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DECEMBER 2012

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

Reference guide to benchmarking solutions Special Technology Report Round-up SAAS/CLOUD WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT PRINTING & LABELLING AIDC/MOBILE COMPUTING TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT

Also in this issue: Interviews Case studies New products to market For the latest news and to subscribe to the Manufacturing and Logistics IT weekly newsletter visit

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IT

MANUFACTURING

December 2012

&LOGISTICS

Survive and prosper You have probably read reports that the world will end on 21 December 2012. I very much hope this proves merely to be a case of inaccurate journalism and that you can be found fit and well and in safe receipt of this edition of Manufacturing & Logistics IT in the lead-up to this impending date. But despite this prediction, and the general ongoing malaise surrounding global financial markets and the austerity measures put in place in the UK and other corners of the globe, we can certainly rejoice in a few nuggets of encouraging news to see us into 2013. The recent Autumn Statement contained, among many actions supporting small businesses, a business bank worth £1 billion, and a major tax relief leap on plant and machinery; from £25,000 to a quarter of a million pounds worth of investment from January 2013 onwards. These initiatives are being put in place largely in order to encourage businesses to invest in new equipment, especially those in the manufacturing industry, who are of course major customers of equipment such as automated handling solutions etc. Then there is the issue of roads. In the Autumn Statement, chancellor George Osborne said the Coalition Government was committing an extra £1 billion to roads, including four major new schemes to: upgrade key sections of the A1, bringing the route from London to Newcastle up to motorway standard; link the A5 with the M1; dual the A30 in Cornwall; and upgrade the M25, which will support the biggest port developments in Europe. This has to be very welcome news for the logistics industry, not to mention commuters and motorists in general. And what of the proposed fuel tax and the 3p per litre rise planned for January that has been much vilified over the past few months? Encouragingly, the chancellor said: “Some have suggested we delay it until April. I disagree. I suggest we cancel it altogether…That is real help with the cost of living for families as they fill up their cars across the country. And it will help businesses, too.” Well, you can’t argue with that.

Ed Holden Editor

Also, there has recently been some (albeit mildly) encouraging news concerning the manufacturing sector courtesy of the Markit/CIPS Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) for last month. Business conditions in the UK manufacturing sector edged closer to stabilisation in November, as levels of new work held broadly steady and production posted a modest increase. Rob Dobson, senior economist at survey compiler Markit, recently commented that purchasing managers have provided the chancellor with some better-than-expected news on the performance of the manufacturing economy ahead of the Autumn Statement. However, less encouragingly, he added that the sector is merely stabilising, suggesting that the economy is still showing no signs of a true rebalance towards goods production and exports and that manufacturing is unlikely to help prevent a possible slide back into contraction in the fourth quarter. Although this is a measured note of optimism, it does at least show that UK plc is showing a fighting spirit in the face of the downturn and to a considerable extent holding its own. And, in my role as editor of this journal, I have enjoyed a number of very encouraging conversations with various solutions and service providers to the manufacturing, retail and logistics sectors recently. Many have reported a sound number of business wins during 2012, both within the tier 1 and SME space, and have a high number of prospective contracts lined up for next year. So, in anticipation of our continued survival into 2013, it only remains for me to wish you a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

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IT December 2012

MANUFACTURING

&LOGISTICS

CONTENTS Manufacturing and Logistics IT December 2012

Manufacturing 5

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

Linecross partners with Exel for future growth Schad: Maintenance under control

Editor:

SaaS/Cloud technology report

Ed Holden

10

Bright outlook

Contributor: Karin Bursa, Logility

Planning 14

Publisher:

Tower Automotive scales the heights of planning efficiency with Preactor Logility: Wholesale distribution – four keys to supply chain success

Dean Taylor Designer: Ian Curtis, First Sight Graphics

Workforce Management technology report

18

The human factor

Production: Carole Chiesa

Printing & Labelling

22

Circulation:

Zebra introduces print engine for technically demanding environments

Sarah Schofield IT Manager:

Printing & Labelling technology report

Peter West

24

Making a mark

Accounts: Carolyn Pither

Automatic Data Capture

28

Published by:

B2B Publishing Ltd Latimer House 189 High Street, Potters Bar, Herts EN6 5DA, UK Tel: +44 (0) 1707 664200 Fax: +44 (0) 1707 664800

Email (publishing): info@logisticsit.com Email (editorial): editor@ibcpub.com Printed by: The Magazine Printing Company plc, www.magprint.co.uk No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publishers. No liability is accepted for any action arising from the contents of this publication; readers are advised to check any 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.

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AIDC/Mobile Computing technology report 30

December 2012

Taking stock

WMS 34

Optimising warehouse automation with Vanderlande

Transportation Management 36

Seafield delivers with tmWare PTV helps Isotrak to improve mapping performance Transporeon helps ITL to increase transport efficiency Fleetmatics launches SageQuest in the UK Kewill adds hub and gateway functionality to freight forwarding solution

Transportation Management technology report 44

ISSN:1463-1172

Box Technologies introduces the Cielo Series of EPoS terminals

Innovation highway


Success story

\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Linecross partners with Exel for future growth rom humble origins in 1968,

F

Linecross has grown to become a £16 million turnover supplier of innovative, high-quality engineered polymer solutions to a diverse

range of international industries. These include automotive, transportation, offhighway, leisure and speciality markets. Linecross’s finance director, David Austin, explains that the company mantra is “the customer’s assembly line can never be allowed to stop”. This is all straight forward except for the fact that different customers have different methods of confirming actual delivery requirements. For example, some

With EFACS E/8 Linecross finally had both accounting and manufacturing data contained within one system. This has saved days in time when it comes to the preparation of management accounts. The EFACS E/8 Quality Control System has also proved invaluable, especially in Linecross’s dealings with its automotive industry customers.

confirm actual delivery requirements on a daily basis, to be fulfilled for the next day,

flexible to react to sudden changes as and

was a similar size to ourselves but also

while others work on a more traditional

when they arise, which of course has a knock-

shared many of the same values. It was as

Kanban replenishment system.

on effect on everything else that is either

passionate about its own products as we are

being manufactured or scheduled for

to ours, understood our business and was

production.”

committed to developing its products on a

Given that some finished products including

long term basis.”

tractor roof panels and front and rear end panels for caravans are bulky, there are

Prior to investing in EFACS E/8 from Exel,

storage considerations and this is further

Linecross had relied on a bespoke DOS-

compounded by certain raw materials either

based manufacturing system that was entirely

only being available at a certain time per

separate to the company’s Sage accounts

month, in certain unit sizes or in varying unit

system. The lack of any support combined

The decision to invest in EFACS E/8 was

sizes where the most economic batch quantity

with considerable sustained growth which the

therefore made in April 2006 and was a

might not be the one required. Each order

system was not designed to handle led the

genuine collaboration. Austin again, “There’s

also has its own unique tool that not only has

company to recognise that the system now

no way it would have worked if it was all down

to be created for the customer but then stored

increasingly represented a constraint to future

to us, or them. They clearly understood what

on site for many years in order to fulfil the

growth so it began a search for a

we did and needed to do and worked with us

company’s after-sale commitments.

replacement. Linecross knew it wanted a fully

to ensure that EFACS E/8 facilitated this.” The

integrated system where its accounts and

system went live in October 2006 with the first

manufacturing worked seamlessly together.

visible benefit being the MRP module’s

Flexibility

Genuine collaboration

complete fulfilment of all of the company’s Equally as important, the company

needs and expectations. Austin credits this

Austin reiterated that the company’s biggest

recognised from the outset that an investment

alone with a time saving of several days per

challenge stems from the sheer variety and

of this nature involved making a long term

week. Looking at a company level, Linecross

number of different parts it manufactures,

partnership/collaboration with a supplier.

finally had both accounting and

many of which may then require assembling

“Once the system is in you are reliant on them

manufacturing data contained within one

to achieve the customer’s final product.

if anything goes wrong,” explained Austin.

system which has saved days in time when it

“Accurately knowing how much to make, and

“We therefore wanted to work with a partner

comes to the preparation of management

when, across such a wide range of products

that shared our ethos, our approach and our

accounts.

is a real issue,” he said. “When things can

passion for our business.” He continued: “It

change on a daily basis we have to be

was obvious from the outset that Exel not only

www.logisticsit.com

The EFACS E/8 Quality Control System has

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\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Success story

also proved invaluable, especially in the company’s dealings with its automotive industry customers. Combined with EFACS Workflow, this has helped Linecross achieve the TS16949 industry standard as well as reduce overall levels of non-conformity by helping to identify and address causal factors as and when they occur. Recognising that EFACS E/8 has more benefits to deliver, the company is currently working with Exel to refine its Shop Floor Data Capture (SFDC) requirements including the addition of Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Business Intelligence (BI) dashboards. No wonder Austin concluded: “We simply wouldn’t have been able to grow without Exel and EFACS E/8. If we double in size, will EFACS E/8 be good for that? Without a doubt.” n

Exel Computer Systems Plc

Corporate Profile

Exel Computer Systems plc, a UK software author, has been developing, implementing and supporting business software solutions from their offices in Nottingham for over 27 years. With hundreds of successful implementations and thousands of users around the world, Exel’s customer base spans industries as diverse as food, aerospace, engineering, automotive, electronics and packaging. Exel’s experience and extensive industry knowledge ensure that they are best placed to assist their customers to achieve competitive advantage through the employment of a state-of-the-art business solution. Solutions offered Exel’s highly flexible EFACS solution incorporates a broad range of business functions including Product Management, Change Control, Manufacturing, Finance, Business Intelligence, Reporting Tools, Mobile and Touchscreen Applications, Document Management, CRM, Workflow and many more. EFACS is a comprehensive, flexible and fully integrated business solution. It is a highly customisable, platform independent, browser-based ERP software package built with the latest Internet technology. Due to its Variable Component Architecture EFACS can be easily adapted to fit the exact requirements of any business. Eagle Field Service is leading the way in advanced and flexible field service management software. Built using the latest innovative Internet technology our browser based solution delivers unprecedented levels of control and visibility to field service businesses.

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December 2012

The Eagle Field Service management system is a complete back office service and mobile management solution providing real-time information and resources to field based engineers, delivered directly to their mobile or touchscreen device. Service engineers are able to access and relay information directly to the back office management system. This ensures that mobile data and customer information is unified throughout the company. The Eagle Field Service Assisted Scheduling solution provides the ability to manage one off calls, constantly monitor engineers' diaries and view optimum time slots and spare engineer availability. Eagle Sales Force utilises Exel's innovative mobile computing technology to provide a fully integrated mobile solution with the power and tools to deliver measurable sales and corporate wide business benefits. Eagle Sales Force brings all of the benefits of a full Sales Force Automation solution to your company, allows sales staff to access and update business information whilst they are out of the office, thereby ensuring that your business data is unified and up to date throughout the organisation. Industrial markets served Exel’s market sectors include discrete manufacturing, general engineering, sub-contract engineering, aerospace, automotive, electronics, plastics, food, pharmaceutical and companies with a field service requirement. Countries served With hundreds of successful implementations and thousands of users around the world, Exel serves an increasingly diverse customer base across a wide range of industries worldwide.

Website: www.exel.co.uk

www.logisticsit.com


E RP

CR M

FI E LD S ERVIC E

B U S IN ESS INTEL L IG ENCE

D OCUMENT MANAG EMENT

EBUSI NESS

EFACS E/8 - EAGLE FIELD SERVICE - EAGLE SALES FORCE

WHAT MAKES A WORLD CLASS COMPANY-EXEL For over a quarter of a century, EXEL has been developing and supplying business management solutions that have helped companies like yours maximise their potential and become world class. Thousands of businesses of all sizes in all industry sectors rely on EXEL’s fully-integrated, modular, browser-based solutions. Day in, day out - working more effectively and efficiently than ever before. To find out how we can help your business call EXEL on 0115 946 0101 or email sales@exel.co.uk

A GREAT

BRITISH

BUSINESS

www.exel.co.uk

Business as usual, only smarter. EXEL

EXEL COMPUTER SYSTEMS PLC - For more information CALL: +44 (0)115 946 0101 Email: sales@exel.co.uk


\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Interview

Maintenance under control Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with James Hannay, managing director of engineering mobility software specialist, Schad Ltd., about the benefits of combining SCADA and asset maintenance on a mobile device, together with a number of strategic developments that have taken place over the past year.

ne of the biggest constraints

straightforward and

for manufacturing,

consistent a manner to be

warehousing and logistics

as user-friendly as

organisations is time. And

possible.” In order to

when the pressure is on to

capture information in this

O

make and deliver goods to deadline the time

way, Extend7000 prompts

window for planned maintenance can become

concise responses to a list

compromised, putting at risk the operational

of key questions such as:

efficiency of plant and equipment. So what is

what was the problem, the

the solution? Schad’s James Hannay believes

cause of the problem and

the answer lies in capturing the right type of

the remedy? This

maintenance data in the right format, and

information can then be

making it available to the right people at the

compiled into reports.

right time. He considers that if a company can has also partnered with leading SCADA

capture data related to unplanned activities and then feed this into a central maintenance management system, the knowledge of any

vendor Invensys as an approved integrator

Partnership

with the Wonderware (part of Invensys)

one piece of equipment is not just stored in the

The growing take-up of Extend7000 globally

maintenance system; and GLI, for its

head of a maintenance engineer or written on a

has prompted strategic developments at

Microsoft-based maintenance product

piece of paper, it is now part of a knowledge

Schad over the past year including a global

MainTool.

pool of detailed current and historical data that

partner accreditation with IBM. “This enables

can be built up and shared. Hannay added

us to integrate SCADA with IBM’s maintenance

On the personnel front, Schad’s two new

that this database can also be used to run

solution Maximo and work with IBM, their

strategic appointments will expand its

statistical reports on unplanned maintenance

partners and customers worldwide,” said

customer base and further develop strategic

involving a specific asset.

Hannay. The company also recently signed up

alliances. Oliver Sturrock joins as chief

its first Maximo integrator in the States; with

technology officer (CTO) with responsibility for

Schad’s mobile SCADA and maintenance

Banetti Inc. in Florida. Schad also entered into

the continued development of Extend7000.

application, Extend7000, can facilitate a

a partner agreement with EDI (another

“Oliver’s appointment also fits our remit to

centralised maintenance regime and aid

American integrator of Maximo) and Kalibrate

take Extend7000 to the enterprise level

maintenance engineers in their daily

in Australia, and is currently negotiating with

marketplace,” explained Hannay. Schad has

responsibilities. “When a maintenance

further prospective partners globally.

also appointed Dave O'Reilly as global alliances director to build Schad 's global 'Go

engineer receives an alarm on his/her mobile concerning an unplanned event, the engineer

Additionally, Schad has signed a contract with

To Market' channel strategy for strategic

can access the database on their mobile

automated material handling systems

partners, resellers, OEM's and system

device, see work orders that have been

specialist Vanderlande Industries for

integrators.

carried out in the past seven days that

Vanderlande’s Mobile Maintenance Solution

specifically relate to this event, know what

(MMS), which is an integration of Extend7000

Hannay concluded: “An increasing number of

went wrong and who fixed it, what was done,

with IBM Maximo. The MMS product

global organisations – across manufacturing,

what equipment was used, what part was

integrates unplanned SCADA and planned

warehousing and logistics, airports and

used when was it fixed and how long it took to

Maximo maintenance activity as a single

building services – are realising the benefits

be fixed. He/she then has all the information

workflow on any mobile device, allowing

of Extend7000, which enables us to grow and

needed to make the best informed decisions

maintenance engineers to seamlessly

develop as a company, whilst ensuring we

as to what action to take. Knowledge-based

navigate between SCADA alarms, Work

can continue to enhance our solutions and

intelligence needs to be collected in a

Orders and Inspection Route activity. Schad

service offerings to customers.” n

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Interview

\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Corporate Profile

Schad Schad is a pioneer in engineering mobility solutions and was

Manufacturers: Allessa Chemie, Brillux, LSG Sky Chefs,

founded in 2007 with the aim of developing a global

BASF, Lugato, Frosta.

standard for the mobile operation, control and maintenance

Retailers: Budni, BAUR.

of automated systems using an ordinary mobile device.

Airports: Berlin, Munich and Kรถln Airports.

Using Extend7000, engineers responsible for maintaining

Automation specialists: Vanderlande Industries.

any SCADA or PLC controlled conveyor, crane, pumping station, power supply or processing plant, can significantly

Solutions offered

improve response times to faults and minimise downtime.

Extend7000 Mobile SCADA.

This is achieved through the ability to respond quickly to

Extend7000 Mobile SCADA and Maintenance.

alarms and switch seamlessly between planned and

Extend7000 for IBM Maximo.

unplanned maintenance activities using a mobile device, all whilst working remotely at the asset.

Industrial markets served Manufacturing.

Schad has won a number of industry awards, including a

Warehouse and logistics automation.

Vodafone Application Award for best machine to machine

Airports and transportation hubs.

solution, a BlackBerry Innovation Award for transforming enterprise business performance and the RIM Wireless

Countries served

Leadership Awards.

Worldwide

Currently companies using Extend7000 include:

Website: www.schad-automation.com

Alert the right engineer, with the right information, at the right time, every time

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Special technology report

Cloud/Software as a Service

Bright outlook Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with a number of leading players within the Cloud/Software as a Service solutions and services arena about recent developments within this increasingly talked about and embraced deployment model.

t doesn’t seem so long ago when the terms

“SaaS is quickly scalable; you can add users

software on each

Cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS) were

and functionality in seconds,” he said. “Because

workstation, even at

fresh off the press and, to a large extent, not

it is based on a standard environment, the

home. Additionally,

fully understood by many prospective end

management is easy and cheaper than on-

Hughes comments

users in various vertical marketplaces. Things

premise environments. SaaS enables you to free

that SaaS offers

have certainly changed considerably over the

up local resources to concentrate on your

greater ease of use as

past two or three years. Now there is a growing

business rather than the IT management of

customers are paying

portfolio of solutions available in the Cloud, and

complicated platforms to run your critical

for a service and

an increasingly widespread group of users are

business systems. You are leaving it to the

receive updates

becoming more aware of the benefits the

experts to manage. It also takes care of a large

automatically.

Cloud/SaaS deployment model can offer their

chunk of your disaster recovery plan with very

businesses. Indeed, many are becoming

little further effort as essentially you have

Gavin Clark,

increasingly confident about embracing it as a

outsourced your critical, complex and

commercial director at

core element within their IT methodologies. But,

complicated-to-manage systems. This is not only

Snapfulfil, maintains that SaaS allows companies

as with any area of valuable and widely utilised

in terms of management but also geography, as

to utilise highly sophisticated software solutions

technology, developments continue apace. To

access to your system is no longer governed by

within their operations, deployed from ‘state of

plot many of these recent changes and

a location.”

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

I

Charlie Pesti, country manager,

response and support – and all delivered in a

enhancements, we spoke with some of the

condensed timeframe and at a cost effective

leading vendors and service providers within the Cloud/SaaS space to discuss everything from

Ease of use

subscription. He adds that accessing this level of

current benefits for the manufacturing and

And what of the financial benefits? Charlie Pesti,

resiliency and security for a single system is

logistics sectors, to remaining concerns and

country manager at Transporeon, makes the

usually only available to the major corporate

reservations, as well as a look into the near future

point that the SaaS model can offer a

businesses. “In some cases, when the SaaS

and what further developments and resultant

significantly quicker return on investment.

deployment model is fully embraced by the

benefits might await readers of this journal.

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

vendor and the implementation services are

added that business conditions change faster

provided as part of the monthly subscription,

But, to begin, let’s

each year, and this scenario requires more

then the removal of cost barriers makes for an

consider what our

mobility, flexibility and up-to-date information.

even greater benefit,” he said. Clark also

commentators

“Users need to get access to global information

commented that cash flow and borrowing

consider to be the key

and need to be able to edit those regardless of

difficulties are major factors for small- to medium-

benefits of the

their geographical locations, regardless of the

sized businesses at the moment and can

Software as a service

spoken language and regardless of the device

prevent many businesses from accessing the

(SaaS) deployment

they actually have on hand,” he remarked. Again

systems they need to drive growth. “SaaS helps

model. Mark Breeden,

focusing on the financial benefits, Johnny

to break this ‘Catch 22’ for all sizes of

general manager at

Hughes, commercial manager at Ortec, makes

operations,” he commented.

Qurius, considers that

the point that the SaaS model eliminates the

the main advantages

need for large, upfront investments. Furthermore,

Division of responsibility

are flexibility,

he adds that the total costs of ownership (TCO)

Are there any notable pitfalls or constraints

scalability and pricing.

are lower as there is no need to install the

associated with SaaS deployment? Breeden

Gavin Clark, commercial director,

10

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Cloud/Software as a Service

Special technology report

explains that proper consideration needs to be

made the point that the user interfaces are more

its flexibility and the

taken regarding the local integration

user-friendly now. “No computer programming is

manageable monthly

requirements needed to work with a Cloud

needed anymore to tailor make the user interface

costs.” Hughes added

solution, as inevitably there will be some

that best satisfies the user,” he said. Clark

that, in general, Ortec

processes or devices that require integration. He

considers that some of the most notable

identifies

adds that a full technical review/audit needs to

developments have been improvements in

improvements in the

follow the user’s strategic decision to move to the

database technology, VMWare and other

performance of SaaS.

Cloud in order to ensure that integration,

supporting infrastructures. These, he points out,

He also made the

network, bandwidth and access requirements

have enabled many SaaS vendors to improve

point that some

are all taken into account and dealt with

their background platforms. “Continued

companies, including

effectively. Hughes comments that, in Ortec’s

increases in broadband speed and networks

Ortec itself, are able to

experience, it is important to make sure there is a

can only help to improve the services received

offer an improved

clear (contractual) division of responsibility. “If

by all Internet users,” he remarked.

Cloud-based

Mark Breeden, general manager,

infrastructure.

not, then in some cases companies will point the finger at each other, which is something you’d want to avoid,” he said. Clark reflects that, with

Greater affordability

the constant improvements in communications

According to Breeden, the market as a whole

Critical business systems

that are vital to most aspects of business, then

has made great strides in terms of both the

In terms of different types of software application

the areas that are traditionally highlighted as

products supplied and the platforms they run on.

and functionality available as SaaS, what is

pitfalls do not really concern the modern

“With virtualisation technology, the systems are

currently receiving the most uptake within the

business. “As with any software system, the

more efficient as the resources are fully used

manufacturing, logistics or retail space, and what

pitfalls rarely lie with the delivery method, but

and evenly spread,” he said. “This ensures not

is likely to become increasingly attractive in the

often with the vendor,” he said, making the point

only ‘greener’ data centres but a far higher

near future? Breeden remarks that there has

that prospective end users should ask

degree of high availability, resiliency and

been a big surge of interest and subsequent

themselves: Does the vendor have the right

redundancy. This means that moving servers

uptake of moving organisations’ critical business

experience? Does it offer a resilient and reliable

between hosts in the event of a hardware failure

systems into the Cloud. “What I mean by this is

product/service? Can we see the vendor’s

or maintenance requirement can be done ‘live’

that users are receiving ‘desktops’ wrapping up

solution working in other environments similar to

with no disruption to the end user.” Another big

all their key applications and software neatly

our own?

leap forward, reflects Breeden, is the

together,” he said. “This ensures that integration

improvement and greater affordability of

of applications and software is controlled, as

What have been some of the most notable

communications links, as, he states, “any SaaS

essentially they are functioning together in the

recent developments/improvements within the

model is useless without a decent connection”.

same place. This means outsourcing not only

SaaS marketplace? Pesti comments that, as the

Breeden continues: “Functionality is added

particular applications and software but your

Internet made possible the evolvement and

rapidly; therefore the SaaS model is becoming

entire system is achieved, and internal

extremely quick development of different social

more and more complete for the infrastructure

knowledge and skills are no longer required to

networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook it also

needs of customers.”

manage and support what is often a very

made it possible for SaaS service providers to

complex environment.” Specifically with regard

deploy their solutions quicker. “And that resulted

From Ortec’s perspective, Hughes comments

to Ortec, Hughes comments that the most

in shorter project times,” he said, adding that it

that even though most of the company’s

popular or favoured area of software functionality

also made it possible for end users to log in to

customers still choose to invest in its software,

currently seeing most uptake as a SaaS

their electronic

because of its fast ROI and other advantages,

application is Ortec’s software for Workforce

organisation and

Ortec has noticed a certain shift in the market.

Scheduling within the Professional and Public

reach all the

Hughes adds that the demand for optimised

Services sector. “Several customers in both the

functionalities over the

deployment of staff and resources through

Netherlands and Belgium are using Ortec’s

web regardless of

Advanced Planning Systems (APS) will keep

Workforce Scheduling as SaaS,” he said,

their actual

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

adding: “Next to that, Ortec’s Field Service

geographical location

“Many companies use Ortec software as a basic

Planning Solution looks set to become a really

and regardless of the

solution because with our optimisation software

popular SaaS application.” For Pesti, it is

computer device –

they are generally better equipped than other

important that people must not forget that the

portable or non-

businesses to confront the challenges posed by

logistics industry more than any other is about

portable – they

the current economic climate. When adding

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

actually had in their

functionality (integration with other systems), they

start with this and work it back towards the

hands. Pesti also

tend to prefer Software as a Service because of

technology – not the other way around,” he said.

Johnny Hughes, commercial manager

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Special technology report

Cloud/Software as a Service

What are the most buoyant vertical sectors with

example being the holiday park industry. “This

suggests an ‘attack’ of some form and this is

regard to uptake of SaaS applications? For

is happening for a number of reasons, such as

difficult to understand,” he said. “That said, some

Clark, the often explosive growth exhibited by

large operators with multiple parks wanting to

vendors will always resort to scaremongering

e-commerce businesses is a greater challenge

centralise their systems as well as small

and this has always been the case for any new

to a business than many expect. “Triple-digit

satellite locations wanting simple and effective

development, because it’s easier to deny than

growth creates a demand on the supply chain

access to central systems without any

develop.”

that many businesses are not experienced in

complication.” Breeden added that, similarly,

handling,” he said. “They are therefore in the

other organisations have the same reasons for

And what are the current talking points related to

market looking for a sophisticated system to

wanting to shift to this model.

the ‘mix-and-match’, or ‘hybrid’, adoption model? Breeden considers that most deployments will

provide best practice functionality, that will

usually have some form of hybrid format as in the

grow with them, but is fast to deploy and doesn’t require substantial (and often long-

Scaremongering

most basic form you still need to print to a local

term) financial commitment…the key benefits

What are the on-premise model’s strongest lines

device. However, he adds that in some

of a SaaS solution.” Hughes explains that Ortec

of defence against the alternative SaaS

instances organisations still require some local

operates within various industries: consumer

deployment? According to Breeden, the on-

integration as they may for example have a

packaged goods (CPG); retail; transportation &

premise model is slowly losing its footing in the

weighbridge or some document scanning that

logistics; oil, gas and chemicals; professional

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

needs to feed data back into the Cloud. “This is

and public services; healthcare; manufacturing

location environment with predominantly office

precisely why it is essential to conduct an audit

and construction. Within these industries

based staff,” he said. “The minute you have

and technical review of your application and

Hughes points out that Ortec offers optimised

multiple locations and satellite workers, the SaaS

device landscape in conjunction with third-party

fleet routing, vehicle and pallet loading and

model starts to be much more attractive and

suppliers en route to your ‘Cloud’

workforce scheduling solutions. Hughes adds

appropriate. The strongest line of defence of on-

implementation,” he said. Pesti makes the point

that SaaS is also proving popular in the

premise environments is mostly the ‘untrue’

that most companies rely on a mix and match of

professional and public services space,

argument of security: customers think they have

systems, third-party service providers and

including government services to keep costs

a secure environment if they put the servers on-

manual processes. “Very, very few systems, or

under control. Pesti comments that he has held

premise, but this is not a true argument but is

none of them, support the whole supply chain

the believe and vision since first joining

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

process,” he said. “However as logistical

Transporeon ten years ago that every

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

processes are getting less complex, the average

transportation and logistics company making

the strongest line of defence is a user

number of systems and platforms which

more than 50 deliveries per day will manage

organisation’s level of control over its own

companies use has dropped in recent years.”

their operations with the type of solution

network, as compared with the need to rely on

Hughes considers that the mix-and-match model

Transporeon offers. “My job is to position

external networks when working with SaaS.

will actually support the acceptance of SaaS,

Transporeon at the right time into the right

Clark, on the other hand, makes the point that

and points out that Ortec’s software can be

place,” he added. Breeden explains that

there is always a market for different deployment

easily integrated with other software applications.

Qurius services a number of different vertical

methods across the myriad business

However, Hughes adds a word of advice: “Try to

markets with SaaS solutions, one good

requirements. “Therefore to talk of a ‘defence’

select close partners and make sure that it is clear which company is responsible for what.” Clark reflects that, as a specialist in SaaS Software development, Snapfulfil has not seen any solutions that specifically benefitted from onpremise deployment. “What should really concern software purchasers is the recent rise in hybrid offerings of on-premise software, simply funded in a different way,” he said. “This ‘hybrid’ doesn’t allow the client to realise the real benefits of SaaS deployment, both technically and operationally.” Are there any remaining issues related to the Cloud infrastructure itself to consider? Clark considers that the supporting platform and communications will often depend on a variety of business drivers, but with the right application

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Cloud/Software as a Service

Special technology report

and network security, from a professional provider, combined with sensible password precautions, the public internet is as secure as most companies will ever need. Hughes comments that, in terms of Cloud infrastructure, Ortec advises organisations and companies to first consider the following: •

Deal with data: don’t assume everything should ‘go online’. Decide what information should be held internally and what can safely be placed in the Cloud.

Allow access: adoption of the Cloud doesn’t have to include everyone. Organisations should identify which departments, individuals and associated information are best suited to Cloud platforms and decide accordingly. Without a considered approach, they risk

What are some of the main functionality

can be integrated at a higher level but also

unauthorised access to their data.

differentiators among the platform vendor

datacentre integration (private and public work

Rules and regulations: ownership of data is

community? Breeden considers that each has its

together) and applications must be developed

a critical issue and businesses need to

individual merits and all of these are either a first

for all devices.” Clark reflects that, as with

keep on top of where it is located for their

step into the Cloud or a whole cultural shift from

many mature technologies, the improvements

own confidentiality requirements and

the traditional working models. “All Cloud-players

are unlikely to be “earth shattering”. “…but we

external data protection issues, and to

create their own standard and focus on the

will see many other vendors launching SaaS or

ensure compliance.

same functionality – they are in general doing the

Cloud version of their software, as they notice

same Cloud proposition and do not have USPs

more and more of the market is moving

per vendor, the USPs are now general,” he said.

towards SaaS solutions for their software

No protocol

Hughes remarks that Ortec is proud to be one of

needs,” he said. Pesti foresees more horizontal

According to Hughes the Cloud infrastructure

the functionality differentiators in the field of

collaboration, while Hughes considers that

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

Advanced Planning Systems (APS). “We have no

because SaaS is becoming more popular

company first analyses how the Cloud can

preference for any particular platform vendor

every day even software giants are testing out

improve its business efficiency and support

(such as Amazon, Microsoft and so on),” he

the model with specific individuals. “Within a

innovation, and then decides on access, data

said. “The SaaS services most commonly used

few years we may well be writing documents or

and rules and regulations, Cloud computing

within our organisation are Eloqua, Leadlander

handling spreadsheets online rather than

should serve that company well,” he said,

and Google.”

opening a program on our computer,” he

remarked. “In fact, for many companies and

adding: “Deal with these issues, rather than

organisations, this is already daily routine.”

backing away.” Breeden remarks that every implementation is different and has different and

Cloud movement

diverse elements that need consideration and

What are some of the key areas of continuing

Clark concludes with the observation that only

integration. “Each of the previously mentioned

SaaS/Cloud development to look out in the

15 or so years ago, people were unsure if

models has its merits,” he said, “but a final

near future? Breeden believes that integration

they should go to Windows, Unix or AS400

decision on what model you should adopt is

and hybrid models will become more flexible

platforms when they purchased software. “All

down to your strategy and requirements.”

as Cloud-based services strive to achieve

of the platforms had their pros and cons and

Breeden added that a huge issue unavailable

greater flexibility. “This will lead to a greater

everybody had their preference,” he said.

from the Cloud Infrastructure today is the

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

“The main point that everyone agreed on, was

omission of a standard integration protocol.

traditional desktop will be brought to your

‘buy the software that is written for the

“Currently there is no standard way of integration

various devices; such as smart phones and

platform’. The platforms have changed, but

between the Cloud providers,” he commented.

tablets. Device specific applications and

the premise remains the same – to fully

“My opinion is that this will be available in the

services will slowly disappear as business

appreciate the benefits of SaaS solutions, the

near future, but is still missing. Where there is

applications become non-device specific. The

software must be developed utilising the

XML for application integration, there is no

integration must not only be at ‘authentication’

latest web technologies or you may not like

protocol for Cloud integration.”

level, so functionality from different vendors

the compromise.” n

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P

lanning Success story

Tower Automotive

scales the heights

of planning efficiency with Preactor ower Automotive is a leading

T

This process is repeated daily, resulting in the

integrated global manufacturer of

creation of two plans – a weekly plan and a

engineered structural metal

daily/operational schedule Based on these,

components and assemblies

material requirements are generated for those

primarily serving automotive

orders with a short continuous lead time,

original equipment manufacturers. Its

while the requirements for other materials are

products are manufactured at 31 production

generated based on long-term orders. The

facilities strategically located near its

intention is to plan and manufacture in a

customers in North America, South America,

‘make today, supply tomorrow’ fashion.

Europe and Asia. In 2009 the company had revenues of US$1.6 billion and a workforce

Following the introduction of Preactor, Tower

comprising 7400 employees. The majority of

Automotive has significantly reduced overall

its products are supplied to the Volkswagen

planning time. Previously the planner used to

Group (69 per cent). Other customers include

spend as many as 10 hours per day with the

Suzuki in Hungary, Opel in Poland, Škoda

preparation of just one plan; now the

Mladá Boleslav, Fiat, BMW, Mercedes, Ford,

complete planning process takes only one

General Motors and, most recently, Peugeot

hour a day, with the remaining time devoted

and Renault.

to other activities associated with the

Due to the use of Preactor and the optimisation of processes related to production and planning, Work in Progress (WIP) has been been reduced along with order fulfilment in the long term, as well as a further reduction in machinery downtime.

production process. Tower Automotive is

employees has remained unchanged, thanks

Production at Tower Automotive Malacky is

divided into two divisions: the weld shop and

in part to the production planning efficiencies

divided into two main divisions – the weld shop

press shop, currently there are two workers

delivered by Preactor. Tower Automotive’s

and press shop, where employees work on

appointed to planning in APS, due to their

planning and purchasing manager, Marian

three to four shifts depending on the production

interchangeability.

Szabo, is emphatic about what Preactor has

load. Planning begins with loading customer

brought to the company. "Preactor has grown

orders scheduled via the EDI interface. After

Due to the use of Preactor and the

with the increased production at Tower and

Materials Requirements Planning (MRP) has

optimisation of processes related to

without any increase in human resources. I

been run in the company’s QAD Enterprise

production and planning, Work in Progress

cannot imagine managing the entire planning

Resource Planning (ERP) system, a long-term

(WIP) has been been reduced along with

process without Preactor.”

plan and short-term daily schedule are created,

order fulfilment in the long term, as well as a

including approximately three hundred semi-

further reduction in machinery downtime. One

The entire Tower Group has been inspired by

finished and finished products. Work orders for

of the most noticeable benefits has been the

the success of Tower Automotive Malacky’s planning system, and the vision is to spread

Preactor to other plants in Europe if the latest

Preactor has grown with the increased production at Tower and without any increase in human resources. I cannot imagine managing the entire planning process without Preactor.” – Marian Szabo, Tower Automotive.

upgrade is successful. Mike Novels, Preactor CEO, commented on the long-term success achieved by Tower Automotive Malacky. "A key strength of Preactor is its ability to enable and enhance existing investments in ERP and

the coming time period are imported into the

reduction in stock turnover which used to be

this is an excellent example of Preactor

company’s Preactor Advanced Planning and

25 days and is now only 9 days. Seven new

working in harmony with QAD to deliver

Scheduling (APS) system, where the plan is

projects have been initiated in the company

sustained, combined benefits. Minerva's deep

optimised for a seven-day horizon. If necessary,

over the past ten years including the

understanding of its customers as well as

this can be fine-tuned depending on line status,

expansion of the plant with several additional

both Preactor and QAD have been essential

tool availability, and/or planned machine

manufacturing facilities which have resulted in

to working hand in hand with Tower

downtimes. The optimised plan is then returned

a considerable increase in production. For

Automotive to seamlessly upscale its use of

to QAD where operation start and completion

example, the monthly plan began at a volume

Preactor as the company has grown. We

times are overwritten in the work orders.

of SK 200,000 and has risen to about EUR 7

share the company's optimism looking to its

million. However, in spite of this the number of

future and expanded use of Preactor." n

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lanning Success story

Preactor International

Preactor solutions empowers the planner. It automatically generates schedules for production based on business objectives and the real constraints of the production process and provides unparalleled visibility on what will happen in the future – a crystal ball for the plant. Typical benefits obtained by user of Preactor include a 50% reduction in inventory and work-in-progress, 25% increase in efficiency and 90% increase in on-time delivery performance. Preactor offers a family of applications ranging from mid- and long-term capacity planning to detailed scheduling and is translated into 30 languages. Preactor runs on industry-standard hardware, operating systems and databases. With 20 years of expertise in production planning and scheduling technology, 4500 companies as users, more than 12,000 licences installed and an extensive partner network offering local expertise and support, Preactor International offers global companies with a proven solution and the global resources for the execution of multinational projects. Technology sector Finite Capacity Scheduling (FCS), Advanced Planning & Scheduling (APS), Supply Chain Scheduling (SCS), Graphic Master Production System (GMPS). Market sectors served Automotive, Aerospace, Food & Beverage, Pharmaceutical, Plastics, Electronics, Healthcare, Chemicals, Heavy Industry, Glass & Ceramics and Packaging & Packaging. Countries served Over 75 countries worldwide – global expertise, locally delivered.

Corporate Profile

Preactor International is a world leader in production planning & scheduling software used by a wide range of businesses. Frequently integrated with ERP, MES and Supply Chain Management solutions, Preactor’s technology is used by more than 4500 small, medium and large multinational companies located in 75 countries. Preactor has established partnerships with more than 400 companies located around the world to provide local expertise to support the implementation of the solution for each company. These 1000+ accredited professionals offer a key resource working closely with users to ensure each company’s unique requirements are met.

Website: www.preactor.com

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lanning Opinion

Wholesale distribution

– four keys to supply chain success By Karin Bursa, vice president of marketing at Logility. little inventory as possible, choosing instead

patterns. For this reason, demand planning

to quickly source, ship and deliver product on

systems include advanced forecasting

premises or to the customer. To accomplish

capabilities that anticipate future inventory

this, upgrading buyer-centric systems just

needs based on many factors, including

won’t do. Every wholesale distributor needs to

demand history, customer orders, new

address these four supply chain actions:

product introductions, and forward buying opportunities.

Action 1: Anticipate and accurately forecast market demand

Karin Bursa: “…wholesale distributors must move from a tactical to a wider strategic planning view and go beyond focusing on today’s short term procurement.”

The discipline of demand planning can break

Action 2: Formalise vendor managed inventory consignment

out revenue forecasts by product group, SKU,

As customers implement strategies to

customer, channel, and geography.

increase profits, many now require their

Accurate demand planning is critical in

distributors to provide Vendor Managed

order for wholesale distributors to increase

Inventory (VMI) and consignment

margins, but wholesalers may lack

programmes. These programmes require

immediate access to consumer demand

formalised processes to accurately anticipate

holesale Distributors face

W

several challenges including growing costs, new competitors, demanding customers,

and paper thin margins. Inventory, the core asset, presents a challenging balancing act: hold too much and waste resources and risk obsolescence, while too little inventory can disappoint customers. Effective supply chain management is what often separates successful wholesale distribution companies from those that constantly struggle. According to recent research, 20 per cent of distributors conduct business with unprofitable customers. This comes from multiple factors including mounting pressure to lower prices in the face of rising costs. To overcome this challenge, leading wholesale distributors must move from a tactical to a wider strategic planning view and go beyond focusing on today’s short-term procurement. Instead the effort should be to develop a wider focus on efficiency in the supply chain. The new supply chain goal for wholesale distributors: More effectively buy and stock as 16

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lanning Opinion

time-phased inventory and customer

Another approach is multi-echelon inventory

distributors from those that constantly

replenishment needs. Today VMI is no longer

optimisation (MEIO) which recognises how

struggle. Industry leaders have turned to

a one-sided process that burdens the seller.

inventory levels are interrelated between

advanced supply chain solutions to become

The traditional data intensive process has

warehouses, DCs and other locations. MEIO

strategic, demand-driven enterprises able to

merged with the best of Collaborative

models stock buffers across the network, and

move beyond a focus on low price. Leaving

Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment

analyses lead times, costs and many other

practices such as rule-of-thumb inventory

(CPFR) to form Collaborative VMI, a process

factors.

management in the past can reap significant

that shares more of the benefits across

competitive advantages. To realise these

trading partners.

gains, you must move beyond spreadsheets

Action 4: Focus on buying inventory when it’s needed

and adopt integrated software tools that offer

Action 3: Reduce safety stock levels

In an industry that tends to be dominated by

well as the ability to model complex supplier

buyers, rather than planners, it’s no surprise

constraints, uncertain demand patterns and

Too much inventory creates excessive

the default driver is purchase price. With a

multi-location inventory networks. n

discounting, obsolescence and write-offs. Too

broad inventory portfolio to manage, a huge

little inventory (or inventory in the wrong

number of SKUs and an orientation toward

location) causes missed service levels and

high stock positions, it is natural the emphasis

sales revenue. As they work to improve

is on buying at a good price. Procurement

margins and offer value-added services,

optimisation automates the balancing act that

wholesale distributors must establish new

buyers typically do manually delivering a more

methods for controlling inventory levels. Many

accurate and organised view of information

are moving to setting inventory targets, such

such as how much supply is actually on hand,

as holding two weeks of supply at a location.

what has been ordered, as well as the status

Inventory planning, for example, sets

and lead times of incoming products.

inventory targets at a single location by taking into account time-phased demand signals

Effective supply chain management is what

and specific service level requirements.

often separates successful wholesale

powerful organising and planning features as

About the Author Karin L. Bursa is vice president of marketing at Logility, a provider of collaborative supply chain management solutions. Ms. Bursa has 25 years of experience in the development, support and marketing of software solutions to improve and automate enterprise-wide operations.

With more than 1250 customers worldwide, Logility is a leading provider of collaborative, best-of-breed supply chain solutions that help small, medium, large and Fortune 1000 companies realise substantial bottom-line results in record time. Logility Voyager Solutions is a complete supply chain management solution that features a performance monitoring architecture and provides supply chain visibility; demand, inventory and replenishment planning; Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP); supply and inventory optimisation; and manufacturing planning and scheduling. Solutions offered Performance Monitoring, Supply Chain Planning Optimisation, Demand Optimisation, Inventory Optimisation ,Manufacturing Optimisation and Sales & Operations Planning. Market sectors served Consumer Goods, Durable Goods, Electronics, Food & Beverage, Life Sciences, Process/Chemical, Service/Aftermarket Parts, Softgoods/Apparel, Specialty Retail and Wholesale Distribution. Countries served Over 68 countries worldwide – global expertise, locally delivered.

Website: www.logility.com

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Corporate Profile

Logility

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Special report

Workforce Management

The human factor Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with a number of leading spokespeople from the Workforce Management solutions community about current trends, recent developments and possible future innovations within a technology world dedicated to facilitating greater staff efficiencies. ith many organisations

W

labour productivity is a major contributor to

in warehouse

regularly declaring that their

improved performance. “For brand owner

management. “We see large growth in retail

workforce is their greatest

companies labour is often the third highest cost

stores (e.g. RedPrairie’s solution) and now more

asset, it is hardly surprising

behind inventory and transportation,” he states.

transportation fleet operations,” he said.

that IT systems able to bring

“Many organisations have focused most of their

Klappich added that WFM has historically

about greater efficiencies in staff management

attention on inventory for the last decade and

focused on execution (Time & Attendance) and

are becoming increasingly popular. The

with rising freight costs transportation more

reporting, and less on the planning and

systems in question come in many forms – tools

recently. The next target area is labour.”

optimisation of the work force. “While these remain important we now see more innovation

to better schedule workforce capacity in the factory, systems that look to optimise the

However, according to Klappich, the focus is

and investment around forward planning (i.e.

activities of field service personnel during

not slashing labour, though this has been a fear

what labour is needed when, where, and doing

goods distribution or solutions mainly geared to

of workers and unions; it is rather about more

what),” he remarked. “While reporting remains a

ensuring staff simply adhere to the right shift

effectively using the labour a company has and

key aspect of these systems, being able to

timetables. And many of these systems are to

not having labour proportionally growing as the

make sure I have the right labour in the right

be found as just one part of a wider solution

business grows. “A 10 per cent improvement in

place and the right time to support the needs of

suite aimed not just at improving workforce

labour productivity, which is not unreasonable

the business is a valuable use of these tools.

activities but also a host of other production or

expectation, can either allow a company to run

This focus will also mitigate some of the

logistics processes into the bargain.

today’s business with 10 per cent lower labour

backlash we have seen from labour unions who

costs or grow the business 10 per cent or more

have long felt that WFM was a ‘big brother’ tool

without adding labour,” he said. “Both are

to make labourers’ life miserable.”

So to begin, let’s survey some of the current

Dwight Klappich, vice president of research

18

IT

central technology

strong objectives. I will say however that I have

trends and general

personally seen few instances where Workforce

Jonathan Orme. sales operations & marketing

discussion points

Management was used to slash the work force

manager at Exel Computer Systems, considers

within the Workforce

by 10 per cent. I have seen few layoffs directly

that arguably one of the key developments

Management space.

linked to a Workforce Management project.

within the WFM space is the growth in solutions

Dwight Klappich, vice

More typically what happens is attrition takes

that help companies deal with managing

president of research

care of any excess and the WFM allows the

workforces that are increasingly mobile. He

at Gartner, makes the

company to add more people for, say, seasonal

comments: “Field Service Management

point that labour is a

peaks like the holiday season in retail.”

solutions especially need to reflect the reality

many supply chain

Klappich also points out that Gartner has seen

very latest, real-time information in order to

organisations and

WFM expand beyond its traditional focus area

deliver the best, not just for the customer but

MANUFACTURING

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that a mobile workforce needs access to the

significant cost for

December 2012

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Workforce Management

Jonathan Orme, sales operations & marketing manager

Special report

also for the company.

treatment all round.” Szikora adds that with the

the next request for information has access to

Integrating this with

advent of WFM companies can see that the

the very latest data.” Orme added that the time

sophisticated

poorer performing pickers in productivity terms

savings should not be underestimated. “The

workflow, intelligent

can actually be the best performers when

preparation involved prior to every sales visit

automated worker/job

looked at performance through work content

can often be extensive,” he remarked. “Not only

scheduling, time and

metrics. “A simple example would be picking a

might a sales rep have to familiarise him/herself

stock management

case of yoghurt versus a joint of ham,” he said.

each time with the customer’s history, credit

and including real-

“Both would be ‘pick 1 unit’ but the labour

details and current service issues, he/she

time links with back-

content is vastly different.”

would also have to update their knowledge of any changes to the customer internal hierarchy.

office business management systems

Stewart Hill, director of product marketing at

Even so, no one can anticipate every question

joins up a company’s

ClickSoftware, considers the topic of Workforce

that may be put to them. But make all of that

ability to put the

Management from the perspective of device

information accessible in real time, while the rep

needs of its customers first like never before.”

trends that can also produce greater user

is with the customer, then the business has

James Hannay, managing director of Schad,

efficiencies. He makes the point that there are

every opportunity to boost productivity,

believes one key current trend is for wider

currently a number of key talking points within

accelerate sales cycles and increase customer

deployment of mobile devices, providing

the Mobile Workforce Management industry,

satisfaction. Furthermore, there is no need for

access to information ‘on the go’ with real-time

one of the most common being Bring Your Own

the rep to be loaded with brochures and fact-

connectivity to operational and business

Device (BYOD). “BYOD is transforming the way

sheets as catalogues can be viewed on-screen

systems. He also sees a desire for more

data is received and acted upon in the field,”

via a document management system; and even

accurate and timely management information

said Hill. “Field resources use the device of

product demos can be provided.”

and the replacement of paper-based processes

their choosing in performing their role. While

with purpose designed mobile systems.

mobile devices have been used in the field for

Hannay explained that a key benefit of Schad’s

many years, this choice improves employee

SCADA-based Extend 7000 mobile middleware

Mike Novels, chairman & managing director of

satisfaction because they are using devices

application is that it is able to route information

Preactor International, observes that within

which they prefer, know, and are most

between a central automated/maintenance

manufacturing and other sectors many

comfortable with.”

system and mobile devices. He made the point that by using such a system the right

companies need to manage different people

information can be allocated to the right

with different skill sets, required at different times and in a particular sequence. Added to

The systems

engineers according to existing workloads and

this, says Novels, is the fact that there are often

And what about the actual WFM-related

their availability; and all this is achievable in real

complex rules as to who can work when and

solutions our commentators either use or

time on their mobile device wherever they are

where, and for how long. He explains that

develop? In addition to the well-respected

working on the shopfloor. Hannay then

Preactor offers a standard configuration, multi-

workforce capabilities of Exel’s EFACS E/8 ERP

considered the benefits of putting in place what

constraint system that allows companies not

system such as mobile CRM and Sales Force

he refers to as an enterprise-wide asset

only to manage machines as the primary

Automation, Orme comments that the greatest

management strategy. “An organisation might

constraint but also the operators as additional

area of interest is in Exel’s Eagle Field Service

have a group of engineers at one location

constraints. Novels points out that these

Management solution. “This is a complete field

working on a particular type of system, and it

operators might have many different skill sets,

service solution, incorporating advanced

might have another group of engineers on a

so, with this in mind, Preactor can allocate a

engineer scheduling and optimisation, device-

different site working on a different system. And

member of staff from a specific team or

independent mobile functionality and fully

these different groups of people might be

resource skill group for particular tasks during

integrated workflow and customisation toolkits to

making the same

particular time slots.

future-proof a customer’s investment,” he said.

mistakes time and time

Stephen Szikora, IT director at NFT, believes

Orme then gave an example of how a typical

from their

the current generation of Workforce

mobile worker, a sales engineer, needs to

inefficiencies. If people

Management enables businesses to identify

interact with a customer. “It is not enough to just

from different locations

performance in a far better way than simple

access activity data in real-time,” he said. “You

are able to share their

productivity rates. He maintains that work

need the ability to constantly update, recreate

knowledge and

content and its impact benefit end users in two

and edit jobs in relation to each and every

experience by putting

ways. “First, it can be used to allocate work in a

customer. And, because the flow of data is 2-

valuable information

fairer manner,” he said. “Secondly, when

way the moment an order or quotation is

into the collective pot

analysing the work content data its effects can

confirmed with the customer the back-office

then the quality of the

be clearly demonstrated, ensuring fairer

system needs to be updated, thereby ensuring

stored data will

again and not learning

www.logisticsit.com

Mike Novels, chairman & managing director

IT

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Special report

Workforce Management

improve, and so will

also explained that NFT is currently in the

concept of ‘continuous planning and

the performance of the

process of installing a new Workforce

scheduling’ which incorporates customer

workforce.”

Management system at its Daventry warehouse.

demand forecasting, long- and short-term

This is a rule-based solution which coordinates

capacity planning, shift planning, real-time

Hannay added that by

skills, forecasts, availability, Working Time

scheduling, mobility and location-based

being able to access

Directive regulations and actual demand. “This

services, and analytics, as well as on-going

the right information

will enable colleagues to share fairly in the

communication with the consumer on the

almost immediately

opportunities that arise whilst ensuring the

expected arrival time of the field resource. “We

engineers can improve

business operates at its most efficient,” he said,

call this ‘service chain optimisation’,” he said,

their response times

adding: “Previously we were running the

adding: “You cannot expect to be able to

when, say, a piece of

business using various operational and

deliver great service against a given demand

equipment breaks

planning systems and then realised there had

without having the right quantity and profile of

down. “What we are

to be a smarter way of doing this. So we went

people available to be able to deliver this when

finding is organisations are increasingly keen to

to the market and discovered a product by

required. If your workload peaks during certain

drill down to a more detailed level to determine

Eleventeenth called Resource DLM. We have

hours, then you need more people available

why things go wrong, when they go wrong and

had some good success during the pilot stage

and fewer during the quiet periods.” This, he

what can be done in order to ensure downtime

and are currently moving towards full

says, is one of the key benefits of

is minimised,” he said. “Engineers need to know

deployment. Resource DLM provides us with

ClickSoftware’s ‘continuous planning and

not only how to solve problems but also how to

an ideal functionality mix. It allows us to work

scheduling’ concept.

improve their response times.” He added that

with forecasts and real orders and also allows

by being able to access all the required

us to work with historical transaction data.”

Stewart Hill, director of product marketing

Novels explains that Preactor offers workforce

information via a single platform on a mobile

management functionality as part of its wider

device an engineer can then make decisions

Szikora also point out that the solution has a

Advanced Planning & Scheduling and Finite

much quicker, know precisely the right store to

very compressive database and understands

Capacity Scheduling application offerings.

go to in order to access the right part, and not

NFT’s workforce resources and skills. It also

Novels points out that one highly beneficial

have to spend time trying to find the right paper-

understands calendars, pay rates, wages and

aspect of this functionality is in Preactor’s ability

based information (manual, electronic diagram,

shift rotors. “Additionally, the system knows

to better schedule staff with different skillsets in

etc.) for the job. “By being able to access

which customers we’re picking for at any one

order to ensure they are deployed as efficiently

information in real time on a mobile device, both

time and knows the carton sizes involved and

as possible. He cites Preactor customer

the engineer’s planned and unplanned tasks

the pick rates of our individual pickers,” he

helicopter manufacturer Eurocopter as just one

can be carried out more efficiently and much

said. “Therefore it can predict hour-by-hour

example of this process in action. As well as

quicker,” he said. In essence, Hannay explained

what shift patterns we will need in order to load

spending a great deal of time on changeovers

that Extend 7000 facilitates a holistic approach

the orders onto the trucks and distribute to our

on machines and suffering a number of other

that considers all aspects of maintenance

customers. What we don't want to do is flood

production-related constraints, Eurocopter also

engineering mobile requirements for both

the warehouse with people. However if we don't

needed to reduce unnecessary movement of

unscheduled and planned activities. In terms of

deploy enough people then the job doesn’t get

staff in the workshop and improve the

core USPs, Hannay cites these as

done. And the work mix is very different from

scheduling of staff activity – ensuring the right

independence from other software vendors and

customer to customer. For example, for one

people were in the right place at the right time.

ability to integrate with most commonly used

customer we might be picking large joints of

Novels explained that Eurocopter started to use

automation, control and maintenance systems

ham for one customer and packs of yoghurt

spreadsheets to manage these tasks, but

such as IBM Maximo, SAP PM, Siemens,

deserts for another. Resource DLM knows the

quickly realised that the application in question

Mitsubishi, WinCC, InTouch.

best people to undertake different tasks. It can

quickly reached the limits of its capacity.

point out someone who has proved very

Preactor then became

Szikora comments that in NFT’s market, 3PL

efficient at picking the ham or someone who is

Eurocopter’s

time-critical chilled logistics, the company

better at picking smaller items in larger volumes

scheduling solution of

needs to be able to plan and react to changes

etc.” Szikora added that another benefit is that

choice and has

very quickly without being integrated upstream

Resource DLM is being used as a Software as

proved invaluable for

with hundreds of suppliers. “Our main focus is

a Service (SaaS) solution, so there is no

a number of

to integrate tightly with available forecasts,

physical deployment involved. “It will be run as

production

operational systems and deliver centralised

a single version, so we will benefit from all the

requirements;

views to manage throughput, service and

latest upgrades as well,” he said.

including the

quality on a near live basis,” he explained,

management and

adding that in transport NFT achieves this

According to Hill, one of the core USPs of

assignment of

through a Microlise telematics solution. Szikora

ClickSoftware is the company’s patented

operators with

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James Hannay, managing director

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Workforce Management

Special report

specific skill sets for certain tasks. With the help

it can highlight bottle necks and quality issues

Management

of Preactor, the company divided the shop in to

in time to make a difference. Macpherson also

solutions.

areas or departments. Then, taking into account

explained that over time a vast amount of data

Macpherson

the skills of the operators, it assigned them to

is captured at a very granular level. “And this

anticipates that there

specific areas and specific tasks in the

can be sliced and diced with our BI tool to

will be more intuitive,

schedule in order to reduce unnecessary

identify best practice and feed back into future

easy-to-use

movement from one area to another.

planning,” he said. “For example areas of high

applications, and

productivity, low overtime, low inactive time and

more guidance to

Macpherson explains that within its application

low scrap can all be analysed to see how staff

managers in different

Kronos focuses on four key areas: planning,

might be better deployed around the business.”

environments on how to best run the

deployment, execution and analysis. And, he

Simon Macpherson, senior director, operations EMEA

adds, inevitably Kronos is often integrated with

As an example of the benefits Kronos has

business. He also

ERP, HR, Supply Chain etc. Indeed within the

afforded a particular customer within the

believes the market

workforce central suite is a sophisticated

manufacturing space, Macpherson cites

will see increased use of mobile applications

integration engine. “In planning phase we often

Hozelock. He explains that Hozelock is an

designed for tablets.

use sophisticated algorithms to forecast the

example of a company very much driven by

requirements of the business and then feed

seasonal and day-to-day changes in the

Orme considers that as mobile devices

actual data back into the forecasting engine to

weather and which needs to forecast

continue to increase in power and functionality

adapt the algorithm to make it more detailed

production at a moment’s notice; producing

and affordability, workers wherever they are

and accurate going forward,” Macpherson

component parts in the UK in a just-in-time

within a business – be it shop floor, warehouse,

pointed out. “We capture employees’ skills,

basis. Hozelock uses Kronos to monitor all

mobile engineers, sales engineers, home or in

competencies, preferences and availability and

labour-related activities on the production line

the office – will be updating information as and

use the information together with rules around

and has seen some great benefits. The solution

when it happens. “When this occurs you will get

working time, breaks and holidays in the

implemented was a real-time workforce

many more companies that genuinely run on a

complex area of employee deployment. This

management system, fully integrated with

company-wide, real-time basis,” he said. “This

provides the organisation with the right people,

payroll and ERP solutions and designed to

will expose any weaknesses in the underlying

in the right place, at the right time – in all areas,

drive significant efficiency and real-time data

business management systems and we will see

from goods in and the production line right

visibility improvements across the organisation.

increasing numbers of companies moving to a

through to enough drivers making deliveries.”

According to Macpherson, key benefits for

fully integrated system to remain competitive.”

Hozelock have included a 2 per cent increase Macpherson added that the execution phase is

in assembly productivity; detailed KPI data on

Hill makes the point that, in the past, Time &

often neglected but captures what is happening

labour utilisation and efficiency – by company,

Attendance, Capacity Planning, Shift Planning,

with a company’s labour in real time. He

product, line and employee; and 100 per cent

Field Service Scheduling & Optimisation and

explains that a whole host of data can be

reconciliation of payroll to production hours.

Mobility Solutions were provided by different

accessed through managers’ dashboards: from

Additionally, there have reportedly been zero

vendors. “Today, the market is less

the basic recording of people coming and

delays in approving overtime – down from five

fragmented where the best Mobile Workforce

going, working hours, and identifying labour

days; nine man-days saved per week on data

Management vendors will provide multiple

shortages, to the sophisticated capturing of

entry, chasing and approvals; 0.5 man day per

solutions such as Scheduling & Optimisation,

what is being manufactured on a production

week released back to HR as a result of

with a robust and flexible mobile solution,” he

line, what work has to

reduced data entry requirements; and the

said. “But Mobile Workforce Management

be scrapped, through

elimination of payroll queries through

does not need to remain disparate from

to what is being

automated time and attendance tracking.

Workforce Management in general and this is where one of the developments of the future

picked and packed in

will exist: the ability to offer enterprise-wide

the warehouse and

Scheduling & Optimisation across the

compares to pre-set

Workforce Management of the future

labour standards.

And might be the next key developments to

foresees further encroachment by ERP

Macpherson states

look out for within the world of Workforce

systems working alongside specialised

that this data shows

Management-related solutions over the next

solutions targeting specific user communities

exactly what is going

year or two? Szikora believes that workforce

with rich process oriented functionality such as

on in the warehouse

screening and verification will be the most

Schad’s Extend 7000; a mobile middleware

or manufacturing

significant development that will impact the UK

application that routes information between the

plant in real time –

market over the coming years as WFM

central automated/maintenance systems and

and, when analysed,

becomes more integrated with Employee

mobile devices. n

how performance

Stephen Szikora, IT director

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organisation and from one vendor.” Hannay

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December 2012

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Printing & Labelling

Product news

Zebra introduces print engine for technically demanding environments

Z

ebra Technologies Corporation, provider of technologies that extend real-time visibility into business operations, has announced the release of the ZE500, its next generation of print engine. This newest introduction to Zebra’s broad line of thermal printers is intended for use in a variety of high-volume, mission-critical applications in the food & beverage, manufacturing, transportation and logistics and other industries. The print engine is designed to be integrated by Zebra channel partners into a complete print-andapply application in technically demanding environments to increase productivity and improve operational efficiencies.

“The ZE500 print engine has evolved from our previous offerings and is truly nextgeneration,” said Richard HughesRowlands, Zebra Technologies’ EMEA product manager. “It can be used in print & apply machines that are commonly used in automated production environments such as process manufacturing, and in other high-volume applications where users recognise the benefits of automation and want to eliminate labour cost as much as possible. Typical uses include the labelling of carton boxes or pallets, etc.”

The ZE500’s enclosed cabinet protects the printer in harsh environments and includes side-loading supplies and an intuitive front panel interface, which provides flexibility and expanded applications. In keeping with Zebra’s heritage, it boasts durable components and parts and the innovative print head design and mechanism allow for trouble-free service with optimal print quality across a wide range of media types.

hours a day, seven days a week,” he said. “So, the new print engine features a metal design, with Kevlar belts and high performance components that can be operational around the clock.” Also,

Hughes-Rowlands points out that the ZE500 doesn’t feature any fans. “Instead, it self-cools,” he explains. “Fans can attract dust and dirt, which can be an important issue in sectors such as food & beverage.

Continuous operation Hughes-Rowlands added that the ZE500 is effective in environments where there may be exposure to dust and other particles, maximising printer availability and increasing productivity of production and packaging lines. He also explained that the ZE500 has been designed for continuous operation. “Many users required their printer to have the potential to operate 24

22

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MANUFACTURING

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December 2012

Fans can attract dust and dirt, which can be an important

issue in sectors such as food & beverage. Fans can also affect the smooth running and reliability of the product’s mechanics. Therefore, we have designed the ZE500 so it doesn’t need any forced air cooling.” – Richard Hughes-Rowlands, Zebra Technologiies.

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Product news

Fans can also affect the smooth running and reliability of the product’s mechanics. Therefore we have designed the ZE500 so it doesn’t need any forced air cooling.”

verticals and uses including:

PartnersFirst Programme • •

The ZE500’s enclosed cabinet protects the printer in harsh environments and includes side-loading supplies and an intuitive front panel interface, which provides flexibility and expanded applications. In keeping with Zebra’s heritage, it boasts durable components and parts and the innovative print head design and mechanism allow for trouble-free service with optimal print quality across a wide range of media types.

Efficiency and reliability The print engines are easily integrated by Zebra channel partners into a complete in-line print-and-apply system to label products, pallets, cases and cartons quickly and easily, with a high level of reliability. The ZE500 allows organisations to improve efficiency in a variety of

Printing & Labelling

Manufacturing – product, case and pallet labelling. Transportation and logistics – shipping and compliance labels. Food and beverage – case and pallet labelling, compliance labels.

The ZE500 is supported by a wide range of Zebra software tools that simplify installation, deployment and maintenance. Additionally, Zebra offers pre-and postinstallation technical service support. With technologies such as barcode, RFID, GPS and sensors, Zebra turns the physical into digital to give assets, people and transactions a virtual voice. By illuminating the events in their value chain with real-time data about their assets, people and transactions, Zebra helps businesses unlock improvements in operational performance as well as inspire new ideas for innovation in their organisations.

In line with the ZE500 launch, Zebra is encouraging its customers to join its PartnersFirst Programme, which offers a suite of business growth benefits and programs tailored to help its partners enhance the end-value of Zebra products and increase customer satisfaction. The benefits include: online training, authorisation for Zebra product repairs and recognised affiliation with Zebra Technologies.

Important addition Hughes-Rowlands continued: “The ZE500 is an important addition to our broader offerings for both existing and new markets. We are particularly excited about working with our channel partners to offer solutions to the food & beverage manufacturing industry to help them address their unique requirements.” n

Zebra Technologies

Solutions offered By illuminating the events in their value chain with real-time data about their assets, people and transactions, Zebra is helping customers to unlock dramatic improvements in operational performance, as well as inspire new ideas for innovation in their organisations. Industrial markets served • Manufacturing. • Transport and Logistics. • Retail. • Healthcare. • Government. • Hospitality. Countries served Worldwide.

Website: www.zebra.com

www.logisticsit.com

IT

MANUFACTURING

December 2012

&LOGISTICS

Corporate Profile

A global leader respected for innovation and reliability, Zebra Technologies Corporation offers technologies that give a virtual voice to an organisation’s assets, people and transactions, enabling organisations to unlock greater business value. The company’s extensive portfolio of marking and printing technologies – including RFID and real-time location solutions – illuminates missioncritical information to help customers take smarter business actions.

23


Special technology report Printing & Labelling

Making a mark Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with key spokespeople within the Printing & Labelling systems space about many of the main current developments and talking points that permeate this fast-developing technology vertical. ndustrial printers have been a constant

manager for Citizen Systems Europe, makes the

traditional label is not a new one,” he said.

presence in manufacturing and logistics

point that mobile printing is a current big talking

“Environmental and sustainability pressures are

applications for many years. But where are

point, while Cloud computing via mobile devices

perhaps one of the reasons behind this trend,

the current cutting-edge trends to be found?

is leading customers to request facilities to print

not least as the silicon backing material is now

To kick off the debate, Christian Bischoff,

I

from mobile devices. This, explains Schüßler, is

formally classed as ‘packaging waste’ in the UK,

regional general manager EMEA at Datamax-

why Citizen expanded its capability to print from

and as such carries a disposal cost burden.”

O'Neil, considers that a compact and, in

mobile devices earlier this year. “The challenge

Parker added that Zebra has engaged with

particular, modular design that allows a printer to

is that systems such as iOS (Apple's mobile

many clients in recent months who express a

be adapted to specific requirements is now as

operating system) are not naturally suited to this

real interest in eliminating backing liner from

vital as energy efficiency or offering a wide range

purpose and Wi-Fi printing can be complicated,”

labels. This, he says, is not just because of the

of interfaces to simplify data communication. In

he said. “The trend is towards expanding the

environmental and cost benefits, but also from a

addition, Bischoff observes that the importance

capabilities of printers and, driven by customer

health & safety perspective – silicon liner is

of small, light and robust mobile solutions is

demand, manufacturers are providing more

notoriously slippery, and long coils of it around

growing constantly.

market-specific products than ever before. For

print stations can present a genuine trip hazard.

He adds that some

example, the Citizen CL-S400DT, a new cost-

analysts expect one in

effective development of the CL-S521, is ideal for

From an RFID perspective, after years of false

three company

ticketing and handling the fanfold media often

starts Parker points out that Zebra is finally

workers will be using

used for that purpose.”

witnessing the take up of this technology in volume within specific manufacturing sectors

mobile devices by

Jörk Schüßler, European marketing manager for Citizen Systems Europe.

24

IT

2013 – whether they

Matt Parker, head of market development EMEA

and the onward supply chain. “Anti-counterfeit

work in field service,

at Zebra points out that over the past year or two

efforts and demands from retail outlets seem be

warehousing or

Zebra has seen significant uptake in two core

driving some of this demand,” he said, “in line

transport.

areas: Linerless printing and RFID. “Linerless is

with a number of technology improvements such

an interesting development in terms of the

as on-pitch encoding, which significantly reduce

Jörk Schüßler,

notable uptake in demand over the past year as

the size of passive RFID tags/labels while

European marketing

the concept of removing backing liner from a

improving the accuracy and reliability of

MANUFACTURING

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December 2012

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Printing & Labelling

encoding – and, as

Special technology report

confirmations, invoices and receipts.

such, cost benefits to the user.”

Matt Parker, head of market development EMEA at Zebra.

them to print in warehouses or on the move in bad weather conditions,” said Jones. “The RJ

According to Jones, demand for mobile print

mobile printers have been designed to meet the

technology is also high in the manufacturing

IP54 standard, which means it’s suitable for out-

Tom Roth, senior

sector. He explains that using wireless

door use. In addition, it has been built to

director, printer

technology Brother’s RJ mobile printers can be

withstand being dropped from 1.8 meters. This,

products

used by warehouse workers to increase

along with the portability of the machines (which

management at

productivity by enabling them to print barcode

weigh only 850g), make them ideal for mobile

Intermec, points out

labels almost anywhere in the building. This, he

printing in difficult conditions.”

that printer users have

says, removes the need for the worker to use a

always needed

centralised printer, and thus reduces the chance

products that integrate

of mislabelling errors. “Employees in the

Drivers for change

easily into manufacturing environments and

manufacturing and logistics industry need

What have been the key drivers for the above

adapt to changing applications. And with fast

technology which is incredibly durable to enable

developments? With regard to smart phone

print speeds and particularly high print quality, he explains that Intermec’s own PX Series of printers are highly suitable for high-volume, ondemand and compliance labelling applications. With regard to developments within the world of smart printing – with the ‘brainpower’ of personal computers built in – Roth considers that these types of printer have started to enable businesses to change the way their printing operations are structured; simplifying processes and slashing costs. However, he reflects that the technology is by no means widespread and Intermec is expecting a lot of new applications to appear, such as programmable smart printers able to host applications that are simple and intuitive for users; reducing training needs and improving worker productivity. Roth adds that Intermec customers have been asking for printers to be a lot more user-friendly, requiring less IT intervention. Therefore user interfaces are changing and becoming a lot more consumerlike. Nevertheless, Roth emphasis that this must not redirect attention from the two most important drivers: improving accuracy and productivity. Phil Jones, sales and marketing director at Brother UK, has witnessed that workforces are going mobile, and the manufacturing and logistics industry are no different. “Logistics and field service companies in particular are beginning to place greater importance on the ability of mobile workers to print on site,” he said. In this regard, Brother’s RJ series of ‘rugged’ mobile printers allow users to print on site, so field-based workers can print important information instantly while on customer premises; improving the experience for the customer by instantly providing professional looking documents, such as sales orders and

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Special technology report Printing & Labelling

Tom Roth, senior director, printer products management at Intermec.

technology, Schüßler

make between passive technologies

existing ERP, CRM or Supply Chain

considers that

(including barcode) through to active ‘Real

Management systems is increasingly gaining in

customers are always

Time Location Solutions’ (RTLS) technologies

importance. “No company today restricts itself to

seeking out and

enable much greater visibility of assets; be

products from a single manufacturer; all that

embracing new ways

they plant, machinery, finished goods or even

counts is finding the best performance,” he said.

to use these devices.

people. “The data this increased visibility

“Stationary and mobile printer solutions must

“Cloud computing is

provides allows for much improved decision

therefore be easy to integrate and communicate

fuelling that need and

making and business improvement,” said

perfectly with connected machines.” According

manufacturers are

Parker. “It is this constant drive for operational

to Bischoff, it must also be possible to evaluate

now looking to see

and process improvement by our customers

and transmit data reliably and seamlessly

how they can bring

that is pushing us as an organisation to

beyond the borders of the system. “End users

further services and

develop new products and enhancements to

profit in this area from the ever growing number

benefits to these

help companies achieve more.”

of emulations available with printer languages from the greatest possible number of

customers,” he said. Bischoff comments that Datamax-O'Neil sees the challenges as being

For Roth, end user requirement has driven

manufacturers,” he commented, adding that

driven primarily by end users. “Companies from

printer innovations in recent years. For example,

users also benefit from a wide range of

a huge range of sectors have very high printer

he makes the point that they have demanded to

communication interfaces such as WLAN or

technology requirements,” he remarked. “They

be able to move the printer from one department

Bluetooth. “WPA2 security protocols are now

want individual solutions that increase their

to another and plug & play seamlessly. “From

used virtually as standard to ensure secure

efficiency and productivity and allow them to

the technical perspective, this means solutions

wireless data exchange,” Bischoff pointed out.

compete effectively in the market. Mobile printers

such as wifi connectivity are becoming

offer enormous potential in this area as they

essential,” he commented. “The recent

Jones believes that greater flexibility is being

increase employee productivity by up to 20 per

simplification of programming languages is also

demanded from IT systems in general. “The rise

cent.” Acquisition and operating costs continue

the result of end users wishing to interact easier

of ‘Bring your own device’ (BYOD) is increasing

to be another important criteria, says Bischoff.

with the printers, and to use different applications

the variety of devices being used in the

“Requirements such as high printing speed and

without major operational changes.”

workplace,” he said. “The latest developments in printing and labelling revolve around this

reliability are driving the development of ever more rugged devices with ever higher

According to Roth, the other direction of

increase in diversity within IT provision in

performance,” he said, adding: “Companies also

innovation was that parts need to be changed in-

companies, and the demand for workers to be

plan for the future and demand flexible devices

field as simply and as easily as possible. “This

mobile. There is a range of apps that enable

that can be adapted quickly and cheaply if

reduces downtime,” he pointed out. “Engineers

employees to print documents wirelessly from

application requirements change.”

don’t need to be called so maintenance costs

their mobile devices; such as Brother’s

are also under better control. But let’s not forget

iPrint&Scan as well as Airprint, Google Cloud

Among Zebra’s core customer base, Parker

that improving accuracy and productivity are the

printing and Cortado. Documents can be printed

believes changes are undoubtedly driven by

constant driving factors for every manufacturer.

directly from smartphone and tablets, allowing

a desire for continuous improvement and

In a very similar way to Distribution Centre

employees to print from their own devices on the

efficiency generation. “We have seen many

deployment environments, the primary target

go.” Parker reflects that the ease of

customers adopt defined lean manufacturing

areas for manufacturing executive technology

platform/software development is perhaps the

principles,” he said. “And, of course, in a bid

investments are: increased accuracy and

most vital change. “Certainly this has allowed for

to become increasingly competitive and

productivity, reduced operating costs and

much greater penetration of mobile printing

profitable they are looking at means to

revenue growth.” Roth added that Intermec’s

devices outside of the four walls,” he said,

become even leaner. It is a never-ending

portfolio of AIDC products (printers, computers,

“whether that be with

goal, and while eliminating backing liner from

scanners and RFID) is ideally positioned to

a rugged handheld or

a label may sound like an action that would

address these areas.

computer, or a more consumer style

yield little of meaningful value, when you

smartphone device.”

consider the scalable reduction in waste inside the operating environment and the

The back-office dynamic

complete elimination of onward waste

In terms of the relationship between current

Roth makes the point

management, disposal costs and overhead, it

cutting-edge printing and labelling

that remote device

very quickly stacks up.”

systems and back-office solutions, what have

management and

been some of the key recent changes and

health monitoring are

Parker adds that, from an RFID perspective,

subsequent benefit improvements for the user?

not new in concept.

the connections the marketplace can now

Bischoff maintains that flexible integration into

Nevertheless the

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December 2012

Phil Jones, sales and marketing director at Brother UK.

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Printing & Labelling

Special technology report

recent technological advances in remote battery

very little concerns regards data security in the

already offers its

management, remote firmware updates and the

field in relation to printing and labelling. However,

customers a wide

improved two-way communication with the

he adds that security gaps in the supply chain

selection of RFID

printers have made it a lot more widespread and

from a counterfeit perspective are the biggest

solutions such as

enabled the management of large printer

security issue. “It is interesting to observe the

RFID-compatible

estates. “Some of the key changes have

methods being put in place using 2D barcode

printers. “Installing

happened in the ability to expand our printing

and RFID to limit this,” said Parker. “Auto-ID

these devices

applications into mobile environment and still

technology can do an awful lot more in terms of

ensures that

satisfy essential manufacturing need for reliability

verification.”

companies are already equipped to

and ruggedness,” he said, adding that Intermec

Christian Bischoff, regional general manager EMEA at Datamax-O'Neil.

mobile label printers that operate on the same

Continuing the security theme, Roth considers

meet the challenges

firmware platform as the company’s rugged

that data security, data integrity and future-proof

of the future today,”

industrial printer products provide a number of

connectivity remain concerns in large global

he said. “By using

pronounced benefits, including:

manufacturing companies. “As global

faster processors and more rugged materials,

corporations’ IT departments are becoming more

the development of even more efficient and

Super-fast printing solution for WMS and

powerful the topic of data security and integrity

robust devices is sure to continue over the

manufacturing.

becomes more important especially in mission

coming years.”

Increase productivity: Exceptional ‘time to

critical applications in manufacturing and

first label’ speed and ample battery life.

logistics deployment environments,” he said,

Roth’s view is that convergence of commercial

Versatile: Single device that addresses

pointing out that Intermec’s industrial barcode

and industrial products are increasingly driving

multiple applications in fixed and mobile

printers meet the need of those mission-critical

changes in terms of the user interface and ease

printing.

applications. The company’s multiple interfaces,

of use. He explains that Intermec printer

Part of a complete mobile AIDC solution:

secure wireless connectivity (WPA2), CCX and

products – manageable from multi lingual web

printer, scanner, mobile computer, software,

WiFi certifications, and standard support for

pages loaded on every printer – ensure ability to

media, and service.

upcoming IPv6 connectivity facilitate easy

configure, manage and monitor the device from

Stand-alone ‘smart printing’ – the only ‘smart’

integration and long-term scalability.

rugged handhelds, or even commercial

• • •

products like smart phones and tablet

mobile printers on the market.

computers. “In more complex and larger

Future imprint

installations, device management capabilities

Schüßler has heard from distributors and

What might be the next most impactful

through Intermec solutions like Smart Systems

resellers that there is a growing need for a high

developments to look out for over the next year

or partners solutions like Wavelink Avelanche

level of reliability in barcode printing throughout

or two within the Printing & Labelling solutions

(both supported on Intermec industrial printer

the supply chain. This, he says, is because

space? Parker has witnessed that data volumes

products) guarantee the visibility and

significant costs can be incurred when receivers

are increasing massively. “We see auto-ID

manageability of number of installed products

of goods decline to accept deliveries because

technologies being vital to the management of

and significantly lower total cost of ownership for

the barcode reproduction is poor. “When you

this data,” he said, “be that passive in the form

our customers.”

consider the transport and administration costs

of a barcode or HF/UHF RFID tag or active with

this is clearly a problem,” said Schüßler, “and

Ultra Wide Band RFID technology. Ultimately

Jones makes the point that during a recession

when you add the costs of, for example, a fresh

barcode labels and intelligent tags are the

businesses will always look to cut overheads.

food delivery being rejected and potentially

gateway to the increased information and data

“And I think we will continue to see companies

destroyed then it’s easy to see why there is such

that business is striving for so as to become

demanding Printing & Labelling solutions which

a pressing need for high-quality barcode

more efficient, productive and flexible. So we

are as efficient and cost-effective as possible,”

reproduction.” This, says Schüßler, is why Citizen

foresee increased reliance on 2D barcode and

he said. Jones added that a recent Quocirca

has provided barcode printers with active ribbon

RFID in a passive and active sense depending

report highlighted the benefits for medium-sized

control to ensure that ribbon wrinkle and media

on the environment or application.”

businesses in using Managed Print Services (MPS) to improve workplace efficiency. MPS

slippage are eliminated. Schüßler foresees more and more contributions

means that a business

to ‘green IT’. “This is certainly a priority for

is buying ‘printing’ rather than ‘printers’, and

Security

Citizen,” he said. “Our last six printers were all

Jones comments that this can be a lower cost

And are there any remaining concerns regarding

fuelled by Energy Star power supplies.” Bischoff

option for medium and large organisations.

the use of Printing & Labelling systems?

has observed that over recent years, the

“Brother’s MPS are tailored so that organisations

According to Parker, security protocols with

significance of RFID labels has grown in many

can have the best printing solutions for their

wireless devices are tried and tested so he sees

sectors. He reminds us that Datamax-O'Neil

specific requirements,” he said. n

www.logisticsit.com

IT

MANUFACTURING

December 2012

&LOGISTICS

27


AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE

Product news

Box Technologies

introduces the Cielo Series of EPoS terminals design features that address these important requirements. The Cielo boasts a vent-free

terminal can be supplied with either an i3 or i5 core bringing prodigious amounts of computing power.

frame which along with its bezel free construction ensures a cleaner, more hygienic terminal. This provides the

Tough but light aluminum chassis

additional benefit of reducing ingress of liquid, dust or food, which can have a detrimental

Operationally, Cielo boasts a bright image

effect on the lifespan of the

display which is backlit for ease of use. It is

touch screen.

economic in its power consumption and has a tough but light aluminum chassis with a

Cielo is available in a

compact footprint that is perfect for point of

choice of charcoal or

service areas where space is at a premium.

white; whilst charcoal might find itself in a designer style operation,

Of its launch, Richard Elmes, marketing

the latter is ideal in a pharmacy environment

manager at Box Technologies, commented:

where any accumulation of dirt is easily visible

“The introduction of Cielo addresses a need

enabling it to be wiped clean and kept clear

within the retail, pharmacy and hospitality

of germs.

sectors for a point-of-sale terminal that provides both performance and stunning

ox Technologies, the UK provider

There are two models. Besides the standard

good looks. Its tablet style lines bring the

of customer interface technology

Cielo, the Cielo-i is the high performance

point-of-sale environment up to date whilst its

solutions, has announced the

version for use in environments where

design practicalities ensure that it is easy to

launch of the Cielo range of high-

transactions may be more complex and

end EPoS terminals specifically

B

keep clean with fewer moving parts for

require a more system hungry

longer life and a low total cost of

designed to combine high performance with

software package.

ownership. Cielo shows the beauty can

aesthetically pleasing looks aimed squarely at

This PoS

be combined with practicality.” n

the fashion, pharmacy, hospitality and specialty retail sectors. Cielo is an attractive and powerful EPoS terminal endowed with an ultra-slim display, sleek chassis and small footprint design. Its bezel free design gives a tablet style look and combined with its smooth lines and elegant appearance, Cielo is ideal for high-end retail, fashion and specialty stores.

Vent-free frame Cielo is equally at home dealing with more mission critical applications. Cleanliness at the point of sale within a pharmacy or hospitality environment,

Box Technologies at a glance Box Technologies is the UK provider of customer interface technology solutions, within six core market sectors: Retail, Hospitality, Finance, Public Sector, Utilities, Transportation & Logistics. Celebrating 20 years in business in June 2012, Box Technologies’ success over many years derives from its selling proposition of ‘Delivering the Customer Interface through Technology’. As an ISO 90001:2008accredited business, supported by direct relationship with leading manufacturers Box Technologies delivers total solutions across multiple product lines Digital Signage, EPoS, Mobile and SelfService supported by in-house Service delivery teams.

for example, is essential and Cielo provides

28

IT December 2012

MANUFACTURING

&LOGISTICS

www.logisticsit.com


AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE

Celebrating 20 years in business in 2012, Box Technologies delivers a wide range of integrated IT-based business systems to retail, hospitality, finance and banking, transport and logistics and many areas of the public sector. The company is well known in the market place today for its consultative approach to business challenges. Its success lies in its vision and delivery of systems ranging from ‘off the shelf’ products to completely custom built business solutions, coupled with technical excellence in project design, implementation and deployment. Box Technologies has recently launched a range of business solutions: Loss Prevention and SMARTtill intelligent cash drawers address the challenge of in-store theft. The Box Digital Signage Studio offers rapid content creation, deployment and management of promotional and educational displays in-store. For the fashion retailer, Visual Merchandising allows the store planner to build a fully interactive and merchandised 3D virtual store. To enhance the shopping experience, Box Virtual Wardrobe lets customers overlay images of clothing and accessories onto digital video of themselves literally trying on the items to see if they suit. Consulting Solutions fully supports the deployment of these solutions, from creation, project management and rapid and painless integration. With this winning combination of hardware, software and Box Technologies’ consultancy and support services, these solutions represent a new and exciting dimension to Box Technologies’ traditional retail product offerings.

Website: www.boxtechnologies.com

Corporate Profile

Box Technologies

Delivering the Customer Interface Through Technology

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F5t rugged next generation tablet PC

Merlin UHF RFID

Dolphin 6000 Wireless Scanphone

+44 ((0)1844 ) 264000 sales@boxtechnologies.com @ g www.logisticsit.com www.boxtechnologies.com

@boxtechnologies @ &LOGISTICSIT 29 MANUFACTURING

December 2012


Special technology report AIDC/Mobile Computing

Taking stock Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with some of the leading solutions providers within the Automatic Identification & Data Capture arena about recent and possible future developments within this vibrant and fast-changing technology space. here can be few technology areas

T

enterprise is still Windows and many

vertical applications

that continuously push the

companies perceive a leap to something

have already adopted

envelope as much as the

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

cell phones as the tool

Automatic Identification & Data

reasons why Windows 8 – which is both

of the trade while other

Capture (AIDC) marketplace. And,

designed for touch navigation and includes

verticals appear to be

as well as keeping up with the current state of

app-based functionality – is so highly

comfortable with the

the art, it is tempting to pause from time to time

anticipated. In Kidari’s view, another key

rugged devices they

and consider where things might be in the next

development is a transition in the market from

have been using for

year or two – one thing’s for sure, it won’t have

1D to 1D/2D barcodes. “The multiple

years. With that said,

stood still on anybody’s watch. With this in

symbologies in 2D barcodes allow more data

we believe even these

mind, we asked a number of key players within

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

die-hard rugged

the AIDC sector about current trends, a few

to the SKU, the 2D barcode can capture

device applications will

concerns and what might lie around the corner

expiration dates, manufacturing dates, lot

have an ‘era of

in terms of future innovations and

numbers and more.” Kidari also comments that

experimentation’ with

enhancements. To begin, Khalid Kidari,

there is a trend towards allowing vehicle-

cell phones. In other

director of product management and

mounted and tablet-docked computers to

words we fully expect mobile software

marketing at DAP Technologies, points out that

connect directly to the vehicle to capture

application providers to offer cell phone

one fundamental development in AIDC and

diagnostic information about the vehicle. “That

version of their mobility software even if they

mobile computing is the widespread availability

means, for example, that a single tablet used in

don’t think cell phones will survive the

of wireless LAN and wireless broadband. This,

a truck could replace the truck’s black box,

environment in the end analysis. The obvious

he explains, facilitates real-time data collection

serve as the Electronic On- Board Recorder

benefit to the end user is hardware cost

and management so that information can be

(EOBR), communicate with dispatch, manage

savings.”

shared immediately across multiple users and

inventory and more,” he said. Nigel Owens, senior VP of worldwide sales and

devices. He adds that it also allows for

GM of EMEA at Motion Computing, makes the

browser-based

Khalid Kidari, director of product management and marketing,

30

IT

applications that

‘Cell phone effect’

point that as Motion specialises in rugged

don’t require a

Freddy Trompet. EMEA product manager

tablets for field-based workforces, it is seeing a

software download

(Supply Chain Products) at Honeywell, believes

lot of interest in the possibilities afforded by

and can be

the key issue today that has captured the

mobile computing in manufacturing and

accessed through a

attention of both AIDC consumers and

logistics. These, he says, generally relate to

simple URL. And,

providers is what is referred to as ‘the cell

one of three key issues and set of benefits:

according to Kidari,

phone effect’. “The big question is whether any

“while there has been

or all mobility applications across the supply

Complexity: manufacturers and logistics

much hype about

chain and other use cases can be fully

companies alike are facing unprecedented

Android and other

satisfied with a cell phone,” he said. “While

levels of complexity – in the market(s) they

operating systems,

functionality and ergonomics are discussion

serve, the processes that comprise operations

the safest

points as well, the price point of a phone is

and the established IT infrastructure. Tablets

environment for

what has everyone questioning it. Clearly some

are a key technology for simplifying this,

MANUFACTURING

&LOGISTICS

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

December 2012

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AIDC/Mobile Computing

Special technology report

confirmation of dispatch of goods.

especially within operations.

platform and comes in many different •

Nigel Owens, senior VP of worldwide sales and GM of EMEA,

challenges because Android is an open source

Accelerate the speed at which materials

‘versions’,” he remarked. “Zetes are therefore

Speed: the need for

and finished goods are available, due to

anticipating a market shift with hardware

faster turnarounds,

real-time tracking & reporting. Gerrit-Jan

manufacturers also starting to offer ‘integration

quicker production

Steenbergen, VP Innovation Centre at

kits’ to make their Android devices more easy

and rapid access to

Zetes, comments that Zetes is observing

to integrate and therefore more appealing.

information

three trends influencing the way AIDC is

Whether Android or Windows Mobile will be the

(regardless of

being implemented now and also in the

primary operating system no one can be sure,

location) is also

future.

but integrators like Zetes will continue to offer

pushing interest in

multiple device integration toolkits, to ensure

tablets. Businesses

1) Imaging technology is taking over from laser

customers can have as much flexibility as

now realise that

scanning

possible over their choice of hardware

speed is a key

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

devices.” Steenbergen added that as HTML5

differentiator as well as a means to improving

states Steenbergen. “First, imaging works

becomes more widespread, it will offer a

productivity.

better in challenging environments. For

number of advantages for business users; for

instance, where goods to be identified are

example, the ability to deploy a single solution

Service: delivering increased levels of service

damp, image scanners have a larger field of

across multiple platforms. This, comments

to customers, wherever they are, is critical.

view, throughput is much faster and they can

Steenbergen, means lower cost of ownership

And in some verticals within manufacturing and

be used in automated, unmanned

and better mobile access to business

logistics, service is outranking new product

environments. Compare this with traditional

intelligence in the future. This, he says, is

development as a source of revenue. Tablets

scanners, which are more likely to have issues

because all devices with an HTML5-

help businesses enhance service, which is

and specially designed scanners, which are

compatible browser will have the same ability

driving uptake.

more expensive. Secondly, image scanners

to collect, collate and use data, which is much

perform better reading 2D barcodes, which are

more efficient than requiring all staff to use the

Efficiency: The one word that runs through all

now in more widespread use.” Overall,

same device or developing a different app for

of the above points is efficiency. Efficiency

believes Steenbergen, rising use of imaging is

each device type.

brings simplicity, speed and better service,

allowing users to implement AIDC into areas of

and that is what Motion hears most from

their supply chain where it would previously

3) Cloud based services will continue to gather

customers, according to Owens. “They want a

have been prohibitively expensive. e.g.

interest

solution that will make them more efficient,” he

Seachill is a Grimsby fish processor that uses

As data capture devices start to become

said. When it comes to specific examples of

Zetes’ image scanning solution Visidot for

slimmer and sleeker, like consumer devices,

benefits, Owens points out that Motion has

verifying shipments of fish delivered to Tesco.

Steenbergen maintains that they will have less

tablets in use in manufacturing and logistics

“Their fish factory is a wet and cold

localised processing power and more of the

companies to:

environment so RFID would not be feasible,”

application will need to reside server side.

said Steenbergen. “Prior to using imaging,

Combined with this, states Steenbergen,

Track materials movement and access

Seachill used ordinary manual scanners. Now,

companies will be looking for AIDC hardware

reports on production status throughout

as well as confirming the accuracy of

and applications provided via the Cloud, on a

every stage of production process.

shipments, Seachill also complies with Tesco’s

pay-asyou- go basis, frequently as a fully

ASN (advance shipping notification)

managed service

Ensure thorough quality control and

requirements whereby they have details of

including hardware,

inspection processes through menu-driven

exactly what goods are coming into their

applications and

applications.

warehouse – serial and batch numbers of

ongoing support and

products - in advance of each shipment

training. “Working

arriving.”

this way is much

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

more cost-effective 2) Android or Windows Mobile as the primary

because the

Improve staff productivity and reduce

operating system?

expenditure is

errors due to centralised data

Steenbergen points out that Zetes is now

covered as ongoing

management.

seeing the first mobility devices developed for

operating

Android being adopted, whereas previously

expenditure rather

Enable efficient warehouse management

virtually all customers were using Windows

than a one off ‘capex’

by accessing real-time order requests and

Mobile. “This change brings its own set of

cost,” he added.

www.logisticsit.com

Gerrit-Jan Steenbergen, VP Innovation Centre,

IT

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Special technology report

AIDC/Mobile Computing

4) Application

change was not possible,” he said. “Also

applications, which allow the development of

interfaces are

browser-based software solutions are well

rich GUIs that are still capable of being

evolving to mirror

placed to take advantage of the technology

delivered via the cloud to virtually any device,”

consumer style

that puts the Internet in everybody’s pocket.”

explained McBain.

applications

And in terms of the relationship between AIDC

Steenbergen

systems and back-office systems, Orme makes

Another specific trend related to the

considers that Apple

the point that, previously, companies had to

consumerisation of IT, according to McBain, is

has done a lot to

link standalone mobile workforce management

the impact on end user employees’

influence the future

systems to their ERP system, leading to all of

expectations of how they want to access and

of industrial

the well-known issues inherent in integrating

share information. “Operatives have become

applications. He

disparate systems. “There are now systems

used to the easy-to-use interfaces of Facebook

adds that the next

available (like EFACS from Exel Computer

or iPhones and want the same experience in

generation of

Systems) that provide a single, fully integrated

their work applications,” he commented. “There

logistics and operations managers expect to

solution covering all of a company’s

is in effect a ‘blurring’ of social media

see same ‘wysiwig’ interface they see on their

requirements, i.e. ERP, CRM, Field Service,

interfaces as they become adopted for

own devices at home in the workplace.

Mobile Salesforce etc,,” he said. “This provides

business use; particularly for manufacturing,

“Software products are adapting to become

substantial peace of mind in knowing that an

retail, and logistics specific operational needs.

more intuitive and touch screen-based,” he

upgrade to an element will not affect the

Some of the long established OS providers

said. Jonathan Orme. sales operations &

integration between all other elements, also

have had to rethink the type and feel of

marketing manager at Exel Computer Systems,

having a single supplier responsible for, and

applications to keep up with these new

believes that advances in wireless/cellular

with expertise in the solution as a whole.”

entrants. Microsoft is pinning much of its hopes

Andy McBain, EMEA regional product manager,

on Windows 8 to boost its position in

networks, data security and the improvements

application development and user-friendly

in handheld devices (both tablets and phonesized devices) means the utilisation of

Consumerisation of IT

business software solutions can now move out

Andy McBain, EMEA regional product

of the shop-floor and the company offices into

manager at Motorola Solutions, considers that

John McMeeking, UK managing director at

the wider world. For example, providing sales

arguably the biggest trend in AIDC that the

Psion UK (part of Motorola Solutions),

staff access to the system from a

manufacturing sector is seeing is the continued

considered that, thus far, 2012 has been an

customer/prospect site enabling access to

development of different operating systems

interesting year for the AIDC/mobile segment.

CRM, documentation, sales history etc; service

(OS) and development environments for

He reflected that there have been debates

engineers viewing and updating the back-

handheld devices and PDAs. “Only a few

around operating systems, with some people

office system in real time during service calls

years ago, developers tended to live off the

calling for devices running on open source

ensuring access to accurate up-to-date

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

platforms. And, revisiting the consumerisation

information; senior managers and directors

consumerisation of IT the market is seeing

theme touched on above, he adds that Psion

accessing key company metrics from their

wider adoption of devices that run Google’s

has seen a gradual creeping in to its market of

iPhones and Android phones allowing visibility

Android and Apple’s iOS platform. While this

consumer-grade tablet devices, and the

of operations. This, says Orme, is having a

development is creating greater choice for the

growth in the UK of the Bring Your Own Device

major impact on the use and usefulness of

end user organisation this is causing

(BYOD) trend that started in the US. “Nobody

software within companies. “Only a few years

application developers to examine whether

can argue with the success of open source

ago the vast majority of a system’s users were

they can sustainably increase their

operating systems on consumer smartphones,

office-based staff, leaving remote staff having

development teams and time to supply end

or indeed the sales

to liaise with an office based colleague by

users’ changing AIDC needs.” McBain adds

success of consumer-

phone or email in order to interrogate or

that application portability between different

grade tablet

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

OS – maximising flexibility and reducing

computers, such as

no longer the case, and this change alters the

deployment and cost of ownership – is

those you can

relationship between the company and their IT

becoming the key question for end users and

currently buy on the

solution, whilst also altering the relationship

developers alike. This, he points out, is what

high Street,” he said.

between a company and their

prompted Motorola Solutions’ development of

However, he added

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

RhoElements – a framework for creating

that what can be

terms of the main drivers for the changes he

OSagnostic applications – helping to ensure

argued is the

cites, Orme comments that these are mainly

freedom for end users and application

suitability of

related to advances in technology. “With slow

developers. “The RhoElements framework

consumer-grade

data networks and unreliable hardware this

supports the development of HTML 5

products in the

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IT

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December 2012

interfaces.”

John McMeeking, UK managing director,

www.logisticsit.com


AIDC/Mobile Computing

Special technology report

markets that

Microsoft platforms rather than participate in

it’s a business integration priority ensuring that

companies such as

the ever changing and uncertain world of open

through a common OS mobile employees and

Psion serve. “While

source operating systems. In the world of

office employees can better collaborate, or

they can at first seem

consumer mobile devices, regular operating

rugged designs that protect against harsh

an attractive option

system upgrades are a benefit, but in our world

environments, enterprise buyers will

versus purpose-built

where device reliability and predictability are

continuously have to weigh their top priorities

rugged devices, when

key, they are still not a sensible choice for

when selecting the right tablet.”

all the numbers are

many of the customers we serve.” Steenbergen foresees the launch of a new

run, the benefits are Jonathan Orme. sales operations & marketing manager,

breed of infrastructure platforms, which will

far outweighed by the costs and time

Heading our way

make it very easy for companies to add new

disadvantages,” he

And what might be the next major

applications and integrate different legacy

commented. “For

developments within the world of AIDC? Kidari

systems with minimal investment. “In the future,

example, every time a

believes the next innovations in data collection

it will be the norm for all logistics workers to be

device is broken, that worker has to return to

will likely be in Voice. “Apple’s recent success

equipped with a single device through which

base (because he/she can no longer be given

with Siri, as well as successful use of Voice in

they will manage all their work operations, in

work), and get a replacement. The company

picking and packing functions, are a nod to the

the same way as an office worker has a PC or

then has to either have a supply of back-up

future,” he commented. “To use Voice, you

a laptop for all their work,” he said. Orme

devices on standby or, worse, keep the worker

don’t need any level of training. It is ‘natural’.”

believes that advances in wireless/cellular

waiting while a new device is configured with

Trompet considers that battery technology will

networks, data security and the improvements

the company’s business software.”

improve, RFID antennas will shrink, 2D

in handheld devices etc. will continue and

barcodes will be in colours, and systems will

gather pace. “Those companies that do not

Horror story

be purchased based on transaction-based

take advantage of these technological

McMeeking explained that one of Psion’s

pricing versus pay for everything up front. Also,

advances will be left further and further behind

customers in the private housing sector

he believes a new generation of wearable

and will be unable to compete with the

presented at a recent Psion event. “They told

computers will probably follow the ‘Google

companies that have embraced these

us that they rejected smartphones because

glasses’ effect.

technological advances,” he said. “Improvements in data networks (both speed

they knew they would not survive regular use by engineers, builders, surveyors and the like,”

Owens believes that as mobile computing

and coverage) will result in an increasing

he said. “Today, we sell through distribution

becomes more pervasive, the need to manage

reliance on these devices, and so companies

and resellers so we are in constant

tablets, applications and the infrastructure

will have real-time, accurate information on the

communication with them about what they are

behind them will become more important. “This

whereabouts and activities of their staff

seeing ‘at the coalface’ in terms of latest

will encompass risk and security management

wherever they may be.” n

trends.” McMeeking added that very recently

and will likely shape the

Psion spoke with a reseller that told it of a real

tablet landscape for a wide

horror story about a company that had tried to

variety of workers,” he said.

install smartphones into their organisation.

And from a management

“Even with retrofitted outer rugged cases these

point of view, enterprise

devices typically needed to be replaced five

mobility and enterprise IT will

times as often as a functionally equivalent

very quickly become one

rugged device, such as the products we

and the same, according to

manufacture,” he remarked. “The AIDC

Owens. “Balancing the IT

business needs tools and devices that are

department’s desire for a

designed for the purpose and can cope with

simple, seamless solution

the kinds of environments. These devices

with employee need and

might be installed and expected to run for as

workflow requirements will be

long as five to seven years. That requires a

challenging for some,” he

stable hardware and indeed, operating

said, “but as long as

software platform. The last thing any company

businesses examine their

should have to worry about is the stability of

environments and select

the operating system running on their

devices that fit their

technology platforms. That is why companies

workflows, it will be a

like Psion made a conscious choice to go with

painless process. Whether

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Warehouse Management

n

Company focus

Optimising warehouse automation with Vanderlande oday’s warehouses and distribution centres face a lot of challenges: increasing labour costs, less available space and frequent small orders with short delivery times. Therefore, there is a requirement for solutions that are able to reduce operational costs, generate higher productivity, optimise space utilisation and enable high service levels. Vanderlande Industries is a leading supplier of automated warehouses and distribution centres, with a track record of over 1000 satisfied customers in a wide range of industries.

T

Global player, local presence Vanderlande is a global player with experience in a wide range of industries around the world; including food, fashion, business-to-consumer and automotive to pharmaceuticals, parts & components and personal care. The company develops reliable and innovative solutions in collaboration with its customers. With headquarters in Veghel, the Netherlands, Vanderlande also has offices in the UK, Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, USA, South Africa, Russia, India, Canada, Argentina, Australia, United Arab Emirates and China. Its local Customer Centres handle all key business functions and maintain direct contact with customers. Vanderlande comments that exceeding customer expectations is what drives the company, reflected in its core commitment to ‘build its reputation with customers’.

Flexible solutions meet changing market demands Through Vanderlande’s in-depth understanding of business processes in warehousing and distribution, it provides competitive automated solutions for goods receiving, storage, order picking, consolidation and shipping. The company enables its customers to reduce their operational costs and improve delivery performance. Its flexible solutions

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meet the changing market demands, while its systems and services focus on improving the logistics processes and increasing logistics performance today, tomorrow and throughout the entire life cycle. Vanderlande cooperates closely with its customers, extending from initial business process analysis through to total life-cycle support. To achieve this, the company offers a wide product range and industry knowledge. It also possesses all the required capabilities in the relevant disciplines; ranging from system design through supply chain management and manufacturing, to information and communication technology, system integration, project management and customer services.

Key technology Automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) are key in modern warehouse logistics, and are beneficial in a range of warehouse processes such as bulk storage, order picking and order consolidation. Indeed, Vanderlande comments that AS/RS systems enable storage density to be increased by up to 60 per cent. In terms of specific solutions, the company offers the Quickstore range of AS/RS systems, which includes various miniloads, the HDS shuttle system and the Microshuttle. Quickstore AS/RS systems – which can be equipped with many different load handling devices – are developed and manufactured by Beewen, a Vanderlande Industries company and one of the leading European suppliers of AS/RS systems.

lines per man-hour, improve picking accuracy up to 99.99 per cent and enable companies to deliver higher customer service levels. Vanderlande makes the point that selecting the best order picking system for a particular business depends on the characteristics of the company’s operations and products. With this in mind, Vanderlande offers a broad range of order picking systems for loose products, cases and pallets. These include zone picking systems, goods-to-man systems and batch picking systems, right up to fully automated case picking and tote picking systems.

Ergonomics Vanderlande comments that its customers want to offer their employees an attractive working environment while at the same time achieving high productivity and short learning curves. The company is aware that workstation design is a critical success factor in achieving high-level employee engagement. This is why Vanderlande has developed the @EASE workstation range, with proven ergonomics that enable operators to maintain high productivity for sustained working periods.

Efficient and accurate order picking Vanderlande reports that order picking accounts for up to 60 per cent of warehouse costs. It adds that processing customer orders quickly and accurately also has a direct impact on customer satisfaction. Moreover, the company points out that automated order picking systems can increase a company’s productivity up to 1000

Software As well as a complete range of state-of-the-art material handling equipment, Vanderlande also offers software to optimise system operation. These software products integrate seamlessly into the user’s IT infrastructure and provide management with valuable realtime decision support intelligence. n

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Warehouse Management

n

Company focus

Corporate Profile

Vanderlande Industries Vanderlande Industries is a leading material handling company with more than 60 years of experience. The company has successfully automated more than 1000 warehouses and distribution centres worldwide. Vanderlande Industries specialises in designing and building intelligent ITdriven material handling systems and related services, which cover the entire distribution centre process, from Goods Receiving to Shipping. These solutions enable customers to organise their process in the most efficient, cost effective way. Vanderlande Industries’ automated material handling solutions have low labour requirements, make efficient use of available floor space, and enable companies to deliver higher customer service levels, while keeping costs down. In financial year 2011 the company had sales of ₏566 million. Vanderlande Industries operates from its headquarters in the Netherlands and Customer Centres in many countries. Solutions offered Vanderlande Industries specialises in designing and building intelligent IT-driven materials handling systems and related services, which cover the entire distribution centre process, from Goods Receiving to Shipping. Our solutions include order

picking/order fulfilment systems, automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS), sortation systems, conveyor systems/internal transport systems and Warehouse Management and Control Systems (WMS/WCS). Industrial markets served Vanderlande Industries has automated well over 1000 warehouses and distribution centres, which can be found in a wide range of industries, such as: food retail; non-food retail; fashion, footwear and accessories; media and games; office supplies; business-to-consumer; pharmaceuticals and personal care; parts & components and automotive. Countries served Vanderlande Industries serves customers worldwide from its headquarters in the Netherlands and Customer Centres in many countries.

Website: www.vanderlande.com

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TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT

Seafield

delivers with tmWare

apidly expanding third-party logistics company, Seafield Logistics, operates 14 depots across the UK in the warehousing, distribution, value-added services and freight forwarding sectors. An ambitious organisation, its latest contract win is with a large multinational conglomerate, managing and planning orders and deliveries throughout the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.

R

In 2010, Seafield implemented the tmWare Transport Management system from Traderman, to streamline the planning and job management process. Utilising the POD SMS module of tmWare, Seafield was able to offer real-time tracking in a simple and cost-effective manner. This service allows drivers to send a text to a dedicated number, with details of the job and code to indicate if it was a successful or failed delivery. This information is then immediately available for enquiry or status tracking.

Automated solution "tmWare's POD SMS application is the first phase in our drive towards real-time customer visualisation and kpi reporting,” explained Justin Hunt, Seafield’s business development manager. “The functionality provides an automated solution to our delivery confirmation and pod process, which also reduces the cost of service against our previous manual and time-consuming methods. It was rapidly implemented with minimal cost and required very little driver training. Even when we use subcontractors, they can send the texts to ensure we maintain consistency in our processes."

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Success story

With a vision to take the business forward, Hunt had a potential new high-profile client with the objective of implementing an integrated, lean Transport Management system that would provide control, reporting, visualisation and early warning flags. Working closely with the team at tmWare, the idea was to develop a platform on which Seafield could act as a 4PL, managing and planning the transport jobs on behalf of others and issuing them out to subcontractors and partners as well as its own transport fleet. The challenge was to create a centralised data bank from which many parties could access information without compromising security or confidentiality, whilst allowing Seafield the ability to manage subcontractors through real-time reporting and visualisation. The system utilises a number of customisable portals that delivers the core information in specific views for users, customers and subcontractors. The Internet provides the perfect base for collaborative systems to operate from as it can support many connections from different locations to a central database. As a web based system, tmWare already had the infrastructure in place to be able to deliver this type of architecture.

Dynamic interaction Each party involved has a different vested interest and a slightly different data set to view and update. It was paramount to the project that the correct information was published to the user as misinformation could

not only breach confidentialities but cause the process to break down. Users interact dynamically with the system, not only to obtain information about statuses, costs and delivery plans, but also to input back with updates and delivery information. The pressure was firmly put on when the contract was won and the proposed deadline for ‘go live’ was tight. With so many parties involved, it was imperative to gain their trust in the system early by getting it right first time. With dedicated resources from both Seafield and Traderman, plus good project management, the new system was delivered on time with no issues – a major success for everyone involved. The key benefits are: • • • • • •

Real time reporting and visualisation. Early warning failure alerts via key trigger points. Management of sub-contractors with clear job acceptance rules. Single contract logistics planning. Cost savings through improved asset utilisation. The ability to track performance improvements in line with strategic goals.

The success of this project was achieved due to the excellent working relationship that Seafield Logistics and Traderman systems have established, through a mutual understanding of each other’s requirements, abilities and expectations. Both parties report that they are looking forward to working together on future projects to take the Seafield business forward and further enhance the tmWare product. n

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Traderman Systems Traderman Systems Ltd develops, supports and implements Cloud-based Transport and Warehouse Management systems, designed to address the needs of today’s fastmoving logistics operators. With 30 years’ experience in the industry, Traderman understands the subtly unique differences of each operation and has adapted its product, tmWare, to accommodate these whilst maintaining the highest level of service and support. Traderman supports over 1000 users on the tmWare system and its customers enjoy a partner relationship where ideas and visions are brought to screen, transforming the way they operate and enabling rapid growth and expansion. Traderman continuously embraces new and emerging technologies to ensure its customers are receiving the most sophisticated systems and the optimum performance. Solutions offered tmWare is a modular system, enabling customers to build the solution that best addresses their needs. Modules include Pre Advice, Stock Control, Order Processing, Pick Builder, Barcode Scanning, Load Builder & Planning Management, Despatch Management, Resource Allocation, POD, SMS POD, Mobile POD, Track & Trace, GPS Tracking, Subcontractor Management, Rating & Invoicing and EDI imports/exports. As a web-based solution tmWare enables its customer to offer added-value services such as client access to reports, dashboards, enquiries and order upload. Traderman reports that the Cloud method of delivery eliminates the need for costly sever hardware and high implementation charges. The company adds that a connection charge, low monthly per user fee and Internet connection are all that are needed to get better control of the operation and provide real value to customers. Development and innovation The flexible structure and content of the core product has enabled tmWare to be installed in a wide variety of logistics organisations: parcels carriers; general hauliers; third-party logistics operators, pallet networks and warehousing facilities. Countries served tmWare is currently utilised in several countries across the world. Through accessing the solution via an Internet browser, tmWare is easily deployed in remote depots whilst maintaining central visibility.

Website: www.tmware.com

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TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT

Success story

PTV helps Isotrak

to improve mapping performance ritish company Isotrak is a market leader in the field of telematics and transportation software. The demand for mapping improvements had been growing within Isotrak’s customer base for some time, and, as the company has always striven to iteratively improve its software based on customer feedback, it decided to modernise software functionality and improve performance.

B

useful. They also wanted to introduce polygon geofences as an improvement on circular ones, enabling them to better define the areas within which they search for addresses.”

Software optimisation

Jon Hannah, product manager at Isotrak, is responsible for assembling products that meet customers' goals and expectations for their business. “To this end we provide software innovations that drive Isotrak's offerings forward,” he said. Hannah pointed out that mapping performance was one of the

A research project was undertaken by the Development Team to find out how to integrate aerial mapping and polygons into the software via OpenLayers. Isotrak chose PTV xServers to optimise its software solution. PTV xServers are powerful modules which enable users to easily integrate geographical and logistical functions into their client-server

The integrated PTV xServers enabled us to increase the quality of our software. Each demonstration given to customers has seen a positive reaction.“ – Jon Hannah, Isotrak.

features that Isotrak wanted to improve: “The performance was too slow when customers wanted to view the current position of their vehicles or analyse routes generated earlier in the day,” explained Hannah. “In addition, customers had seen the advent of Google and Bing mapping. Therefore, our customers felt features like aerial mapping would be

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architecture. Detailed NAVTEQ data ensures precise geocoding and map display as well as accurate routing & tracking. “The components contain many functions which we can use for our software,” said Hannah. “And we truly appreciate the partnership approach taken by the PTV team which will serve us well on projects going forward.”

Proven results Thanks to the PTV sServers Isotrak was able to not only solve the initial problems, including mapping, the provision of aerial mapping, enhanced geographic search and the integration of OpenLayers for map overlays, but also provide the new Route Sequence Planning functionality. It includes valuable information on vehicle profiles, dynamic vehicle re-routing, HGV-specific restrictions and Traffic Patterns. Users of the software, both internal and external, got to grips with the software extremely quickly. “PTV xServers have significantly enhanced the functionality of our products, which is of course also to the benefit of our customers,” remarked Hannah, who concluded: “This toolbox will help us to provide exciting software innovations – now and in the future. We are very pleased with the added functionality which has already helped us win new business.” n

Overview Solution: Mapping and logistics. Benefits: Improves logistic management. Technology: PTV xServers, Microsoft Bing maps.

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Success story

TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT

The PTV Group provides software and consulting for traffic, transport logistics and geomarketing. Be it transport routes or sales structures, private or public transport – the company can plan and optimise everything that moves people and goods worldwide. Solutions offered PTV’s range of products and services includes Concepts & Solutions, Software & Services, Components and Data & Content. PTV’s software tools enable private and public sector organisations to perform their everyday tasks in a highly efficient manner. Right at the forefront is the company’s leading product PTV Map&Guide for transport route planning and the Vision Traffic Suite for traffic & transport planning and traffic simulation. Development and innovation Scientific expertise is one of the company’s particular strengths. PTV runs projects in a goal-based and practice-oriented manner. Currently, it has over 650 employees worldwide crafting powerful and innovative solutions. PTV’s head office, which is located in the technology region of Karlsruhe, Germany, has been the centre of development and innovation since the company’s formation in 1979. Countries served Worldwide. Customers in more than 100 countries rely on PTV’s solutions.

Website: www.ptvgroup.com

Corporate Profile

PTV Group

.

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TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT

Success story

Transporeon

helps ITL to increase transport efficiency

nterforest Terminal London (ITL) is the largest paper terminal in the UK. The site, east of London in the Port of Tilbury, serves companies in the metropolitan area and mainly in the Midlands, but with deliveries throughout the UK, with a variety of products such as newsprint , pulp, timber and lightweight coated paper. Used for magazines. ITL is part of a bigger chain of SCA sites within Europe. Earlier this year ITL switched from one single haulier for its transportation to using the Transporeon platform. The result has been a better overview of the transport orders of the company. In addition, ITL was able to improve efficiency and save costs in the forwarding department. Overall, the company reduced its transport costs about ten per cent.

I

ITL’s forwarding supervisor, Peter Lowe, explained that he took the already developed platform idea from the Rotterdam Terminal of SCA. “After seeing the results of the Rotterdam example, we decided to implement the software platform over here and split the loads to the nature of work,” he said. “We have some short lead times for which the platform is not the ideal solution, but for the majority of the shipments the platform is a very useful help.” Indeed, the ITL site is currently loading on average a hundred lorries per day.

Getting the best price ITL’s two workloads are Kraft liner cargo transports and cargo with a longer lead time. Lowe elaborated: “Our Kraftliner cargo shipments do have a very short lead time.

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Sometimes we don’t know what to deliver to a customer until 12.00 on a certain day, when this should be delivered the next day. We use Transporeon for these transports, and send the order via a No Touch function to our contracted carrier.” The platform is used significantly more often for Best Carrier transports. “These orders have a significantly longer lead time, from three or four days to a maximum of three weeks or a month,” explained Lowe. “After placing them on the platform, we know we’ll get the best price from the hauliers we accepted on Transporeon.” Previously, ITL was used to dealing with one trusted haulier with whom it agreed on fixed prices for transport orders. After switching to the Transporeon platform the company was able to start working with a range of different hauliers, and, more importantly, connect only with those carriers that meet the demands of SCA. “Since we went live with the software we added 36 hauliers to our carrier group, but we are looking for more of them,” Lowe pointed out. “The more carriers we can connect to the platform, the better service we can offer our customers.”

Maintaining good relationships with carriers Everything related to ITL’s transportation operations is now being handled via the Transporeon platform; from tendering to awarding the Kraftliner cargo. The Tilbury site is a little different in its way of dealing with transports compared to, for example, the Rotterdam site. “Rotterdam was working with

several carriers before it switched to the platform,” said Lowe. “They have been able to define their strategy for either putting transport orders on Transporeon or contacting a carrier directly. What we have in common is that we don’t use the platform just to get the best price for a transport. We both feel a need to maintain a good relationship with our carriers.” Lowe is convinced that most hauliers working for ITL are happy with the use of Transporeon. And since going live with the Transporeon platform he points out that it has been a lot quieter in the forwarding department. Telephone calls are now only used in situations when a haulier didn’t confirm an order or didn’t show up for a load on the next day.

Reducing waiting times The implementation of the Transporeon platform took no longer than two months. “And it worked immediately, with offers coming from the hauliers,” said Lowe. He added that several months down the line the company is now looking for new steps to take in improving its transport activities. For example, ITL is considering adding the Time Slot Management module, where hauliers need to book a timeslot for loading or unloading. “This will reduce waiting times,” said Lowe. “At the moment we operate on a first-come-first-served method. The slot booking will provide hauliers with a fixed time to load and unload cargo. In addition we will look for growth. We created a win-win situation for both us and our hauliers by improving efficiency. This should help us both to grow now as well in the future.” n

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: MANUAL WORK TRANSPOREON Transporeon Transporeon is a logistics platform provider that connects shippers from industry and trading companies with their logistics partners: hauliers, drivers and consignees. The platform optimises and accelerates logistics processes by Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions. The Transporeon Group was established in 2000 and is now a European market leader for e-logistics platforms, enjoying a high degree of acceptance among shippers and their hauliers. Currently more than 600 industry and trading companies, more than 28,000 carriers and more than 60,000 users from 70 countries are connected via the Transporeon platform. The platform, as well as the customer service, is available in 19 languages. Solutions offered Shippers and carriers battle daily with increasing competition in the logistics market. Pressure to consolidate fluctuating volumes of cargo, high fuel prices, statutory regulations and an insufficient number of drivers limit the possibilities of reduced costs. Chances to improve can be found in cooperation, supported by intelligent ITsolutions such as Transporeon. The solution provides a cost-effective, transparent way of handling all transport logistics processes. The Transporeon platform is structured in modules: •

The heart of the platform is the electronic Transport Assignment module, which manages hauliers and freight rates. The second module, Time Slot Management, offers an ideal solution for dock and yard management. This can be used in combination with transport assignment or stand-alone. Transporeon offers Transport Visibility of the assigned loads, with which proof of delivery can be tracked throughout the process.

Industrial markets served The use of the Transporeon platform is of interest for all industrial companies. Relevant savings potential can be yielded in industries with high logistics costs in relation to the value of goods. Examples are: Automotive, Building materials, Chemical industry, FMCG, Electronics, Energy, Retail market, Timber, Plastics, Airfreight, Machine Construction, Paper – cardboard – printing, Recycling & Waste, Steel & Aluminium and Forwarders Countries served Transporeon serves customers worldwide from its headquarters in Germany and sales offices in 24 countries, across Europe, USA and Asia. The company also has Customer Care centres in Poland, Belgium, Germany and Italy.

TRANSPOREON, THE PILLAR OF YOUR LOGISTICS!

Website: www.transporeon.com

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TRANSPOREON | 51 Fenwick Close | Woking GU21 3BZ | Phone: + December 44 (0)7801 60 MANUFACTURING 81 77 2012 &LOGISTICSIT 41 www.transporeon.com | info@transporeon.com


TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT Product news

Fleetmatics launches SageQuest in the UK leetmatics Plc, the global provider of fleet management systems for fleet owners, has launched SageQuest in the UK. SageQuest, Fleetmatics’ enterprise product, offers an enterprise solution that is suited for fleets with more than 100 vehicles and is currently being used by more than 1000 enterprise accounts in the US.

F

Taking control of SageQuest in the UK will be new managing director Peter Bingham who will be based in the company's offices in Reading, along with the UK sales, marketing and support functions. Bingham has 15 years' experience in telematics, GPS vehicle tracking and fleet management solutions and said of the launch: "Now is the right time to emulate the success of SageQuest in the USA here. Market conditions and the dramatic changes in the way businesses in all areas now approach their logistics and fleet operations means that the demands for a system which is designed to enable faster, better informed business decision making and the reduction of expenses such as fuel has never been greater."

Business Intelligence The SageQuest solution is applicable to larger fleets and can easily scale to accommodate thousands of vehicles. It can be integrated into the client's workforce management system to allow the correct matching of orders to vehicles on the map or it can be deployed as a standalone system. SageQuest provides business intelligence data which can, for example, greatly improve forecasting for businesses that want to increase efficiency and improve profit margins. The system, delivered through a standard web browser, has many powerful functions but is simple and intuitive to use. Its mapping system is powered by Google, allowing use of its Streetview facility which allows more efficient dispatching and improved customer service. Other features include Control Centre, which allows fleet operators to monitor a wide range of information such as idle time; mileage; vehicle activity, driver behaviour and vehicle start time in order to improve productivity and performance. Additional elements include a customisable alert function which immediately alerts the appropriate staff member when a certain threshold (road speed, idling time, stopped time) has been reached and this can be delivered as text message or an email. This information can be accessed on the move via the SageQuest mobile apps. n

DRIVEN BY INNOVATION, FOCUSSED ON INDUSTRY

STORAGE

LIFTING

PACKAGING

HANDLING

AUTOMATION

FORKLIFT TRUCKS

www.intralogistics-paris.com

Information: thomas.dimasso@reedexpo.fr +33 01 47 56 65 46

Held simultaneously:

An event by

Transport & Logistics

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Product news

Kewill adds hub

TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT

and gateway

functionality to freight forwarding solution ewill, provider of software for global trade and logistics, has released the latest version of its freight forwarding solution. The new version incorporates hub and gateway functionality, offering increased efficiency for global freight processing and better financial visibility throughout the supply chain.

K

A key advantage of hub and gateway is the increased visibility it offers users throughout the entire process, ensuring that each entity involved in the transaction is informed about the upcoming shipment details from when the booking is first made, to allow for up-front planning. The new hub and gateway functionality supplies the documentation required for each stage of the shipping

process, which helps to ensure that all necessary declarations are made, on time, and that all paperwork is completed to ensure the smooth running of the entire transaction.

Security protected

finances accordingly; along with other calculations, such as assessing profit margin. While this makes life easier for all involved, the system allows for privacy levels to be adjusted at a user/role level, controlling who is able to gain access to the information without compromising security.

Users can now view exactly which shipments are arriving and when, meaning that they can plan space requirements accordingly based on the chosen transportation method. This is especially helpful in relation to air freight, which has a fast turnaround time and thus relies on key information at an early stage. Full visibility also aids with financial planning, as users can now view the weight and value of shipments up front, meaning that they can manage their

In addition to the core services, there is a new 'Value Added Services' module to assist with more specific ad-hoc requests that do not involve traditional air, sea or road shipping; for example, moving a container from one location to another. Even if this entire process has as little as five steps, it can be streamlined by utilising the usual work flow, meaning that operators can now attach electronic documents, have a service plan and view track-and-trace. n

26-28 MARCH 2013

PARIS NORD VILLEPINTE

Transport & Logistics services

HALL 4 - FRANCE

Logistics platforms

Technologies & Information Systems

500 exhibitors 27,000 professionals 54 conferences

Innovation, driving your logistics competitiveness The competitiveness of your logistics chain depends on your capacity for innovation. At SITL Logistics Solutions you will find the full range of innovative products and services dedicated for the supply, distribution and tomorrow’s supply chain to the service of the community of those involved in the transport of goods and logistics services.

Information and full programme on www.sitl.eu

SITL Logistics Solutions gives you the best access to information about the composition and evolution of the markets. It allows you to develop your network and gives you all the opportunities to gain competitive and performance advantage in strategic as well as commercial and operational aspects.

www.logisticsit.com

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Special technology report

Transportation management

I n n o va t i o n h i g h w ay Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with a number of vendors within the Transportation Management systems and services market about recent technological advances, how logistics professionals are benefiting from their solutions, the changing legal landscape and possible future trends. oday’s transportation managers

always possible to

available in a timely and web-based manner.

T

one hand they need to ensure they

Competitive pricing

drivers and therefore

are providing goods in a timely

According to Coughlin, one of the drivers for

SMS POD enables

manner to their end customers. And on the

this technology has been the pressure on the

the logistics operator

other, they need to seek to make their internal

logistics operators to provide this information

to retain the same

efficiencies as optimal as possible in order to

but still retain a competitive pricing structure.

levels of service

keep costs to a minimum, while also ensuring

“With the average rugged in cab device

regardless of the

their drivers are kept safe and keeping their

costing around £1000+, it is simply not an

transport used,” he

carbon footprint as light as possible. In order to

option for many logistics companies,” he said.

said. As a Software

achieve all these objectives, logistics

“With 85 per cent of the UK adult population

as a Service (SaaS)

professionals are increasingly relying on

(Ofcom), owning a mobile phone, there is a

solutions provider

Transportation Management solutions

ready-made platform for deploying real-time

improving communication between shipper

deploy your in-cab

have to juggle a number of

hardware to these

mission-critical disciplines. On the

comprising a rich array of functionality. So what are the current trends and talking points within this fast-changing technology space? Shaun Coughlin, managing director of tmWare, has observed that in recent years there has been an increased level of expectation among customers and end users, driven on by the availability of information at their finger-tips. For

and carrier in their transport processes,

The nature of logistics mobility, and therefore the current success of intelligent mobile devices, will open new value-added services to manage modern supply chains.” – Gitte Willemsens, Transporeon.

IT

increasingly driven by new technologies, such as those within the mobile arena. “The nature of logistics mobility, and therefore the current success of intelligent mobile manage modern supply chains,” said Gitte

out of touch and can

driver can send a text with details of the

Willemsens, marketing & customer care at

gain immediate

successful or failed delivery together with a

Transporeon. In terms of the main driver for

access to a wealth of

name of who received the consignment. The

these trends Willemsens has no hesitation in

social interaction and

system will use the time and date of the text to

saying that at the customer’s end this is, and

business

stamp the POD, thus enabling the customer to

will always be, time saving and money making.

communication. He

have instant visibility of delivery information

“Time is money, and new technologies give

adds that this

and the logistics operator can release their

millions of possibilities,” she said. “Everything

naturally filters

invoice to the customer. Text alerts and

that can be automated should be done this

through to what is

updates can also be sent directly to the

way. An example is that our shipper customers

expected from

customer as well.” Conversely, Coughlin

can have their loads automatically sent out via

suppliers and the

considers that there is an increased move

the Transporeon platform: directly out of their

information they

towards the use of subcontracting to improve

ERP-system to their contract based carrier. In

should make

transport efficiencies. “In this case it is not

this way, time won’t be wasted calling the

MANUFACTURING

&LOGISTICS

Management is, and will continue to be,

solutions. SMS POD technology means that a

technology has meant that people are never

44

Transporeon maintains that Transportation

devices, will open new value-added services to

example, he points out that smartphone

Shaun Coughlin, managing director, tmWare.

Gitte Willemsens, marketing & customer care, Transporeon.

December 2012

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Transportation management

Special technology report

carrier and sending

logistics at the moment is whether

emissions that are often talked about within the

them the transport

Transportation Management solutions should

transportation industry, and that this debate

information via fax or

be hosted in-house or in the Cloud. “A large

may be one of the key drivers for the increased

e-mail. Personnel can

number of Transportation Management solution

level of interest in Transportation Management

be reduced in this

providers have developed Cloud-based

solutions. “We don’t know for sure how these

way, or, even better,

solutions, and this can be a highly attractive

might change in the short or medium term, and

the dispatchers can

deployment model when considering the

how reporting requirements might change,” he

use this time to work

benefits to the end customer,” he said. “For

said. “Also, we’re not sure whether logistics

on a more strategic

example, there is no need for lengthy

companies will also need to report third-party

level, or to spend

implementation on premise. There is also little

emissions. Nevertheless, these are all issues

more time on

or no up-front capital expenditure required,

the UK Government is currently considering.”

exception handling.”

and no need for regular upgrades – users just

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is

Additionally, on the

pay a subscription fee. PTV provides

working on carbon reduction schemes with the

environmental front, Willemsens reflects that

components for these Cloud-based solutions

Government and with the transport industry.

new laws concerning CO2 calculation are

within our xServer toolbox.” However, de Roo

increasing the need for system functionality

adds that there are also a number of end users

de Roo adds that there is also the question of

that can facilitate this requirement.

that prefer not to opt for Cloud-based solutions.

road congestion and other traffic issues, and

“For example, Government agencies might

how transportation professionals can better

require on premise solutions because of

prepare for ad hoc situations in order to remain

The SaaS effect

perceived security issues surround more open

compliant while also saving time and cost.

Fabrice Maquignon, CEO at Transwide,

source models,” he explained.

“This is where our xServer component toolbox

Fabrice Maquignon, CEO, Transwide.

comes in,” he said. “They can help give

believes that SaaS is probably becoming the leading way to deliver Transportation

de Roo points out that there are compliance

transportation companies an edge over their

Management systems. However, he adds that

and regulation issues concerning CO2

competitors by allowing them to integrate state-

only a few companies are true SaaS (single instance multi-tenant) or have a significant network. “End-to-end connectivity between partners never has been so important as today,” he said. “Clients are in need of accurate data at any time to ensure efficiency of their business. Finally, advanced optimisation capabilities and optimisation algorithms become crucial for significant cost savings and gaining competitive edge.” In terms of the motivating forces for these developments, Maquignon comments that customers have been trying to find the best compromise between costs and service capability. He adds that the ability to source new providers is key, as is the ability to optimise existing capacities and manage inbound as well as outbound flows. Maquignon also maintains that optimisation of loads or assets is a critical component with a short lead-time to ROI. At the same time, he points out that Transwide customers see a growing need for global implementation due to the fact that an increasing number of the company’s clients have operations on multiple continents. James De Roo, business development manager UK at PTV Group, considers that one of the main talking points in the world of

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Special technology report Transportation management

James De Roo, business development manager UK, PTV Group.

of-the-art geographic

maintains that, for solutions vendors, it is

over the past few years, but there still seems to

and logistic functions

important for them to focus on satisfying their

be a lot of stumbling blocks out there where a

into their own

logistics customers to ensure they retain their

lot of different pieces of the puzzle aren’t

software. Our

business, especially in these tough times.

joining up as well as they could,” he said. “So,

xServers provide the

Buijsse believes there is therefore a need on

it’s about getting all the data together in a more

technology behind

the part of solution providers to focus less on

seamless way with less data silos.”

our products in the

cost cutting. Additionally, he observes that

form of efficient

receivers of goods are increasingly demanding

Buijsse’s view is that the client/server is still

software

to be kept informed regarding delivery status in

key, while web user interfaces are next on the

components. By

a real-time basis online.

agenda for light users. Maquignon believes the ability to interface systems efficiently has

integrating these

always been critical. He points out that for a

components into their own applications or

Integration

company like Transwide this has always been

in their company

In terms of the relationship between the more

native on the platform. “Building solutions on a

network

field-based Transportation Management

single communication platform is critical for

transportation

systems and the back-office systems they

seamless operations,” he said. “There is a lot

management solution providers, or the logistics

integrate with, Willemsens points out that some

of hype about mobile application and we start

professionals themselves, can quickly and

50 per cent of Transporeon’s shipper

to see more of those deployed on board

easily extend their range of functions.”

customers work with SAP. “These shippers are

trucks.”

already used to the SAP environment and do not want to use extra applications to, for

Collaboration

example, route their transports,” she said.

Legal matters

Ronald Buijsse, director global marketing at

“That’s why we have built an SAP add-on. This

And have changes in transportation legislation

Ortec, cites real-time traffic information for

has numerous advantages for all parties: the IT-

influenced the development of Transportation

route planning as a recent innovation. He also

department is more than happy as they do not

Management systems over the past year or

points to collaboration between shippers and

have to build interfaces, the end-user is happy

so? According to Buijsse the answer is in the

carriers to track and trace orders and share

as he does not have to switch screens and get

affirmative. “Yes, working time regulations are

planning facilities. He explains that there is

used to a new system, and the logistics

now included more often in route planning,” he

currently a successful project in Western

manager is happy as long as he can save

said, adding: “An eco-tax will be implemented

Europe where carriers have access to the

costs once the system is up and running.”

in France in mid-2013, which will force

planning system of a shipper, to schedule the

shippers to pay additional taxes for the usage

trips that have been appointed to them by the

Coughlin believes it is inevitable that the

of certain roads, and to place GPS equipment

shipper. Buijsse also considers that mobility is

availability and reliability of wireless

in their trucks.”

an opportunity; quickly Apps are being

communication infrastructures will broaden the

launched, with tailored views on supply chain

possibilities for integration and use. “Until

Willemsens believes that green logistics and

Key Performance Indicators. Additionally, he

recent years the use of a mobile network to

the need for CO2 calculations is something

believes greater collaboration between carriers

communicate operational transaction both from

that might have influenced the development of

will be required from shippers. This for

within the warehouse/yard and out in the field

Transport Management systems further. “The

example, may result in a change from several

would not be viable,” he remarked. “Now, the

fact that everything needs to be ‘green’ these

one-pick-one (not full)-drop trips into multi-

use of mobile networks is becoming an

days and shippers and carriers need to have

picks-single (full truck)-drop trips, to avoid

increasingly popular way to run an operation

calculations based on this might have pushed

inefficient trips and reduce the number of

that would be traditionally done using WiFi

developments on this topic,” she said. On a

trucks waiting at the dock for delivering.

infrastructure. Mobile tariffs have become so

global level, Willemsens considers that the new

cost-effective to run that it is often a better

eco-tax in France will have impact on some

As regards drivers for change, Buijsse believes

alternative to the capital outlay involved with

Transportation Management systems.

end-user requirements regarding

wireless access points and router hardware. It

Transportation Management systems and their

also means the devices are not limited to the

Maquignon observes that the main changes

broadening logistics operations are changing.

range of the WiFi network, so can be utilised

are related to security in international

For example, he observes that there is a need

over a larger area and over multiple sites.”

transportation and in the Carrier Safety Act the

for higher customer service levels and greater

USA. In Europe, meanwhile, the French eco-tax

efficiencies in leaner economic times, as well

de Roo considers that the logistics market

will have a major impact on the transportation

as ‘blue-skies’ thinking on the part of vendors

definitely wants more of a turnkey solution.

industry, in his view. “Transwide is prepared

and their R&D activities. Additionally, Buijsse

“There have been major improvements made

because our solutions already have the ability

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Transportation management

Special technology report

to manage accessorial,” he said. “Moreover,

trends Coughlin points out that tmWare is

vehicles’ carbon

our costs computation capabilities are very

looking at utilising smartphone technology in

footprint may also

strong. All in all, new regulations are usually

particular; to further enable more functions

become an even

strong drivers for TMS investment.”

and features of the system to be available

greater requirement

through this medium. He adds that, whether it

in the near future.

is a case a manager logging in to his

“So, looking at the

Differentiation

dashboard to get a quick overview of

broad picture,

And what of some of the key points of

operational status while he is out and about or

transportation

differentiation within the Transportation

fully featured apps that enable transactional

management

Management solutions arena? Maquignon

operations to be performed, this is an exciting

solutions are

considers that one differentiator is functionality-

area. According to Coughlin it affords much

increasingly

driven; namely the ability to deliver on all

potential for genuine benefit to the end user

required to save

processes – from sourcing to planning to

rather than just a fad like RFID. “RFID is great

time and cost as

execution to costs auditing to reporting &

concept but how many people actually use it?”

well as ensure greater environmental

analysis. “Only a few Transportation

he remarked.

responsibility as well as optimum safety on the

Ronald Buijsse, director global marketing, Ortec.

road,” he stated. “And, of course, achieving

Management systems have the ability to execute with some functional depth in all areas

de Roo’s view is that the Cloud will definitely

such overall cost savings can mean the ROI in

especially today,” he said. “The ability to run

continue to become more popular. He also

logistics companies’ transportation

transport planning through a good optimisation

maintains that the continuing integration of

management solution can be achieved within a compellingly short timeline.” Buijsse believes

An eco-tax will be implemented in France in mid-2013, which will force shippers to pay additional taxes for the usage of certain roads, and to place GPS equipment in their trucks.” – Ronald Buijsse, Ortec.

tailor-made reporting, possibly via Apps on mobile devices, will become more prevalent. Additionally, he considers that there could be an upcoming dearth of drivers, which may force shippers to move partially back from rented fleet to private or dedicated fleets, to

process warrants fast ROI. Transportation

Transportation Management functionality with

Management systems need to be versatile and

mobile devices and more general centralised

allow customers to work jointly with 3PLs and

integration of data will become increasingly

4PLs directly with carriers, or manage their

prevalent. “It seems to me that we are going

Changing demands

own fleet when necessary.”

back to the old mainframe type solutions;

With regard to the end user, how might their

secure short term carrier availability.

rather than allowing much of the

business or operational requirements change

In terms of technology-driven differences,

transportation-related data to be held in silos,”

over the coming year or two? Buijsse points to

Maquignon maintains that it is still a case of On

he said. “There is certainly a strong desire for

backhauling, the avoidance of suboptimisation

Demand TMS vs. ASP TMS vs. On-premise

all this information to be pulled back into a

and the inclusion of workforce scheduling

TMS. “We see that the case for On Demand is

more centralised data hub.”

within system functionality, together with the use of more parameters, to make planning as

growing stronger as it allows greater flexibility, cheaper implementation and allows customers

de Roo added that one of the biggest areas of

realistic as possible. According to Maquignon,

to evolve their processes more easily,” he

focus within the transportation management

the regulatory environment may provide more

remarked. “In the end it is not just the ‘pay as

arena is driver performance, and solutions that

constraints and drive a growth in intermodal

you go’ model which is attractive but the faster

can help logistics companies to better track

transportation. He also considers that high oil

ROI, lower risk and lower maintenance cost.”

driver performance. “This will undoubtedly

prices will surely revive initiatives for

And in terms of service differences, Maquignon

become even more important in the future,” he

collaborative logistics; hence driving the need

comments that when looking for a

said. “One reason for this is the desire to ensure

for Transportation Management solutions that

Transportation Management solution one

driving time is best utilised, thus saving on fuel.

are fully capable of letting partners share

should look at both the level of support that will

Also, companies want their drivers to drive as

environments. Regardless of what the future

be provided as well as at how one’s providers

safely and responsibly as possible, therefore

holds, there can be no doubt that today’s

will be supported.

reducing vehicle wear and tear as well as

state-of-the-art Transportation Management

having fewer accidents. This last point can also,

systems are reaping major time, cost, safety

of course, have a bearing on the insurance

and environmental benefits for logistics

On the road to future development

premiums a logistics company has to pay.”

professionals, not to mention their invaluable

And with a view to future developments and

According to de Roo, the further reduction of

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benefits in keeping businesses on the right side of legal compliance.

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Special technology report Transportation management

Transportation in action he following case studies illustrate how

T

Transportation Management solutions are delivering real benefits to a range

of logistics operators: Transporeon case study – Procurus With Transporeon working with drinks manufacturer Bacardi across Europe, a UK link was the logical next step. Over the past year Transporeon has provided its transport assignment system to specialist 4PL provider Procurus, logistics partner for Bacardi, the world’s largest privately- and family-owned spirits provider. Procurus has staff embedded in Bacardi operations, handling all movements around the Continent. Transporeon’s UK key account manager, Charlie Pesti, worked closely with Graeme Connor, Procurus’ business development manager and his colleagues, to establish a 4PL solution to the demands of distributing Bacardi products around Britain. Connor inherited the plan to link with Transporeon when he took up his post with Procurus in August 2011. Procurus is using Transporeon’s No-Touch Order module. The module has a range of major features. Among those particularly attractive to Procurus is the automated transport

feminine hygiene and adult incontinence) for

satisfaction. Another benefit is better planning

allocation, based on defined criteria with no

the private label sector. Utilising 11

and managing of human & mechanical

need for manual intervention, with transport

manufacturing facilities, these facilities are

resources. This includes:

planners freed to concentrate on exceptions.

strategically located to enable the business to

Procurus is also using Transporeon’s Time

provide timely deliveries of all products to

Slot Management module, which ensures that

customers. Ontex recognises that delivering

loading and unloading slots can be booked

the product in time is a key feature for its

10 per cent increase in on-time delivery.

online, carriers can be tracked on route and

customers and as a result it has developed a

Over 50 per cent decrease of waiting

can quickly get on their way again after

high quality supply chain organisation to

arrival. The system will be used too for

ensure the highest levels of customer service.

monitoring and checking security information,

By using the Transwide communication hub,

Additionally, track & trace functionality allows

which is required in moving high value

Ontex is able to manage and monitor the

a very fast response time to customers and

products such as alcohol. Procurus and its

inbound and outbound traffic at 20 locations,

improves exceptions management and issue

carriers are now benefitting from reduced

including transport booking, load planning

resolution. This results in reduced complaints

time, efforts, costs and increased productivity

and full track & trace visibility once the

from customer on delivery delays. Also,

as well as reduced empty miles.

shipment has left the Ontex premises. Most of

carrier acceptance has guaranteed full

the data flows are currently automated

project ROI; none of the carriers have refused

10 per cent increase in quantity loaded with the same operational resources.

times.

through electronic bi-directional messaging

to use Transwide. And 95 per cent of carriers

Transwide case study – Ontex

exchange. The key benefits of Transwide

book time slots at pick-up locations and

include time efficiencies in transport ordering

comply with their own commitments, leading

Ontex is a European provider of hygienic

process. This allows Ontex more time to focus

to a substantial reduction of demurrage costs.

disposables (such as nappies and wipes,

on its service performance and customer

The remaining issues are tackled through

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Transportation management

continuous improvement and based on pro-

circular ones, enabling

active exception management.

them to better define the

Special technology report

areas within which they search for addresses.”

tmWare case study – Sea Cargo

A research project was

Sea Cargo, a North Sea shipping company

undertaken by the

based at Immingham docks, uses tmWare to

Development Team to find

receive cargo in, manage and plan orders

out how to integrate aerial

out. A lot of the transport work is

mapping and polygons into

subcontracted out, which means it is not

the software via

possible to supply each subcontractor with an

OpenLayers. Isotrak chose

in-cab device. Therefore, tmWare’s POD SMS

PTV xServers to optimise its

provides a platform for maintaining the real

software solution. PTV

time communication of successful deliveries.

xServers are powerful

Steve Lingard, IT development manager at

modules that enable users

Sea Cargo commented: "Not being an

to easily integrate

operator of a large fleet of vehicles Sea Cargo

geographical and logistical

relies on subcontracted haulage. The solution

functions into their client

to send POD information over SMS allows

server architecture. Detailed

these subcontractors to maintain reliable and

NAVTEQ data ensures

up to date communication directly with our

precise geocoding and

transport applications. As every haulier

map display as well as

already has a mobile phone there is zero

accurate routing & tracking.

investment required from the subcontractor

Hannah commented: “The

and allows Sea Cargo to operate as if having

components contain many

an in-house haulage department using

functions which we can use

expensive in-cab hardware. We also see the

for our software. And we

use of smart phones to greatly increase over

truly appreciate the

the coming years which will allow even more

partnership approach taken

innovation and functionality in this area.”

by the PTV team which will serve us well on projects going forward.” Due to the PTV xServers Isotrak was able to not

Ortec – Walmart study

PTV case study – Isotrak

only solve the initial problems, including

Earlier this year Walmart announced an

British company Isotrak specialises in field of

mapping, the provision of aerial mapping,

improvement in the efficiency of its private

telematics and transportation software.

enhanced geographic search and the

fleet by almost 69 per cent last year

Product manager Jon Hannah is responsible

integration of OpenLayers for map overlays,

compared to its 2005 baseline. Part of these

for assembling products that meet the

but also provide the new Route Sequence

savings has been realised by the company-

customers’ goals and expectations for their

Planning functionality. It includes valuable

wide implementation of the Ortec Vehicle

business. “To this end we provide software

information on vehicle profiles, dynamic

Routing and Ortec Load Building solutions.

innovations that drive Isotrak‘s offerings

vehicle rerouting, HGVspecific restrictions

An excerpt from the Walmart report reads:

forward,” said Hannah. Mapping performance

and Traffic Patterns. Users of the software,

“Throughout our network, we delivered 65

was one of the features that Isotrak wanted to

both internal and external, got to grips with

million more cases, while driving 28 million

improve: “The performance was too slow

the software extremely quickly.

fewer miles, by increasing pallets per trailer

when customers wanted to view the current

and better managing routes. The heavier

position of their vehicles or analyse routes

loads have minimal impact on our fuel-

generated earlier in the day,” Hannah

Ortec – TNT case study

efficient equipment, which includes an

explained. In addition, customers had seen

The Franz Edelman Award was presented to

average tractor age of three years and the

the advent of Google and Bing mapping.

TNT Express as the company – together with

addition of more than 13,000 skirted trailers.

“Therefore, our customers felt features like

a team, including Ortec, and by using Ortec

Our network efficiency improvement equates

aerial mapping would be useful,” Hannah

tools – saved over 200 Mln euro in the past 5

to avoiding nearly 41,000 metric tons of CO2

continued. “They also wanted to introduce

years on networking and routing optimisation

emissions, the equivalent of taking about

polygon geofences as an improvement on

projects.

7900 cars off the road.” n

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Manufacturing and Logistics IT December 2012  

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

Manufacturing and Logistics IT December 2012  

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