key technology for simplifying this,

real-time tracking & reporting.

especially within operations.

allowing users to implement AIDC into areas Gerrit-Jan Steenbergen, VP Innovation Centre

of their supply chain where it would previously

Speed: the need for faster turnarounds,

at Zetes, comments that Zetes is observing

have been prohibitively expensive. e.g.

quicker production and rapid access to

three trends influencing the way AIDC is

Seachill is a Grimsby fish processor that uses

information (regardless of location) is also

being implemented now and also in the

Zetes’ image scanning solution Visidot for

pushing interest in tablets. Businesses now

future.

verifying shipments of fish delivered to Tesco.

realise that speed is a key differentiator as well as a means to improving productivity.

“Their fish factory is a wet and cold 1) Imaging technology is taking over from

environment so RFID would not be feasible,”

laser scanning

said Steenbergen. “Prior to using imaging,

Service: delivering increased levels of service

“There are a couple of reasons for this trend,”

Seachill used ordinary manual scanners. Now,

to customers, wherever they are, is critical.

states Steenbergen. “First, imaging works

as well as confirming the accuracy of

And in some verticals within manufacturing

better in challenging environments. For

shipments, Seachill also complies with Tesco’s

and logistics, service is outranking new

instance, where goods to be identified are

ASN (advance shipping notification)

product development as a source of revenue.

damp, image scanners have a larger field of

requirements whereby they have details of

Tablets help businesses enhance service,

view, throughput is much faster and they can

exactly what goods are coming into their

which is driving uptake. Efficiency: The one word that runs through all of the

The multiple symbologies in 2D barcodes allow more data to be captured. In addition to the SKU, the 2D barcode can capture expiration dates, manufacturing dates, lot numbers and more.” – Khalid Kidari, DAP Technologies.

above points is

Khalid Kidari, director of product management and marketing,

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efficiency. Efficiency

be used in automated, unmanned

warehouse – serial and batch numbers of

brings simplicity,

environments. Compare this with traditional

products - in advance of each shipment

speed and better

scanners, which are more likely to have issues

arriving.”

service, and that is

and specially designed scanners, which are

what Motion hears

more expensive. Secondly, image scanners

2) Android or Windows Mobile as the

most from

perform better reading 2D barcodes, which

primary operating system?

customers,

are now in more widespread use.” Overall,

Steenbergen points out that Zetes is now

according to Owens.

believes Steenbergen, rising use of imaging is

seeing the first mobility devices developed for

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Android being adopted, whereas previously virtually all customers were using Windows Mobile. “This change brings its own set of challenges because Android is an open source platform and comes in many different ‘versions’,” he remarked. “Zetes are therefore anticipating a market shift with hardware manufacturers also starting to offer ‘integration kits’ to make their Android devices more easy to integrate and therefore more appealing. Whether Android or Windows Mobile will be the primary operating system no one can be sure, but integrators like Zetes will continue to offer multiple device integration toolkits, to ensure customers can have as much flexibility as possible over their choice of hardware devices.” Steenbergen added that as HTML5 becomes more widespread, it will offer a number of advantages for business users; for example, the ability to deploy a single solution across

ongoing support and training. “Working this

customer/prospect site enabling access to

multiple platforms. This, comments

way is much more cost-effective because the

CRM, documentation, sales history etc;

Steenbergen, means lower cost of ownership

expenditure is covered as ongoing operating

service engineers viewing and updating the

and better mobile access to business

expenditure rather than a one off ‘capex’

back-office system in real time during service

intelligence in the future. This, he says, is

cost,” he added.

calls ensuring access to accurate up to date

because all devices with an HTML5compatible browser will have the same ability to collect, collate and use data, which is much more efficient than requiring all staff to use the same device or developing a different app for each device type.

…we fully expect mobile software application providers to offer cell phone version of their mobility software even if they don’t think cell phones will survive the environment in the end analysis. The obvious benefit to the end user is hardware cost savings.” – Freddy Trompet, Honeywell.

3) Cloud based services will continue to gather interest

4) Application interfaces are evolving to

information; senior managers and directors

As data capture devices start to become

mirror consumer style applications

accessing key company metrics from their

slimmer and sleeker, like consumer devices,

Steenbergen considers that Apple has done a

iPhones and Android phones allowing visibility

Steenbergen maintains that they will have less

lot to influence the future of industrial

of operations. This, says Orme, is having a

localised processing power and more of the

applications. He adds that the next generation

major impact on the use and usefulness of

application will need

of logistics and operations managers expect to

software within companies. “Only a few years

to reside server side.

see same ‘wysiwig’ interface they see on their

ago the vast majority of a system’s users were

Combined with this,

own devices at home in the workplace.

office-based staff, leaving remote staff having

states Steenbergen,

“Software products are adapting to become

to liaise with an office based colleague by

companies will be

more intuitive and touch screen-based,” he said.

phone or email in order to interrogate or

looking for AIDC

Jonathan Orme. sales operations & marketing

update the business system,” he said. “This is

hardware and

manager at Exel Computer Systems, believes

no longer the case, and this change alters the

applications

that advances in wireless/cellular networks,

relationship between the company and their IT

provided via the

data security and the improvements in

solution, whilst also altering the relationship

Cloud, on a pay-as-

handheld devices (both tablets and phone-

between a company and their

you-go basis,

sized devices) means the utilisation of

clients/prospects, all for the better.” And in

frequently as a fully

business software solutions can now move out

terms of the main drivers for the changes he

managed service

of the shop-floor and the company offices into

cites, Orme comments that these are mainly

including hardware,

the wider world. For example, providing sales

related to advances in technology. “With slow

applications and

staff access to the system from a

data networks and unreliable hardware this

Freddy Trompet. EMEA product manager (Supply Chain Products),

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Special technology report AIDC/Mobile Computing

change was not possible,” he said. “Also browser-based software solutions are well placed to take advantage of the technology that puts the Internet in everybody’s pocket.” And in terms of the relationship between AIDC systems and back-office systems, Orme makes the point that, previously, companies had to link standalone mobile workforce management systems to their ERP system, leading to all of the well-known issues inherent in integrating disparate systems. “There are now systems available (like EFACS from Exel Computer Systems) that provide a single, fully integrated solution covering all of a company’s requirements, i.e. ERP, CRM, Field Service, Mobile Salesforce etc,,” he said. “This provides substantial peace of mind

becoming the key question for end users and

position in application development and user

in knowing that an upgrade to an element will

developers alike. This, he points out, is what

friendly interfaces.”

Efficiency brings simplicity, speed and better service, and that is what Motion hears most from customers.” – Nigel Owens, Motion Computing.

John McMeeking, UK managing director at Psion, considers that, thus far, 2012 has been an interesting year for the AIDC/mobile segment. He reflects that there have been debates around operating systems, with some

not affect the integration between all other

prompted Motorola Solutions’ development of

people calling for devices running on open

elements, also having a single supplier

RhoElements – a framework for creating OS-

source platforms. And, revisiting the

responsible for, and with expertise in the

agnostic applications – helping to ensure

consumerisation theme touched on above, he

solution as a whole.”

freedom for end users and application

adds that Psion has seen a gradual creeping-

developers. “The RhoElements framework

in to its market of consumer-grade tablet

supports the development of HTML 5

devices, and the growth in the UK of the Bring

Consumerisation of IT

applications, which allow the development of

Your Own Device (BYOD) trend that started in

Andy McBain, EMEA regional product

rich GUIs that are still capable of being

the US. “Nobody can argue with the success

manager at Motorola Solutions, considers that

delivered via the cloud to virtually any

of open source operating systems on

arguably the biggest trend in AIDC that the

device,” explained McBain.

consumer smartphones, or indeed the sales success of consumer-grade tablet computers,

manufacturing sector is seeing is the continued development of different operating

Another specific trend related to the

such as those you can currently buy on the

systems (OS) and development environments

consumerisation of IT, according to McBain, is

high Street,” he said. However, he adds that

for handheld devices and PDAs. “Only a few

the impact on end user employees’

what can be argued is the suitability of

years ago, developers tended to live off the

expectations of how they want to access and

consumer-grade products in the markets that

Microsoft Win CE,” he said. “But with the

share information. “Operatives have become

companies such as

strong consumerisation of IT the market is

used to the easy-to-use interfaces of

Psion serve. “While

seeing wider adoption of devices that run

Facebook or iPhones and want the same

they can at first

Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS platform.

experience in their work applications,” he

seem an attractive

While this development is creating greater

commented. “There is in effect a ‘blurring’ of

option versus

choice for the end user organisation this is

social media interfaces as they become

purpose-built rugged

causing application developers to examine

adopted for business use; particularly for

devices, when all the

whether they can sustainably increase their

manufacturing, retail, and logistics specific

numbers are run, the

development teams and time to supply end

operational needs. Some of the long

benefits are far

users’ changing AIDC needs.” McBain adds

established OS providers have had to rethink

outweighed by the

that application portability between different

the type and feel of applications to keep up

costs and time

OS – maximising flexibility and reducing

with these new entrants. Microsoft is pinning

disadvantages,” he

deployment and cost of ownership – is

much of its hopes on Windows 8 to boost its

commented. “For

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Special technology report

example, every time

upgrades are a benefit, but in our world

seen. So in my view, it is better to choose

a device is broken,

where device reliability and predictability are

devices that are designed for the purpose,

that worker has to

key, they are still not a sensible choice for

than those that just look good yet fail badly

return to base

many of the customers we serve.”

and regularly in real use.”

(because he/she can

Gerrit-Jan Steenbergen, VP Innovation Centre,

no longer be given

McMeeking then focused his thoughts on

work), and get a

tablet PCs. “One of the noteworthy things

The right balance

replacement. The

about the tablets has been their entry to the

Are there any remaining concerns regarding

company then has to

enterprise market,” he said. “Initially, this

the use of AIDC/Mobile Computing/RFID

either have a supply

happened in professional sectors, such as

systems? In Kidari’s view, security is always a

of back-up devices on standby or, worse, keep the worker waiting while

a new device is configured with the

Software products are adapting to become more intuitive and touch screen-based.” – Gerrit-Jan Steenbergen, Zetes.

company’s business software.” medicine, and now they are being issued in

concern. “Hackers are constantly looking for

more industrial and commercial sectors as

ways to access business data, and devices

Horror story

well. Our concern about tablets is that unless

containing customers’ personal data can be

McMeeking explains that one of Psion’s

the devices are heavily ruggedised and

lost,” he points out. “Meanwhile, developers

customers in the private housing sector

designed for harsh environments, such large

are getting savvier about protecting the data

presented at a recent Psion event. “They told

screens are really a significant cause for

with monitoring and remote access. The

us that they rejected smartphones because

concern. Unlike a smartphone with a touch

ability to wipe data remotely has been a great

they knew they would not survive regular use

screen and keyboard, if a true tablet’s screen

benefit to enterprise, but with this ability come

by engineers, builders, surveyors and the

is damaged, that device is generally rendered

additional concerns about device tracking

like,” he said. “Today, we sell through

completely useless. And as we know, tablets

being an invasion of user privacy. That leaves

distribution and resellers so we are in

in the main cost more than smartphones, so

IT managers with the task of balancing

constant communication with them about what

they are not as cost efficient at the outset

enterprise and security needs with user

they are seeing ‘at the coalface’ in terms of

while still causing the same problems in the

privacy.”

latest trends.” McMeeking added that very

kinds of uses where are products are typically

recently Psion spoke with a reseller that told it of a real horror story about a company that had tried to install smartphones into their organisation. “Even with retrofitted outer rugged cases these devices typically needed to be replaced five times as often as a functionally equivalent rugged device, such as the products we manufacture,” he remarked. “The AIDC business needs tools and devices that are designed for the purpose and can cope with the kinds of environments. These devices might be installed and expected to run for as long as five to seven years. That requires a stable hardware and indeed, operating software platform. The last thing any company should have to worry about is the stability of the operating system running on their technology platforms. That is why companies like Psion made a conscious choice to go with Microsoft platforms rather than participate in the everchanging and uncertain world of open source operating systems. In the world of consumer mobile devices, regular operating system

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Owens also reflects

manage and secure sensitive data, whether or

their way into these applications,” he said. “Cell

that there has been a

not the device is on or off the network.” And,

phone manufacturers and OS providers are not

lot made of the

from a Cloud perspective, Steenbergen

thinking about AIDC issues because the

intersection of

considers that the security of these types of

volume for them is with the consumer that does

security and mobile

services continues to be an issue, especially

not share the same concern as a field worker.”

computing. “Certainly, from a hardware perspective, there Jonathan Orme. sales operations & marketing manager,

has been a lot of development in this area to overcome

Improvements in data networks (both speed and coverage) will result in an increasing reliance on these devices, and so companies will have real-time, accurate information on the whereabouts and activities of their staff wherever they may be.” – Jonathan Orme, Exel Computer Systems.

concerns – ranging as companies start to consider Android

Another concern noted by Trompet is that

of biometrics to two-factor authentication,” he

devices for running enterprise applications.

consumer devices go obsolete fast with no

said. “Different operating systems provide

“This is why less data is held on the device

backward compatibility. “Even if the device is in

varying levels of security. Decision makers

itself and also why device management is

the ‘throw away’ price range when you get

should keep this in mind as well as look for

important to ensure that any data held locally

forced to mix and match devices with your

devices that come with integrated security

is effectively wiped as soon as the user logs

workforce there will be both procedural and

features as well. There are also many software

out of the system,” he said.

compatibility issues,” he said. Trompet added

from the integration

that the next big concern will be remote device

solutions for enhanced data protection, improved IT asset management and managed

Trompet also focuses on security. “This will

management. “It has already become

computer theft recovery. It’s important for

continue to be a concern as more consumer-

impractical to physically put your hands on

businesses to have the ability to track,

based and open systems-based products find

every mobile device under your watch,” he remarked, “and as devices are mixed and matched, there will be a greater demand to manage the software and configuration in those devices remotely – even going so far as to track the location of and ‘blanking’ a device that has been lost or stolen so your network and data is protected. There is low adoption for remote management today and that is a trend that will be changing.” McMeeking returns to the theme of BYOD. He comments that he completely understands the uptake of this from a mobile phone perspective. However, if the business wants more from the devices, then in his view, this is where the real challenges start. “Companies need to seriously consider how they can fully support the software and devices they want the driver to use,” he said. “As an example, if the device is used for phone, email, calendar, satellite navigation for vehicle routing and optimisation and proof of delivery, then it could be a very challenging support proposition. Especially when you take into account trying to manage all the different manufacturer’s makes and models alongside varying operating systems, possibly on different builds and varying service providers. I am not saying these are not manageable but there are far

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easier ways to implement and support day to

more rugged and consistent devices that they

particularly interesting

day activities.”

can expect to purchase for multiple years

as companies are

instead of just a few months.” Trompet also

looking to find ways

believes the converged device is likely to

to do secure

Technology convergence

expose a wireless bandwidth issue. “As more

transaction

And what of the current trend for technology

and more workers demand real-time voice,

processing outside

‘convergence’ within the AIDC marketplace?

video, and data feeds, even small delays in the

the four walls. There

Kidari considers that technology convergence

response will meet with the same annoying

is also convergence

is mostly a good thing. “Until recently, multiple

experience that plagued the classic warehouse

occurring whereby

devices were required for many applications,”

and other AIDC systems of 20 years ago,” he

siloed applications

he explained. “In the trucking industry, for

said. “Will a mobile worker standing in front of

are being brought

example, a truck might be equipped with a

a customer wait patiently for a file to download

together on a single

fixed-mount computer, a black box and a

for one to two minutes like most of us

device – like the

PDA, each purchased and maintained

experience on our phones any time we want to

ecoPOD example for fulfilment and logistics

separately. With technology convergence,

share pictures with family and friends?”

service providers.”

tablet computer that can also serve as an

Owens’ view is that convergence will likely

McBain maintains that, generally speaking, the

EOBR, communicate with dispatch, scan

continue as more functionality is added to

market has passed ‘one device does

barcodes for inventory, map routes, track

existing hardware. However, in manufacturing

everything’ thinking. “Retailer and logistics

speed, monitor for maintenance issues, and

and logistics environments, Owens believes

providers will tend to manage different aspects

more. That makes for a more cost-effective

this can be better understood as features

of workloads with different devices,” he said.

solution and one that is typically more user

specifically required for the job - for example

“Given the advances in OS, applications and

friendly.”

an RFID reader, BCS, MSR or camera. “These

devices, organisations are able to bring in new

features have already found extensive uses in

devices/applications from providers to manage

Andy McBain, EMEA regional product manager,

those devices can be combined into a single

Trompet’s view is that in some applications we are heading for a converged device ‘experiment’ faster than others. “I use the word ‘experiment’ because we believe end users are doing their own ergonomics testing at their expense,” he explained. “It used to

Given the advances in operating systems, applications and devices, organisations are able to bring in new devices/applications from providers to manage specific or new workplace requirements.” – Andy McBain, Motorola Solutions.

be that AIDC device manufactures would perform extensive ergonomic studies with

warehouses and across factory floors for

specific or new workplace requirements.”

models and prototypes to come up with the

efficient data collection and documentation,”

McMeeking’s view is that, whereas multi-

best product design for end users to buy.

he said, adding: “Portability demands that the

function devices used to mean compromise,

Today end users are buying multiple devices

designs continue to evolve towards a

the industry has moved a long way to make all

and trying them to let their workers choose

converged device, ergonomically designed

the different functions work in a beneficial way.

the best product from their workflow. This has

for a given environment or role. It doesn’t

As an example, McMeeking points out that in

happened for two reasons, 1) devices are less

make sense for users to carry around multiple

Psion’s most recent devices, it has installed a

expensive and 2) devices from competing

devices or a device with different

number of sensors that allow users to operate

companies are similar enough that the some

technologies hanging off the sides.”

the device “in ingenious new ways”. For

software can run on both with little or no effort.”

instance, using the gyroscope, McMeeking According to Steenbergen, the trend of

explains that Psion has introduced a ‘man

convergence is operating at multiple levels.

down’ alert facility, which helps to safeguard

Trompet added that he recalls a cell phone

“There is convergence between the three

workers when they find themselves alone and in

manufacture who built a phone that was about

technologies – goods ID people ID and auto

harm’s way. Another example of how Psion is

the size of a person’s thumb. “It failed in the

ID – to develop applications integrating the

using the latest sensor technology, according to

market because it was too small,” he said. “We

three different visions into one application,” he

McMeeking, is its work with application

believe many end users will experiment with

commented. “For instance Zetes is

partners. “They have developed a driver

consumer-like devices and uncover the hidden

developing converged solutions whereby the

behavior monitoring application to help educate

downsides of that approach in some rugged

user ID is verified, a parcel is scanned as

drivers improve their driving techniques thus

applications. We expect these end users to

delivered and secure payment is taken using

reducing fuel costs,” he explained.

refresh their hardware solution faster than the

a single device. The combination of delivery

typical three to five years and again return to

services with secure mobile payment is

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Owens believes that as mobile computing

mobile employees

becomes more pervasive, the need to manage

and office

And what might be the next major

tablets, applications and the infrastructure

employees can

developments within the world of AIDC?

behind them will become more important. “This

better collaborate, or

Kidari believes the next innovations in data

will encompass risk and security management

rugged designs that

collection will likely be in Voice. “Apple’s

and will likely shape the tablet landscape for a

protect against

recent success with Siri, as well as successful

wide variety of workers,” he said. And from a

harsh environments,

use of Voice in picking and packing functions,

management point of view, enterprise mobility

enterprise buyers

are a nod to the future,” he commented. “To

and enterprise IT will very quickly become one

will continuously

use Voice, you don’t need any level of

and the same, according to Owens. “Balancing

have to weigh their

training. It is ‘natural’.” Trompet considers that

the IT department’s desire for a simple,

top priorities when

battery technology will improve, RFID

seamless solution with employee need and

selecting the right

Heading our way

The AIDC business needs tools and devices that are designed for the purpose and can cope with the kinds of environments … That requires a stable hardware and indeed, operating software platform.” – John McMeeking, Psion.

John McMeeking, UK managing director,

tablet.” Steenbergen foresees the launch of a new breed of infrastructure platforms, which will make it very easy for companies to add new applications and integrate different legacy

antennas will shrink, 2D barcodes will be in

workflow requirements will be challenging for

systems with minimal investment. “In the future,

colours, and systems will be purchased

some,” he said, “but as long as businesses

it will be the norm for all logistics workers to be

based on transaction-based pricing versus

examine their environments and select devices

equipped with a single device through which

pay for everything up front. Also, he believes

that fit their workflows, it will be a painless

they will manage all their work operations, in the

a new generation of wearable computers will

process. Whether it’s a business integration

same way as an office worker has a PC or a

probably follow the ‘Google glasses’ effect.

priority ensuring that through a common OS

laptop for all their work,” he said. Orme believes that advances in wireless/cellular networks, data security and the improvements in handheld devices etc. will continue and gather pace. “Those companies that do not take advantage of these technological advances will be left further and further behind and will be unable to compete with the companies that have embraced these technological advances,” he said. “Improvements in data networks (both speed and coverage) will result in an increasing reliance on these devices, and so companies will have real-time, accurate information on the whereabouts and activities of their staff wherever they may be.” In conclusion, Orme added that the pace of advancement/change, as well as the plethora of hardware options available, might leave some in fear of compatibility issues, reduced choice and difficulty in upgrading both hardware & software in the future. “Software providers that offer a solution compatible with the broad spectrum of manufacturers, device types and operating systems afford the greatest peace of mind to businesses that prefer to have all the options available to them, without fear that the solution will be incompatible with the next generation of devices.” n

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High-level view Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with a number of leading players within the Cloud/Software as a Service solutions and services arena about recent developments within this increasingly talked about and embraced deployment model. t doesn’t seem so long ago when the

for the manufacturing and logistics sectors, to

terms Cloud and Software as a Service

remaining concerns and reservations, as well

Ease of use

(SaaS) were fresh off the press and, to a

as a look into the near future and what further

And what of the financial benefits? Charlie

large extent, not fully understood by many

developments and resultant benefits might

Pesti, country manager at Transporeon,

prospective end users in various vertical

await readers of this journal.

makes the point that the SaaS model can offer

I

marketplaces. Things have certainly changed

a significantly quicker return on investment.

considerably over the past two or three years.

But, to begin, let’s consider what our

“Everyone pays as they go,” he said. Pesti

Now there is a growing portfolio of solutions

commentators consider to be the key benefits

added that business conditions change faster

available in the Cloud, and an increasingly

of the Software as a service (SaaS) deployment

each year, and this scenario requires more

widespread group of users are becoming

model. Mark Breeden, general manager at

mobility, flexibility and up-to-date information.

more aware of the benefits the Cloud/SaaS

Qurius, considers that the main advantages are

“Users need to get access to global

deployment model can offer their businesses.

flexibility, scalability and pricing. “SaaS is

information and need to be able to edit those regardless of their geographical locations,

Cash flow and borrowing difficulties are major factors for small- to medium-sized businesses at the moment and can prevent many businesses from accessing the systems they need to drive growth. SaaS helps to break this ‘Catch 22’ for all sizes of operations.” – Gavin Clark. Snapfulfil.

regardless of the spoken language and regardless of the device they actually have on hand,” he remarked. Again focusing on the financial benefits, Johnny Hughes, commercial manager at Ortec, makes the point that the SaaS model eliminates the need for large, upfront investments. Furthermore, he

Indeed, many are becoming increasingly

quickly scalable; you can add users and

adds that the total costs of ownership (TCO)

confident about embracing it as a core

functionality in seconds,” he said. “Because it

are lower as there is no need to install the

element within their IT methodologies. But, as

is based on a standard environment, the

software on each workstation, even at home.

with any area of valuable and widely utilised

management is easy and cheaper than on-

Additionally, Hughes comments that SaaS

technology,

premise environments. SaaS enables you to

offers greater ease of use as customers are

developments

free up local resources to concentrate on your

paying for a service and receive updates

continue apace. To

business rather than the IT management of

automatically.

plot many of these

complicated platforms to run your critical

recent changes and

business systems. You are leaving it to the

Gavin Clark, commercial director at Snapfulfil,

enhancements, we

experts to manage. It also takes care of a large

maintains that SaaS allows companies to

spoke with some of

chunk of your disaster recovery plan with very

utilise highly sophisticated software solutions

the leading vendors

little further effort as essentially you have

within their operations, deployed from ‘state of

and service

outsourced your critical, complex and

the art’ data centres, with first-class levels of

providers within the

complicated-to-manage systems. This is not

response and support – and all delivered in a

Cloud/SaaS space to

only in terms of management but also

condensed timeframe and at a cost effective

discuss everything

geography, as access to your system is no

subscription. He adds that accessing this

from current benefits

longer governed by a location.”

level of resiliency and security for a single

Gavin Clark, commercial director,

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Charlie Pesti, country manager,

Cloud/Software as a Service

system is usually only

requirements needed to work with a Cloud

prospective end users should ask themselves:

available to the major

solution, as inevitably there will be some

Does the vendor have the right experience?

corporate

processes or devices that require integration.

Does it offer a resilient and reliable

businesses. “In some

He adds that a full technical review/audit

product/service? Can we see the vendor’s

cases, when the

needs to follow the user’s strategic decision to

solution working in other environments similar

SaaS deployment

move to the Cloud in order to ensure that

to our own?

model is fully

integration, network, bandwidth and access

embraced by the

requirements are all taken into account and

What have been some of the most notable

vendor and the

dealt with effectively. Hughes comments that,

recent developments/improvements within the

implementation

in Ortec’s experience, it is important to make

SaaS marketplace? Pesti comments that, as

services are provided

sure there is a clear (contractual) division of

the Internet made possible the evolvement

as part of the

responsibility. “If not, then in some cases

and extremely quick development of different

monthly subscription,

companies will point the finger at each other,

social networks such as LinkedIn and

then the removal of cost barriers makes for an even greater benefit,” he said. Clark also commented that cash flow and borrowing difficulties are major factors for small- to medium-sized businesses at the moment and can prevent many businesses from accessing

Users need to get access to global information and need to be able to edit those regardless of their geographical locations; regardless of the spoken language and regardless of the device they actually have on hand.” – Charlie Pesti, Transporeon.

the systems they need to drive growth. “SaaS helps to break this ‘Catch 22’ for all sizes of

which is something you’d want to avoid,” he

Facebook it also made it possible for SaaS

operations,” he commented.

said. Clark reflects that, with the constant

service providers to deploy their solutions

improvements in communications that are vital

quicker. “And that resulted in shorter project

to most aspects of business, then the areas

times,” he said, adding that it also made it

Division of responsibility

that are traditionally highlighted as pitfalls do

possible for end users to log in to their

Are there any notable pitfalls or constraints

not really concern the modern business. “As

electronic organisation and reach all the

associated with SaaS deployment? Breeden

with any software system, the pitfalls rarely lie

functionalities over the web regardless of their

explains that proper consideration needs to

with the delivery method, but often with the

actual geographical location and regardless

be taken regarding the local integration

vendor,” he said, making the point that

of the computer device – portable or non-

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portable – they actually had in their hands. Pesti also made the point that the user interfaces are more user-friendly now. “No computer programming is needed anymore to tailor make the user interface that best satisfies the user,” he said. Clark considers that some of the most notable developments have been improvements in database technology, VMWare and other supporting infrastructures. These, he points out, have enabled many SaaS vendors to improve their background platforms. “Continued increases in broadband speed and networks can only help to improve the services received by all Internet users,” he remarked.

Greater affordability According to Breeden, the market as a whole has made great strides in terms of both the products supplied and the platforms they run on. “With virtualisation technology, the systems are more efficient as the resources are fully used and evenly spread,” he said. “This ensures not only ‘greener’ data centres but a far higher degree of high availability,

challenges posed by the current economic

functioning together in the same place. This

resiliency and redundancy. This means that

climate. When adding functionality (integration

means outsourcing not only particular

moving servers between hosts in the event of

with other systems), they tend to prefer

applications and software but your entire

a hardware failure or maintenance

Software as a Service because of its flexibility

system is achieved, and internal knowledge

requirement can be done ‘live’ with no

and the manageable monthly costs.” Hughes

and skills are no longer required to manage

disruption to the end user.” Another big leap

added that, in general, Ortec identifies

and support what is often a very complex

forward, reflects Breeden, is the improvement

improvements in the performance of SaaS. He

environment.” Specifically with regard to

and greater affordability of communications

also made the point that some companies,

Ortec, Hughes comments that the most

links, as, he states, “any SaaS model is

including Ortec itself, are able to offer an

popular or favoured area of software

useless without a decent connection”.

improved Cloud-based infrastructure.

functionality currently seeing most uptake as a

Breeden continues: “Functionality is added

SaaS application is Ortec’s software for

rapidly; therefore the SaaS model is becoming

Workforce Scheduling within the Professional

more and more complete for the infrastructure

Critical business systems

and Public Services sector. “Several

needs of customers.”

In terms of different types of software

customers in both the Netherlands and

application and functionality available as

Belgium are using Ortec’s Workforce

From Ortec’s perspective, Hughes comments

SaaS, what is currently receiving the most

Scheduling as SaaS,” he said, adding: “Next

that even though most of the company’s

uptake within the manufacturing, logistics or

to that, Ortec’s Field Service Planning Solution

customers still choose to invest in its software,

retail space, and what is likely to become

looks set to become a really popular SaaS

because of its fast ROI and other advantages,

increasingly attractive in the near future?

application.” For Pesti, it is important that

Ortec has noticed a certain shift in the market.

Breeden remarks that there has been a big

people must not forget that the logistics

Hughes adds that the demand for optimised

surge of interest and subsequent uptake of

industry more than any other is about human-

deployment of staff and resources through

moving organisations’ critical business

to-human communication. “We’ve got to start

Advanced Planning Systems (APS) will keep

systems into the Cloud. “What I mean by this

with this and work it back towards the

growing. “That is a worldwide trend,” he said.

is that users are receiving ‘desktops’

technology – not the other way around,”

“Many companies use Ortec software as a

wrapping up all their key applications and

he said.

basic solution because with our optimisation

software neatly together,” he said. “This

software they are generally better equipped

ensures that integration of applications and

What are the most buoyant vertical sectors

than other businesses to confront the

software is controlled, as essentially they are

with regard to uptake of SaaS applications?

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Johnny Hughes, commercial manager

Cloud/Software as a Service

For Clark, the often

comments that he has held the believe and

premise model is slowly losing its footing in

explosive growth

vision since first joining Transporeon ten years

the market. “Where it still performs well is in a

exhibited by e-

ago that every transportation and logistics

single location environment with

commerce

company making more than 50 deliveries per

predominantly office based staff,” he said.

businesses is a

day will manage their operations with the type

“The minute you have multiple locations and

greater challenge to

of solution Transporeon offers. “My job is to

satellite workers, the SaaS model starts to be

a business than

position Transporeon at the right time into the

much more attractive and appropriate. The

many expect. “Triple-

right place,” he added. Breeden explains that

strongest line of defence of on-premise

digit growth creates

Qurius services a number of different vertical

environments is mostly the ‘untrue’ argument

a demand on the

markets with SaaS solutions, one good

of security: customers think they have a

supply chain that

example being the holiday park industry. “This

secure environment if they put the servers on-

many businesses are

is happening for a number of reasons, such

premise, but this is not a true argument but is

not experienced in

as large operators with multiple parks wanting

often used a lot (people think that IT is safe if

handling,” he said. “They are therefore in the market looking for a sophisticated system to provide best practice functionality, that will grow with them, but is fast to deploy and doesn’t require substantial (and often longterm) financial commitment…the key benefits

In our experience it is important to make sure there is a clear (contractual) division of responsibilities. If not, then in some cases companies will point the finger at each other, which is something you’d want to avoid.” – Johnny Hughes, Ortec.

of a SaaS solution.” Hughes explains that Ortec operates within various industries:

to centralise their systems as well as small

they can ‘see’ the servers).” Hughes’ view is

consumer packaged goods (CPG); retail;

satellite locations wanting simple and effective

that the strongest line of defence is a user

transportation & logistics; oil, gas and

access to central systems without any

organisation’s level of control over its own

chemicals; professional and public services;

complication.” Breeden added that, similarly,

network, as compared with the need to rely on

healthcare; manufacturing and construction.

other organisations have the same reasons for

external networks when working with SaaS.

Within these industries Hughes points out that

wanting to shift to this model.

Clark, on the other hand, makes the point that there is always a market for different

Ortec offers optimised fleet routing, vehicle

deployment methods across the myriad

and pallet loading and workforce scheduling solutions. Hughes adds that SaaS is also

Scaremongering

business requirements. “Therefore to talk of a

proving popular in the professional and public

What are the on-premise model’s strongest

‘defence’ suggests an ‘attack’ of some form

services space, including government

lines of defence against the alternative SaaS

and this is difficult to understand,” he said.

services to keep costs under control. Pesti

deployment? According to Breeden, the on-

“That said, some vendors will always resort to scaremongering and this has always been the case for any new development, because it’s easier to deny than develop.” And what are the current talking points related to the ‘mix-and-match’, or ‘hybrid’, adoption model? Breeden considers that most deployments will usually have some form of hybrid format as in the most basic form you still need to print to a local device. However, he adds that in some instances organisations still require some local integration as they may for example have a weighbridge or some document scanning that needs to feed data back into the Cloud. “This is precisely why it is essential to conduct an audit and technical review of your application and device landscape in conjunction with third-party suppliers en route to your ‘Cloud’ implementation,” he said. Pesti makes the point that most companies rely on a mix and

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match of systems, third-party service

doesn’t have to include everyone.

its individual merits and all of these are either

providers and manual processes. “Very, very

Organisations should identify which

a first step into the Cloud or a whole cultural

few systems, or none of them, support the

departments, individuals and associated

shift from the traditional working models. “All

whole supply chain process,” he said.

information are best suited to Cloud

Cloud-players create their own standard and

“However as logistical processes are getting

platforms and decide accordingly. Without

focus on the same functionality – they are in

less complex, the average number of systems

a considered approach, they risk

general doing the same Cloud proposition

and platforms which companies use has

unauthorised access to their data.

and do not have USPs per vendor, the USPs

Rules and regulations: ownership of data

are now general,” he said. Hughes remarks

that the mix-and-match model will actually

is a critical issue and businesses need to

that Ortec is proud to be one of the

support the acceptance of SaaS, and points

keep on top of where it is located for their

functionality differentiators in the field of

out that Ortec’s software can be easily

own confidentiality requirements and

Advanced Planning Systems (APS). “We have

integrated with other software applications.

external data protection issues, and to

no preference for any particular platform

However, Hughes adds a word of advice: “Try

ensure compliance.

vendor (such as Amazon, Microsoft and so

dropped in recent years.” Hughes considers

on),” he said. “The SaaS services most

to select close partners and make sure that it

commonly used within our organisation are

is clear which company is responsible for what.” Clark reflects that, as a specialist in

No protocol

SaaS Software development, Snapfulfil has

According to Hughes the Cloud infrastructure

not seen any solutions that specifically

shouldn’t really be a problem. “Provided that a

benefitted from on-premise deployment.

company first analyses how the Cloud can

Cloud movement

“What should really concern software

improve its business efficiency and support

What are some of the key areas of continuing

purchasers is the recent rise in hybrid

innovation, and then decides on access, data

SaaS/Cloud development to look out in the

offerings of on-premise software, simply

and rules and regulations, Cloud computing

near future? Breeden believes that integration

funded in a different way,” he said. “This

should serve that company well,” he said,

and hybrid models will become more flexible

‘hybrid’ doesn’t allow the client to realise the

adding: “Deal with these issues, rather than

as Cloud-based services strive to achieve

real benefits of SaaS deployment, both

backing away.” Breeden remarks that every

greater flexibility. “This will lead to a greater

technically and operationally.”

implementation is different and has different

use of technology,” he said, “meaning that the

and diverse elements that need consideration

traditional desktop will be brought to your

Are there any remaining issues related to the

and integration. “Each of the previously

various devices; such as smart phones and

Cloud infrastructure itself to consider? Clark

mentioned models has its merits,” he said,

tablets. Device specific applications and

considers that the supporting platform and

“but a final decision on what model you

services will slowly disappear as business

communications will often depend on a

should adopt is down to your strategy and

applications become non-device specific. The

Eloqua, Leadlander and Google.”

integration must not only be at

Integration and hybrid models will become more flexible as Cloud-based services strive to achieve greater flexibility. This will lead to a greater use of technology, meaning that the traditional desktop will be brought to your various devices; such as smart phones and tablets.” – Mark Breeden, Qurius.

‘authentication’ level, so functionality from different vendors can be integrated at a higher level but also datacentre integration (private and public work together) and applications must be developed for all devices.” Clark reflects that, as with many mature technologies, the improvements are

variety of business drivers, but with the right

requirements.” Breeden added that a huge

unlikely to be “earth

application and network security, from a

issue unavailable from the Cloud

shattering”. “…but

professional provider, combined with sensible

Infrastructure today is the omission of a

we will see many

password precautions, the public internet is

standard integration protocol. “Currently there

other vendors

as secure as most companies will ever need.

is no standard way of integration between the

launching SaaS or

Hughes comments that, in terms of Cloud

Cloud providers,” he commented. “My opinion

Cloud version of their

infrastructure, Ortec advises organisations

is that this will be available in the near future,

software, as they

and companies to first consider the following:

but is still missing. Where there is XML for

notice more and

application integration, there is no protocol for

more of the market is

Cloud integration.”

moving towards

Deal with data: don’t assume everything

SaaS solutions for

should ‘go online’. Decide what

information should be held internally and

What are some of the main functionality

their software

what can safely be placed in the Cloud.

differentiators among the platform vendor

needs,” he said.

Allow access: adoption of the Cloud

community? Breeden considers that each has

Pesti foresees more

www.logisticsit.com

Mark Breeden, general manager,

IT

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Special technology report

Cloud/Software as a Service

vendors. SaaS doesn't have enough substance for the traditional channels.” 7. Video for training: demos, webinars “SaaS products will begin to use more and more video for training, support, documentation and so on. It's cheap and easy and more interesting to watch. Textbased tools are being replaced by A/V.” 8. Outsourcing “SaaS companies will start outsourcing more and more parts of their own operations. This is important because they can get the same kind of leverage from full-service hosting providers that they provide to their customers. These kinds of arrangements will also lead to natural SaaS aggregations of applications into end-to-end partnerships.” horizontal collaboration, while Hughes

3. Sense of value in three minutes

9. More cloud compatible solutions

considers that because SaaS is becoming

“SaaS applications have only a few minutes to

available

more popular every day even software giants

make an impression. I like to focus on the first

“Utility computing remains an open question

are testing out the model with specific

three minutes. If you can create a sense of

and will be driven by the cost of providing the

individuals. “Within a few years we may well

value in three minutes, you're off to a great

service. In some cases, you may be able to

be writing documents or handling

start. That said, you'd be well advised to also

get your monthly operating costs per user

spreadsheets online rather than opening a

focus on the first three years if you want to

down to a low-enough price that grid

program on our computer,” he remarked. “In

survive beyond three days.”

computing won't offer enough of a benefit. In other cases, it might provide just the kind of

fact, for many companies and organisations, 4. A reliable, scalable and low-cost service

cost advantage that makes it worth the effort.

“COGS (cost of goods sold) and gross

In either case, SaaS vendors should build

SaaS evangelist Demian Entrekin, founder and

margins are financial metrics that should drive

applications that are ‘Cloud compatible’, so

CTO of Innotas, makes the following points:

the technology strategy; as W. Edwards

that they can take advantage of grid

Deming might have predicted, the ability to

computing when it makes good risk/reward

1. User networks

support a reliable, scalable and low-cost

sense.”

“Applications will become less and less

service is becoming an ever more important

restricted to a particular organisation and

advantage.”

this is already daily routine.”

Same premise

more oriented around user networks. This has the effect of making the applications more

5. Less consultancy

Clark concludes with the observation that only

user-centric rather than organisation-centric.

“Now that there is less and less room for

15 or so years ago, people were unsure if

Paradoxically, this is good for the

fancy, high-priced consultants to answer the

they should go to Windows, Unix or AS400

organisation, since it will lead to better

fancy, high-priced questions, Tier 1 support

platforms when they purchased software. “All

adoption.”

will take on a bigger and bigger responsibility

of the platforms had their pros and cons and

to represent the company and answer tough

everybody had their preference,” he said.

questions. Will a good FAQ cut it? I doubt it.”

“The main point that everyone agreed on, was

2. Product sells itself “Due to the emphasis of ‘Try It, Buy It’

‘buy the software that is written for the

approaches to marketing SaaS, product

6. Improved integration partnerships: One

platform’. The platforms have changed, but

management and product marketing teams

vendor, more solutions combined in one

the premise remains the same – to fully

will be forced to push more of the ‘whole

“SaaS vendors will dedicate more resources

appreciate the benefits of SaaS solutions, the

product’ and ‘solution selling’ concept back

to integration partnerships with other SaaS

software must be developed utilising the latest

into the product itself. The product needs to

vendors. Right now, they talk about it but they

web technologies or you may not like the

incorporate business processes into the

don't do it very well. This may be the best

compromise.” n

product features.

answer for the elusive ‘channel’ for SaaS

22

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Success story

\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Pankl fine-tunes its production planning with Orchestrate from Production Modelling ankl Engine Systems is a designer

having complete visibility across the entire

and manufacturer of high-end

production facility but also knowing what job

crankshafts used in a diverse

is where, and how far through any given

range of performance motorsport

process it may be. Knowing the capacity

racing in the EU and USA.

constraints of each individual resource as well

P

Formerly Superior Crankshaft LP before its

as the combined capacity of the plant is also

acquisition by Pankl Racing Systems AG, the

essential. And while set-up and changeover

California-based company has 40 highly

times may not be directly critical, because a

skilled personnel with many years’ experience

product may have to visit any given resource

working with a number of premium motorsport

many times during the overall production

and high performance road car

process, this creates significant potential for

manufacturers. When a decision was taken to

bottlenecks.

invest in a state-of-the-art planning and scheduling solution, Pankl harnessed the

Pankl’s manufacturing team was formed in

power of the Internet to partner with UK

2006 and faces a range of planning and

specialist Production Modelling.

scheduling challenges on a daily basis. To begin with, the company has a production

Pankl’s customers demand the highest

planning horizon that extends over 16 weeks

possible standards from each bespoke order.

but which also needs to be able to quickly

Order sizes range between 2 to 12 items and

and accurately react to any changes.

can be either manufactured, or designed and

Whether a problem with a supplier, a

manufactured, to a supplied customer

resource requiring planned or unplanned

specification. Depending on the complexity of

maintenance or even a customer requiring a

the final product and the degree of engineering

product sooner than initially planned, the

someone would then have to manually

and design involved, lead times can vary

customer always has to get their product on

calculate the impact on every other order

between 10 to 15 weeks with the average

time. It is no good having a car on the grid

extending forward up to and beyond 16

being 10 to 12. Actual manufacturing involves

and saying ‘come back next week’. This

weeks. While they were doing what in

in excess of 50 different process steps which

means being able to create different

essence is an administrative task, their main

can either be undertaken in Pankl’s specialist

production scenarios based on re-prioritising

skills were not being best used within the

production facilities or sub-contracted as and

products and to clearly see the impact on

company. The situation became even more

when required. Given the exotic nature of the

every other order, all the way up to and

time consuming and complex when the team

raw materials used, these are often supplied by

beyond the working planning horizon. If the

was tasked with generating a range of

the customer but Pankl still needs to retain

change happens at the design and

different ’what-if?’ scenarios to show the

working buffer stocks to ensure that the all-

engineering stage, this includes every other

impact of different planning responses. In

important delivery date is met.

order here as well as the knock-on effects to

reality this was practically impossible, which

production.

when combined with the inability to give

Complete visibility

Pankl’s customers demand the highest possible standards from each bespoke order.

reliable data to the sales team, created a Prior to investing in Orchestrate from

general lack of confidence throughout the

The production challenges are many and

Production Modelling, addressing these

company in the accuracy of the plan.

varied, beginning with the need to manage

challenges was a matter of “moving coloured

multiple products via different production

boxes around in Exel”. Not only was this time

routes through a set of resources with finite

consuming in and of itself, it also diverted

capacity. As each product tends to have only

highly skilled human resource away from

The company’s acquisition in 2011 and the

one possible route, balancing these is

their primary role within the company. For

increased growth resulting from

essential. Not only does this necessitate

example, if just one change was required,

consolidation of business put even greater

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Real-time visibility and control

IT

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\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Success story

Bigger picture While still early days, the benefits have already been pronounced with the team identifying the ability to always provide the correct sequence of jobs as, “a massive help”. Not only can the team now see the bigger picture of what is happening and where, it can accurately pick what job to do and when. The levels of scenario planning that were impossible before are now available in real time and this makes decision making much quicker and more accurate. In fact, the increased accuracy and visibility that this brings have enabled Pankl to confidently increase its planning horizon by a further 25 per cent. In terms of actual time saved, this represents at least 20 hours per week which over a year equals 1040 hours, or 43 days. With Orchestrate it is now possible to integrate engineering and strain on the existing way of working and led

product demonstrations, a decision was

production into a coherent and interlinked

to a decision being taken in mid-2011 to

taken to invest in Orchestrate.

plan, meaning that engineering can now be

investigate alternatives. Like most

The system was purchased and downloaded

given an accurate required completion date

companies, this search began by harnessing

on a 30-day free trial basis, during which the

for a job so that production can start on time.

the power of the Internet to identify potential

team worked closely with Production

More importantly, the impact of changes in

solutions. Unlike most companies, Pankl then

Modelling to generate and fine tune the

one department can be seen in the other

used the Internet to source, purchase and

required data for Orchestrate. What might

which now makes strategic business level

implement a system that best met its aims

seem daunting to some was far from the

planning much more accurate.

and objectives. The team knew it wanted a

case because the system was very easy to

solution that wasn’t too complex to use but

pick up and the team largely self-taught itself

Pankl also credits Orchestrate with

had the background power and functionality

how to use it. The team at Production

facilitating better decision making between

that it could make use of when needed. It

Modelling, especially Rod Schregardus, was

Sales and Production where there can at

also recognised that a solution visually

always there to provide assistance and

times be conflicting priorities. For example,

similar to Exel but which provided the real-

because everyone worked closely every step

now the Production Manager can

time visibility and control of its entire

of the way, Production Modelling was able to

demonstrate quickly and clearly what the

engineering and production facilities would

input and check everything that was being

effects of decisions taken by Sales are going

be helpful to ease the transition and not

done. The time difference between the UK

to be. And by both sitting down and looking

frighten new users.

and the US also proved to be highly

at a range of ‘what-if?’ scenarios, they can

advantageous because any work the team

make smarter decisions that are best for the

As part of its research, the team discovered

required would be turned around overnight

customer and for the business as a whole.

Orchestrate from Production Modelling. After

with the solution waiting the next morning.

This ‘what-if?’ scenario capability is also being used at a top-tier level to determine

viewing a number of online videos it was clear that Orchestrate not only looked the

Because of the success of the trial, Pankl

the potential benefits of investing in new

best, it also provided the closest fit to the

decided to invest in the top of the range

plant equipment by looking at different sales

company’s requirements. The fact that

solution, Orchestrate Professional, and less

and capacity scenarios. As for the future,

Orchestrate was developed and owned by

than 2 months later, had moved away from

areas that are highlighted for development

Production Modelling was reassuring

spread sheets completely. Pankl also

centre on making more use of the information

because Pankl knew that if there was any

invested in a series of online training

that Orchestrate already generates. For

bespoke work needed, it could be done

sessions which have also proved to be

example, Output Reports will provide more

quickly. It was also clear Production

highly effective. The team decided on a

accurate forecasting for suppliers while

Modelling had experience with working with

format of having an hour of straight training

greater Work in Progress (WIP) analysis will

similar companies. This led to several

followed by an hour of Q&A and has only

help smooth workflow and help to further

positive conversations with Mike Straiton,

actually needed one so far but will use the

reduce bottlenecks. n

managing director of Production Modelling,

others as it begins to take more advantage

and after a number of very accessible

of what Orchestrate can do.

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Opinion

\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Storing device data in the Cloud By Kurt Hochanadel, product manager at Eurotech. n the past few years, the business world has

commonplace among consumers and in

devices to business logic through the cloud, can

adopted a new buzzword – Cloud

industries ranging from healthcare to

deliver valuable data between distributed

computing. Although many industries are

transportation, giving way to the arrival of the

devices and vital business applications using

embracing Cloud computing, the

embedded Cloud. The embedded Cloud

standard practices and commonly used

embedded device market has yet to find a

enables embedded developers to deploy

methodologies. In many cases, utilising a cloud

standard, cost-effective way to connect

services on robust, reliable and flexible

service saves time, money and increases

distributed devices to the Cloud. It can take

communication infrastructure into the business

efficiency by effectively acting on data in real

weeks, months and even years to plan, procure,

enterprise.

time utilising sound business logic. However,

I

and deploy IT infrastructure to connect

developers must have the correct building

embedded devices to the network and capture

blocks in place in order to get to market with a

valuable data. According to International Data

The Device Cloud

Cloud solution and leverage the benefits offered

Corporation, worldwide revenue from public IT

Traditionally, data from embedded devices is

(see Figure 2).

Cloud services exceeded $16 billion in 2009

either downloaded manually or through some

and is forecast to reach $55.5 billion in 2014.

proprietary means within a dedicated

The Device Cloud is a term coined by Eurotech

This rapid growth rate is five times the projected

infrastructure. The data is downloaded at

(Figure 3) to describe how organisations can

rate for traditional IT products (see Figure 1).

specified intervals, such as each night, or once

bring data from device to business application

per month as in utility bills. Many times the data

with an integrated solution to turn bits of data

Embedded devices have gone from isolated

is never used, or perhaps a user will refer to the

into valuable and actionable information. The

tools to being a part of every-day life as they

data after a problem has occurred.

Device Cloud stores the device data in the

connect data over various ubiquitous networks. Networked devices are becoming

cloud, providing organisations access to that Device-to-Cloud solutions, that is, connecting

data in real-time through standard methodologies while also archiving the data in a secure redundant manner for easy use with analytic applications (see Figure 3). The Device Cloud is also scalable, secure and many times more cost-effective than traditional infrastructure. As Cloud computing becomes more mainstream, organisations are evaluating whether a cloud solution can be an efficient alternative to traditional computing networks.

The benefits of storing data in the Cloud Consumers and businesses alike have realised the benefits of storing data in the Cloud. Most individuals are using the cloud in some capacity – e-mail, social networking, photo sharing sites, online banking, and thousands of other everyday uses. Storing device data, however, is more complicated than these consumer services but can reap even more value. When device data is stored in the cloud, users

Figure 1: According to International Data Corporation, Cloud offerings will gain significantly on traditional IT products by 2014.

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can access that data anytime, and anywhere through secure online portals. Device data

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\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Opinion

IBM and Eurotech developed the Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) protocol 10 years ago. As described at www.mqtt.org, the MQTT protocol enables a publish-andsubscribe messaging model in an extremely lightweight way. It is useful for connections with remote locations where a small code footprint is required and/or network bandwidth is at a premium. MQTT provides publish-and-subscribe messaging that enables devices to send and receive alerts and data when significant events occur (see Figure 4).

Figure 2: In the past it could take years to connect embedded devices to the network and capture data.

With a single publisher and many subscribers, engineers can send information from a single

becomes available not only to one specific

on the device, but in the interest of space we will

point to many other devices or listeners

location or one manager, but to corporate hubs

discuss an ideal and efficient interconnect

interested in receiving the information. One can

or any executive looking at data from an overall

protocol and application framework for a device-

liken this concept to the social networking tool

business perspective. Users can increase

to-Cloud solution.

Twitter. A single person posts information, and

efficiency with the Cloud by allowing employees

many subscribers view the information

more flexibility in accessing important data,

simultaneously. Embedded devices can utilise

software programs and management functions.

the MQTT protocol to collect data from multiple

Interconnect protocol

devices while using limited bandwidth and

For instance, a manager who uses a Cloudbased device solution can work on tasks

A variety of protocols connect embedded

providing the information to many subscribers.

regardless of location, rather than needing to be

devices, such as HTTP or SOAP. Some of the

As a result, the system is relatively simple to set

at the office to perform these tasks.

drawbacks associated with these options

up and provides an ideal network interconnect

Storing device data from a retail warehouse in

include thousands of bytes sent as a header

protocol for device-to-Cloud solutions.

the Cloud, for example, makes shipping and

for the message, rigid formats, and point-to-

receiving data available to corporate

point communication. HTTP and SOAP

headquarters in real-time – allowing for an

provide access to a single embedded

immediate asset management system. Suppose

device, and some network topologies cannot

a hot new toy was shipping in time for the

handle the bandwidth required as it builds

In addition to a lightweight and flexible

holiday season. In the past, retailers might

up with hundreds of embedded devices.

interconnect, device-to-cloud solutions need a

receive daily tallies of inventory. With Cloud

Making efficient use of bandwidth is also a

device application framework built so that

computing, they could use RFID scanners to

cost-saving measure since some networks

connecting to the Cloud and adding the

see an accurate picture of inventory at any

charge by the byte of data and it makes little

business logic is the simplest part of the final

given moment and redirect inventory, manage

sense to send messages with several

product development. In a device-to-cloud

production and operations on timely data. The

thousand bytes of overhead.

solution, the application framework should

Application framework

Cloud provides operational efficiencies that did not exist in the embedded device world before. For instance, in the healthcare industry, if a patient had a catastrophic event and was using a home health device connected to the Cloud, their doctor could receive an alert in real time, and life-saving systems could be deployed.

Building blocks for a device-toCloud solution If an organisation decides to collect and store data from distributed devices in the cloud, there are important considerations during product development cycle that can make connecting to the Cloud simpler. Of course hardware and operating system are important building blocks

26

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Figure 3: Today, ready-made solutions like Eurotech’s Everyware Device Cloud greatly reduce deployment time for IT departments.

www.logisticsit.com


Opinion

\\\ Manufacturing \\\

include all of the functions and utilities vital to make a product platform useful for the end application as well as for the long-term management of the product as it matures and evolves. In most cases this application framework includes functionality such as: •

Device management (OS updates, application updates, configuration management).

Application abstraction (running multiple

Figure 4: The publish/subscribe communication model.

applications or plug-ins in the same environment).

box industry was struggling to find a common

work with a third-party to deploy a hybrid

Application log management (Dynamic log

framework to run multiple applications on a

solution of private and public Cloud capabilities

level, Log file rotates).

single box while securely and reliably managing

to connect a device. Developers should choose

Application messaging infrastructure.

these applications within the embedded device

a type of Cloud-based service depending on

Application event infrastructure.

environment. The OSGi framework can run on

the end application and business logic that will

Application module management

any Java platform, and OSGi technology

be added to the solution, as well as their own

(Start/Stop/Unload/Load).

adopters benefit from improved time-to-market

business processes and in-house IT skill sets.

Runtime statistics and meta data.

and reduced development costs because OSGi

The ideal device Cloud solution processes data

Configuration management.

technology provides for the integration of pre-

coming from any device through a Cloud

Version management.

built and pre-tested component subsystems.

computing solution that offers high availability,

scalability, and complete data security. By Fortunately, the open source community has provided an application framework that performs

leveraging end-to-end solutions now becoming

Choosing a Cloud service

these functions and more. The specification to

available in the embedded industry, customers can deploy their embedded devices and start

this framework has been provided by the OSGi

Developers can connect to the cloud over their

receiving data immediately without the need to

Alliance. The original OSGi specification was

own IT infrastructure, they can interface with

create provision and maintain a costly IT

completed about 10 years ago as the set-top

public Cloud computing companies, or they can

infrastructure. n

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P

lanning Success story

Ortec provides

Advanced Planning Route Optimisation to Apetito Apetito, supplier of frozen food and catering solutions, has chosen Ortec’s Advanced Dynamic Planning solutions over a number of competitors to supply Advanced Planning route optimisation across its fleet. This also includes realtime vehicle tracking information for the company’s planners. rtec secured the deal after

distribution at Apetito commented: “With the

presenting a business case

Ortec solution we have been able to optimise

demonstrating how its

route planning and operational tracking, as

products are ideally suited to

well as linking to our existing SAP system. We

helping apetito meet its goals.

wanted a solution that would help us optimise

O

The project delivers savings on fuel

across primary and secondary distribution

consumption, a large reduction of C02 and

networks and drive real benefits in terms of

Advanced Planning route optimisation, while

efficiency, environmental impact and

preserving Apetito’s current exceptional

improved customer communication – together,

customer service levels.

Ortec and our TMS provider have delivered on all three. We’re looking forward to seeing

The integrated system is expected to increase

these benefits drop through.”

Apetito’s efficiency by 15 per cent, complemented by fuel improvements of

Integrating these communication systems

Ortec at a glance

around 6 per cent with the associated CO2

ensures that all the relevant information is

reductions and 10 per cent driver efficiency

automatically delivered to the driver, including

improvements. The benefits of integrating the

any updates to the plan and operational

Ortec is a provider of advanced planning and optimisation software solutions and consulting services. The company’s solutions result in optimised fleet routing and dispatch, vehicle and pallet loading, workforce scheduling, delivery forecasting and network planning. Ortec provides best-of-breed, custom made, SAP-certified and embedded solutions, supported by strategic partnerships. In the area of Advanced Planning solutions, Ortec has over 1650 customers worldwide, over 650 employees and offices in Europe, North America, Asia and the Pacific Region.

We wanted a solution that would help us optimise across primary and secondary distribution networks and drive real benefits in terms of efficiency, environmental impact and improved customer communication – together, Ortec and our TMS provider have delivered on all three.” – Neil Emery, Apetito.

solution are not only around improved levels

information. Apetito already had existing IT

of customer service; other areas that were

systems that it wanted to integrate within its

targeted included better fuel efficiency,

fleet management system. The integration

turnaround activities and driver day

with its SAP business management software

management.

was of utmost importance to the company, offering the ability create optimal plans based

After researching other fleet management

on its latest customer requirements and

providers Apetito found that Ortec was able to

ensure this was efficiently carried out across a

accommodate its exact requirements, offering

number of operational locations.

an all-in-one IT system that would enable Apetito to monitor such things as C02 emissions and

Aart van Beuzekom, Ortec’s chief executive

fuel consumption. Ortec will provide optimised

officer, said: “Apetito selected Ortec after the

daily route schedules and allow planning

most thorough selection process in order to

decisions to be based on full cost and CO2

identify the best-of-breed solutions in the market

visibility. This is anticipated to reduce back office

place. Apetito are best placed in the market to

administration and increase customer service.

utilise these solutions to support their business

Apetito believes these benefits will give it a solid

needs. We at Ortec are very pleased we’ve

competitive advantage.

been able to provide our Advanced Routing and

Neil Emery, director of customer service &

Scheduling solutions to Apetito.” n

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Apetito Apetito UK serves 5 key markets: meals on wheels, healthcare, care homes, food service and private home meal delivery. Launched over 50 years ago, Apetito is a global organisation offering quality frozen food and catering solutions. In 1995 the company opened one of the UK’s most advanced factories in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, and embarked on delivering products and solutions to clients throughout the country. The company operates under the Apetito and Wiltshire Farm Foods brands.

www.logisticsit.com


Vehicle Routing and Dispatch Real-time planning and control, increased revenue, reduced costs

Benefits Be enefits Include: „

Reduction in km driven

„

Incr ease in pr oductivity Increase productivity

„

Reduced paper flows

„

Incr eased driver and vehicle ut Increased utilisation tilisation

„

Lowers CO2 Emissions

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Advanced Ad dvanced ORTEC ORTEC Solution Solutions ns for: „ „Vehicle ehicle Routing and Schedulin Scheduling g  Ve „Strategic „  Strategic Network Planning „Tactical „ actical Route Planning  Ta „ ecassting „Demand Forecasting  Demand Planning and For

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„ „Pallet  Pallet and Load Building

and Lo ogistics Event in Berlin, June Ju une 17-19 Logistics

„ „Workforce  Workforce Scheduling

EPROFESSIONALS E PROFESSIONA O SS O ALS S IN PLANNING G


Printing & Labelling

Success story

Zebra solution provides automatic identification and ensures food safety

U

niver is one of Hungary’s leading food manufacturers. Established in 1948, this Hungarian company is based in Kecskemét with over 1200 employees. One of its best-selling lines is its baby food products, where modern technology and high-level manufacturing safety conditions play a vital role. The popularity of this range of baby food means that Univer is a market leader in several product areas in Hungary as well as being one of the 10 most popular brands in the country.

Tracking the entire process In more than 60 years of operations, Univer’s development and innovation regime has always played an important role in the business. With its wide product portfolio the company keeps pace with continually changing customer demands by constantly striving to apply up-to-date manufacturing technologies in its production process. The construction of a 14 million Euro factory in Kecskemét in 2009 was a corporate milestone. This expansion enabled supply to Hungarian and Romanian markets which in turn increased Univer’s manufacturing efficiency to broaden its range of preservative-free products. As part of ongoing development and as a result of a strict selection process, the Univer Product Corporation commissioned third party supplier inCASE to design a storage management system across a number Univer locations connected to its ERP system. This new system was based on Zebra printers with a WLAN infrastructure and Motorola handheld computers. One of this system’s key requirements was to speed up the logistics processes and to significantly increase throughput. A precondition was the ability to identify each storage unit. As a food

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manufacturer it was also important to be able to track the entire process, from receiving goods to delivery.

Customised identification Customised identification is now possible by using individual barcode identification labels on each unit. The semi-finished and completed products are also barcode labelled immediately. This label accompanies each product until its delivery or end of life. At each stage of the product manufacturing process, the labels are initiated by mobile data collectors and are printed by mobile or static Zebra printers. Each unit is identified by reading a single bar code label that streamlines the movement of the units through this process. The barcode label information shows details on the product batch, date of manufacture, material type and expiry date. The system stores additional data besides the information appearing on the label. It not only tracks the movement of materials, but also directs which product batch should be moved and when according to specific parameters such as expiry dates and ordering schedules. These networked barcode label printers are optimally positioned as part of the material procedure tracking process. Their usage is monitored by the system so that users can print labels from the nearest printer to them. Different Zebra printers carry out specific printing functions: •

Logistics labels for product batches are printed by Zebra S4M and ZM400 midrange printers. These were selected for their different loading capacities. In the support material storehouse the ZM400 and S4M printers ensure correct label printing. In courtyard areas, Zebra QL420 Plus mobile printers are used connected to the WLAN network.

Zebra’s ZM400 label printer. •

In the warehouse for finished products, Zebra ZM400 printers enable accurate picking of goods. Labelling of pre-packaged products in barrels is carried out by fully automated Zebra ZM400 printers integrated in the controlled measuring and filling line without the need for operator interaction. Commission storehouse printing is performed by a Zebra 105SL mid-range printer that has been working reliably for almost 10 years. This printer is situated in the storehouse office with a capacity of up to 15,000 labels per week. During peak times as many as 12,000 labels are printed in a single day.

Printers are monitored by Univer Product Corporation IT specialists, supported by Zebra NetBridge connectivity software. This software communicates all necessary information between the networked printers including advance warning error notification to the store operators working in these areas. Zoltán Rozsnyói, IT manager of Univer Product Corporation, commented: "We decided to buy Zebra printers again based on the reliability of the printers we had already installed at Univer. Our expectations of the new printers have been completely satisfied. Whether operating under intense or normal conditions, Zebra printers work well and with great accuracy.” n

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Product news

Printing & Labelling

Datamax-O’Neil begins shipping the E-Class Mark III Professional Series

D

atamax-O’Neil, a global provider of industrial grade label and receipt printing solutions, has begun shipping the E-Class Mark III Professional Series printers and that the product is in-stock at major distribution partners. The E-Class Mark III Professional offers a high level of functionality at an affordable price, and is said to be ideal for businesses with sophisticated applications and more complex printing requirements.

The Professional expands on the E-Class Mark III Advanced model with features such as a graphical display with a navigational menu interface, real-time clock, audible alarm, USB host connectivity, faster print speed at 6 ips, and optional wireless LAN and Bluetooth communications. According to DatamaxO’Neil, it is the ideal desktop printer for manufacturing, healthcare, retail and postal service markets. n

The Professional expands on the EClass Mark III Advanced model with a number of enhanced features.

Intermec strengthens portfolio with fastthroughput, mid-range industrial label printers ntermec has introduced the PM43 and PM43c industrial mid-range label printers, featuring a particularly fast throughput. Suited for harsh industrial environments including transportation, manufacturing and distribution centers, the metal-constructed PM43 and more compact PM43c printers are built to perform by increasing uptime and reducing maintenance costs.

"The PM43 and PM43c industrial printers join Intermec's recently launched series of desktop printers and mobile receipt printers to round out three new, innovative and future-proofed printing solutions designed specifically to meet the demanding challenges faced by our customers worldwide" said Chuck Dourlet, Intermec Vice President of Printers & Media.

Built on more than 40 years of printing development history, the PM43 and PM43c mark the newest additions to Intermec's line of rugged industrial printers. The printers offer the ultimate in reliable and intuitive communication options with a unique full colour touch-screen, featuring a choice of 10 languages or easy to use universal icons, and a multi-lingual intuitive web-based user interface. The printers also reduce IT support needs with integrated device management, allowing the printers to be monitored from anywhere in the world via Intermec handheld computers, laptops, smart phones or tablet computers using WiFi or Ethernet connection.

With support for Precision Print, the PM43 and PM43c maximise uptime and reduce frequent media adjustments. The printers print small barcodes, text and images with pinpoint accuracy to save industrial customers time and money. The PM43 and PM43c also offer the fastest deployment time in the market with notouch configuration via an optional embedded RFID chip. This patented capability eliminates 80 per cent (for one device) to 99 per cent (for multiple devices) of time and resources in deployments by allowing the printers to be configured without having to open the printer box or power up the devices.

I

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The PM43 and PM43c printers also deliver advanced connectivity features to increase productivity and deliver process efficiencies. The printers are available with WiFi- and CCX-Certification and with additional Bluetooth connectivity, and offer a range of industry standard and supported wireless connectivity options. Each printer also comes equipped with Ethernet connectivity and network protocol IPv6 to ensure long-term enterprise scalability and investment protection. The PM43 and PM43c also help to reduce labelling errors and increase process efficiencies with Intermec's industry leading smart printing capabilities, enabling users to easily create stand-alone applications developed through the embedded programming language and allowing users to directly control other devices such as scanners, scales, keyboards and other peripherals through the printer. The new PM Series mid-range industrial printers are available globally through Intermec distribution channels. n

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AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE

Company news

Box Technologies accepted as Microsoft Windows Embedded Silver Partner

ox Technologies, the UK provider

B

of customer interface technology solutions, has been designated as a Microsoft Silver Certified Partner for Windows Embedded

Handheld technology. Box Technologies’ membership in the Windows Embedded Partner Programme acknowledges the company’s expertise in delivering handheld device data capture solutions for field force workers in a range of mission critical applications within the retail, public sector, utilities, transportation and logistics verticals.

Flexible and customisable platform Microsoft’s Windows Embedded family of products provides a flexible and customisable platform for product development and

Windows Embedded Partner Programme as a

upon Windows Embedded, and our status as

embedded software in a wide range of

Silver Partner. Whether it is in-premise or with

a Silver Partner will enable us to provide our customers with the very latest that technology

The J3500 Tablet PC is designed to offer uncompromising levels of mobility, power and manageability, and the addition of Becrypt DISK Protect provides a cost-effective solution for enhanced security.” – Russell Willcox, Box Technologies.

can offer.”

More tangible and beneficial Lorraine Bardeen, marketing director for Windows Embedded EMEA at Microsoft,

industries. It provides one trusted platform

the field worker, devices running applications

added: “We are excited Box Technologies is

enabling enterprises to extend their

driven by Windows Embedded technology are

now a Silver Partner with Windows

intelligence across devices and increase

providing state-of-the-art solutions that are

Embedded. Microsoft is committed to

business opportunities by connecting data in

improving productivity, increasing accuracy

providing enterprise solutions for a range of

real time across a diverse set of technologies.

and providing measurable return on

applications, and by working with Box, we are

Applications which require the use of

investment. Box Technologies is committed to

able to support them as they develop

ruggedised handhelds and tablets or other

developing applications and solutions based

technology solutions within the retail,

types of data capture devices are ideally suited for development through the Windows Embedded platforms, providing the familiarity and reliability of the Windows operating system.

Latest technology Box Technologies’ chairman, Russell Willcox, commented: “We are delighted to join the

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... by working with Box, we are able to support them as they develop technology solutions within the retail, transportation and logistics sector. The combination of network connectivity – coupled with anytime, anywhere access to executable data – has transformed embedded solutions into something much more tangible and beneficial to these enterprises: intelligent systems.” – Lorraine Bardeen, Microsoft.

www.logisticsit.com


Company news

AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE transportation and logistics sector. The combination of network connectivity – coupled with anytime, anywhere access to executable data – has transformed embedded solutions into something much more tangible and beneficial to these enterprises: intelligent systems.” n

Box Technologies at a glance Box Technologies is a UK provider of customer interface technology solutions, within six core market sectors: retail, hospitality, finance, public sector, utilities, transportation and logistics. By specialising in ‘Delivering the Customer Interface through Technology’, as an ISO90001:2008 accredited business, supported by key direct relationship with leading manufacturers, Box Technologies delivers total solutions across multiple product and solutions lines, including: digital signage – EPoS – mobile – selfservice, queue management and in store loss prevention supported by in-house service delivery teams.

IT Solutions which work for you! From managing stock to delivering product, Box Technologies has DVROXWLRQWRPHHW\RXUVSHFLÀF       requirements.

Box Technologies offers a solutions based approach: ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡

End to End Project Management Design and Installation Implementation and Training Life Cycle Management

01844 264 000 sales@boxtechnologies.com

www.boxtechnologies.com

Delivering the Customer Interface Through Technology

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AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE

Product news

Motion and Becrypt take security beyond the office walls Motion Computing, provider of tablet PCs and supporting mobility solutions, has announced that the ruggedised Motion J3500 Tablet PC – designed for the most demanding of field service applications – is now available with Becrypt’s DISK Protect full disk encryption software. ecrypt DISK Protect full disk

B

encryption works by encrypting every section of the hard drive without impacting performance. DISK Protect prevents

unauthorized loading of the operating system or access to files via strong authentication, allowing users to protect new and existing data without impacting day-to-day operations. The combined solution ensures sensitive data is fully protected in the event of loss or theft. Running Microsoft Windows 7, Becryptconfigured J3500 Tablet PCs provide IT departments with a known and trusted operating system that can be securely managed and easily integrated with existing mobile device management (MDM) policies. “As tablets become ubiquitous, the risk of theft and data loss increases, and IT

enabling users to remain productive even

market, and our support of the J3500 Tablet

organisations must find the right balance

when working with sensitive government,

PC is just the start of this partnership. We are

between security and flexibility to meet the

citizen or commercial data,” said Bernard

currently working to support the CL900 Tablet

demands of a mobile workforce,” said Ian

Parsons, CEO of Becrypt. “We recognise the

PC and look forward to the increased

Davies, UK country manager for Motion. “The

progress Motion is making in the global

opportunities this partnership will bring.” n

The J3500 Tablet PC is designed to offer uncompromising levels of mobility, power and manageability, and the addition of Becrypt DISK Protect provides a cost-effective solution for enhanced security.” – Ian Davies, Motion Computing.

Motion Computing at a glance Motion Computing, headquartered in Austin, Texas US, produces slate tablet PCs for mobile professionals in industries; including healthcare, government, and field force automation. Motion is a mobile computing and wireless communications solutions provider, combining innovation and industry experience so individuals can use computing technology in new ways and places. Motion extends its penchant for technology integration across its tablet PCs and related peripherals, software, wireless and services to provide a complete computing solution for mobile professionals. The company has built a collaborative ecosystem of strong reseller partners and software and hardware vendors to help its customers find the right combination of products and services to support specific mobile computing needs. Motion designs tablet PCs for the way people work. Its customers experience tangible, measurable advances in productivity, without compromising their work styles to accommodate a machine.

J3500 Tablet PC is designed to offer uncompromising levels of mobility, power and manageability, and the addition of Becrypt DISK Protect provides a cost-effective solution for enhanced security.”

Flexibility and security "At Becrypt, we are committed to providing flexible, yet highly secure data protection,

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IT

Becrypt is a leading supplier of innovative Information Assurance solutions and services, providing secure, feature-rich, out-of-the-box products that are government-certified and suitable for all industry sectors. Becrypt is a leading supplier of encryption technology to the UK Government, Ministry of Defence and UK Police. Becrypt plays a leading role in the Information Assurance industry through membership and participation in various bodies including CIPCOG, DIPCOG and the Crypto Developers Forum. Through technology and OEM partnerships Becrypt enables third-party solutions with encryption and other data security capabilities. Becrypt has offices in London, UK; McLean, VA, USA; and Sydney, Australia serving clients worldwide.

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MANUFACTURING

&LOGISTICS

Becrypt

May 2012


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AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE

Product news

Honeywell unveils integrated scanning and mobility device management solution oneywell has introduced its

H

Remote MasterMind 3.0 (ReM 3.0) integrated mobility and scanning device management solution. Building on the legacy of

ReM 3.0 places valuable insight on device usage and overall performance into the hands of IT professionals, enabling enterprises to drive streamlined workflow and increased worker productivity.

Honeywell’s portfolio of management solutions, the new software solution delivers enhanced and integrated management of the following devices under a single web-based console: Honeywell barcode scanners, Microsoft Windows-based mobility devices, and consumer-grade smartphones and tablets running on Google Android and Apple iOS operating systems.

Key value drivers ReM 3.0 enables information technology (IT) professionals to perform the key value drivers of device management from a central location: •

Asset tracking.

Software distribution.

Configuration management.

Diagnostic monitoring including remote control.

Automated collection of performance metrics and measurements.

Honeywell’s Remote MasterMind 3.0 provides end users with a unique, ‘single pane of glass’ solution designed to support a depth of devices and applications. The integrated scanning and mobility management solution offers a variety of performance measurement and reporting options, maximizing AIDC device investment for the long run.” – David Krebs, VDC Research.

device-specific data, such as system

performance, IT technicians can quickly

performance, on/off events, and keyboard and

identify device usage patterns and

touch panel presses. ReM 3.0 places valuable

recommend needed training, increasing

insight on device usage and overall performance

device productivity and significantly reducing

into the hands of IT professionals, enabling

management costs.

enterprises to drive streamlined workflow and “Honeywell’s Remote MasterMind 3.0 provides

increased worker productivity.

end users with a unique, ‘single pane of glass’

Remote management

solution designed to support a depth of devices

Darius Adamczyk, president, Honeywell

& wireless practice at VDC Research. “The

Scanning & Mobility, commented: “ReM 3.0

integrated scanning and mobility management

delivers the unique ability to remotely manage

solution offers a variety of performance

most enterprise mobile devices, Honeywell

measurement and reporting options, maximizing

scanners and consumer-grade products. It’s

AIDC device investment for the long run.”

and applications,” said David Krebs, VP mobile

an industry first that solidifies our commitment Remote MasterMind 3.0 features a dashboard for

to ongoing AIDC innovations, and will

Remote MasterMind also allows users to

quick and accurate troubleshooting and flexible

transform device management for our

experience how a software application operates

software deployment options. The upgraded

customers across multiple industries.”

firsthand on a mobile device with Honeywell’s ‘LIVE! Test Drive’ available on ISVstore.com. n

software allows IT professionals to generate customised visual reports of key metrics and

Generating insight into key operational

trends. ReM 3.0 also provides access to detailed

statistics such as battery life and

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LXE is now part of Honeywell

With the recent acquisition of LXE, Honeywell Scanning & Mobility now offers a broader product portfolio that includes rugged vehicle mount, wearable and mobile computers – improving operations in supply chain, port and mobile workforce.

LXE is now part of Honeywell

INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT LXE AND HONEYWELL? Please visit www.honeywellaidc.com for more information. © 2012 Honeywell International Inc. All rights reserved.


V OICE technology

Opinion

Warehouses: the new front line of online customer satisfaction The shift of emphasis to online retail means distribution impacts customer satisfaction more than ever, writes Dave O’Reilly, managing director of Voxware UK. correct orders on time is not just an issue of customer satisfaction – it’s something that can make or break a company’s image.

Exciting new challenge The unique needs presented by directcustomer order fulfilment are an exciting new challenge for supply chain professionals. In the warehouse, online retail means more orders with an average of fewer lines, and more end

In the warehouse, online retail means more orders with an average of fewer lines, and more end customers – so getting it right the first time is more important than ever.

customers – so getting it right the first time is more important than ever. Order fulfilment processes need to be rock solid, with each picking being optimised to accommodate a

Dave O’Reilly: Logistics has to do more with less.

high volume of online orders. Warehouses are now on the front line of customer satisfaction,

High business priority

but enterprises are still downsizing the supply

But looking beyond cutting costs, Voice has a

nline retail isn’t just for

chain as much as possible. Logistics has to do

larger impact on online customer retention. Study

Internet companies anymore.

more with less.

after study has proven that online customers will

O

Traditional high street retailers

repeatedly buy though a website that makes the

are putting an increasing

Voice picking is a technology that answers the

purchase process easy, as long as the delivery

emphasis on their only sales

challenges of eCommerce. At Voxware, we’ve

of the goods is fast, predictable, and error-free.

channels. Every year, the top 500 retailers are

seen a marked increase in the demand for voice

The more customers get the right orders on time,

ranked in a survey conducted by Internet

in eCommerce operations, and many of our

the more likely they are to be repeat customers.

Retailer. This year, the survey shows that traditional brick-and-mortar giants are closing storefronts and expanding their online business at an increasing pace. Lowe’s, the American home improvement chain store, saw a 70 per cent increase in online sales while instore numbers remained the same. Among

…looking beyond cutting costs, Voice has a larger impact on online customer retention. Study after study has proven that online customers will repeatedly buy though a website that makes the purchase process easy, as long as the delivery of the goods is fast, predictable, and error-free.”

the top 500 Internet retailers, 2011 witnessed

customers have implemented our solutions to

And given Internet retail’s high vulnerability to

a 2.2 per cent decrease in storefronts while

support direct-to-customer fulfilment operations.

feedback, happy and repeating customers are a

online sales were the fastest growing channel

They use Voice picking both to guarantee

high business priority – especially as revenue

for business.

shipment accuracy, and also to reduce the cost of

streams continue to shift toward online channels.

delivery by eliminating order audits and increasing With this shift towards eCommerce,

the volume of orders that can be handled by a

Companies with eCommerce operations will

consumers have closer access to the

single operative. Cost of delivery is a huge

continue to invest in the latest innovations to

products they’re looking for, and their

business issue that drives to the profitability of the

provide an immediate, friendly, and trustworthy

expectations with regard to delivery time are

eCommerce channel. For example, players in

web experience. However, they also need to

higher than ever. Confronted by many

some markets are now offering free shipping;

consider investing in efficient distribution

potential customers with lofty standards,

therefore, they need to make order fulfilment

technologies, such as Voice picking, to enhance

intense competition, and high-profile public

happen as quickly and cost-effectively as

overall customer satisfaction and retention. When

feedback, Internet retailers are exposed to an

possible without making mistakes. Voice picking

companies invest in both technologies they will

elevated cost for poor service. Shipping

enables them to achieve that.

create an unparalleled user experience. n

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V VOICE OIC CE ROI RO OI IT’S IN THE BA B BAG G

For For a major m High Street Street retailer, retailer, V Voxware oxware deliv delivered: vered: ¾ Re ¾ Revolutionised volutionised pick ac a accuracy curacy ¾ Incr ¾ Increased reased productivity productivitty across across multiple multiple sites sites ¾ T ¾ Training raining time reduced reduced from from days to to ho hours ours To To learn learn ho how wV Voxware oxware can can sstreamline treamline yyour our war warehouse ehouse oper operations, atio ons, contact contact +44 (0) 1189 832 660 0 or see V Voxware oxware in action a at www www.voxware.com .voxwa are.com

The Voice Voice Is Y Yours™ o ours™ scan this QR code e with your mobile device to le earn more


V OICE technology

Interview

Voice reaches further Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with Richard Adams. VP of sales, EMEA at Vocollect, about the current trend for extending Voice beyond picking, and how Vocollect’s new host interface, VoiceExpress, can facilitate the easy adoption of Voice across multiple workflows. Richard Adams: “VoiceExpress allows one of our certified partners to integrate Voice in a completely non-intrusive way.”

only then to struggle to get this IT resource.” Adams added that the other common obstacle can be the cost of getting their host system provider to make the required

workflows is that once they have seen the

changes. “This can be prohibitive and involve

benefits of Voice as a picking tool and have

extended timescales,” he said. “However,

quantified these benefits in terms of improved

VoiceExpress allows one of our certified

labour-management, productivity and

partners to integrate Voice in a completely

accuracy it becomes a natural progression to

non-intrusive way, with the absolute minimal

want to extend the use of Voice within many

input and resource requirements for either the

of their other day-to-day warehouse

end customer’s IT resource or from its host

operations. “We now have over 100

systems provider.”

customers that have Voice picking plus other oice-directed work has for some

V

workflows in the market today,” said Adams,

Adams cited two early adopters of

time been a recognised enabler

“and it's now fast becoming the norm for

VoiceExpress; companies who implemented

of a more accurate, cost-

customers to look at picking as just part of the

the system as a pilot project. Giant Eagle,

efficient, time-saving and even

equation, and not the sole reason for

Inc., one of the US’s largest multi-format food

safer way to pick goods in the

implementing Voice-directed work.”

and fuel retailers, has initially deployed

Richard Adams explains that Voice adoption

Minimal input and resource requirements

workflow at one of its retail support centres.

is now being more widely deployed for more

With this growing requirement in mind, Adams

Adams explained that Giant Eagle had

than just item picking. “A concept we are

explained that Vocollect has introduced its

previously attempted to apply Voice to this

currently focusing on is the Voice-enabled

VoiceExpress Enterprise Connector, a toolkit

workflow, but could not justify the cost of the

warehouse,” he said. “This was previously

that provides DC and warehouse operators

required interface customisations. Since

referred to as the Voice-centric warehouse

with the benefits of Voice across almost any

VoiceExpress did not require the company to

and was something we first started to talk

warehouse workflow. This, he said, is

change its WMS, it provided a new and easier

about almost two years ago when many of our

achieved by eliminating or reducing common

way to deploy Voice. Moreover, VoiceExpress

customers asked us and our partners about

customer adoption barriers to Voice solutions.

has reportedly helped Giant Eagle improve

the possibility of extending their

VoiceExpress is said to allow Vocollect’s

productivity by an additional 20 per cent. And

implementation of Voice-directed work

certified partners to re-engineer processes

because Voice is a safer way to work, the

beyond picking.” Adams added that item

easily – without host changes or significant IT

company is now looking at using Vocollect

picking is still often the first workflow that

resources – and implement Vocollect’s

VoiceExpress to address a variety of

prospective customers think of when

speech recognition software to create an

additional workflows. Similarly, US company

considering Voice adoption. “However,

integrated Voice solution that facilitates more

Newell Rubbermaid – a major supplier of a

companies are now increasingly looking to

productive and accurate Voice-based

large range of consumer and commercial

extend the recognised benefits of Voice to

workflows. Adams commented that

products – piloted Vocollect VoiceExpress for

other mission-critical workflows.” Adams

VoiceExpress essentially addresses a couple

the receiving application at its DC in

explained that these are typically order

of key barriers to adoption. “One is that

Shelbyville, Tennessee. This was in order to

picking, cycle-counting, put-away, receiving,

customers sometimes struggle with accessing

speedily enable the use of Voice for its goods

loading and others. He added that the reason

their internal IT resource in order to undertake

receiving operation, as a complement to its

an increasing number of companies are

software integration, so they quantify the

already established use of Voice for item

becoming more interested in these additional

business case and get ready to move ahead

picking. n

Vocollect VoiceExpress in its put-to-store

warehouse or DC. However, Vocollect’s

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Warehouse Management

n

Success story

Dynamic picking solution for seals warehouse combination of vertical picking towers, sortation conveyors, RF barcode scanners and warehouse management system has provided industrial products supplier Eriks UK with a highly productive, adaptable and efficient order fulfilment solution at its seals warehouse in Dudley. Chess Logistics Technology integrated the solution around its Empirica application to manage all warehouse, stock and picking operations dynamically and in real time while also providing a seamless link with existing business applications.

A

WMS. Pick-to-light technology then indicates the location of the correct item. A conveyor and sortation system provided by Keymas runs from the picking face to order rework and assembly areas at the front of the building. Picking and other tasks are managed using hand-held RF terminals which issue instructions to warehouse staff and scan barcodes at various points to verify actions.

Operations in Eriks’ previous seals warehouse were managed by a combination of paper documentation and the knowledge and experience of employees. As many as four people worked full time on picking tasks. Although the business coped and grew significantly there was little control over picking priorities while managing batch information and traceability was laborious. There were no computer records of stock age, so pickers would not know if some orders could be fulfilled from an acceptable batch until they arrived at the pick location.

‘No time wastage’

Best possible efficiency These factors, together with continued growth, led the company move to a new purpose-built seals distribution centre which opened in Dudley during 2010. It wanted to introduce processes that would support the best possible efficiency, performance and customer service. Eriks has employed the Empirica warehouse management system at its Halesowen industrial supplies warehouse for some time and, although it reviewed alternatives, recognised its suitability for the new operation. In the new facility, six Hänel vertical picking towers (lean lifts) are positioned along the centre of the building to make full use of the 12 metre height. Stock is stored on trays that are brought down to the picking face automatically acting on instructions received directly from the

This equipment is driven by the Empirica WMS which not only sends pick instructions direct to the lean lifts but also prioritises and balances the picking sequence evenly across all six towers. While the operative is retrieving an item from one machine the others are transferring trays to the pick face. The picker moves from machine to machine, directed by ‘next task’ instructions on their RF terminals. This ensures no time is wasted waiting for an item to be available and minimises the walking between machines for maximum productivity and efficiency. The system recognises when complete orders cannot be fulfilled from the Lean Lifts and instead directs the warehouse team to pick directly from bulk. This avoids complexity and duplication of tasks. Picked items are placed in a bag and a label generated by Empirica is attached. Customers’ own part numbers can be included but only relevant information is printed. This avoids the inclusion of blank lines or spaces, which could lead customers to assume information is missing. The bag is placed in a bar-coded tote bin and directed through the sortation system to one of two locations. The first is for completed orders and the second for items that require additional rework prior to delivery (customising). Rework forms an increasing

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proportion of the total service and added value offered by Eriks. It can include special packaging, additional spot codes or the application of holographic labels used by some customers in their own quality assurance. Chess worked with Hänel’s UK distributor Industore to write the interface that directs the lean lifts, and liaised with Keymas to source information needed to drive the sortation system. The company set up the RF network, configured the handheld scanners and provided training to the Eriks staff. Empirica also provides an interface between the warehouse operations and Eriks’ ERP system to ensure a seamless and automatic transfer of information with main business software applications. Putaway is managed with items allocated to random locations while taking into account the need to balance stock across all six picking towers. n

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Product news

Vanderlande Industries launches Quickstore Microshuttle anderlande Industries recently launched its new Quickstore Microshuttle, an extension to the Quickstore range of shuttles, miniloads and load handling devices. The Microshuttle is a cost-effective and energy-efficient solution for low- to medium-throughput applications in a broad range of industries. An important advantage of the Microshuttle is scalability: as throughput requirements increase, the system can be expanded with additional shuttles. The first Microshuttle system will be operational in the second half of 2012.

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Freedom of movement The Quickstore Microshuttle is an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) and part of the Vanderlande Quickstore range of miniloads, shuttles and load-handling devices. Shuttles are not dedicated to one storage level but can move between different levels in the racking via a lift. Because of the freedom of movement of the shuttles, this type of system is referred to as a ‘roaming shuttle’. In a Microshuttle system, the shuttles travel across a level in an aisle in the racking, with a load handling device that picks up transport and storage units (TSUs) such as totes, cartons or trays from locations in the racking. The shuttles are collected by a lift waiting at the front of the aisle. This transports them vertically to a conveyor system, where they unload their TSUs and pick up new TSUs to be placed in the racking. The lift then raises the shuttles to the correct levels in the aisle, after which they travel into the aisle to place the TSUs in the correct storage locations.

The shuttles have ‘on-board energy’ by the use of capacitors. This ensures that the shuttles can operate autonomously, without the need for power rails in the aisles. The Microshuttle system uses wireless communication.

Scalability and flexibility Each Microshuttle system can grow with the business and throughput of the customer. For example a system with 12 levels can start with 2 shuttles, keeping the initial investment low. As throughput requirements increase, shuttles can be added individually until the maximum lift capacity is reached.

For applications requiring higher performance and throughput, the Quickstore HDS shuttle system is a proven solution that has been implemented at many companies including Tesco, Onninen, WMF, Van Den Ban and Sorbo.”

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Cost-effective and energy-efficient During the development of the Quickstore Microshuttle a lot of attention was paid to minimising weight. Design target was a lightweight, energy-efficient and especially cost-effective system. A shuttle (including capacitor and motor) has a total weight of about 25 kg, and can transport loads of up to 35 kg. Energy-efficient operation is ensured by always using the optimum combination of motor performance, acceleration and speed.

High accessibility and availability High accessibility and availability are two other benefits of a Quickstore Microshuttle system. Each location in the racking can always be reached manually because of the platforms in the racking with a distance of 2.5 metres each. If a shuttle needs service, it can easily be removed from the system while the other shuttles can take over the storage and retrieval of TSUs, creating a highly redundant system with high availability.

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Warehouse Management

n

Success story

applications requiring higher performance and throughput, the Quickstore HDS shuttle system is a proven solution that has been implemented at many companies including Tesco, Onninen, WMF, Van Den Ban and Sorbo. The largest Quickstore HDS implementation was recently realised at Edeka S端dwest Fleisch in Germany. This modern meat processing facility includes a 20-aisle Quickstore HDS shuttle system with 50,000 locations and 140 HDS shuttles. n

Vanderlande Industries at a glance

Optimum storage solution The Quickstore Microshuttle is part of the Vanderlande Quickstore range of miniloads, shuttles and load-handling devices. Selecting the right automated storage and retrieval system depends especially on the type of products to be handled together with the required storage capacity and

throughput. Vanderlande Industries has implemented automated storage and retrieval systems for more than 300 wellknown companies. The broad Quickstore range always ensures the optimum storage solution for specific logistics challenges. The Microshuttle is especially suitable for low to medium throughput applications. For

Vanderlande Industries specialises in designing and building intelligent ITdriven material handling systems and related services, which cover the entire warehouse process, from Goods Receiving to Shipping. The company has successfully automated more than 1000 warehouses and distribution centres worldwide. Solutions include order picking/order fulfilment systems, automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS), sortation systems, conveyor systems/internal transport systems and Warehouse Management and Control Systems (WMS/WCS).

QUICK AND ACCURATE

ACCURATE AND EFFICIENT SOLUTIONS IN AUTOMATED MATERIAL HANDLING SYSTEMS Processing customer orders quickly and accurately has a direct impact on customer satisfaction and determines the success of your business. Find out what we can do for you at:

www.vanderlande.com

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Success story

Pulleyn Transport invests in 3PL customer service with DeltaWMS warehouse performance system eading-based Pulleyn Transport, a 42,000 sq ft, temperaturecontrolled warehousing operation specialising in the storage and transportation of frozen and chilled goods plus pharmaceutical and other products has installed warehouse performance system ‘DeltaWMS’ with RF scanning to enhance its 3PL offering for the company’s 40+ customers. DeltaWMS is being integrated with Pulleyn’s ‘Sage Line 200’ business system, allowing the company’s wide range of customer invoices to be generated automatically.

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Pulleyn Transport’s managing director, Ryan Pulleyn, commented: “We are investing in new facilities and better functionality for our customers. We liked Delta’s interactive warehouse map, which is a fast and user friendly way to manage inventory in our

complex, multi-customer environment. Barcoding, RF, invoicing integration and other new functions will allow us to optimise our operations for company and customer alike.”

We liked Delta’s interactive warehouse map, which is a fast and user friendly way to manage inventory in our complex, multi-customer environment. Barcoding, RF, invoicing integration and other new functions will allow us to optimise our operations for company and customer alike.” – Ryan Pulleyn, Pulleyn Transport.”

Warehouse Management

n

Delta Software’s managing director, Lance Bennett, added: “Third-party supply chains are best served by warehouse performance systems that have been specifically designed for the highly customer-centric 3PL environment – from scratch. Delta’s 3PL technology has been specifically developed to optimise 3PL processes.” Delta’s ‘optimise my supply chain’ solutions is said to be able to be integrated with any ERP or other system: DeltaWMS systems have been developed for all types of warehouse operation including distribution, third party, manufacturing and bonded. n

Company news

Snapfulfil SaaS WMS is ʻVisionaryʼ napfulfil’s SaaS WMS has been added by Gartner, Inc. to the ‘Visionaries’ Quadrant of the Warehouse Management Systems Magic Quadrant. Mark Darley-Usmar, managing director for Snapfulfil, commented: “We very much appreciate and value our positioning in the ‘Visionary’ Quadrant by Gartner as recognition and confirmation of our mission to enable our clients to benefit from a Tier 1 WMS, without the traditional costs and negative aspects associated with the implementation of a business critical solution.”

S

He continued: “We believe the combination of over 30 years’ experience in delivering Warehouse Management Solutions combined with a partnership approach to software with our clients, has made Snapfulfil a serious contender for any business.” n

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Snapfulfil SaaS WMS… A Better Way

We have 12 reasons why you should call us and a proven track record of success to match your business needs…

Just because we are the UK’s Premier Software as a Service (SaaS) provider of Warehouse Management Software, already helping hundreds of users to streamline their warehouse operations and drive down costs, shouldn’t mean you should call us… should it?

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TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT

Success story

Paragon integrated routing and vehicle tracking plans Wadworth’s beer deliveries elivery routing software from Paragon Software Systems, linked with vehicle tracking supplied by TomTom, is providing a 21st century logistics solution to Wiltshire’s 137-year old Wadworth Brewery. The maker of 6X, The Bishop’s Tipple and Henry’s IPA beers is installing Paragon’s transport optimisation technology to automate delivery planning to 700 own-pubs and free-trade establishments across southern and western England.

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Proven ability “We chose Paragon based on its proven ability within the brewery sector. The software will help us to streamline our ‘Wadworthshire’ routes across our vehicle fleet - we’ll even include the deliveries completed by our shire horses, which I believe is a first for Paragon,” said Jon Grellier, supply chain manager at Wadworth Brewery. Wadworth is phasing in Paragon software to replace its manual transport planning. Initially, the brewery will use the system to review its

Strong growth “The ability to review our delivery operation is critical as we are seeing strong growth in our free-trade business. We’ll be able to use Paragon’s Single Depot software to look at different delivery scenarios to help us to enhance our service levels. It also gives us

The software … will allow us to predict and measure our delivery performance because we’ll be able to track the vehicles and delivery crews in real time and compare the data against the plan.” – Jon Grellier, Wadworth Brewery.

current delivery strategy, model the most efficient routes and establish best use of its delivery fleet. It will enable the brewery to allocate optimal loads to vehicles, smoothing the workloads across the delivery team according to vehicle and staff availability and driver hours.

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the ability to allocate workloads fairly, reasonably and safely across the delivery team,” says Jon Grellier. Paragon Fleet Controller will link the routing software to Wadworth’s vehicle tracking system supplied by TomTom in real time. This

will allow the planning team to compare live vehicle movements against the transport plan, enabling fine tuning of the routes and schedules. Wadworth is also considering using the system to provide arrival time updates to customers. Strategic use of the software will begin immediately, with the brewery aiming for complete automation of its transport planning by late summer 2012.

Clearer picture Grellier continued: “The software will help us to maximise the use of the fleet through dynamic planning of delivery routes and schedules. It will allow us to predict and measure our delivery performance because we’ll be able to track the vehicles and delivery crews in real time and compare the data against the plan. The live information will give us a clearer picture of when the vehicles will arrive at the customer sites, which means that we can pre-advise them of their deliveries.” n

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Research

TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT

FleetMatics releases white paper on the

: MANUAL WORK TRANSPOREON

impact of Vehicle Tracking on customer service leetMatics, the provider of fleet management solutions for commercial fleet vehicles, has published a white paper that explores the potential benefits that lie in the adoption of a GPS vehicle tracking system for field-service businesses. Entitled ‘Improved Customer Service Through GPS Vehicle Tracking for Field-Service Businesses’, the white paper can be downloaded from the Resources section of the FleetMatics website (www.fleetmatics.co.uk).

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According to Aberdeen Group research of service and manufacturing professionals that use GPS-Based navigation tools, results indicate that efficient resource management via location tracking is incomplete without the complete view of all service resources. Having access to reports that go beyond the mere location of vehicles and detailed statistics that address actual vehicle activity, the FleetMatics white paper maintains, can go a long way towards improving fleet performance and customer service

Big improvement Already, field-service businesses have GPS tracking technology to help them better manage their fleets. The white paper includes a brief case study of one of FleetMatics customers IQA Group, a utilities and electrical contracting company based in Paisley, Scotland. Since installing a adopted FleetMatics’ GPS vehicle tracking system into its fleet of 65 vehicles, Allen Freeney, IT and marketing coordinator for IQA Group, is quoted: “We’ve really seen a big improvement in our customer care.” In addition to improved customer service, IQA Group realised increased productivity, improved safety and reduced fuel consumption. As field-service companies continue to look for new solutions for improved customer service performance, it becomes clear that the road to success is via a GPS vehicle tracking system that provides centralised management of service vehicles, real-time performance visibility, detailed reports that lead to real costcutting solutions, more motivated employees, and, perhaps most important of all, more satisfied customers. n

TRANSPOREON, THE PILLAR OF YOUR LOGISTICS!

TRANSPOREON | 111, Monkswood Avenue EN9 1LJ Waltham Abbey | Phone: + 44 78 50 94 11 70

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TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT

Opinion

Mobile commerce

raises expectations on delivery Retailers are joining a distribution revolution by offering their customers a smart new method of delivery for the online shopping generation, writes Stuart Miller, CEO at ByBox. s consumers have become used to ordering online around the clock – whether from a computer at home or a smart phone while on the move – they increasingly expect the same flexibility and convenience when it comes to delivery.

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Fed up with waiting in for their parcels – sometimes for hours – they are impatient with the traditional delivery models and are looking for alternatives that are more in tune with their modern shopping habits. Now ByBox can offer a smart solution to retailers within the FMCG marketplace who want to respond to the ever-rising expectations and changing needs of their internet-savvy customers.

Speed and convenience ByBox is changing the face of delivery for shoppers by partnering with retailers to offer delivery to a secure locker at a huge number of convenient locations around the UK, 365 days a year, including Bank Holidays. The principle is simple: ByBox delivers in-night, to its unique network of secure lockers with a 99.77 per cent first-time delivery success rate, so consumers get the benefit of both speed and convenience. Once they have received a text or email message alerting them that their parcel is ready to collect, all shoppers have to do is turn up at a time

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convenient to them with a code to unlock their box. It is a service which is not only ideal for a range of products whether it be clothing or the latest gadget, but also frees up people who love online shopping but hate waiting in for parcels. They can enjoy an improved experience which will encourage them to bring their custom back to the Consumers can shop in the middle of the night if they wish – at retailer again and again. any place they choose thanks to the Internet – so it makes sense that they should be able to collect their shopping at any time From the retailers’ point of which suits them too. view ByBox gives them the opportunity to brand lockers at high-profile locations, such as network, ByBox drivers spend less time on railway stations, supermarkets and shopping the roads, and fewer miles lead to a lower centres, which gives them the chance to carbon footprint. market directly to consumers who are already interested in their brands as well as to Retailers are paying close attention to the passers-by. needs of their customers as they don’t want to be left behind in the shopping revolution. The face of shopping has changed dramatically Simple, straightforward over the past decade and there is a whole new generation of shoppers who don’t want to and swift stay in for a minute, never mind an hour or an afternoon, to receive their parcels. Not only that, but the secure locker network can be used to make returning goods simple, straightforward and swift. All Consumers can shop in the middle of the customers have to do is place the parcel night if they wish – at any place they choose back in the locker, thanks to the Internet – so it makes sense attach a special label that they should be able to collect their shopping at any time which suits them too. and ByBox redirects it People have busy lifestyles which mean they back to the retailer. This cannot always pin themselves down to be at has benefits both for a particular place at a particular time – the shopper and the ByBox frees them up from the obligation. retailer. One of the They can shop till they drop then collect other highlights of when they want.” ByBox’ innovative service is the chance to ByBox is an award-winning company that has cut carbon emissions grown significantly in 12 years into a £51 and deliver a greener million business. It has invested £2 million in service. With 2012 to expand the network of lockers at consolidated delivery convenient locations around the country. n points and an overnight

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Success story

TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT

TomTom delivers

sweet

success for Krispy Kreme Krispy Kreme has improved delivery times to its stores and retail outlets across the UK by 20 per cent due to TomTom fleet management.

anagers for the doughnut firm can now see the locations of its 33 delivery vehicles in real time and generate bespoke reports to improve communications and workflow. With real-time traffic updates, drivers can also avoid congestion, while LINK tracking units relay accurate times of arrival to office managers. “We are now able to deliver a world class service consistently where product is on-time every day, an improvement in delivery targets of 20 per cent,” said Krispy Kreme’s logistics manager, Ben Povey.

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Issues quickly resolved Prior to investing in TomTom Business Solutions’ technology, the company operated a manual system that gave limited visibility on vehicle positions, scheduled departure and arrival times. In TomTom’s Webfleet fleet management software system, ‘geofences’ have been created around store addresses,

We are now able to deliver a world class service consistently where product is on-time every day, an improvement in delivery targets of 20 per cent.” – Ben Povey, Krispy Kreme.

alerting managers when vehicles enter or leave the area around premises. Each region is aware of the status of deliveries and if there are delays, stores are informed and issues can be quickly resolved.

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Idle-time monitoring Round-the-clock monitoring has also increased the security of vehicles and drivers, with ‘out of hours alerts’ sent to managers if vehicles move between 14:00hrs and 03:00hrs. Krispy Kreme has been delighted

with the performance and commercial improvements and is now considering tackling fuel reduction by monitoring idle time using the TomTom ecoPLUS. The potential cost reductions would further increase profitability and allow the company to reduce its carbon footprint. n

TomTom at a glance TomTom is a global supplier of location and navigation products and services. The company provides consumers and enterprise, government and automotive industry customers with digital maps, traffic intelligence, navigation software, PNDs, automotive systems, fleet management services, smartphone apps, fitness devices, POIs and speedcam intelligence. Headquartered in Amsterdam, TomTom has over 3500 employees and operates from 50 locations in 35 countries.

TomTom Business Solutions TomTom Business Solutions is a provider of fleet management solutions and professional telematics Services. Its in-car products are designed to help drive greener, safer and more efficiently. TomTom Business Solutions’ online platform, Webfleet, is highly scalable and has the highest standards in terms of reliability and security.

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IDENTIFY, TRACK, MANAGE.

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Where is automatic identification headed next? With an established track record in innovation, Zebra offers a wide choice of printers to address many different business needs and trends, spanning linear and 2-D barcodes to active and passive RFID. Zebra’s innovative spirit and years of deep auto-ID experience enable us to work ahead of the curve to fulfil a wide range of evolving market requirements. Trust Zebra to help your organisation to use auto-ID technology to operate even more efficiently.

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MANUFACTURING & LOGISTICS IT May 2012  

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

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