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DECEMBER 2018

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

Reference guide to benchmarking solutions Special Technology Report: SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT

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Case studies Opinion Company news

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Also in this issue:

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Report Round-up: TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT AIDC/MOBILE COMPUTING PRINTING & LABELLING

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CONTENTS Manufacturing and Logistics IT December 2018 The European magazine promoting the effective use of IT in supply chain applications

Special Technology Report 5

Editor: Ed Holden

Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Management 12

Contributors: Lucy Pamment, Access Supply Chain

Access Supply Chain: Do you have clear oversight across your operations? ARaymond structures, strengthens and optimises its global supply chain with DynaSys

Darrel Williams, Honeywell Craig Summers, Manhattan Associates

Special Technology Report

Publisher: Dean Taylor

16

Transportation Management

Designer: First Sight Graphics Ltd, www.firstsightgraphics.com

Transportation Management

22

Production: Carolyn Pither Circulation: Carole Chiesa

Special Technology Report

IT Manager: Ian Curtis

24

Accounts: Sarah Schofield

Tel: +44(0) 208 440 0372 Email (publishing):

30

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

32

Warehouse Management 36

Vanderlande: Making use of ‘smart data’ Manhattan Associates: Peak? – Which peak?

Printing & Labelling 40

Citizen Group: A new era in label printers

Special Technology Report

42

IT

BEC Achieves Platinum Partner Status with Honeywell Vocollect Honeywell: Can technology fill the skills gap in UK transport and logistics?

ISSN:1463-1172

MANUFACTURING

Varlink: Gen2wave RP70 – Product profile

Voice-directed Picking

info@logisticsit.com Email (editorial): editor@ibcpub.com

&LOGISTICS

AIDC/Mobile Computing

AIDC/Mobile Computing

Published by: B2B Publishing Ltd PO Box 3575, Barnet, Herts, EN5 9QD UK

4

Codognotto Group connects its transport management system to TIMOCOM

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Printing & Labelling


Special Technology Report

Supply Chain Management

Meeting the demand Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke to a number of key spokespeople from the vendor and analyst communities about recent developments in the world of supply chain management-related software – including those involving mobility, SaaS/Cloud, Big Data and Digital Transformation. he opportunities as well as

T

improve their maturity, regrettably too many are

across many supply

challenges within the supply chain

stuck with SC technology investments being

chain leaders’

arena have never been greater. With

more focused on addressing current challenges

desks, how to

the growth in omnichannel now sitting

than preparing for future ones. For example,

secure your

alongside the more traditional world

reducing operation costs of basically improving

operation and keep

of in-store retail, for example, companies have to

decision making processes versus investing

risky players from

be more efficient than ever. With this and a range

more in transformational technologies.”

connecting to your supply chain

of other issues on the table, we invited the vendor and analyst community to set the current scene

Bob Forshay, senior client manager, Panorama,

network. Most firms

and provide valuable informed suggestions as to

comments that key areas currently drawing the

have their hands full

how supply chain professionals can look to

most attention are 1) BPM, Business Process

managing the

optimise their game and sharpen their

Management, 2) Value Add through better

suppliers they have

competitive edge through greater technological

linkages with supply chain partners, 3) security,

already. Now we have to include security and

and stragetic insight.

4) blockchain and 5) AI, Artificial Intelligence. He

risk evaluation in managing suppliers.

Bob Forshay, senior client manager,

elaborates: 4) “Blockchain is coming quickly. It adds another

So, to begin the debate around current supply chain trends, Dwight Klappich, research VP at

1) “BPM (Business Process Management) is

layer to the security of individual transactions,

Gartner, reflects that supply chain organisations

finally getting better traction at firms where the

making the audit trail secure. This could drive

are striving to improve their overall supply chain

leadership understands the value of mapping

down cost of supply chain management.

maturity, where the vast majority are mired in

ERP and technology to their native business

Stage 3 and below maturity. “Supply chain

processes instead of the other way around.

technology maturity

Dwight Klappich, research VP,

5) “AI, artificial intelligence is machines learning how to read and recognise patterns, trends

maturity and SCM 2) “Integration capabilities continue to grow value

that in the past could be done only by humans.

are aligned such that

add for customers where supply chains can

This means a computer can learn to interpret

organisations of higher

be extended in new ways. Beyond more

demand patterns and the need for human

SCM maturity have

efficient Walmart kinds of supply chains,

skills to do forecasting is changing quickly.

higher technology

Amazon Restaurants and Uber Eats are

Driverless vehicles are another area of AI that

maturity, notably the

demonstrating how new forms of value adding

is taking transportation quickly into lower cost

shift from an inside-out

is coming from better integration. Customers

scenarios.”

view of the world to an

love convenience, and this is just one more

outside – in (multi-

step towards greater value realised by better

enterprise) view of the

integration of systems.

world,” he says. “While companies want to

www.logisticsit.com

Generating valuable insights Rajiv Sarin, senior director, business services at

3) “Security, still a hot topic and growing hotter

Capgemini, points out that organisations are

IT

MANUFACTURING

December 2018

&LOGISTICS

5


Supply Chain Management Special Technology Report

sitting on a huge

talking about the idea of working in sync with

there is the need for effective disaster recovery to

amount of data from

everything – that’s where the platform concept

protect key functionality in your business, as both

different parts of the

comes in. Now, platforms are connecting

the global cybersecurity threat and our reliance

supply chain. “There is

horizontally, and the idea is that the model can

on technological systems increases. “All

a lot of discussion and

span enough for companies to have more

companies, not only those hi-tech businesses,

debate around how

connectivity and control throughout their supply

need to consider how their systems will be able

this data can be used

chain.”

to recover from a wider range of events than ever

to generate insights,”

before,” he says.

he says.

Another area of change Ball is witnessing

“Advancements in

involves AI and machine learning. “Machine

Bhondi adds that the transition from the traditional

artificial intelligence

learning is now very prevalent in supply chain

on-premise systems to Cloud/SaaS systems has

(AI) and machine

solutions,” he says. “AI is also already having an

been relatively slow in comparison with some

learning (ML) have

impact. AI can search, find, update and provide

other sectors. However, as systems become

information that’s needed quickly. In fact, you

more complex, feature rich and expansive, he

could take AI as a concept and apply it to just

believes there will be a natural switch to these

Sarin adds that Blockchain is also generating a

about anything. Returning to the platform

systems. With regard to AI and machine learning,

lot of interest among organisations, and experts

concept, if I have AI and I’m searching everything

Bhondi thinks the future suggests less people

are evaluating use cases to see how they can

out there and all the feeds are coming in I can

and more automation. “As our homes get smarter

leverage the technology to provide traceability

look for anything that is a real exception, and by

so does SCM,” he says. “I think the next 10 years

and to reduce costs and risks. “The availability of

comparing it to my plan I can then quickly update

will be interesting to see where AI appears and

mobile solutions for supply chain management

anybody who needs to know of any required

what efficiencies could be brought to the table

(SCM) is changing the way supply chain

changes. That’s pretty powerful.”

based on investment and up take by

Rajiv Sarin, senior director, business services,

added to this curiosity and the art of possible.”

executives access and utilise the information to

businesses.” Bhondi adds that automation and

aid decision-making and enable quick

Gopal R, global VP, transportation & logistics

data exchange between systems is becoming

execution,” he explains.

practice, Frost & Sullivan, and Suriya Mohan,

increasingly important to ensure traceability and

industry analyst, transportation & logistics

accuracy throughout the supply chain.

practice, Frost & Sullivan, comment that Supply

Platforms

Chain Information Management Systems such as

Bryan Ball, VP & group director – global supply

e-procurement solutions, vendor and payment

Ripple effect

management practices, Aberdeen Group,

management, Transportation Management

Craig Summers, UK managing director,

highlights the discussion around platforms as

Systems (TMS), Warehouse Management

Manhattan Associates, reflects that the rapid

opposed to point solutions, and how these

Systems (WMS), Distributed Order Management

adoption of connected consumer expectations

platforms are going to increasingly connect,

(DOM) and other information management

and compressing delivery window pressures

resulting in considerable supply chain

systems aids in improving efficiencies in freight

have had a ripple effect and driven the need to

management improvements. He explains that in

transportation, mode and carrier selection, order

drive more cost out of the supply chain. “As a

the mid-’90s data could be pulled up at the

management, inventory management, and other

result, organisations are attempting to deliver

planning level and pushed back to the MRP for

critical processes.

new and faster ways to fulfil, utilising suppliers,

execution. And as that process evolved the data

stores and partners

not only sat on top of one MRP but across

in more unique and

multiple MRPs. Then, not only did it span MRPs

Agility

complex ways than

but also spanned distribution centres and

Gopal R and Mohan add that agile supply chain

ever before,” he

suppliers etc.

strategy helps the industry participants to

says. “Today,

respond rapidly to the volatile market conditions

advanced fulfilment

“So, the concept of an end-to-end control tower

and variable cost structure that fluctuates in

and delivery activities

became the main model and continued to

proportion to the revenue. And with Industry 4.0

are also exploding

evolve,” he says. “However, the ability to elevate

in place, Gopal R and Mohan point out that many

within and around the

to a model that spans all the elements in the

logistics industry participants are undergoing

store itself, which is

supply chain is almost unachievable because the

digitisation process.

forcing

model is almost infinite. Today, building a model

manufacturing

not only needs to connect a company to its

brands and retailers

supplier but to its supplier’s supplier, all the ports,

Disaster recovery

to look at modified

all the shippers and all the networks – and this

Tej Bhondi, consultant manager – projects,

distribution centres

could be worldwide. Therefore, people are now

Access Supply Chain Software, points out that

and transportation

6

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December 2018

Bryan Ball, VP & group director – global supply management practices,

www.logisticsit.com


Special Technology Report

Supply Chain Management

networks. All of which

development. “The SCM process in every

be reduced for picking and shipping. Optimised

must be able to scale

company is different, which often complicates the

load planning for trucking will quickly advance

significantly, due to

cooperation with the transport partners; especially

capabilities for faster delivery. Faster means more

the complexity and

when the companies are from different countries,”

revenue for a given capacity.”

quantity of store

she says.

locations and peak

Sarin considers that integration is now an

trading times.” With

Toft Madsen recognises the transport chain as an

essential ingredient within any SCM tool.

this in mind,

essential part of the SCM. “In every company

“Integration has matured to such an extent that if

Summers maintains

something as ‘simple’ as transport order

a SCM system can’t do it properly, then it won’t

there is also a need

documents are different, even within one

be able to compete and will be out of the race,”

for effective order

country,” she says. “From the manufacturers’

he said. “The SCM software of the future needs to

management, returns

perspective, optimising and standardising the

not only integrate with ERPs, SCM, and work

management, new

transport order documents with all business

management (WM) systems within the company’s

store models and next-generation POS

partners of transport and logistics companies of

systems landscape, but across the enterprise

systems.

different type and from different countries is not

with its customers and vendors.”

Gopal R, global VP, transportation & logistics practice,

possible as such. Different documents equal a lot Andrew Briggs, technical director, BEC (Systems

of paper work and administrative extra tasks to fit

Integration) Ltd., highlights quicker reaction to

them into a manufacturer’s existing system. But it

Redefining the process

changing customer needs and market forces as

would save a great deal of time, when the

Gopal R and Mohan make the point that major

a key current focus within the SCM industry.

manufacturers – especially the SMEs who are

logistics and manufacturing industry

“Customers now expect much quicker deliveries

very sensitive regarding work force resources –

participants are held up with legacy

and expect full visibility of their order as it

would start looking into digital solutions who can

enterprise systems. “Digital transformation is

progresses through the supply chain,” he says.

help in order to standardise and optimise their

all about the company’s willingness to

“They expect to be able to order three sizes of

logistics chain. The result could to some extent

redefine the process with their

shoes, keep the pair they prefer, and return the

also release work force resources or maybe even

product/service offerings,” they say. “In

other two free of any charge. So, the returns

save SME manufacturers from having to hire an

today’s practice, certain supply chain solution

handling process need to be as slick as the

extra employee to manage all the not-

providers with complex multi-party network

outbound process.”

standardised paperwork. Work force shortage

took measures in having an integrated

and the concern hereof could then also be dealt

platform for them to monitor and evaluate their

Shaun Phillips, global market & product manager,

with to some extent through an increase of the

process. In logistics industry, control towers

DynaSys believes embedding analytical

use of such digital solutions.”

are more of an integrated information hub

capabilities into the core of supply chain decision

which brings technology, process and people

making has changed the game. “Supply Chain is

Regarding optimising the work with business

now leaving machine intelligence to do the math

partners and cost-saving in the transport chain,

while human practitioners focus on value-add

Toft Madsen comments that digital solutions

Klappich considers that while the large suite

activities,” he says. This, states Phillips, is driven

would also be recommended, e.g. in relation to

vendors want integration to be the most

by several factors. He continues: “The adoption

the selection of and the comparison of transport

important issue to justify their suites, Gartner

of embedded analytics at the core of supply

companies and prices. Not just as a tool to use in

finds that integration, while important, is not

chain is a necessity to manage massive amounts

relation to existing business partners, but also

the end all and that best-of-breed vendors are

of data that has become accessible due to the

regarding reaching a network of multiple service

pretty good at it. “In 18 years, I cannot think

into one single loop.”

IOT. There are unprecedented volumes of data

providers and receive the best services and the

of a WMS project

available but there are unprecedented

best prices and thereby secure the

that’s failed because

expectations of the problems the data can help

competitiveness.

of integration,” he

solve; there are insightful sales trends to identify,

says. “Furthermore,

predictions to make, outliers to examine,

integration with

exceptions to initiate action, and no end to these

Integration

emerging technology

types of critical questions in supply chain.”

Have ways of best integrating SCM with other

specifically voice is

systems developed to any notable degree over

mature, and there

Digital procurement

the past year or so? “Yes, definitely,” says

are tens of

Maria Toft Madsen, country manager Northern

Forshay. “There are several firms out there now

thousands of users

Europe, TIMOCOM, highlights digital

actively testing integration of AI to support

already using voice.

procurement – solutions for standardisation,

demand management. Tied into this is both WMS

It is not quite

optimisation and transparency – as a key area of

and TMS where value is realised when time can

ubiquitous, but it is

www.logisticsit.com

Suriya Mohan, industry analyst, transportation & logistics practice,

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mature, proven and

but also leverages the benefits of a shared

given the market maturity is to be expected, but

low risk.”

infrastructure platform,” he says. “The on-premise

over 40% of customers say that next time they

SCM solutions will soon become a relic.”

buy a WMS, they will go Cloud.”

point that with a

Briggs comments that standardisation of solutions

Ball considers that rather than rip and replace its

common platform, the

drives quicker implementation times, reduced

supply chain management system there could be

supply chain function

training and support requirements. “The

functionality nuances a company might need.

becomes integral to

scalability enables quicker rollouts into other

“For example, I might find I’m now supporting

the ERP as does the

business divisions/acquisitions,” he says.

retailers more often and so need some SaaS

WMS function, as

“Delivery of seamless continuous updates

collaboration tools to add to my existing SCM. So,

opposed to distinct,

eliminates downtime. A centralised platform for

I can get the pieces I need using the SaaS model

disparate systems

managing functionality, data, users, security,

as opposed to maybe committing to a wholesale

linked together with

devices etc.”

change of my SCM. Also, with SaaS the ability to

Briggs makes the

Tej Bhondi, consultant manager – projects,

points of failure.

stay current with technology can be easier. The Bhondi thinks that, in general, the SaaS model

other side of that is probably a lot more decisions

Phillips explains that the techniques used for

and Cloud has been an enabler for all

are going to be made around not getting a point

integration have evolved in step with technology,

businesses, including the SCM software solutions

solution but choosing a SaaS provider with a

so he believes one could argue that the change

market. He adds that challenges still remain that

platform that looks like it’s designed for the future

is revolutionary. “However, the frequency, the

are unique to the nature of the SCM software

– able to incorporate AI and machine learning

volumes and the types of data that systems

market – especially around communications – but

and so on.”

connect to has changed exponentially,” he says.

Cloud and SaaS has enabled companies of all

“We are drinking from the proverbial data fire

sizes to benefit from increased reliability,

Sarin believes it has made SCM solutions more

hose, but the data challenges are greater; not all

performance and compliance on a predictable

affordable, while reducing implementation time

of the data is structured and a large amount is

and scalable system that meets the needs of any

and the headache around solution scalability. He

unstructured, not all of the data is relevant, and

size of business. Bhondi observes that we are still

maintains it has also made the overall software

not all of the data is decision-grade quality. Data

awaiting full user adoption, but recognises that

solution less complex and easier to maintain.

is changing in real-time, and the volume keeps

SaaS allows low complex SME SCM businesses

increasing. The Internet of Things (IoT) poses an

to adopt an easy-to-use, easy-to-administer and

opportunity for organisations to transform their

easy-to-implement SaaS solution without any

Less upfront cost

business model using connected solutions.”

complexity.

Gopal R and Mohan reflect that the SaaS model requires less upfront cost with features to protect

Forshay observes that a greater number of

information flow from internal and external

Predictive behaviours

smaller firms are now able to take more full

security breaches. “Licensed software requires

Bhondi reflects that Application Programmable

advantage of their ERP and other aspects just

high investment, strong internal resources to

Interfaces (API) have revolutionised the ways

from having a reliable source. “Smaller firms tend

manage the systems and integration with external

systems communicate with each other and have

to have needs but not the deep pockets for the

sources is cumbersome,” they say. “Cost,

allowed greater sharing at higher performance

tier 1 ERP packages,” he says. “This is where

security and features are three key differentiating

and reliability than ever before. “In the future

SaaS shines; offering the features, bandwidth and

parameters that work in favour of SaaS models

through the use of the use of Machine Learning

scalability to smaller firms who are growing but

over software solutions. For example, Cloud-

and AI these direct computer-to-computer

not there yet.”

based low cost solutions are opening up

integrations will continue to be optimised to

opportunities for the Klappich states that across all SCM application

Small and Medium

self-remediation and predictive behaviours,” he

categories, Cloud/SaaS is not where some other

Enterprises.”

says.

applications are such as sales force automation

provide deeper more ‘intelligent’ operations with

or procurement or HCM, but it is growing rapidly.

Summers considers

“In some categories like procurement, global

that Cloud has had a

Cloud/SaaS

trade and transportation we have already seen

huge impact on

How has the Software as a Service (SaaS) model

the move to Cloud first (i.e., the vast majority of

Supply Chain

(and the Cloud concept in general) impacted the

new deals going Cloud),” he says. “With other

Management. “With

SCM software solutions market? Phillips maintains

categories like MES, WMS and OMS we are not

the warehouse

that the Cloud is no longer a deployment option,

quite there yet, but we see a continual shift from

becoming the

but rather a market segment. “Tech vendors must

on-premise to Cloud. For example with WMS,

backbone for a true

offer a true Cloud solution that is not just hosted,

only 8% of customers are Cloud today which

omnichannel

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Craig Summers, UK managing director,

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Special Technology Report

Andrew Briggs, technical director,

Supply Chain Management

experience, the Cloud

Management. “We’re a tech-driven culture and

allows manufacturing

people are accustomed to using their

brands and retailers to

smartphones in all aspects of their lives,” she

Clark adds that mobile technologies continue to

maximise its full

says. “It’s a natural extension to use rugged

transform global industries, and businesses must

capabilities,” he says.

versions of these devices in the workplace,

stay ahead of these changes. “The innovation of

“With the Cloud

especially as today’s mobile computer interfaces

scanning and mobility helps data generation.

comes scalability and

are resembling the look and feel of

Features like scanning barcodes help provide

functionality that allows

smartphones.”

more detail, which in turn can provide supply

warehouses to adapt

pushed out the devices respond similarly.”

chain visibility that helps provide context and

to peaks in customer

Clark adds that within the four walls she has

meaning to the data generated.”

demand without risk.

seen that workers accustomed to the graphical

Phillips believes that, without doubt, mobility

Those who have

user interfaces on their smartphones are often

solutions are becoming preferable to desktop

invested in Cloud-

challenged when using the traditional ‘green

solutions. However, he maintains that this

based tools will be in a much better position to

screen’ interfaces commonly found in distribution

change is not driven from data integration which

accommodate high demand.” Summers adds

centres. Clark explained that through its Mobility

can be equally executed over desktop or mobile.

that, of course, another added advantage of the

Edge platform, Honeywell’s Smart TE powered

“Our experience tells us it is the younger

Cloud is that systems can be managed and

by StayLinked enables secure, high-speed

millennial workforce expecting to work on such

monitored anywhere.

emulation to connect these mobile workers to

devices,” he says. “This generation has an

back-end systems. “Users have benefitted from

unprecedented comfort level with trusting AI

intuitive, customised interfaces and not having to

decisions, deploying on Shared Platforms and

Mobility

navigate through complex, number-based

outsourcing business functions. This is a

Are mobility solutions having an impact on SCM?

menus to access data,” she says. The Smart TE

generation where touchscreens, swiping and

“Absolutely, Yes,” says Forshay. “Smaller mobile

software provides consistent operations and

mobility are the norm. According to US census

devices allow for local information to move at the

management on mobile computers, and the

data, by 2020, the millennial workforce will make

speed of light, not waiting for a paper process or

software helps businesses stay productive as

up a third of the workforce and they will be

batching process. We’ve had POS, point of sale

sessions can be transferred from one device to

populating executive roles.”

data for years. Now we can see this same

another and can be quickly resumed when a

capability moving out to construction, projects,

device is rebooted.

Sarin explains that mobility solutions are changing the way supply chain executives

factory floors and with excellent results.” Outside the four walls, Clark makes the point that

access and use enterprise information. “The

Bhondi observes that the demand for accessible

Microsoft is rolling out its end of life support for

ability to get the right information at the required

data is increasing, which means data is required

legacy Microsoft operating systems (Windows

time, coupled with the ability to execute

in the Cloud for access. He adds that, in

CE 6 or Windows Mobile/Windows Embedded

decisions, is making supply chains extremely

particular, e-commerce is having an impact on

Handheld 6.5). “Mainstream support, which

agile and resilient to market dynamics,” he says.

Warehouse Management. “Mobile computers,

includes regular updates, has ended for both

“For example, a supply chain executive can

tablets and IoT devices have been instrumental

legacy systems,” she explains. “Microsoft

immediately get to know the impact of a new

in the change of use of systems and the freedom

extended support (security fixes) will end for

customer order on the entire supply chain and

and flexibility of their consumption,” he says. “By

Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 in early

understand and effect changes in the system to

providing direct access to systems from any

2020. After this date, vendors will be unable to

ensure timely fulfilment.”

Internet enabled location; updates, tracking and

provide patches should a vulnerability or error be

management of orders, processes and assets

found in Microsoft code.

Klappich maintains that mobility is most

can now be performed in real-time and with

mature in SCM. “We

greater ease than previously possible.”

have been using

Briggs believes mobility solutions are the key to

More intuitive and user friendly

having the information you need, when you need

“More developers are working in the Android

warehouses for over

it, wherever you may be. However, he adds they

operating system to create applications,

30 years now, same

are also the driver for that information, by feeding

making them more intuitive and user friendly.

in transportation, so

in the transactions in real-time from the edge.

We’re making ‘future proof’ platforms –

it is fair to say

Justine Clark, Honeywell’s industry marketing

reducing total cost to own. Devices built on

mobility is mature

mobile devices in

manager of transport and logistics in Europe,

the Mobility Edge platform, such as

and nearly

observes that mobility solutions are having a

Honeywell’s CN80 and CT60, share the same

ubiquitous,” he says,

large impact and influence on Supply Chain

internal components, so when an update is

adding that no doubt

www.logisticsit.com

Shaun Phillips, global market & product manager,

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we will see new uses

insight to any supply chain management trends

much because of flexibility but more in terms of

cases.

or issues that could help prevent downtime and

accessing more data in real-time. “To serve this

lost revenue,” says Clark. “There are even

need one must introduce intelligent analytical

companies that are monetising the Big Data they

techniques to make sense of it,” he adds. In

Greater affordability

acquire, making it a commodity to others that

terms of the main drivers for these Big Data

would benefit in a deeper dive of the data to help

developments/enhancements, Phillips believes

Gopal R and Mohan

make them more efficient.”

these are influenced by changes to the structure

comment that mobile

Toft Madsen believes the use of a

of supply chains. “Global supply chains are not

technology costs are

manufacturers’ Big Data has a great impact on

longer linear in the Big Data world,” he says.

increasingly

the competitiveness. “Big Data has become

“Modern supply chains look more like global

becoming more

essential to monitor and compare if each part of

fragmented network of networks. The data in

affordable for all

the supply chain is optimised, if the quality is

these networks changes rapidly. Relying on

businesses, and that

optimal and flexible enough to react quickly to

monthly or even weekly planning cycles creates

logistics industry is no different in that space.

unexpected/unforeseen manufacturing peaks,”

a delay in decision making that reduces agility.

“Legacy systems with wired devices sometimes

she says. “In the transport chain this requires the

Companies have access to all this data on

fail to communicate effectively which causes

cooperation and sharing of the Big Data from the

demand & supply, and they have need to use it

hurdles in process management,” they say.

service providers to the manufacturer’s system.

to respond quickly to real-time events, risks, and

“Enterprise mobility facilitates supply chain

The sharing on the other hand, requires a digital

opportunities.”

productivity and functionality, as access to data

solution like the TIMOCOM Smart Logistics

and real-time information becomes readily

System, which offers the possibility to share e.g.

In terms of drivers for Big Data developments,

available.

ETA (estimated-time-of-arrival) data from a

Briggs cites the convergence benefits of several

transport providers’ vehicles through a third party

solutions onto a common architecture, with the

With the emergence of IoT, mobility solutions

like a telematics provider to the end-customer,

shared BI tools and common Cloud-based

add value to transparency in supply chain

the manufacturer.”

database and analysis tools.

Maria Toft Madsen, country manager Northern Europe,

process. It helps logistics companies to make informed decision to fuel better customer

Bhondi sees a move from single bespoke legacy

satisfaction rates, business growth and

systems that handle all functions of a business in

Digital Transformation

profitability.”

a single monolithic platform to more disparate

How is Digital Transformation having an impact

SaaS systems. “The need for Data Warehousing

on SCM? Klappich believes this is a significant

or Big Data systems is becoming key for

driver for new technology investment in the

Big Data

companies who need the ‘big picture’,” he says.

supply chain. “The biggest difference is the shift

Is Big Data having a notable impact on SCM

“Reporting and Analysis can now be performed

in the focus of technology investment from

solutions? Summers explains that the access

on an end-to-end basis from for example the

primarily value (e.g., $£) driven to strategic and

manufacturers, distributors and retailers now

order through production to delivery to the end

competitive (e.g., risk and survival),” he says.

have to vast amounts of data through their SCM

consumer in a single pane of glass allowing for

and Omnichannel solutions is having a positive

greater operational insight, process effectiveness

Forshay comments that when leaders

impact on the customer experience. “For

and efficiencies. Information and Analysis of

understand the gains to be had, this makes

example, enterprises can use customer

these Big Data systems though BI and Analytics

sense. “The ability to link all echelons and nodes

engagement tools such as social listening to see

not only allow for better historical analysis but

of multiple supply chains together reduces lead

every touch point a customer has with their

can also be used for more advanced predictive

time, lowers risk and inventories while driving up

brand,” he says. “By embracing this data, they

modelling over larger timescales to aid forward

service levels across

will be able to truly tailor the customer journey

planning and scale.” Bhondi adds that trending

the larger

based on previous interactions with the brand.

and analysis is now more readily available as we

organisations,” he

For example, if feedback from a customer

store and report on more and more data. That

says. “This offers a

indicates that there is a desire for faster delivery

said, he makes the point that it’s not just about

path for leveraging

or improved service, brands or retailers can see

having all this data, it’s how you use it to inform

that ‘single source of

this in real-time and make changes as required.”

further business decision.

truth’ to all participants in the supply chain,

Clark considers that Big Data is having a huge

including trading

impact in SCM solutions, and makes the point

partners.”

ahead with the investment. “Big Data provides

Intelligent analytical techniques

access to more analytics, helping in improving

Phillips believes Big Data is having a huge

Sarin points out that

processes, reducing costs and providing actual

impact on the world of SCM solutions – not so

digital transformation

that many in decision-making roles are pressing

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Justine Clark, industry marketing manager of transport and logistics in Europe,

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Special Technology Report

Supply Chain Management

enables organisations to go on a journey to

applications to solve specific problems).

“For many, the mindset has often been man vs

create an exact replica of the physical supply

“Robotics – autonomous mobile robots will grow

machine; however, for an efficient warehouse,

chain – a ‘digital twin’ on an application, if you

exponentially over the next decade as

humans must work alongside robots to increase

like. “Aided with powerful algorithms and

companies increasingly struggle to find enough

efficiency and bring costs down,” he says. “A

superior number crunching power, digital

people to do mundane tasks.

warehouse cannot be efficient if man and

transformation is now able to help the supply

machine are not working in harmony. Warehouse

chain executive take faster and more informed

“IOT – This is not new, but the big difference now

Execution Systems that allocate workload and

decisions,” he says.

is we see mainstream buyers entering the

synchronise robotics with humans will become

market, and they are looking for ‘packaged’

increasingly important.”

Gopal R and Mohan explain that digitised supply

solutions, not generic platforms (e.g., predictive

chain practice integrates right set of

maintenance). This will accelerate growth as

Ball believes AI and platforms will continue to

technologies with revamped operations. “This

vendors bring these packaged solutions to

develop. “If platforms connect maybe blockchain

has a lot to do with the capabilities and features

market.

can now support platform-to-platform,” he says,

available with digital technologies,” they say.

“In other words, I could have created a basis on

“This helps the deploying companies to

“Blockchain – Blockchain is overhyped right now

which blockchain can connect and be effective.

overcome inefficient manual practices and builds

and vendors much like they did with RFID in

Where blockchain might hit a wall is where I

capability to respond rapidly to potential

2004 are overselling the technology and

have one-off solutions. Standardisation is going

business disruptors. With digital transformation,

clouding the message with ambiguous and

to be the key to that; standardisation may be

supply chain planning moves from periodical to

overhyped rhetoric. However, there are

between platforms where the integration

real-time planning which facilitates operational

legitimate value propositions for blockchain that

becomes pretty iron-clad. And with Cloud in

efficiency, asset and financial optimisation.”

will surface over the next 3 to 5 years, and this

place the concept of blockchain and a more

will then drive growth. Right now, it is a bunch of

seamless flow of information can potentially

one-off projects and far too much hype.”

become a reality.”

Looking to the future What might be the next major developments in

Forshay reflects that one new technology is

the world of SCM? According to Sarin, the next

demand-driven MRP that optimises materials

Better projections

big innovation will come in the space of AI. “As

flows based on risk of shortages at certain points

Ball adds that AI intelligence could also be

existing use cases become formalised, AI will

in a manufacturing flow or supply chain. “This is

applied across platforms; not just within a

start shaping how future SCM software is

a powerful tool that has already shown great

company’s own network or its own supply chain

designed,” he says. “AI will also take the power

promise,” he says. Another area where he

model. “I could have my own AI bots out there

away from established big vendors and move it

anticipates continued development is in the

looking for things at the boundaries,” he says.

to more nimble players who can innovate to

ability for an ERP environment to seamlessly

“There could also be cameras and sensors in

quickly resolve problem cases for business

integrate across functions as native features.

ports and cities around the world and they could

scenarios and get them to market rapidly.”

help to inform me of any potential disruption; for example, to the possibility of political unrest by

Gopal R and Mohan comment that the combined

Augmented and virtual reality

monitoring the number of meetings that are

impact of digital technologies has resulted in

Bhondi considers that many key future SCM-

taking place in town squares and so on. This

new types of business entities and business

related developments will revolve around

could help me to anticipate supply chain

models in the logistics industry. “This will further

robotics and automation together with

problems before they happen. The same idea

develop into industry disruptions, with supply

augmented and virtual reality – particularly in

could be applied to weather patterns for

chain visibility becoming a need versus value

manufacturing. He also cites AI, specifically

example. Incorporating this type of data into the

add,” they say. Gopal R and Mohan add that

within WMS. “Pick to light and conveyor

supply chain model to enhance decision-making

companies should definitely look into blockchain,

automation has been around for over 10 years;

could prove highly valuable. I think these kinds

which leverages on the open standards. They

the next step is AI – by that I am talking about

of projections are going to become standard.”

also point out that implementation of wearable

removing human control out of warehouses and

technology is expected to complete the

linking this with automation,” he says. In terms of

Phillips points out that we are seeing the

warehouse task 30% faster and 300% more

future Big Data developments, Bhondi point to

emergence of Digital Twins, BlockChain, and the

accurate compared to the traditional process.

predictive learning and notifications to the supply

rapid maturation of machine learning influenced

chain.

decision making. “It is a great time to be in SCM

Klappich makes the following observations:

software,” he adds. “The SCM world is an

“AI – Now but moving to embedded not

Summers makes the point that warehouse

exciting place right now with so much change

standalone generic AI platforms (i.e., vendors

automation might not be new, but robotics are

and unprecedented potential and opportunity for

embedding AI capabilities inside their

becoming increasingly popular in warehouses.

improvement.” 

www.logisticsit.com

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Supply Chain

Opinion

Do you have clear oversight across your operations? By Lucy Pamment, head of product, Access Supply Chain.

T

he supply chain sector is facing unprecedented change as competition intensifies both in the UK and overseas. Actionable data and real-time business insight are key to remaining competitive across the evolving manufacturing, retail, warehousing and logistics business landscape. It’s already clear to see that the businesses which embrace technology and use it to their advantage are raising their game and leaving slower-moving competitors behind. But technology solutions don’t have to mean vast up-front expense and months of complex implementation. Far from it. A modular solution with incremental changes that fit alongside your business operations and growth plans is a far more effective way to upgrade systems and take account of operational and financial constraints at the same time. Access supply chain software delivers exactly that to businesses just like yours.

A joined-up view via real-time KPI dashboards With every Access solution or module, you’ll find all the information you need in front of you in the form of comprehensive, easy to read and accurate information. No more guesswork. That makes a great deal of sense when you need to respond to changes or make decisions quickly – and what manufacturing or logistics environment doesn’t need to that? Information at your fingertips also means you can plan ahead better, spot and take advantage of new opportunities, and respond to customer questions with confidence, even when they’re making complex queries about traceability for example. Finding the answers you need stops being a problem.

12

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Meeting your business needs We’ve spent years understanding how supply chain operations work and getting to grips with the day-to-day decisions facing mid-tier manufacturing businesses with ambitious growth plans, warehouse environments, retailers and logistics companies: and we’ll never stop listening to what’s important to you. Here are just a few of the problems that can be solved with Access supply chain software. • Disparate systems make it impossible to see the bigger picture: Maybe you are making money but if you’re not 100% sure of exactly where the profit is coming from and why, consider how much more you could be making with total visibility of profit breakdown?

response to a traceability challenge is having instant access to all the right information. Right now, how quickly can you answer questions for every element in your supply chain about where it came from, where is it now, who signed it off? • Lack of management insight: When you’re under constant pressure, it’s impossible to make the right decisions quickly without all the information you need in front of you in the form of comprehensive, scannable and accurate management reports. And guesswork is clearly risky.

• Data inaccuracies: Errors do happen, but they are much easier to miss when you can’t see a clear view of everything – and the problems caused by mistakes get worse as you grow. • Inefficient and admin heavy processes: There’s no question that outdated systems and manual processes slow your business down - and that costs money. Updating paper or spreadsheets wastes hours in the working day and often spills over into evenings and weekends during busy periods. • Difficulty meeting growth goals: It is impossible to do substantially more if what you are already doing is inefficient. You need to meet your goals on time, in full and with no unexpected costs if you are to keep customers and managers happy – and growth on track. • Traceability is impossible to achieve: The only way to consistently deliver a confident

Access works with supply chain businesses who want an affordable and scalable solution that flexes with changing needs. We understand that means robust, problemsolving software which helps you work effectively to leverage greater business and operational benefits. We won’t bombard you with tech-speak either. Proven time and again to make a significant difference, an Access solution can be up and running in just a few weeks: it is also configurable, so you can adjust it to meet your needs, add to it later as you grow - and still achieve an impressive return on your investment. What’s not to like?

www.logisticsit.com


Supply Chain

Actionable data and insight sits at the heart of Access software: Access Supply Chain uses technology to focus on what your business needs to perform better, smarter and be more competitive. The company has applied its specialist knowledge across the supply chain from manufacturing and retail to logistics and fulfilment, and its modular solutions include ERP, MRP, production planning and WMS.

focus on the improvements you need today, whilst planning for what you want to add later as your business grows. And Access Supply Chain supports you every step of the way.

The Access Supply Chain suite also sits alongside the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wider business area solutions for Finance, HR and Payroll, so for businesses looking to rationalise IT and finally address the issues that arise when systems draw from separate functional areas, Access Supply Chain can help.

Industrial markets served Manufacturing, retail, warehousing, logistics

Access systems can be seamlessly integrated for smoother operations across your entire business. Getting started is easy too. You can choose a low-impact modular roll-out to

Solutions offered ERP, MRP, Planning & Scheduling, WMS

Countries served UK

Website: www.theaccessgroup.com

Corporate Profile

Access Supply Chain


Supply Chain

Success Story

ARaymond structures, strengthens and optimises its global supply chain with DynaSys

O

n the ARaymond website it is clearly stated: ‘Five generations of entrepreneurs focused on the future’, encapsulating150 years of history by this fastening and assembly solution specialist. Since the invention of the snap fastener in 1865 through to its three current expertise areas, fastening by clipping, fluid connecting solutions and bonding assembly solutions, this family venture has constantly innovated. The company, having its registered office in France (Grenoble – 38), is one of the leaders in the automotive market and has gradually transferred its expertise and skills to new markets, such as industrial (household appliances, lighting, electronics etc.), energies, agriculture and life science. The company is located on four continents with 26 production facilities employing 6800 people, and manufacturing 25,000 or so items including 1600 active patents designed in the 11 design departments of the group. ARaymond’s supply chain is decentralised with each country having its own organisation, but all sharing one information system, SAP. ARaymond has given much thought and decided to launch a Demand Management project, aimed at improving sales forecasts and production planning and bolstering their reliability to anticipate and strengthen decision-making and assist production throughout the group entities.

Redefining business processes “Prior to selecting any market solution, we wanted to define and structure our processes. It’s an essential step because technology has to adjust to our processes and not the other way around,” said Odile Daragon, project manager at ARaymond. “Each group entity manages its supply chain independently, and each of them has set up a sales and operations planning (S&OP) process addressing its requirements in terms of market, products, customer demand, production capacity etc. An initial investigation revealed a weak link in the digital chain for production capacity management caused by a lack of visibility. This weak link made it impossible to anticipate investments in machinery or molds requiring up to 18 months from design to customer acceptance. Better analysis of customer requirements and sales forecasts over two years would enable us to anticipate these needs, be more predictive and less responsive regarding investments. Daragon continued: “Organisational changes are on the move; we have created the forecaster position among our entities. S&OP processes have become strategic and collaborative, backed by attendance of monthly meetings by the supply chain, operations, sales and finance teams. Forecasts will no longer only be considered customer demand but will be based on inhouse consolidation; production will run more smoothly thanks to robust planning. The conversion is underway, and all we need is to find the demand and supply chain planning (DSCP) solution(s) to support and accompany this transformation.”

Selecting DynaSys solutions

ARaymond is one of the leaders in the automotive market and has gradually transferred its expertise and skills to new markets, such as industrial (household appliances, lighting, electronics etc.), energies, agriculture and life science.

14

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Demand planning and production planning solutions are selected after a market survey was conducted by a project group including representatives from each country. “It’s a good way of taking into consideration from the very start what everybody wants, even if we share some of the same needs because we work in the same fields in France,

Germany or in the United States, India and China etc.,” said Daragon. So, what were the reasons behind the choice? According to Daragon these were ergonomics, ease of use, flexibility and technological robustness of the software, scalability, guaranteed sustainability, and seamless integration into SAP combined with the global presence of the editor and especially the professional expertise of the DynaSys teams.

Benefits provided by an end-to-end supply chain Organisational and functional considerations merge, enabling the company to make the most of its supply chain while deployment of DynaSys DSCP solutions takes place country by country. After a pilot project in France and Germany, DynaSys DSCP is implemented in China, the USA, India and Turkey or the Czech Republic. Eventually, it will be used in Spain, Italy, and the rest of the world. “We are beginning to have a consistent and agile forecasting and planning system, even if it is not yet centralised,” explained Daragon. “We are improving our collaborative method, and in this way optimising our global S&OP approach. We have already made significant gains, in particular in the reliability of our forecasts. As it now stands, our forecast plan is built using the DynaSys Demand Planning and is 80% reliable instead of the 50% we obtained when we allowed forecasts provided by customers. In addition, this information is transparent to all the professions attending our monthly meetings, helping us align and

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Success Story

improve our decision-making processes.â&#x20AC;? Another benefit is the reduction in the number of expedited shipments. ARaymond has a 98% customer service level. This fits in perfectly with the group values; respect for commitments and people, but at what cost? In some cases, to meet deadlines, the company was obliged to use taxi, or even air shipment. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Just-in-timeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; has become easier without the need for expensive last-minute solutions resulting in substantial cost cuts. Finally, production planning is more refined and reliable, helping to plan vacation periods with total peace of mind.

Building a supply chain for tomorrow Flow management has become one of the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s priorities. Having demand-driven and no longer production-driven flows is the basis of any demand driven material requirement planning (DDMRP) approach.

The groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s teams are now able to employ three decision-making layers: Demand Planning, Production Planning and the DDMRP solution which is in the pilot stage in France. These processes complete and strengthen one another by adjusting and adapting to each entity, allowing for a fast consolidation of results. Tomorrow the DDMRP solution could be deployed at the various production sites depending on their requirements. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are still in the test phase and we must be sure of the benefits compared to our existing Information System,â&#x20AC;? said Daragon. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is no doubt that having a reliable and realistic vision of quantities to be put into production represents a key asset, especially when considering our varied and complex product portfolio with heterogeneous manufacturing lead times.â&#x20AC;? The first two building blocks of the demand management project have been laid or are in

Supply Chain

the process of being laid. DynaSysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; end-toend solutions have become accepted standards within the various entities of the ARaymond group. Daragon concluded: â&#x20AC;&#x153;This project is a backbone and all the teams are aware of the immediate benefits these new processes bring in, supported by business software programs. Indeed, everybody wants them.â&#x20AC;? 

Results                                              

DynaSys

DynaSys began by supporting a few large food and beverage customers from its headquarters in Strasbourg, France. However, as its customers went international, DynaSys had to adapt quickly to keep up. Today, DynaSys supports customers all over the world and is part of the demand & supply chain planning division of QAD, Inc. DynaSysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; passion is innovation. For three decades, the company has proved its experience and knowhow in the areas of forecasting, planning and supply chain optimisation. DynaSysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; mission is to ensure reliable and efficient delivery processes for its customers. The company prides itself on its customer engagement and its commitment to continually evolving as its customersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; supply chains do.

Solutions offered Manufacturers and distributors continually strive to manage supply chain complexity and improve customer satisfaction while reducing inventory levels and costs. Effective supply chain solutions provide instant visibility and intuitive decision support enabling companies to become more agile and exploit supply chain complexity and make their supply chain a competitive business differentiation.

www.logisticsit.com

The DynaSys demand and supply chain planning (DSCP) technology provides a comprehensive end-to-end supply chain solution including: â&#x20AC;˘ Demand Planning â&#x20AC;˘ Inventory Optimisation â&#x20AC;˘ Supply Chain â&#x20AC;˘ Manufacturing Planning â&#x20AC;˘ Financial Planning â&#x20AC;˘ Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP)/Integrated Business Planning (IBP) DynaSys DSCP is available both on premise and in the Cloud and embeds advanced analytics to provide a beautiful and pleasant data experience supporting responsive and accurate decision making. Industrial markets served â&#x20AC;˘ Food & Beverage â&#x20AC;˘ Consumer Products â&#x20AC;˘ Life Sciences â&#x20AC;˘ Automotive â&#x20AC;˘ Industrial Manufacturing â&#x20AC;˘ Electronics/Hi Tech â&#x20AC;˘ Distribution & Wholesale Countries served Worldwide.

Corporate Profile

In 1985, DynaSys was founded by a former planner who saw a need for addressing the planning issues manufacturing companies were facing; thus, developing and launching one of the first computer-based supply chain planning software solutions.

Website: www.dys.com

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Special Technology Report

Transportation Management Systems

Driving innovation Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke to a number of experts from the vendor and analyst communities about recent trends and ongoing areas of development within the world of Transportation Management Systems.

T

he Transportation Management

(MIT) to focus on joint research. JDA and MIT

ecosystem rather than just operating within a

System (TMS) landscape continues

collaborated to leverage expertise in intelligent

standalone transportation system. In terms of

to develop at a rapid pace, and

edge technologies such as analytics, machine

being part of an ecosystem, if you think about all

many of the more recent

learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and

these remote sensing devices and Internet of

enhancements and innovations will

Internet of Things (IoT) to create new

Things (IoT) all the way through to tracking

approaches to cognitive supply chain.

things and the introduction of external data such

be surveyed in this report. To begin, Sriram Venkatraman, senior consultant mobility, Frost &

as weather and route availability and all these

Sullivan, briefly revisits what the TMS landscape

other inputs now for transportation management

has looked like in recent times. “Over the years,

Different priorities

systems, the idea of the ecosystem starts to

traditional Transport Management Systems have

Bart De Muynck, research director, Gartner,

make more sense. It’s just not about simply

primarily comprised Operations Planning,

reflects that transportation can be a highly varied

using a routing optimisation tool anymore; it's

Transportation Intelligence, Tactical Planning,

displine. “It might involve manufacturers shipping

increasingly becoming part of something bigger.

Procurement, Carrier Sourcing, Execution,

products to one location and then shipping them

It helps that these systems are now available in

Freight Bill Auditing and Settlement along with

internationally to another location, or it might

the Cloud because this is a more facile

Reporting and Analytics capabilities,” he pointed

involve retailers importing goods from Asia and

architecture than the on-premise alternative.”

out, adding: “In the digital era, Frost & Sullivan

then selling them in their stores in Europe or the

believes that supply chain solution providers

US,” he said. “Carriers, shippers and third-part

must continuously innovate their product portfolio

logistics companies (3PLs) all have different

Partner network

with edge technologies to digitally transform

priorities in terms of the type of transportation

Bryan Ball, VP & group director – global supply

supply chain and remain competitive.”

management technology they require. In terms

management practices, Aberdeen Group,

of the vendors themselves, some focus their

makes the point that within the TMS and TMO

solutions on particularly industries.”

(Transport Management Optimisation) user

According to Venkatraman, partnerships and collaborations

Bart De Muynck, research director,

16

IT

Joe Vernon, digital supply chain strategic

level of TMS either themselves or they have a

companies, institutes

advisor, Capgemini, points to a couple of big

very close partner network that they work

and solution providers

conversations currently taking place within the

through to schedule and optimise freight rates

will accelerate

transportation management solutions arena.

across the board. “This network arrangement

innovation. For

“Telematics and remote sensing the driver and

can be like a clearinghouse – showing where

example, he points

of the trailer is currently a key theme,” he said.

freight is available or where there are

out that TMS provider

“Also, there has been continued movement to

opportunities with empty trailers, who has

JDA recently signed a

the SaaS model. For example, Oracle’s OTM is

refrigerated trucks available and so on,” he said.

multi-year

now a SaaS (Software as a Service) model in the

“However, some companies still don’t use TMS

collaboration with the

Cloud for the first time. As users start moving to

or TMO; they still use their traditional purchasing

Massachusetts

the Cloud and SasS they start to think about

systems to manage and control what they spend

Institute of Technology

themselves as being part of a supply chain

on their freight. But, of course, this way of

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space, most of the larger companies utilise some

between technology

December 2018

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Transportation Management Systems

Special Technology Report

working is unlikely to

solution online and readily accessible at all times

the key-requirements

offer the optimisation

so up-to-date logs can be shown when required.

for a TMS today,

benefits that a TMS

In this way you remain legally protected.”

being based on Cloud

could provide.”

technology is a must. “We are glad to see

Sriram Venkatraman, senior consultant mobility,

So TMS and TMO

Challenges

the previous borders

essentially covers the

Andrew Briggs, technical director, BEC (Systems

of data silos and

scheduling and

Integration) Ltd., believes the main current

monolithic

movement of goods.

challenges within the TMS space are: Improve

applications fall,” he

The second key

productivity, plug revenue leakage, security, the

said. “In this way, data

discipline is of course

importance of first-time delivery, the ability to

can be shared and

the management of

facilitate rapid change and improved total cost of

used to build

the fleet. This is where

ownership (TCO).

applications that can

solutions such as telematics can play a critical

Bryan Ball, VP & group director – global supply management practices,

react to changes and

role. As Ball points out, the term ‘fleet’ can refer

Considering some of the key drivers for change,

exceptions quickly even during a shipment

to everything from assets, drivers, even ocean

Briggs added that transport businesses that

being executed.”

cargo and containers. “Looking at the fleet in the

have been using rugged handheld devices for

wider sense of the word, there is no doubt that

years face a change in the available supported

Taking this a step further, Beck maintains that

because of security, commitment or even receipt

operating systems from Windows CE to Android.

this data must be enriched selectively with

of goods companies want to know the exact

“This has driven a much broader re-think of

specific information to allow for predicting

position or location of goods that are inbound

current, often bespoke applications,” he said.

events. “An important technology in this context

from a standpoint of those that are procuring,

“Whereas a simple hardware refresh might

are APIs (Application Programming Interfaces),”

and on the outbound side for those who are

previously have been an option, now entire

he explained. “They make it possible to access

shipping. In terms of fleet management from a

application suites are being reviewed for

specific information quickly (such as traffic or

driver perspective, you can track the movement

replacement and up-to-date functionality. With

weather information) without having to build,

of goods, idle time of the physical assets, the

the move to Android, a whole suite of consumer

populate or maintain a whole data pool

time spent waiting which could make you realise

devices now contend with rugged devices for

individually.”

you need dock scheduling solution to minimise

both BYOD and direct provision by the

the downtime. Also, as part of a TMS suite many

business.”

of them have an optimisation package that

Gunnar Gburek, head of business affairs, TimoCom, considers that process optimisation

maximises the cubic-foot utilisation of the asset –

Added to this, Briggs made the point that

for the entire supply chain has a huge impact in

for example, a company with 10% of their fleet of

general improvements in systems used by B2C

terms of efficiency and competitive ability. “We

20 trucks sitting idle for a couple of days can be

delivery businesses have raised awareness of

want to offer our users a transport platform that

expensive.”

potential customer services experience

allows them to process transport orders smartly,

improvements, as staff grow accustomed to the

safely, and easily,” he said. “That means: with

Returning to GPS and tracking, Ball explains that

way couriers inform them of private deliveries to

help from our intelligent applications, business

tracking has expanded into many other areas

their homes – the DPD (Direct Parcel

partners can find simpler and faster ways to

apart from drivers and assets. These areas

Distribution) effect. “This is leading more and

ensure optimal use of resources. This includes

include mileage, telemetrics coming off the

more transportation companies to demand new

interfaces like TC Connect. We use TC Connect

engine, the rotating parts. “It can be very much

functionality to proactively inform consignees of

to connect the

like an aircraft in terms of thinking about when

delivery progress through automated messaging

customer’s transport

the most convenient time would be to schedule

and ETA updates to the customer whilst vehicles

management system

maintenance downtime, rotating the tyres, doing

are on the road,” said Briggs. “There is a

to our transport

an oil change or whatever else might be required

growing need to add customer services

platform at their

at the service level,” he said. “Fleet tracking

managers as stakeholders when identifying new

request. The biggest

solutions can also keep the logs up to date

systems, where previously the primary

advantage of this

automatically – on the drivers in terms of their

stakeholders may have been focused towards

interface is that freight

downtime, where they’ve been and the mileage

transport managers.”

offers – assuming they

they’ve done. There is also a safety and legal

cannot be assigned

compliance element here; because of the

internally – can be

recently introduced ELD legislation in Canada,

The Cloud model

transferred directly

the US and across the borders, freight

Michael Beck, product evangelist, inet, believes

onto the transport

companies literally have to have a fleet tracking

that since collaboration and communication are

platform from the

www.logisticsit.com

Joe Vernon, digital supply chain strategic advisor,

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Special Technology Report

Transportation Management Systems

customer’s own system with one simple click,

application of transportation management

between the more field-based transportation

and thus offered to over 127,000 users. This

computing solutions.”

management systems and the back-office

allows freight to be assigned quickly and

systems they integrate with? Beck believes the

efficiently. The second very effective and

Paul added that the growth of worldwide

key change lies in the communication between

practical interface is that to our tracking solution:

networks of logistics companies means that

back-end systems and TMS. “In the past, we

the solution is already connected to over 230

transportation management software can be

struggled with master data availability and

different telematics service providers. Not only

integrated across hundreds of different partner

various EDI formats due to asynchronous

that, if needed you can display several vehicles

systems. “This means that these systems can

communication,” he said. “Now APIs allow to

with different telematics systems on only one

handle information on a much larger number of

quickly connect systems synchronously making

map. We recently started offering our users an

shipments, locations and vehicles,” he

master data alignment (e.g. for addresses)

interface that also allows access to GPS

explained. “This new strategy goes beyond

obsolete since integrated communication allows

locations in our transport platform via third-party

automation. Businesses can strategically create

for real-time information exchange. This in turn

applications.”

value and enable profitable growth in new and

facilitates the integration of the back-office

existing markets by optimising supply chain

systems and thus all supply chain members on

performance.”

our central Cloud-based platform.”

solutions to customers these days it finds that it

Paul also pointed out that using a single multi-

Briggs points to increases in specific data

is generally replacing another WMS. However,

tenant software platform, the global trade

transferred, the volume of transactions,

on the TMS side when OBS Logistics provides a

network allows businesses to integrate multiple

frequency of data transfer between integrated

new system for a customer it is more often than

partners and aggregate data, while maintaining

systems.

not installing the first TMS that the customer has

security for all connected parties. “The improved

used. “We often find that before the installation of

access to capacity means that supply chain

Beck considers that increased availability of

a TMS many logistics companies would have

managers can explore new opportunities during

native Cloud solutions and their flexibility and

relied on white boards or spreadsheets,”

capacity constraints,” he said. “The global trade

scalability have allowed a more synchronous

explained Renshaw.

network holds thousands of carriers, forwarders

approach to interfaces. He added that this in turn

Dave Renshaw, CEO of OBS Logistics, made the point that when the company supplies WMS

and 3PLs who are already connected and

increases usability significantly because end-

Renshaw added that, traditionally, transportation

readily available with all of their information

users do not have to wait for data alignment or

solutions were mainly employed to deal with the

available for use. This also increases speed and

batch jobs and thus enjoy faster response times

dispatching of goods from the warehouse – often

agility, as companies can quickly choose a new

and easier real-time collaboration.

with very little lead time and not a great deal of

supplier or explore an alternative market

time to get organised in terms of requirements

instantly.”

Renshaw reflected that OBS Logistics has been

related to logistics. “There wasn't a great deal of

fortunate over the years to have worked within

efficiency with that sort of model,” he said.

With regard to drivers for change, Paul reflects

the 3PL market. “This has driven us down the

“However, what we are seeing more prevalently

that in this digital age, customers now expect an

avenue of having a total solution rather than

now in terms of WMS and TMS integration, and

extremely high level of service from supply chain

simply offering either a WMS or TMS,” he said.

with our own total product for logistics, is that the

providers. “Customers demand easy access to

“Indeed, we’re winning more and more business

demand is getting into transport and it’s the plan

information about a product’s location, its status

because of it because an increasing number of

that’s driving the warehouse process. So, the

and its date of delivery,” he said. “The ‘Amazon

people are recognising the benefits of choosing

picking operation, the marshalling and

effect’ has truly disrupted the industry, as

a totally integrated solution encompassing TMS,

dispatching is done to preplanned loads.”

companies that are unable to provide real-time

WMS, delivery

updates on request are at risk of falling behind

management with

competitors and losing customer confidence.

mobile ePOD and

Speed, efficiency and visibility

The pressure the supply chain is under is

supply chain tracking,

exacerbated even further by the challenging

as well as having the

Mohit Paul, SVP EMEA, BluJay Solutions,

regulatory environment brought about by Brexit.

ability to integrate with

believes speed, efficiency and visibility are key

Businesses are realising that they need to rethink

other best of breed

factors in today’s competitive logistics industry.

their strategies to remain competitive in this

solutions; including

“Greater connectivity across the supply chain will

unpredictable environment.”

telematics.”

allow businesses to achieve these goals,” he Paul explains that with

said. “A global trade network model, where companies are connected with hundreds of

Integration

Cloud-based

partners around the world, offers this connectivity

What are some of the key developments and

solutions, supply chain

and is therefore a key innovation in the

discussion points concerning the relationship

companies can get

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Michael Beck, product evangelist,

www.logisticsit.com


Transportation Management Systems

Special Technology Report

real-time access to

dashboards to what we call predictive analytics

that we are now

information throughout

where we can take all that data and make

starting to see AI

the logistics

predictions based on history or based on the

added to this

ecosystem, which they

current information as well as bring in lots of

technology space,

can then share across

other system information,” he said. “One of the

offering a number of

the organisation. “This

next big steps we will see over the next few

additional potential

improved efficiency

years will be the further move towards

insights. “You might

offers a streamlined

prescriptive analytics. Not only will the systems

find, for example, that

system, making for

be able to say what is going to happen, they will

shipping out of

faster delivery and an

also be based on learning and what you’re

Shanghai in the

optimised service,” he

doing. So, they could say based on what has

afternoon results in

said. “The greater

happened these are the three alternatives we

more damage than if

visibility supplied from

suggest, this will be the impact of the customer,

you were to ship out

this software means that businesses can offer

this will be the impact on you the shipper, this

of Shanghai in the morning. Or it could be the

faster delivery, with greater flexibility in delivery

will be the impact on the carrier, these are the

case that it is better to take the northern route at

types, such as selecting timeslots, click-and-

cost options and then leave you to make the

this time of the year because the seas are more

collect, and same-day delivery. This therefore

choice. Then, a further step would involve

choppy on the southern route. Or it might

gives businesses the capacity to offer customers

automation; instead of a human making the

become known that a company using different

a more personalised and consultative service,

decision based on the prescriptive analytics, the

types of equipment incures less insurance costs

thereby meeting the needs of the demanding

system itself could make the decision – the

than you do. The point is you may come up with

modern customer.”

process becomes automated.”

ideas and ways to further optimise your process

Andy Briggs, technical director,

Maarten Hemmes, founder & CEO,

that you had never thought of before. This type Vernon comments that in the world of supply

of sophistication is going to happen.”

Security and confidentiality

chain analytics, AI and routing optimisation,

Are there any remaining security & confidentiality

modern transportation management do a good

Ball also considers that block chain is going to

concerns at the more ‘mobile’ end of the

job on the whole. However, be believes there is a

have increasing impact on movement of goods,

transportation management solutions space?

way to enhance this functionality with machine

settlement of transactions and moving through

Beck explained that, in the case of inet, the

learning, pattern recognition, fraud analysis and

global networks. First, he believes block chain

company developed a Cloud TMS from day one.

things that are available now in the data science

will get more traction on domestic networks were

“Hence, a mobile device is just another user

world. “There are now valuable ways to enhance

things can be controlled better.

interface to us and is validated and checked

what a TMS can offer as far as value is

against the same high-security quality assurance

concerned. So, outputs can be taken from, say,

Venkatraman believes the uberisation of freight,

processes as our desktop web interfaces,” he

route optimisation, and applying machine

end-to-end supply chain visibility resulting in

said.

learning against this to try to learn from it and

shorter lead times and lower costs, digitisation

then return results back to the TMS so that the

and implementation of Big Data & Analytics will

Briggs made the point that with the imminent

recommendation results can be put into the

be key product differentiators in the market.

approach of GDPR legislation, companies are

workflow, hopefully resulting in an improved

Hemmes maintains that innovation is the key to

evaluating what permission they need to secure

outcome. This model is getting traction and will

success and growth, and sees new

from customers to gather and retain their name

expand. One of the reasons it will expand is

developments arising that will have the power to

and signature for proof of delivery, as well as

because these trailer and shipment movements

change how logistics will function on a day-to-

reviewing data retention and security for existing

and that asset management of the fleet all fit

day basis. In 2018, Hemmes foresees delivery

and new systems.

together nicely. This will especially impact in a

management gaining

positive way on people who own their own fleet.

more traction through

So, again, it's what's happening out there in the

automation,

Future developments

AI world across multiple industries. It has a very

digitalisation and

What might be the next key developments within

attractive and straightforward business case

personalisation. In his

the TMS and related solutions marketplace for in

path for transportation management and it's

view, some key trends

the near future? Besides what is happening

already started and will continue to grow.”

are: ● The ‘control tower’

inside the systems from an execution

concept – taking full

perspective, De Muynck thinks some of the developments we will continue to see evolve will

Additional insights

ownership of your

revolve around analytics. “We have advanced

Ball reiterates that we have seen major advances

operations through

from typical business intelligence and

in GPS and telematics and concurs with Vernon

visibility and control.

www.logisticsit.com

Mohit Paul, SVP EMEA,

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Special Technology Report

● The ‘hybrid fleet’ model – democratising in-

Transportation Management Systems

Hemmes pointed out. “The purpose behind

forward, among other

house and public fleets to better manage the

this scenario is that even complex delivery

things, to individual

increase of order volume during peak

operations can be streamlined. Smart

customer statistics on

seasons.

algorithm would help companies crunch all

their own transactions,

the data and factor in things like capacity,

digital administration

weight, volume, and priority status. This would

of all transport orders

result in an automated and sustainable

regardless of whether

algorithms to fast-track processes and

resource allocation ran at the most optimal

the client is already

become more efficient as a business.

rate.”

using TimoCom or is

● Predictive analytics – planning operations in advance by having easy access to rich data ● AI & Machine Learning – using sophisticated

not yet a customer, Hemmes’ predictions for the next coming years

Briggs cites apps developed for Android;

and e-mail

include the following:

therefore, people using consumer devices.

notifications regarding

However, he adds that consumer devices do not

lucrative transport

Dave Renshaw, CEO,

support barcode scanners. “Phone cameras are

requests. These updates optimise requests for

collect data from your system and use it to

not good to capture barcodes; especially if we

transport and fulfilment of transport orders via TC

optimise and grow your operations. “With

are faced with doing a lot of scanning in poor

Transport Order - perfectly in line with efficient

DAAS, companies will be able to access real-

lighting,” he said, adding: “Microsoft exited the

process optimisation.”

time data streams and use the information to

market – so all development platforms are likely

create comprehensive reports that serve as a

to remain Android (and to a lesser extent IOS).”

Beck foresees the movement from monolithic

base for optimisation,” he said. “This means

In terms of further changes with regard to end-

applications to more granular Cloud-based micro

more control over the business through

user requirements over the coming year or two,

services delivered via SaaS models. He believes

actionable reports and more decision-making

Briggs points to the DPD (Dynamic Parcel

this will have a major impact on the TMS

power.”

Distribution) effect – keeping in touch with

industry. Secondly, Beck anticipates that human-

partners – and taking ad hoc card payments.

based decision making will decrease as AI and

1.Data-as-a-Service – Leveraging DAAS to

machine learning advance rapidly – for example,

2. Shared warehousing – The gig economy will allow companies to take advantage of urban

Paul reflects that enough is never enough in our

with regard to route and network optimisation.

warehouse spaces to have easy access to

modern world. “As technology continues to

Lastly, Beck comments that real-time

products for fast deliveries. “This is where

develop, customer expectations will only

collaboration across the globe poses a new

companies can tap on crowdsourced

increase,” he said. “Our modern society is

challenge that could be called ‘the globalisation

warehouses and ‘rent’ space from other

always looking for faster and better operations.

of data’. “Vendors increasingly have to think of

existing networks that have strategic

With this in mind, a TMS that can keep up with

how to make their data, not just their application

locations,” explained Hemmes. “The value

this pace of change is integral. BluJay’s Global

work globally,” he said. “That raises questions

proposition for shared warehousing is that you

Trade Network supplies the resilience needed for

like: How do you create good, real-time data in a

don’t have to run out of space during the peak

that crucial competitive advantage.” Paul added

supply chain network that spans across different

volume periods, but also don’t need to pay for

that Cloud computing eliminates the high upfront

time zones and regulatory jurisdictions?”

excess space during lax periods.”

costs that used to come with on-premise logistics solutions. “Fast and clear ROI allows businesses to plan better for the future,” he said.

Slicing and dicing

Democratising fleets to accurately utilise

“The Cloud has made it possible for business of

In terms of changing end-user requirements,

resources and maintain a high fulfilment rate.

all sizes to tap into technology that can

Beck makes the point that with the rise of micro

“The idea of tapping

streamline their supply chains and boost

services, mobile phones and Cloud-based

on a hybrid fleet

visibility. Over the coming year, as Brexit

services, end-users already require functions to

means you need to

negotiations continue to rumble on and customer

be easily accessible online, customisable,

take into consideration

demand grows yet more intense, businesses will

integrated with existing operations and in fast or

planning your internal

need an adaptable TMS with proven results to

in real time. However, in the near future, Beck

operations and

provide long-lasting, sustainable benefits.”

believes these requirements will extend to data

3. Crowdsourcing public fleets –

delivery teams to

Gunnar Gburek, head of business affairs,

20

IT

Gburek reminded us that last summer TimoCom

will not just accept retrospective metrics and

distribution of the

launched its newest application, TC Transport

analytics but ask for real-time data that allow

resources to minimise

Order, which allows for digital completion of

them to slice and dice the information as they

cost and maximise

transport orders. “Over the course of this year,

need it,” he said. 

fulfilment rate for you

we will be adding new helpful features to the

daily deliveries,”

program,” he explained. “Our users can look

MANUFACTURING

&LOGISTICS

itself. “If you think of analytics for instance, users

determine the

December 2018

www.logisticsit.com




TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS To learn more, visit us online at manh.co.uk email uk@manh.com or call +44 (0)1189 228076


TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT

Success story

Codognotto Group

connects its

transport management system to TIMOCOM

T

he Codognotto Group is using the first European Smart Logistics System directly via its own transport management system (TMS) SGA. Using an interface developed by the software developers SIMA and TIMOCOM, freight offers from one of the largest Italian logistics groups are automatically published in TIMOCOM's system This solution provides a turbo effect when assigning orders in the company’s TMS, SGA. ‘See you in the future’ means being a pioneer, and always offering customers the best solution on the market – this is the Codognotto Group’s promise. "We want to always offer our customers a competitive advantage by ensuring that they have access to the latest technologies for optimising their supply chain as quickly as we can provide them," explains Andrea Condotta, marketing and innovation manager for the Group.

The Italian Group, one of the leading European companies in the transport and logistics sector, has been using the Smart Logistics System created by the German IT company TIMOCOM for several years. Codognotto thus makes use of all digitalisation options for streamlining operative tasks with help from TIMOCOM's system – from the logistics network with over 40,000 verified companies across Europe all the way to solutions for transport tenders. “Digitalisation gives us the opportunity to manage growing complexity in our sector, and to always offer our customers the fastest, most efficient solution,” Condotta continues.

22

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December 2018

By linking their systems, TIMOCOM and the Italian software developer SIMA allowed the Codognotto Group to increase efficiencies within its own logistics and transport processes. Using its own TMS, SGA, the company can now synchronise all transports via an interface that automatically uploads them to the digital European logistics market.

The challenge: More freight traffic means more administration Due to continuous and ever-increasing transport volumes, the Codognotto Group had to expand their fleet management with freight forwarders they trusted. Their own fleet consists of 600 vehicles and 1500 semitrailers of different types. Previously, the transports, which could not be assigned automatically using the SGA TMS, had to be entered manually into TIMOCOM Smart Logistics System by Codognotto employees. This took up valuable time and added the risk of transcription errors.

The solution: Integrating TIMOCOM Smart Logistics System into the SGA TMS, developed by software company SIMA By cooperating with each other, the software company SIMA and TIMOCOM were able to develop an interface which allows Codognotto to use the most important functions of TIMOCOM's system directly via their own TMS, SGA. This means that transport orders

entered into the SGA TMS can be transferred automatically via the interface to the TIMOCOM's system – all while maintaining data protection for customers.

The advantage: Excellent, real time efficiency This integration, which has already been implemented on site at 16 of the Group’s European locations, provides a fundamental increase in efficiency for Codognotto. Codognotto’s goal is to equip all 30 of its locations currently connected to TIMOCOM with the ability to synchronise freight offers solely using the interface with its TMS, SGA. The interface automatically synchronises freight offers between both systems. Thus, in real time and with no limitations, Codognotto can make use of all intelligent applications available in TIMOCOM's system, within its own TMS system, SGA.

Result: Synchronisation saves time and money To ensure that transport orders are sent only to the best partners on the market, Codognotto integrated TIMOCOM's system fully into its own TMS, SGA. Thanks to realtime synchronisation, doubled or manual order administration can be avoided in both systems. This has produced a true turbo effect for the Italian logistics and transport company: “Ever since the interface was introduced in cooperation with software company SGA, we have been saving both time and money, and the number of transport orders entered in some locations has doubled, at least,” explains Condotta. 

www.logisticsit.com


TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT TIMOCOM GmbH

As the pioneer and guide for European logistics networking, TIMOCOM offers Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first Smart Logistics System. The system connects road hauliers, freight forwarders and manufacturing and trade companies in a neutral network encompassing more than 40,000 verified companies. This neutrality is an important advantage, as the transactions can be concluded directly between the contract partners. The TIMOCOM system application hosts up to 750,000 national and international freight and vehicle offers daily. Standardised interfaces allow the TIMOCOM system to integrate with the customers' existing processes.

Industrial markets served Road haulage, freight forwarding, manufacturing, trade, supply chain management, logistics companies (All involved in roads goods transport industry and the logistics chain). Countries served Pan-European.

Website: www.timocom.com

Corporate Profile

TIMOCOM GmbH is a German, mid-sized IT and data specialist, with more than 490 employees from 34 countries, and representative offices in Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. The family-run company is united by a joint vision for the future of logistics. TIMOCOM believes in a world without logistical challenges. Therefore, the company has made it its mission to make logistics smart, safe and simple. TIMOCOM calls this future: Augmented Logistics.

Solutions offered The TIMOCOM Smart Logistics System which offers: 1. TC Truck&Cargo: The freight and vehicle exchange where customers can enter offers and close deals in real time. 2. TC eBid: The platform for pan-European transport tenders 3. TC Transport Order: The digital solution for your transport order: Request quotes digitally and manage transport orders 4. TC eMap: The route calculation and tracking solution combines all standard telematics systems. 5. TC Profile: The business directory with more than 40,000 transport and logistics companies and an integrated upand-download feature for documents. 6. The TIMOCOM debt collection

Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first Smart Logistics System! www.timocom.com

www.logisticsit.com

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AIDC/Mobile Computing

Information on the go Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with a number of leading spokespeople from the vendor and analyst communities about recent, current and possible future developments within the world of automatic identification & data capture and mobile computing technology. utomatic identification & data

A

Andrew Briggs, technical director, BEC

The range of mobile hardware healthcare

capture (AIDC) solutions and

(Systems Integration) Ltd., comments that the

organisations rely on and have been benefitting

mobile computers are

Zebra TC8000 mobile touch computer is right

from spans smartphones, handsets, wearables,

developing apace. But, what are

in BEC’s sweet spot in terms of vertical

notebooks and tablets (both consumer-oriented

some of the key areas of

alignment, i.e. warehousing & manufacturing,

and purpose-built devices). The report also

development within this fast-changing

with its tough form factor and rugged, tilted

states that healthcare mobility offers significant

technology space? Nandini Bhattacharya,

screen etc. Briggs adds that there is a lot of

benefits to healthcare providers as mobile

industry manager – M&I- IPC Business Unit,

discussion around Android. “This is bringing

solutions allow them to supply caregivers with a

Frost & Sullivan, observes that the market has

the price of devices down, as customers are

wealth of information while removing existing

changed both in terms of hardware and

not paying for a Windows licence on a mobile

informational borders. Mobile applications have

software. “On the hardware front, some of the

device so the purchase price is cheaper,” he

broad potential in terms of their functionality,

examples of latest developments include the

said.

including telemetry, e-prescribing, and patient monitoring. Applications available to healthcare

growth of beacons-based location tracking and

providers enable easy reference and secure

monitoring, visual tags, wearable computers, RFID sensors,” she said. “On the software side,

Service, safety and satisfaction

we are seeing transformations in terms of SaaS

Service, safety and satisfaction for patients and

based models, complete software solution

clinicians are the top priorities driving the

While healthcare organisations have stitched

platforms that are able to support multiple

mobility initiatives of leading healthcare

together patchworks of products and services

protocols if required, increased IOT

organisations, according to a recent report by

to assist their health care professionals, VDC’s

connectivity, Big Data and Cloud-based

VDC Research. As patient satisfaction

research shows that these solutions have not

applications, android and iOS-based solutions.

becomes increasingly important to insurance

yet delivered the desired level of effective

We may also see the combination of

providers, consumers expect health service

communication. “Mobility adoption within

Blockchain along with RFID as a tool for higher

providers to offer the rapid response time,

healthcare environments presents a unique set

degree of authenticity and accountability in the

information access, and convenience of other

of barriers because healthcare IT systems and

mid-term to long-term future.”

consumer services.

databases are extremely fragmented,

high memory tags, and the growth of passive

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communication as well as access to patient information.

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AIDC/Mobile Computing

Special Technology Report

disconnected, and

than ever before. “However, we often see ‘fly-

ceiling to understand, for example, how

interoperable,” said

by-night’ companies, and even the more well-

products have moved around the shop floor,

Spencer Gisser,

known competition, stripping out key features to

which areas have products that are out of

research associate of

lower the price,” he said, adding that Janam

stock, which areas are potentially the main

enterprise mobility

focuses on delivering highest-quality products

shrinkage catchment areas and which products

and connected

with the right features and the right price.

are selling better. “In this way, retails can start

devices, VDC

to understand how better to maximise sales

Research. “This

Hurt considers that product design is another

and increase security,” she said. “This is

makes it extremely

critical factor for enterprise organisations – and

definitely an area where more retailers are

difficult for mobile

incorporating the latest technological

currently moving to in order to better

solutions to

advancements is table stakes. “In addition to

understand their shop floors. The key here is

seamlessly access

having a powerful processor and an operating

using other types of technology to create more

the information

system that is capable of running complex

interesting use cases; for example, using RFID

healthcare professionals require to make critical

business applications, organisations need a

with different sensors such as visuals to create

decisions in real time.”

device that is specially designed to withstand

3D planograms. This can be especially

the rigours of everyday use in challenging

beneficial for clothing retailers because a lot of

environments,” he said. Hurt also maintains that

them don't have planograms to work with so

Windows versus Android OS

screen real estate is important, as mobile

getting that retention on the shop floor is often

workers are reviewing and processing more

very difficult, especially for the more high-

Reg Koster, key account manager,

data and information than ever before.

density retailers – it can be a lot easier for the

Andrew Briggs, technical director,

more high fashion outlets because they have

warehousing, Datalogic UK&I, highlights that

smaller size categories that they put out. 3D

one of the key talking points at present for mobile computing is the Windows versus

RFID

planograms can also help you to better

Android OS choice. “While historically Microsoft

Danielle Dawson, senior consultant, Capgemini

understand the movement of customers

has been the operating system of choice within

Consulting, makes the point that the GS1

through the shop and understand which

the industrial mobile computer market, Android

DataMatrix allowing retailers to connect a

products they are picking up. They can even

has grown exponentially in the recent years,

barcode to RFID has opened the door to many

help you track your employees’ movements

especially for applications outside the four

more possibilities, such as using more RFID for

better.”

walls,” he said. “There is no right or wrong

security. “Retails know the exact electronic

answer here in terms of which to choose, as

product code (EPC) they have captured at the

Chris Devault, head of software selection,

both operating systems have their merits. Some

till point, so they can sent a message to their

Panorama Consulting Solutions, comments that

manufacturers have aligned completely with

gates not to alarm them as goods go through,

organisations are leveraging RFID and

Android and as a result there are some

or they can send a message to alarm the gates

standard RF barcode in mixed modes. Supply

misnomers arising around the Microsoft

if goods didn't go through the till point because

chain vendors often dictate what is possible by

platform. For example, rumours that Microsoft

the products hadn’t been sold,” she explained.

the tags/labels they are providing on their

will cease support for some versions of CE in a

“Also, companies can now have a better

product. As companies are adopting

few short years may be discouraging

understanding regarding conversion rates and

standardised or best practice processes they

companies from investing in the OS. Even if this

returns. For example, if products are

must be flexible in the use of what technology

does happen, a customer’s systems will not

consistently going through the till point but are

can be used. Creating a starting point with a

stop working on that date. Furthermore,

being returned retailers can easily determine

plan to increase the adoption of functionality in

manufacturers like Datalogic, who are Microsoft

that these products relate to a faulty batch that

phases is critical.

gold partners, are guaranteed support for any

came from supplier A, whereas all products

Employees need to

fixes that may be needed after the last support

from the batch supplied by supplier B are

know why they are

for the general public, meaning that Datalogic

going through and not being returned because

doing what they are

customers are assured of support well beyond

there is no problem with them. So, retailers can

doing and the ripple

these dates.”

have a better understanding of purchases and

effect down/upstream

conversion rates if they are able to capture that

within the business.

information at the till point. This is opening

Price, quality and features

doors to many more ideas and some really

Hurt observes that

Robert Hurt, general manager EMEA, Janam

interesting use cases.”

RFID adoption is on the rise. “At less than

Technologies, reflects that in a world where you can get anything and everything on Alibaba or

Dawson points out that another talking point is

ten cents per tag,

Amazon, price is being looked at more closely

around using RFID sensors positioned in the

some organisations

www.logisticsit.com

Nandini Bhattacharya, industry manager – M&I - IPC Business Unit,

IT

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AIDC/Mobile Computing

are recouping their

“In the age of Industry 4.0 we have the smarter

and that the network infrastructure is agile and

RFID investment

version of everything – smart transportation,

robust enough to manage the large volumes of

costs in as little as six

smart logistics, smart manufacturing, smart

traffic that need to pass through it.”

months, making the

supply chain and so on,” she said.

return on investment

Danielle Dawson, senior consultant,

Hurt reflects that upgrading legacy software

increasingly evident,”

However, the biggest change that has

applications has historically been a costly and

he said “As the cost

happened and is continuing to happen,

time-consuming process. However, he reminds

of tags drops, the

according to Bhattacharya, is greater

us that we have recently seen an increase in

value proposition of

connectivity between the different modules and

legacy systems migration due to three market

RFID-based data

systems. “The latest generation RFID/RTLS

shifts:

capture deployments

solutions are able to integrate and function

• Rapid Mobile Application Development

increases, and RFID

seamlessly with the existing ERP, CRM, WMS

services, like Xamarin, have accelerated the

is expanding as a

and other available back-end systems,” she

process of mobile app development.

pointed out.

Enterprise organisations can now build and

result. But the question remains: how does this

manage internal and customer-facing

affect your business, the businesses you work with, and the future as a whole?

Devault makes the point that organisations of all

applications that integrate into existing

sizes continue to increase the use of and

systems in a fraction of the time it had taken a decade or even 1-2 years ago.

“In the past few years, RFID use has continued

integration with AIDC/Mobile computer/RFID

to expand not just in retail, but in warehouse,

applications. “One of the reasons for the

manufacturing and freight industries as well.

continuing increasing adoption of these

availability of Cloud-based third-party

More and more organisations are seeing and

applications is the ROI is easy to identify and

solutions are strengthening their ability to

reaping the benefits of its increased tracking

implementation usually less complex than other

deploy new applications. Applications built

and management capabilities, its wide

IT/Process Improvement,” he said. “Benefits are

on open standard technologies can run on

potential, from freight and inventory

realised quicker than other improvements

any device with an HTML5-enabled browser.

management to customer service applications,

throughout the business. More and more AIDC

These newly developed apps are less

and its steadily increasing ROI. As RFID

applications are embedded into ERP allowing

expensive to implement and maintain than

expands, we see new applications both inside

the flow of information to be more streamlined

and outside of those industries, making it worth

rather than having to build integrations which

investigation for nearly any type of business

can limit the use of the data going into back

need for outsourcing. We are seeing end

where product, inventory, or movement is

office systems.”

users look more closely at packaged

• Organisations are also finding that the

legacy apps. • There is greater corporate acceptance of the

concerned.”

solutions because time and money is a major In terms of the relationship between mobile

factor in their decision-making process.

In terms of some of the drivers for the types of

computing technology and back-office

Traditional in-house development is often

changes he has cited, Hurt comments that the

systems, Koster is seeing a continued drive

being rejected, as it is a much slower and

evolution of the smartphone market has not only

towards closer integration of the disparate

more costly path.

increased awareness of, and familiarity with,

systems as well as a focus on improving

mobile computing, but also continues to shape

network infrastructure. “In today’s digital

“Historically, mobile device software was

perception of what a mobile computing device

economy, everything is becoming faster,” he

customised to show a subset of the data that an

should do or look like. “The growing number of

said. “Customers are demanding quicker

operator would have seen on their desktop ERP

millennials in the workplace is also found to be

response times and more visibility. The process

or WMS terminal,” explained Hurt. “The larger

shaping the workplace to meet their needs and

of capturing data is also getting faster,

size and greater pixel

driving modern trends – hence more emphasis

particularly with the introduction of industrial

definition of today’s

on smaller devices, but with large screens that

automation and vision systems. Data can be

mobile device

can run multiple applications at any given time.”

quickly and accurately captured and

screens, combined

transmitted at any and every stage of the

with the ability to

supply chain to guarantee seamless tracking

‘pinch to zoom’,

Back-office dynamic

and traceability. However, to meet the demands

means users expect

In terms of the relationship between

from customers for improved visibility and for

to see, and can

AIDC/mobile computer/RFID systems and

companies to continue improving their

manage, more

back-office systems, what have been some of

processes, they need access to the data and

complex applications

the key recent changes? Bhattacharya believes

the analytics behind that data in an instant. To

on their portable

the growth of the Internet of things has

achieve this goal, it is vital that an organisation’s

terminals.

changed the way industries are operating now.

systems integrate more closely than ever before

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Chris Devault, head of software selection,

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AIDC/Mobile Computing

Special Technology Report

“The smaller form

OEMs’ existing in-house labour cost is already

cited the ability to manage apps as the top

factors and added

dedicated to addressing security. “These

driver for their investment.

flexibility of today’s

expenses are rising much faster than the

Adding to the challenges posed by BYOD,

devices means they

overall cost of development, which reinforces

third-party mobile apps and the workflows

can be used for

the criticality of including security-related

they enable are at the heart of digital

multiple purposes

labour in budgetary planning,” said Andre

transformation. Pushing beyond mobile email,

and taken between

Girard, senior analyst of IoT and embedded

contact and calendar access also drives

different

technology, VDC.

interest in methods for managing apps and data that are independent of managing the

environments. The Reg Koster, key account manager, warehousing,

same device used for

The report states that the worldwide

device with a mobile device management

stock checking in a

embedded engineering labour spend

(MDM) profile. I&O leaders aiming to scale

warehouse, or

specifically associated with security was

mobility to support digital transformation

loading a vehicle, can

$11.6B in 2017. This represents almost 8% of

dependent on a host of new apps, devices

be taken out on the

the overall cost of embedded engineering

and platforms will be hamstrung by policies

road to make deliveries and take receipt

labour. “Security-related spending is

focused on device control and configuration

signatures from end customers.”

accelerating rapidly as awareness of the

alone.

scope and severity of potential vulnerabilities Dawson believes integration has become a lot

rises, and the growth in IoT deployments

The tangential trend of placing PCs and

easier over the past few years than it's ever

increases both the quantity of possible targets

mobile devices under a common

been previously. “I think the main reason is that

and the volume of attack surfaces,” explained

management console – Gartner calls this third

software companies have done a really good

Girard.

evolution of tools ‘unified endpoint management (UEM)’ –

job in investing in Cloud-based platforms as well as APIs,” she said. “This makes an RFID

On a broader level, VDC states that the

will force all organisations to review policies

system very easy to integrate now.”

urgency of providing robust software security

and processes for managing their endpoints,

necessitates wide-ranging organisational

with the outcomes of modernised governance,

involvement. “Proactive steps must be applied

processes and policies driving interest in

Security-related labour

across the full development lifecycle by a

more comprehensive tools or alternatives to

Increasing connectivity and IoT device

larger pool of stakeholders to manage an

existing MDM tools.

adoption has exposed embedded systems to

increased pace of software releases and

new security threats that could severely

more complex code bases,” said Girard.

hinder business operations and risk the safety

“OEMs should include knowledge of security

Converging technology

of humans or embedded devices. These

vulnerabilities and risks in the training of all

Bhattacharya makes the point that the

threats are forcing OEMs to actively address

engineering teams so that it can influence

convergence of different technologies makes

security as part of development and are

decisions and actions made throughout the

a solution more robust and we will see such

guiding the creation of new practices. A

design and development lifecycle.”

solutions more often in the coming days.

recent VDC report looks at the portion of

“Businesses have different needs depending

OEMs’ in-house labour expenditure that is

upon the application requirements and one

Data protection re-think

technology may not be the best option

BYOD has faded from being a headline

always,” she said. “In such a scenario, a

While more OEMs recognise the escalating

initiative for CIOs, but support for personally

combination of

repercussions of software security

owned devices used at work continues to

different

vulnerabilities, action to mitigate these risks

expand. Research by Gartner analyst, Chris

technologies can

has been minimal or, in some cases, non-

Silva, shows that more than 70% of users are

provide better

existent. Even among those who rated

not being provided a smartphone by their

results.”

security as ‘extremely important’, nearly 8% of

employer. A changing legal environment and

their organisations were taking no action to

user push-back on onerous device controls

Briggs explains there

address these potential risks. Still, a growing

have forced organisations to rethink how

is more functionality

number of companies are setting aside

company data can be protected on users’

wrapped up as

money from their budgets to find, fix, and

devices that cannot or will not be enrolled in a

standard in most

prevent systems vulnerabilities.

traditional device management construct. This

modern devices –

finding was supported in Gartner's 2017

scanning & Voice-

Data from VDC’s IoT and Embedded Engineer

‘Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility

enabled. “A730

survey confirms that a significant portion of

Management Suites’, where surveyed buyers

device from

consumed by vulnerability mitigation efforts.

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Spencer Gisser, research associate of enterprise mobility and connected devices,

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Honeywell Vocollect,

journey from mobile computers to high speed

printing. RFID allows

for example, is a

fixed readers. “Often, the ideal solution is a mix

for organisations to

Voice device with a

of both types of scanning technologies and

optimise the flow of

built-in scanner – a

when implemented effectively can drive huge

product/material

few years ago you

efficiencies,” he said.

coming in the door,

had to choose

Robert Hurt, general manager EMEA,

movements

whether you wanted

Briggs makes the point that there could be a

throughout

a scanner or a

potential security issue if ‘Bring your own

manufacturing and

camera etc., but now

device’ (BYOD) equipment being used for

warehouses all the

you can have both,”

company purposes is mis-used or stolen. “This

way to shipping.”

he said.

is why we supply mobile device management

Hurt observes that

software to allow them to be remotely locked

Briggs considers that

down and wiped,” he explained.

vendors may come

organisations are increasing their technology

Andre Girard, senior analyst of IoT and embedded technology,

up with less-

investments to automate workflows, improve

Hurt remembers that in the early days of

traditional form factors, taking the TC8000 as a

workforce productivity and ultimately enhance

Android there was concern that the operating

leading example. He also believes the Internet

customer service. “Mobile workers are

system didn’t carry the same level of security

of Things will continue to have an influence in

seeking devices that enable better

that Microsoft provided with its Windows

terms of how data is collected and how

communication and more collaboration,

products. “Google has put great emphasis on

devices will be able to talk to a wider variety of

shifting from a reactive to a proactive service

safeguarding Android for the enterprise,” he

machinery, equipment etc. to capture Big

model,” he said. “As technologies evolve,

said. “In addition, more tools are available to

Data.

customers no longer need to compromise

help deliver more robust security and

style and size for functionality and reliability.

manageability.”

A key trend in both logistics and ecommerce

Devices like Janam’s XT100 and XM75 come

retailers, according to Koster, is the need for

equipped with the latest technological

DWS (dimension and weigh systems). “This is

advancements to help mobile workers to do

The future

where packages coming in or out of the

their jobs more effectively and efficiently, all

What might be the next

warehouse are scanned at speed for their

with a style that is sleek and cutting-edge.”

innovations/developments to look out for over

exact dimensions and weight – as logistics

the next year or two regarding the AIDC/Mobile

companies charge the retailer by the

Computing/RFID space? Bhattacharya

weight/size, and retailers want to control this

Remaining concerns

considers that developments will happen in

data themselves,” he explained. Koster is also

Are there any key remaining concerns

terms of lower power consumption and greater

seeing increased adoption for camera

regarding the use of AIDC/Mobile

mobility of the hardware. She adds that

solutions that enable an image of a parcel to

Computing/RFID systems? Bhattacharya

wearable computers are gaining traction and

be taken as the item moves from one

reflects that with the growth of the Internet of

this trend of developing light weight and

stakeholder to another. “The driver behind

Things there is a greater challenge of security.

smaller form factor hardware would continue.

these solutions are the ability to track damage

“Different security protocols need to be

Also, according to Bhattacharya, software

– so if an arrives damaged at final destination,

implemented to maintain data security across

platforms will change significantly due to IoT

there is an ability to track where the damage

different IoT devices,” she said.

and Cloud connectivity. “As the businesses

may have occurred,” he said.

models are changing fast, we will see Koster considers that as warehouse operations increase in size and

significant transformations in the mid- to long-

Hurt believes RFID will continue to be a key

term future,” she said.

technology to watch as the Internet of Things continues to grow, and organisations seek

volume, invariably

Chris Silva, analyst,

28

IT

high-speed conveyor

Devault believes innovations in this space will

even more ways to connect different areas of

belts with fixed

continue to reduce the cost of the devices,

their business. “The potential for IoT is huge

positions scanners

software and tags. “Organisations in the food &

and businesses of all sizes are clamouring for

will be needed. He

beverage space have higher adoption rates

the widespread connectivity it enables across

believes Datalogic is

than common commodities,” he said.

different platforms,” he said. “Real-world uses

unique in its position

“Organisations are looking for ways to increase

of RFID, as part of an IoT strategy, will continue

as a major

RFID usage but cannot solve issues related to

to expand – offering a highly effective way for

manufacturer able to

cost/availability/volume. Companies are looking

businesses of all sizes to decrease labour

take customers

to make the onsite production of RFID tags

costs, improve data accuracy and drive

through the entire

quick/simple/easy like their current label

substantial productivity gains.” 

MANUFACTURING

&LOGISTICS

December 2018

www.logisticsit.com


Gen2waveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s RP70 and RP70A prove theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re

born to thrive in extreme environments with a certified IP 65 sealing and anti-shock features that survive 1.2 metre drops. Both tablets are equipped with 3rd generation Gorilla Glass providing further extreme resistance against shocks and scratches.

The rugged features highlight why both professional tablets should always be a front runner for completing tasks in warehousing, manufacturing and field services. For more information and a bespoke quote, contact Varlink today on 01904 717 180

t: 01904 717180 e: enquiries@varlink.co.uk w: www.varlink.co.uk Varlink Ltd, Unit 1 Osbaldwick Industrial Estate, Outgang Lane, York,YO19 5UX


MOBILE

AUTOMATIC COMPUTING

Product News

Gen2wave RP70

– Product profile

ver recent years there has

average rugged tablet currently on the

been an increase in popularity

market, allowing users to handle and

and demand for mobile

transport the tablets with great ease. Both

computers and professional

weigh just 600 grams, freeing users to

tablets in the workplace. This

operate throughout their day with minimal

O

growth in the mobile computing market allows

effort and hassle.

workers to operate more efficiently, increase their productivity and become more mobile.

The two tablets’ applications are further extended when used with the professional

standard, partners particularly well with the

Gen2wave is helping to lead this evolution by

vehicle cradle. The vehicle mount comes with

desktop cradle. Its pinpoint precision

manufacturing cutting-edge technology that

a range of extensions including Ethernet,

combined with the stability of being fixed in a

improves how companies operate worldwide.

HDMI, Serial, USB and flexible customisation.

desktop cradle allows workers to complete

Gen2wave specialises in creating high-

When mounted, the tablets provide everything

tasks faster and more accurately.

performance, rugged products that provide a

data operators need to complete their tasks

convenient, user-friendly experience. The

more accurately, and the ability to log

company’s RP Series of mobile computers

information is always at their fingertips.

Born to thrive in extreme environments

achieves this by bridging the gap between the rugged handheld device and smartphone.

Ready to be stored

Gen2wave’s RP70 and RP70A prove they are

rugged features and a compact, easy-to-use

Both tablets can be fixed to a desktop cradle,

certified IP 65 sealing and anti-shock features

design.

creating either a space for completing

that survive 1.2 metre drops to concrete. Both

stationary tasks or a holding place for when

tablets are equipped with 3rd generation

Designed to be mobile

they’re not in use. Similar to the vehicle

Gorilla Glass, providing extreme resistance

mount, the desktop cradle has a range of

against shocks and scratches. Rugged

Workers who are constantly on the move need

extension capabilities including Ethernet,

features like these free workers from the worry

a device that can be put away at a moment’s

HDMI, Serial, USB and an additional battery

of damaging their tablets in harsh conditions.

notice and won’t restrict their movement

charging slot.

The RP70 and RP70A tablets embody both

From the scorching heat to the freezing cold,

through the working day. Both tablets are just 19mm thick, which is slimmer than the

born to thrive in extreme environments with a

The fine-tip stylus pen that comes as

the RP70 series can operate in temperatures ranging from to -20℃ to 60℃ and can be stored in temperatures ranging from to -30℃ to 70℃. Building the RP70 range to withstand these extreme temperatures prepares the tablet for cold storage units and hot manufacturing plants. Rain mode enables the tablet to sense precise points of the user’s finger during rain and snow without causing erroneous input. Workers outside the four walls can continue their field service tasks without interruption.

Made to last The design enables users to easily remove and replace the battery without having to

30

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Product News

AUTOMATIC MOBILE COMPUTING it can be, no matter the angle. Equipped with a 2D imager, scanning can take place on both printed surfaces and barcodes in digital format. Near field communication extends the type of documentation the RP70 series can read, reducing the need for additional devices.

Powered by Android and Windows The tablets can be powered by either a full Windows 10 IoT or Android 8.1 Enterprise OS. Purchasing options include the RP70 with Windows, or the RP70A powered by Android 8.1 Oreo. Providing both operating systems Gen2wave’s RP70 and RP70A tablets embody both rugged features and a compact, easy-touse design.

allows users to select the OS that they are most familiar with and can use straight away.

reboot the devices, increasing the use time

Personalisation doesn’t stop there; the RP70

and allowing operators to conduct work in the

and RP70A can have 6 different keys re-

When professional tablets have an advanced

field for longer. Batteries come in the

mapped to meet the user’s specific needs.

operating system, the enterprise device can be

standard 3.7V/5600mAH and an extended

These re-maps can be replicated and mass-set

locked down to prevent users accessing

3.7V/10050mAH.

in Auto-setup so all RP70s in the estate function

system settings, tampering with user interfaces

identically.

and gaining sensitive information. An additional security feature is the screen lock mode which

Easy to set up Equipped for capture data

allows all work and programmes to run safely

may want to set them up in the same way so

Users can capture a variety of data types

device.

that their workers can pick up any tablet and

thanks to the combination of cameras, a built-in

know how to use it. Auto-setup not only allows a

2D imager and NFC reader. Both tablets have

Gen2wave’s RP70 and RP70A are available

group of RP70s to be setup the same way, it

a fixed-focus front-facing camera and an auto-

from specialist now. 

also allows multiple tablets to be installed at the

focus rear-facing camera. The combination of

same time.

cameras makes photographing data the easiest

Larger companies with whole estates of tablets

while the user’s concentration is away from the

Corporate Profile

Varlink mobile computing and EPoS distribution Gen2wave’s RP70 and RP70A are available from Varlink now. Varlink is a specialist trade-only distributor, established in 2005, working exclusively with IT resellers, system integrators and solution providers.

Countries served Varlink is a UK-based distribution and support network. Delivering to the UK from the UK cuts service time and the cost to a customer’s business.

Solutions offered Varlink distributes a comprehensive range of EPOS and mobile computing products and holds extensive knowledge of

Website: www.Varlink.co.uk/Gen2wave-RP70

the industry. Varlink has a single goal; to be the best valueadded distributor of mobile computing and EPOS hardware in the UK. Industrial markets served Varlink works alongside solution providers in various industries; from warehousing and manufacturing to retail and healthcare.

www.logisticsit.com

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MANUFACTURING

December 2018

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31


V OICE technology

Company News

BEC Achieves Platinum Partner Status with Honeywell Vocollect EC (Systems Integration) Ltd,

B

one of the leading suppliers of data capture and voice solutions for the supply chain, logistics and manufacturing industries,

has achieved Honeywell’s Vocollect Platinum Total Solution Provider (TSP) Status. With a proven and trusted track record in supplying and implementing voice technology within a range of warehousing and distribution centre applications, the new Platinum TSP status represents a renewed accolade for BEC in terms of the impressive and innovative product picking solutions it has created with voice technology at their core. Tony Hampson, Managing Director at BEC, explains: “Conceptually, voice-directed picking is very similar to traditional RF

Hampson continues: “For many years now,

great service, the team continue to stay true

scanner picking, but prompts are delivered

BEC has realised the benefits of voice

to the principles that made a partnership

and responses are provided by spoken word.

technology in terms of allowing workers to

between Honeywell and BEC such a natural

Voice solutions can help businesses increase

operate hands and eyes free, particularly in

fit. In the years since we started working

worker productivity by up to 35%, whilst

fast-moving picking environments. We are

together, BEC have continually provided our

reducing errors by up to 50%.”

extremely proud of our eSmart Voice-directed

customers with outstanding operational

warehouse solution, in which Honeywell’s

excellence through their adoption and

In a voice-directed warehouse system,

Vocollect Solutions play a pivotal part. It is

integration of Honeywell Vocollect voice

operators use a compact, wearable computer

enormously satisfying to receive recognition

solutions. The Vocollect product line, together

with a headset to receive instructions by

for all our hard work and pioneering product

with BEC’s logistics and systems expertise

voice. The computer is connected to the host

development within this sector in the form of

coupled with an unwavering commitment to

business system (ERP or WMS) over a

Platinum TSP Status.”

delivering additional value, has resulted in

wireless network and the operator is able to

delighted and successful customers and of

confirm his or her actions verbally back to the

Honeywell Vocollect voice solutions provide

system in real time.

leading voice-based solutions for mobile

course market growth.”

workers worldwide. With an overall vision of

Williams continued: “In recognition of their

helping clients to improve business

drive, enthusiasm and total capability, I am

performance with voice, Honeywell Vocollect

pleased to see BEC taking their deserved

voice solutions allows almost one million

place on the top step, having achieved our

workers worldwide to distribute goods with

coveted Honeywell Platinum Partner status. I

increased accuracy, productivity and speed.

am confident that they will continue to add Voice-driven value and competitive

Outstanding operational excellence

advantage to new and existing clients in all

“Darrel Williams, EMEA sales director at

manner of logistics, maintenance and

Honeywell, concludes: “BEC continues to

inspection environments.” 

impress. Committed to delivering value and

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V OICE technology BEC (Systems Integration) Ltd. BEC (Systems Integration) Ltd is a leading UK-based supplier of

directed technologies, BECâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s future-proof solutions integrate

Automated Data Capture solutions for use within the supply

seamlessly into any host ERP system to fulfil business and

chain and manufacturing industries. Based on its eSmart Data

commercial requirements.

Capture software suite, BECâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s systems offer complete end-toend solutions that improve the productivity and accuracy of

Through the development of innovative AIDC solutions with

clientsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; operations, whilst delivering increased profitability and

barcoding and voice technology at their core, BEC offers a

quality with a rapid return on investment.

comprehensive set of services, from initial consultation, advice and design, through to delivery, implementation and after-sales support.

BEC has performed a substantial number of successful implementations in mission-critical operational areas such as receiving, inventory management, production control and

Industrial markets served

shipping. BECâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team has a wealth of experience in

â&#x20AC;˘ Manufacturing

seamlessly integrating data capture solutions to various

â&#x20AC;˘ Food & Beverage

business hosts, including M3, SAP, Oracle, Microsoft

â&#x20AC;˘ Supply Chain

Dynamics and IFS.

â&#x20AC;˘ Warehousing â&#x20AC;˘ Distribution

With a notable list of clients which includes Kerrygold, DHM,

â&#x20AC;˘ Engineering

Baxi, Haribo, Estee Lauder, Baxters, Hydrasun, Delice de

â&#x20AC;˘ Pharmaceutical

France, Horseware, Sellafield and Raleigh, BEC customers

â&#x20AC;˘ Clothing & Apparel

vary from small and medium enterprises to blue-chip

â&#x20AC;˘ Oil & Gas

household names throughout the UK, Europe and the USA.

â&#x20AC;˘ Nuclear

Solutions offered

Countries served

Offering access to a range of cutting-edge data collection

Pan-European & USA

hardware from market-leading vendors such as Honeywell,

Website: www.becsi.co.uk

Zebra and Datalogic, along with Honeywell Vocollect voice-

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

        

VOICE WMS

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


V OICE technology

Opinion

Can technology fill the skills gap in UK transport and logistics? By Darrel Williams, sales director EMEA, Voice Solutions, Honeywell. continue on an upward trajectory. At the same

Accuracy is another critical consumer demand

time, the latest figures from the FTA suggest

that voice technology can help logistics and

that EU migrants, who make up 16 % of the

transport operators meet during peak season.

total warehousing workforce (and represent the

The fact that nearly half (47%) of online

majority of packers in many warehouses), are

shoppers globally report frustration with

already starting to desert the UK.

delivery is not surprising considering that, according to a recent Honeywell/YouGov

Faced with this skills gap scenario,

survey, picking errors cost distribution centres

employers in the transport and logistics

around the globe £250,000 to £300,000 a year

sector need to find new ways of improving

on average.

productivity, enabling seasonal workers to

Darrel Williams: Voice technology can clearly play a key role in addressing the current skills gap in the UK’s logistics and transport industry.

operate as efficiently as possible while

Thanks to voice-directed technology, workers

minimising downtime. This is where voice

only need to receive simple commands and

systems come in.

confirm their actions using a limited range of vocabulary meaning that there is very little

Voice solutions can boost productivity by

room left for error.

eliminating paperwork. When processes are his year, the UK’s logistics and

T

paper based, workers continuously need to

The ability to quickly react to changing

transport industry is likely to face

interrupt their tasks to look at handheld check

consumer demands and minimise disruption is

one of the busiest holiday periods

lists which can obviously hamper productivity.

also paramount during peak season. Voice

ever recorded. As online

Voice technology also allows real-time updates

technology enables distribution centres to

transactions, same-day deliveries

of DC inventory also ensure that goods are

rapidly move inventory and reassign warehouse

and free e-returns become the new normal,

always in the aisles ready to be picked. The

staff to different functions, minimising disruption

distribution centres will face unprecedented

experience of some of Honeywell’s distribution

and improving efficiency. This is because, with

levels of pressure. And, with the number of

centre customers, such as the UK bicycle

voice-directed processes in place, achieving

seasonal workers from the EU already in

manufacturer Raleigh, suggests that with

this level of flexibility is straightforward. And,

decline as a result of Brexit, they will also have

hands and eyes freed up, workers can fill

thanks to up-to-the-minute inventory statistics,

to contend with a widening skills gap. Is the

orders up to 25% faster. Raleigh also reported

no shopper will be able to checkout over the

industry threatened by what the Freight

significant reduction in training times.

holiday period if the item in their virtual trolley isn’t accounted for properly.

Transport Association (FTA) recently called a ‘ticking time bomb’? Or can voice-directed

Simple, real-time instructions

workflow technology come to the rescue?

Distribution centres can also benefit from

Voice technology can clearly play a key role in

voice technology when it comes to quickly

addressing the current skills gap in the UK’s

Black Friday 2017 saw a record growth in

training seasonal workers to bring them up to

logistics and transport industry. As the trend

online retail sales (+11.7% to £1.39 billion)

speed on their processes. Unless it’s

towards online retail and fast delivery times

and, for the first time, mobile devices became

managed properly, this essential onboarding

seems destined to continue, the ability to boost

the number one shopping tool. Last year there

operation can cause unnecessary downtime,

efficiency and productivity will remain critical

was also an increase in same-day deliveries

which can be extremely costly during peak

for distribution centres in a country that,

and e-returns, often extending beyond peak

season. By contrast, with voice technology,

historically, has struggled to get to grips with

season. As a result, distribution centres were

tasks such as picking can be performed with

its below-average productivity rates. This is key

faced with more intense and faster peak

minimal training, as workers receive simple,

at a time when – as the outcome of Brexit

delivery operations pressure for a longer

real-time instructions from the voice system

remains uncertain – the recruitment of

period of time. Initial indicators for 2018 and

via belt-worn devices and specialised

seasonal workers will continue to prove

beyond are that this trend is only likely to

headsets.

challenging across the supply chain. 

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Honeywell Today’s distribution centres (DCs) require optimised and flexible solutions that maximise existing technology investments. That is why Vocollect voice from Honeywell is the preferred mobile technology solution used by one million workers around the world each day. Empowering mobile workers in your DC to operate hands-free with voice technology benefits both the worker, with intuitive and ergonomic wearable technology, and the DC operation, with outstanding productivity and business value. Solutions offered Vocollect voice is part of Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions, which provide comprehensive solutions enhancing workplace safety and incident response, improve enterprise performance and enable greater product design innovation. Customers rely on Honeywell’s connected solutions to provide real-time safety intelligence, increase worker productivity and enrich operational intelligence with data-driven insights. Industrial markets served

Every second counts

Honeywell serves customers in aerospace, automotive, commercial building, first responder, field service, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, oil & gas, power and utilities, medical, retail, supply chain, test & measurement and transportation markets. Countries served Worldwide

Website: www.honeywellaidc.com Voice-driven workers aren’t just faster: they’re focused on what counts. Building voice into your distribution centre is one of the most effective ways to speed up operations. But your workers aren’t just faster – voice also enables you to rapidly scale your operations and redistribute labour where you need it most, giving you critical workflow agility. Find out what workflows look like when every second counts for more: Honeywell.

CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE Look closer at www.honeywellaidc.com/ vocollect

© 2018 Honeywell International Inc. All rights reserved.

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Warehouse Management

I

Product News

Making use of ‘smart data’ Identify performance issues, isolate bottlenecks and generate real-time, actionable improvements with VIDI data insights from Vanderlande.

T

he logistics landscape relies increasingly on technically advanced automated solutions to meet consumer demands. In particular, the warehousing sector is dealing with unprecedented challenges in order to deliver cost-effective operational excellence. However, identifying workflow inefficiencies and highlighting key areas for improvement can be expensive and time-consuming exercises for businesses. Thanks to VIDI, a new data monitoring system from Vanderlande, businesses are able to use real-time reporting and analysis to quickly and easily access accurate statistics on how their systems are performing. They can also learn exactly where and why optimisation is required to improve business performance. By putting together data from a variety of sources, VIDI identifies where significant improvements can be achieved – delivering value in an intelligent and costeffective way.

cause analysis to help continually improve logistics operations. It can even turn preventative maintenance into predictive maintenance. The scalable VIDI platform collects data in a central location from a variety of sources, allowing a company’s process analysts to use predictive and prescriptive analytics to continuously optimise the performance of systems and processes. And it’s already making a difference by delivering actionable insights and results worldwide.

Taking control Over time, VIDI will be able to suggest improvements in areas such as maintenance scheduling, fault handling, network planning and more to help companies achieve their business goals. This will be built on its factbased predictive analytics capability, which gathers data to perform the necessary calculations.

VIDI in the ‘real world’ “One of our logistics customers – who has operations in The Netherlands, Germany and France – was interested in facilitating further growth by increasing uptime and gaining access to useful data created by their Vanderlande systems,” says Ivo Seevens, Vanderlande’s business service manager Warehousing. “This includes SCADA errors and warnings, TSU (transport and storage unit) records, PLC and HLC data, scanner statistics, and running hours.

One platform, multiple uses Whatever the strategic, tactical and daily operational requirements, VIDI has been designed to offer real-time insights into an organisation’s key performance indicators (KPIs) at various levels within a business. It allows companies to define multiple KPI thresholds regarding performance and can provide automatic alerts in order to minimise response times and optimise operational performance. This versatile Cloud-based tool is future-oriented due to the way in which it integrates with process-mining models, algorithms and root 36

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December 2018

continually monitored, and customers also have a ‘self-service analytics’ option where they can create their own reports.”

“They also wanted to ‘benchmark’ between different assets and sites in order to identify improvements and get some insights into ongoing machine costs. This would allow them to make informed, data-driven decisions in order to achieve their business goals: on-time deliveries, complete order fulfilment and customer satisfaction. “VIDI allows multiple sites to be monitored and benchmarked remotely. A customer will be alerted if any of their operational KPIs are not meeting a fixed threshold and will also receive notifications – and the chance to drill down further to investigate root causes – if a particular threshold is breached. Performance levels are

Time is precious and OPEX is always being squeezed, which is why Vanderlande has a central Operations Control Centre (OCC). From here, different sites can be monitored remotely by Vanderlande experts, with role-specific, relevant data reports produced and delivered to managers, engineers and operators. “Our customers have the choice of doing their own monitoring, or using the OCC, which facilitates live, transparent performance data reports for their on-site technicians, and unburdens their operational team from monitoring the system,” says Joost van Montfort, Vanderlande’s product manager Data Science. “We believe that offering proactive off-site support reduces the level of reactive on-site activities. This leads to a more effective performance of their equipment and operations.” Based on data analysis by Vanderlande’s process analysts and asset management specialists, OCC and VIDI work in harmony to deliver continuous improvement, a rapid response time to incidents, and quick and positive results. 

www.logisticsit.com


Warehouse Management

Vanderlande is a global market leader for value-added logistic process automation at airports, and in the parcel market. The company is also a leading supplier of process automation solutions for warehouses.

achievements. Vanderlande’s extensive portfolio of integrated solutions – innovative systems, intelligent software and lifecycle services – results in the realisation of fast, reliable and efficient automation technology.

Vanderlande’s baggage handling systems move 3.7 billion pieces of luggage around the world per year, in other words 10.1 million per day. Its systems are active in 600 airports including 13 of the world’s top 20. More than 39 million parcels are sorted by its systems every day, which have been installed for the world’s leading parcel companies. In addition, many of the largest global e-commerce players and distribution firms have confidence in Vanderlande’s efficient and reliable solutions.

Established in 1949, Vanderlande has more than 5500 employees, all committed to moving its customers’ businesses forward at diverse locations on every continent. With a consistently increasing turnover of 1.4 billion euros, it has established a global reputation over the past seven decades as a highly reliable partner for value-added logistic process automation.

Website: www.vanderlande.com The company focuses on the optimisation of its customers’ business processes and competitive positions. Through close cooperation, it strives for the improvement of their operational activities and the expansion of their logistical

Corporate Profile

Vanderlande

Reliable partner for value-added logistic process automation

To overcome the challenges of today’s rapidly-changing world, warehouses need to continuously improve their supply chains and business processes, and invest in state-of-the-art technology. In such a dynamic environment, you need a reliable partner that can deliver value-added logistic process automation. Vanderlande is a unique one-stop shop with an international presence in the general merchandise, fashion and food retail markets. We understand the complexities associated with operating a successful warehouse and will help you to exceed your customers’ expectations and stay ahead of the competition. > vanderlande.com


Warehouse Management

I

Opinion

Peak? – Which peak? By Craig Summers, managing director UK, Manhattan Associates.

T

he holiday season is nigh, and Christmas is no longer a million miles away. But, as is customary in the retail world, brands far and wide will be setting up their plans to survive the busiest time of the retail calendar. However, as the high street continues to evolve – despite the news that it is dying – social shopping and ecommerce continue to boom and consumers are more demanding than ever. Let’s face it, peak season is not as we once knew it.

The key peaks Peak is no longer confined to the high street, nor the months of November and December. The more than pleasant weather, the hype around this year’s world cup and other spikes in national activity, like the royal wedding, have all played a part in the ups and downs of this year’s retail trends. All of these factors, coupled with the emerging use of technology in retail, means that brands must now take learnings from the entire year to help them manage any peak, not just the one that happens around 25 December. An analysis on last year’s Christmas period will no longer be enough, peaks are now based on culture, lifestyle, weather and even political change. Retailers should have their businesses set up for this throughout the year, so they won’t need to worry about how they manage the traditional peak, as it will just be classed as another busy period.

Survival kit The key retail survival tactic during traditional peak season is often to hire a plethora of 38

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Craig Summers: “Preparing operations to handle the strain of the holiday orders and permit the supply chain to be flexible and agile is central to success.”

Christmas temps to help deal with demand and then let them all go in January. The admin headache and cost implications are a nightmare and most of the staff are not as

efficient or knowledgeable as they could be as they have a very quick onboarding period. Instead, retailers should arm themselves with

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Warehouse Management

I

Opinion

tools that combine the traditional workforce with the workforce of the future: technology. Gone are the days of clunky, eye-watering updates, which take up time and put systems on hold – retailers don’t have to put up with this anymore. The best Cloud-based tools can be flexed to accommodate busy or quiet periods at any time of the year without having to panic-hire an army of new staff, allowing both man and machine to work together and better manage the resources available. It also means that retailers don’t have to dread the IT blackout that often occurs when stores and online channels can’t cope with an increase in demand. Simply put, the retailers that are still running on their own physical servers are falling behind, especially when it comes to managing peaks. By adopting the latest Cloud technologies, retailers will open up a new-found flexibility to seamlessly manage an increase in demand whilst still driving a better customer experience all year round, without risking brand damage or impacting revenues.

Surviving the climb The challenges faced around any peak in demand or sales can spell disaster when not managed correctly. But those retailers that take note of customer behaviour, key trends, and the kinds of demands that are being made throughout the year, will be the ones that handle Christmas peak without a concern. In today’s ever demanding environment it’s no longer just about surviving the peak, it’s about learning from the entire climb.

No matter how much you prepare, peak season is always difficult. The omnichannel landscape is competitive, and consumers have proven willing to share their displeasure with late or incorrect orders on social media. Preparing operations to handle the strain of the holiday orders and permit the supply chain to be flexible and agile is central to success. Manhattan Active Solutions allow enterprises to optimise complex operations, adapt to the market and innovate with speed. 

Manhattan Associates

Manhattan Associates unites information across the enterprise, converging front-end sales with back-end supply chain execution. The company’s software, platform technology and extensive experience help drive both top-line growth and bottom-line profitability for customers. Manhattan Associates designs, builds and delivers leadingedge Cloud and on-premises solutions so that across the store, through your network or from your fulfilment centre, you are ready to reap the rewards of the omni-channel marketplace.

Industrial markets served Retail, Wholesale, Consumer Goods, Food and Beverage, Manufacturing, Medical and Pharmaceutical, Third-Party Logistics, Carrier, Government

Corporate Profile

Manhattan Associates is a technology leader in supply chain and omni-channel commerce.

Countries served Worldwide, with 1200+ customers.

Website: www.manh.co.uk

Solutions offered Manhattan Active Solutions. This portfolio includes: • Manhattan Active Omni: Order Management, Store Inventory & Fulfilment, Customer Engagement, Point of Sale • Manhattan Active Inventory: Demand Forecasting, Inventory Optimisation • Manhattan Active Supply Chain: Warehouse Management, Transportation Management

www.logisticsit.com

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Printing & Labelling

Product News

A new era       A century of technical experience This year Citizen Group celebrated its 100th year anniversary; the pioneering technology company is responsible for Watches, Machinery, Electronics and Printing Systems. Making ground-breaking technologies and electronic solutions is Citizenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business and the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work ethos â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;loved by citizens, working for citizensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, is embedded throughout its 21K strong global workforce. It is this philosophy combined with exceptional engineering expertise that makes Citizenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s products not just responsive to the market but innovative. Every product is designed and built with ultimate functionality, style and usability in mind.

Label printers of the future The CL-E label printer series is no exception to Citizenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s honed understanding of what a demanding market expects from seriously reliable and high-performance label printers. With the range currently splitting out as the CL-E300 direct thermal printer and CL-E321 thermal transfer printer, there is a printer to suit any manufacturing or logistics business. Apart from being cost-effective, these cutting-edge label printers benefit from being stylish and functional, and come with full hardware and software connectivity as standard. That, combined with outstanding trademarked features, makes the series stand up against its competitors.

Quick and efficient Citizen is familiar with the demands of busy manufacturing and logistical operations. As a result of this Citizen have ensured that the CL-E series prints

40

IT

MANUFACTURING

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December 2018

at either 203 or 300 dpi resolutions for flexibility, speed and efficiency, and with incredible connectivity (Ethernet LAN, USB & Serial interfaces). Furthermore, these are one of the fastest around with 8 inches per second of thermal printing capability.

Compact, stylish and practical

           

Compact and superior design combined with quality makes these printers ideal for fitting into even the smallest of spaces and with practicality in mind, they are manufactured in black or white to suit various surroundings.

Easy to operate In a fast paced and demanding environment, simplicity and speed is key. The CL-E series boasts easy access with a Hi-Lift 180 degree opening and Click Closing operations allow for easier than ever ribbon change and quick media loading. The spring-loaded ribbon holders are cleverly sculpted to guide the ribbons smoothly into position and the blue-coloured media holder features a handle for easy label loading. A barcode autocutter option is also available as required. The simple control panel is easy to use and intuitive with all the traditional Citizen features behind it. All the Citizen functions have been incorporated plus â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;specialsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and extra commands. The printer can be operated remotely, with settings being adjusted via Citizenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s LinkServer management tool. To maximise the flexibility further, Citizen has also ensured that it has Cross-Emulation which automatically selects standard languages such as: Zebra ZPL, Datamax and EPL, to increase compatibility with customersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; existing systems.

Generous capacity and low maintenance The CL-E label printers have a generous media capacity and can fit internal media rolls up to 5-inches (127mm). Each comes with a one-minute tool free maintenance operation where both head and platen can be changed without the need for tools. Upper and lower tear bar enables quick label tearing from either the left or right side and an adjustable locking media sensor. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lower media sensor with label gap and black mark sensing which is fully adjustable as well as equipped with a locking function that avoids accidental movement. There is also an upper media sensor for label gap sensing which, again, is fully adjustable. The content of the label is always printed within the media â&#x20AC;&#x201C; there will be no cut offs and the label will be printed perfectly in terms of layout.

Full warranty A standard 2-year warranty, up to 30Kms in direct thermal and 50Kms in thermal transfer, is available. However, there is also extended warranty cover available for 3 or 5 years. When your fast-paced manufacturing and logistics business needs to deliver, you can rely on a Citizen CL-E series label printer to be a vital tool in getting the job done, time and time again. 

www.logisticsit.com


Printing & Labelling

Citizen Systems has been the brand of choice for calculators

environments and compact desktop and portable POS units

and printers since 1964. The company is a wholly owned

for retail. It also includes fast, powerful mobile printers for

subsidiary of the Citizen Group of companies. Recognised and

reliable, on-the-spot printing, high quality photo printers that

respected for its high level of experience in advanced

meet the needs of professional photographers and print

technology and innovative solutions, Citizen is famous for its

mechanisms for system build.

watches, printers, machinery and electronic products. In addition to the mother company in Japan, Citizen Systems

Industrial markets served

Europe has sister companies in Hong Kong, China and the

Postal/Courier

USA.

Healthcare

Hospitality

Citizen Systems Europe operates throughout Europe, the

Transport

Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The HQ is based in Stuttgart,

Manufacturing

Germany, with a branch office in London. Citizen Systems

Retail

Europe continues to build and expand its already extensive

Ticketing

range of distributors to provide exceptional product availability

Warehouse

and service throughout the EMEA region. Solutions offered

Countries served Worldwide.

Full end-to-end printing solutions, designed to meet the specific needs of each application. The range includes tough, contamination-resistant label printers for industrial

Website: www.citizen-systems.com

Corporate Profile

Citizen Systems


Special Technology Report

Printing & Labelling

Making your mark Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with a number of leading spokespeople from the vendor and analyst communities about recent, current and possible future developments within the world of printing & labelling technology. his special technology report will

T

In terms of drivers for change, Lassus considers

instances, customers

investigate a number of key current

that all of us, as consumers, now use connected

have not marked

and ongoing areas of innovation

devices and multiple apps on a daily basis. “We

components

and development with the printing

switch seamlessly between purchasing goods,

previously, or if they

& labelling marketplace; one of the

tracking our health and controlling our home

have, they’ve marked

most critical and fast-changing technology

appliances in minutes, without thinking about it,”

parts by hand which

environments within the manufacturing, logistics

he noted. “And it makes complete sense that we

has led to inconsistent

and retail sectors. Laurent Lassus, general

would expect this high-level device functionality

results,” he said. “For

manager marketing & product management at

and ease of use to extend to the workplace.”

a lot of small component parts,

SATO Europe GmBH, opens the debate by

Kamran Farooq, sales manager manufacturing,

making the point that current key talking points

Lassus added that, at the same time, today’s

printed labels are just

continue to be enhanced connectivity,

consumers have a heightened awareness of

not small enough and

traceability, integration and ease of use for end

their impact on the environment. “The notable

even for larger parts, thermal transfer or inkjet

users. However, he added that developments

societal shift towards waste reduction, whether it

printing methods are not preferred as labels can

are increasingly influenced by global trends

is related to wasted time or resources, has been

easily become damaged or dirty rendering the

such as sustainability and digitalisation. “This

a key driver in the development of multi-

content illegible.

has brought about the need for flexible, multi-

functional, intelligent devices and sustainable

functional devices

consumables,” he said. “It’s of increasing

“Instead, laser marking systems use a focused

that perform all the

importance to our customers that we’re able to

laser beam across the surface of a part and can

above ‘and more’,” he

integrate environmentally responsible features

be used to produce text, barcodes, logos,

said. “Moving

into our complete label printing solutions.”

barcodes, serial numbers and more at high

forward, it’s important

speeds. Not only that but laser marking methods can be used to add a permanent mark to a

that we not only

Laurent Lassus, general manager marketing & product management,

42

IT

address functionality

Laser marking

range of materials including metals and metal

requirements for our

Kamran Farooq, sales manager – manufacturing,

alloys, glass, plastics, composites, even

customers but that we

Datalogic, observes that while many companies

ceramics, fabrics and organic materials such as wood and rubber.”

add value to make a

in the logistics industry continue to deploy

significant

traditional printing and label systems to great

contribution to their

effect, we are seeing an increased uptake of

Farooq added that the marking speed has the

organisational

laser marking systems for marking directly on

potential to reach in excess of 1000 characters

needs.”

individual parts and components. “In many

per second depending on the material. In

MANUFACTURING

&LOGISTICS

December 2018

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Printing & Labelling

Special Technology Report

addition, he explained

that laser marking can be put to good use in

manufacturer. For this,

that images, barcodes

food and beverage manufacturing where there is

Citizen has improved

and logos can be

a requirement to mark best before or use by

the quality and service

imported and are

dates directly to tins, bottles and more.

for SDKs for multiple

quickly and easily

platforms.”

replicated. “Due to the permanent nature of

Digital transformation

Concerning drivers for

laser marking, the

Ken Moir, VP marketing, NiceLabel, observes

change, Schüßler

technology is ideal for

that the topic of digital transformation is

made the point that

applications where

everywhere, but as the last 18 months has

B2B customers are

companies need to

proven, it is more than industry buzz. “At

B2C customers at the

ensure traceability,

NiceLabel, we have seen a rush of companies

same time as

provide protection

looking to modernise labelling systems and

everybody has a

against counterfeiting or compliance with

processes in an effort to keep pace with

private life. “So, everybody is expecting the ease

regulatory standards,” he pointed out.

customer demands, regulatory requirements and

of use or design language of the technology he

shrinking budgets,” he said. “We expect the

is using at home in a work environment,” he said.

Regarding drivers for change, Farooq believes

digital transformation trend to continue. For

“Therefore, I see these changes driven by the

that in the majority of instances industry

labelling this means, modernising legacy

B2C soul of every B2C user. For example,

regulations or standards are driving an

systems to improve quality assurance

Citizen has launched a label printer in pure white

increased demand for part or component

processes, increase speed and drive efficiency.

which is mainly targeted at customers in high-

traceability that can span the lifetime of a

Digitally transforming labelling offers another

end retail and healthcare. They expect a product

product. “For example, in healthcare, the

benefit, one that many companies overlook. By

which fits within their environment and doesn’t

Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) which

digitising the labelling process, companies are

come along in the typical black or greyish Auto-

comes into force in February 2019 is a big

able to turn both direct and indirect costs into

ID colours.”

driver,” he said. “The directive requires a unique

visible savings. Going digital also allows

2D data matrix barcode to be placed on

companies to capitalise on otherwise missed

Richard Hughes-Rowlands, regional product

medicines along with tamper evident features on

opportunities to speed up time-to-market and sell

manager for printer software and industrial print,

the pack to ensure product integrity. Not only

more.”

Zebra Technologies, highlights three trends that

Ken Moir, VP marketing,

Graham Backhouse, general manager,

are driving innovation at the moment. The first is

that, but the barcodes need to be scanned at fixed points along the supply chain for

In terms of drivers for change, Moir makes the

the continuing adoption of printing as part of

verification and authentication purposes.

point that, for many companies, the costs

mainstream IT within companies; thereby making

Manufacturers that are not equipped and ready

associated with legacy labelling processes are

the traditional IT concerns of device

by the deadline will no longer be able to

driving the need for modernisation. “The longer

management and security increasingly important

distribute their products and risk losing market

companies continue with legacy labelling

to print. The second trend is usability. “With the

share. In addition to marking the outer

systems, the more the costs add up,” he said.

growth in print, the increasing diversity of printer

packaging, some manufacturers might wish to

“Consider how often costly IT resources are

product types and the gig economy, it’s

assess the viability of using technologies

needed for label design and maintenance or

important that printers are easy to use, keeping

including laser marking to add serial numbers

what happens when a label error results in

the need for training to a minimum,” said

and 2D data matrix codes to internal packaging

product recalls and fines, quarantine, rework and

Hughes-Rowlands. The third trend is the growth

such as glass or plastic bottles or vials.”

scrappage. Then there is the cost of manual

in alternative purchasing models, with more and

quality control processes and unplanned

more customers interested in exploring the pay-

Farooq considers that

downtime. Together, these costs can reach

per-print model for their office copiers in a

traceability is also a

millions.”

manufacturing environment.

hot topic in a number

Jork Schußler, marketing director EMEA,

of other industries;

Jörk Schüßler marketing director EMEA Citizen

including automotive

Systems Europe, maintains that, in printing, the

where it is becoming

level of real innovation has been quite low in the

Increased customer expectations

critically important to

last years. “All are offering a proven technology

In terms of drivers for change, Hughes-Rowlands

be able to accurately

and nothing new is in sight as thermal print is

believes, ultimately, it comes down to businesses

track and monitor

offered at a reasonable cost while being

of all types responding to increased customer

every component part

extremely reliable,” he said. “So, the main talking

expectations. “I know that each year I spend

of a vehicle. Equally,

points are integration in the existing environment

more and more on-line, that sometimes my

he makes the point

and how easy that is by the tools offered by the

choices come down how quickly a product can

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Special Technology Report

Pete Basiliere, VP analyst,

Printing & Labelling

be delivered or how

dated data. “Gone are the days where a label

According to VDC,

easy it to return

was printed two days’ ago when a pallet was

this supply constraint

something,” he said.

received (and may or not be correct at the

has caused several

“This is driving the

current time) to a vessel that can give updated

major players in the

adoption and growth

and changeable information based on

barcode labelling

of print in the supply

transactional events and environmental factors,”

market to increase

chain. Print is part of

he said. “New labelling advances from

product prices that

the innovation that lets

companies like Thinfilm allow real-time

use leuco dye. Some

them deliver on

temperature data to be produced accurately and

announced priced

customer

timely based on the needs of the current user,

increases in the range

expectations. We work

not what was produced in the past based on

of 10-15% for end

closely with these end

stale information.”

users (for POS receipt paper and barcode

users to deliver this A related but separate point, according to

and that drives our R&D.”

Bob Forshay, senior client manager,

labels) that came into effect in February this year.

Forshay, is the improved linkages to traceability. Graham Backhouse, general manager, BPIF

“Food safety and materials traceability data is

Clarke continued: “Apart from the leuco dye

Labels, reflects that there has always been

more dynamic and real time as well,” he said.

supply shortage, various other macroeconomic

consistent creative development within the

“Systems now can track and label as product

factors have affected the pricing and supply of

pressure sensitive labelling market, and he

progresses tied to quality systems in addition to

thermal paper. Among the leading factors

believes this will undoubtedly continue way into

transactional systems.”

causing the price increases are a strong US economy, natural disasters, and a rise in the

the future. “There is a constant stream of more efficient, easier to operate iterations of existing

VDC Research points out that the market for

price of raw materials. The cost of freight has

equipment, but I see more and more attention

thermal paper and labels experienced a

increased due to a strong US economy

being paid to streamlining the whole

production hiccup starting 2017 as Chinese

demanding transportation to ship goods and

manufacturing process using communication

authorities temporarily closed Connect

Hurricane Harvey further straining the trucking

technology to link manufacturing equipment,

Chemicals, the leading manufacturer of thermal

industry. The strength of the US economy has

streamline order processing and communicate

paper solutions, to modify operations in

also affected profit margins for paper mills and

with the customer,” he said.

compliance with environmental regulations and

converters due to increased wages and the

bring it up to standard. Michael Clarke, research

devaluation of the US dollar, down 12% in 2017,

Regarding drivers for change, Backhouse

associate, VDC Research, details the business

has caused higher costs for imported raw

considers that, ultimately, the end user (demand)

impacts and outlook due to the leuco dye supply

materials. In addition, the cost of raw materials

will always be the main driver. “Successful

shortage on the printing market:

integral to the creation of thermal paper has

companies constantly work on cost, gaining

increased, including pulp paper. Adhesive and

competitive advantage, increasing sales and

“As Connect Chemicals is the world’s primary

polyester film increased as much as 40% due to

improving margin,” he said. “As the industry has

supplier of leuco dye, a vital ingredient to

the damage of the hurricanes.

matured it has become more difficult to create

producing direct thermal paper, its decision to

truly revolutionary ideas, processes or

(indefinitely) close the production plant in China

“Ultimately, while the leuco dye shortage stands

equipment. However there has been a

starting September 2017 has caused a short

out as the most significant reason for these

significant change in

supply in the marketplace. Thermal paper mills

planned price increases, other factors have also

how that equipment is

have also slowed overall production, if not

come into play including price increase of raw

used and combined

stopped them entirely, resulting in a global

materials, strain on the shipping industry, and

to provide more

shortage. Connect Chemical owns an estimated

other macroeconomic reasons. Even when

creative, cost-effective

30 to 40% of the global dye demand for thermal

Connect Chemicals is back up and running at its

solutions.”

coaters (and approximately 70% of demand in

full capabilities, the thermal paper market will still

Europe and Asia, according to market

face the price pressure of expensive raw

Bob Forshay, senior

estimates); therefore, a manufacturing shut down

materials and the effects of a strong US

client manager,

has significant direct implications for end users

economy.”

Panorama Consulting

who rely on direct thermal paper. Appvion, the

Solutions, makes the

largest direct thermal paper mill in the USA that

point that labels are

also filed for bankruptcy protection in Q4 2017,

moving away from

announced another round of price increases on

Flexibility in design and materials

being a display

their economy-grade POS thermal paper, raising

According to Frost & Sullivan, flexibility in design

mechanism for static,

prices by 29% since July 2017.”

and materials will fuel growth in the automotive

Richard HughesRowlands, regional product manager for printer software and industrial print,

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IT

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December 2018

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Printing & Labelling

Special Technology Report

3D printing materials market. It adds that

ribbons of metal into panels, but, in one shot, 3D

adoption of 3D printing in rapid prototyping, by

printers can form complex – indeed impossible-

far the largest application in this industry, is

to-make – parts that a press could never solve,”

Outside of industries

driven by reduced lead time and costs for OEMs

he said.

where certain marks

compared to conventional product development.

different things.

and serial numbers Gartner’s Predicts research highlights three

are required for

Frost & Sullivan anticipates that 3D printing

industries – medical devices, aircraft and

compliance purposes,

technologies will lead to the development of

consumer goods – that are making significant

Farooq believes there

specialised micro-factories to produce

strides in implementing advanced manufacturing

is a possibility that

customised parts as the automotive industry

practices enabled by 3D printing. To a

product printing and

shifts away from mass production towards mass

significant extent, the experiences of these

labelling may be

customisation. Frost & Sullivan forecasts the

industries can be applied to all manufacturing

superseded by

global 3D printing materials market in automotive

industries.

different technologies.

transportation to generate revenues of $576.5

Sayan Mukherjee, visionary science senior research analyst,

He added that printed

million by 2024, with an impressive compound

barcodes are commonly the most reliable way to

annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.8% between

The road ahead

identify products on the production or distribution

2017 and 2024.

What might be the next

line. However emerging and evolving machine

innovations/developments to look out for over the

vision technologies, including sophisticated

Sayan Mukherjee, visionary science senior

next year or two within the printing & labelling

image recognition software, are able to

research analyst, Frost & Sullivan, commented:

space? Lassus considers that, rather than a

accurately identify objects by their size, shape

“3D printing materials will play a crucial role in

dramatic rise in new technologies, he expects to

and visual features such as branding on the

reshaping the global automotive business model

see existing technologies being better utilised in

packaging. “This could be particularly game

by enabling decentralised and localised

line with consumer trends allowing them to work

changing in logistics and offers to opportunities

production of parts and solutions. This is

‘smarter’. “Our core data collection systems and

to further automate pick, pack and fulfilment

expected to transform mega factories over the

labelling solutions will become increasingly

processes,” he remarked.

next two decades.”

important as the changing face of retail drives change across the whole supply chain,” he said.

Forshay foresees the continued development of

Global 3D Printing Materials Market in

“Track and trace technology, particularly RFID,

the ability for a printed document or label to give

Automotive Transportation, Forecast to 2024

has an important role to play in helping suppliers

‘real-time’ information in a proactive instead of a

reveals growth opportunities, drivers, external

and retailers deliver on increasing consumer

reactive manner. “Instead of a label ‘waiting’ to

challenges, forecasts and trends, and market

demands to locate stock anywhere in the chain

be accessed by a user, the label will utilise rules

revenues across segments such as plastic

and to efficiently process both instore and online

and data to determine when to inform due to

powders, plastic filaments, metal powders, and

returns and exchanges. As a result, we predict

changes in the entity that is labelled,” he said.

photopolymers. Competitive strategies of key

that effective data management will be

players such as Stratasys, EOS, and 3D Systems

absolutely critical to success and future

are also provided.

‘consumer experience’ driven innovations.”

Greater expectations Hughes-Rowlands explained that, although not

Moir commented that NiceLabel expects a

new, Zebra sees sustained strong growth and

Complex parts

Cloud-first approach to be rapidly adopted in the

adoption of RFID technology, and is continuing

Pete Basiliere, VP analyst, Gartner, comments

supply chain labelling workflows, just as it has

to invest in RFID printers, readers and other

that organisations are

been in many other industries. “A Cloud

innovative products in this space. “Overall, I think

using 3D printing to

approach will simplify the digitisation of labelling

that expectations of the printer will move from the

change their business

for small businesses who don’t always have the

‘dumb’ device that prints, to a more capable

models. “It changes

IT resource required,” he said. “For larger

connected device,” he added. “You’ll see

many of the

enterprises, a Cloud solution can make the

continued growth in the importance of printer

calculations that have

expansion of a centrally managed labelling

management and more concerns and questions

been made around

workflow much easier as minimal IT involvement

asked about printer security as a device

specialty

is needed.”

connected to the corporate network. Printers will continue their move from being an operational

manufacturing. 3DP Michael Clarke, research associate,

may never be as

Schüßler considers that we could see more

cost, to an enabler in meeting increased

efficient as a three-

compact solutions that give customers benefits

customer expectations.” 

story stamping press

with regard to space at their points of print;

at banging out

especially if they have the need to print several

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&LOGISTICS

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