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DECEMBER 2016

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

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

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

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CONTENTS Manufacturing and Logistics IT December 2016

Special Technology Report

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

5

Supply Chain Management

Editor: Ed Holden Contributors:

Supply Chain Management

David Stain, Zebra Technologies

14

Zebra Technologies: Optimising goods-in efficiencies

Jonathan Bellwood, Peoplevox Oracle – Think forward: Streamline the supply chain to accelerate success Publisher: Dean Taylor Designer: First Sight Graphics Ltd, www.firstsightgraphics.com

Manufacturing

18

Aesica upgrades its QAD solution while meeting an accelerated serialisation deadline

Production: Carolyn Pither Circulation: Carole Chiesa

AIDC/Mobile Computing

20

IT Manager: Ian Curtis Accounts: Sarah Schofield

Warehouse Management

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

22

Printed by: The Magazine Printing Company, 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.

ISSN:1463-1172

IT

Special Technology Report 26

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AIDC/Mobile Computing

Special Technology Report 34

Printing & Labelling

Special Technology Report 42

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Peoplevox: The perfect storm that’s transforming WMS Vanderlande: Automation paves the way for ifm’s success

Tel: +44 (0) 1707 664200 Email (publishing): info@logisticsit.com Email (editorial): editor@ibcpub.com

4

BEC secures one of its largest hardware deals in its company history with Malcolm Logistics

Transportation Management


Supply Chain Management

Special Technology Report

Optimising the flow Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke to a number of key spokespeople from the vendor and analyst communities about recent developments in the world of supply chain management-related solutions – including those involving mobility, Cloud/SaaS and Big Data.

he pace of technological change

T

from SCM software vendors, and increased

Ramasamy foresees that, in the future, supply

within the supply chain management

demands from customers.

chains will interact with multiple systems to create a consolidated, informed and integrated

solutions space is fast and

viewpoint on what is happening within a firm’s

unrelenting. So, among the myriad

Digital tapestry

spectrum of value-chain. He states that

what have been some of the most discussion-

Muthuraman ‘Ram’ Ramasamy, research

consolidating information and data is critical to

worthy sweet spots? Eric Kimberling, president,

manager – automation and process control, Frost

drive real-time decision making.

Panorama Consulting Solutions, considers that

& Sullivan, comments that tomorrow’s supply

Cloud- and SaaS-based solutions represent one

chain will focus on creating a digital tapestry from

Ramasamy adds that another emerging theme is

big innovation that is gaining quite a bit of

ideation of the product through the product’s

smart factories, which will require smarter supply-

current and ongoing developments

traction in the supply chain management space.

entire lifecycle. “Today, the SCM implementations

chains. “Distributed manufacturing, intelligent

“These are relevant not only because so much

are very siloed with systems not collaborating

sourcing, 3D printing are all causing micro

of the enterprise software space in general is

with each other,” he said. “Hence, this restraints

disruptions to the supply chain,” he said. “Hence,

headed toward the Cloud, but because it

enterprise visibility and the ability to predict

embracing these change elements now will help

provides more real-time and reliable visibility into

domino effects of any non-compliant activity

end-users build a resilient supply-chain of the

a company’s supply chain operations at any

within a supply-chain.”

future. A case in point: Raytheon uses artificial

given time,” he said.

Because of this, states Ramasamy, the emerging

intelligence in supply-chain to discover previously

convergence happening between SCM systems

undiscovered supplier sources. For companies

According to Kimberling, another key current

and analytics will create new growth opportunities

who source globally, finding a reliable and quality

innovation trend is a two-tier ERP strategy,

and drive creative destruction and expansion of

supplier means a whole lot of difference to them.”

which many companies are adopting to

traditional business models. “Analytics, be it

From Frost & Sullivan’s viewpoint, Ramasamy

enable their SCM system to bolt on to their

predictive or prescriptive, will steer supply chains

explains there are five strategic shifts within the

traditional, back-office ERP system. “This

to be more proactive, integrated, intelligent and

supply-chain:

allows companies to get the best of both

interactive,” he added. “The use of machine

worlds – the financial and inventory

learning algorithms, a stream of analytics, will

management capabilities of ERP, integrated

help create the aspects of self-learning and self-

Volume-driven to outcomes-based;

with the supply chain capabilities of SCM

healing supply-chains. Aspect of the self-learning

IT-centric deployment to business-centric

Systems have shifted from reactive to proactive, predictive and prescriptive;

deployment.

software,” he explained. Kimberling believes

supply-chain already exists today. Many

these trends are being driven by a number of

companies offer solutions, wherein supply-chains

Siloed to system of systems collaboration;

influences, ranging from rapidly evolving and

sense disruptions and automatically re-route

Divergence to convergence (SCM’s

maturing technology capabilities, increased

shipments to ensure achievement of the final

convergence with analytics/artificial

competition – and therefore better products –

requirement.”

intelligence (AI)/machine learning).

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Special Technology Report

Vikram Singla, product

Supply Chain Management

from pallet fulfilment to item-level support is

and effectiveness,” said Singla.

placing a greater strain on warehouse

innovation and supply chain apps leader,

In terms of what has driven these developments,

performance; further exposing the cost of errors

Oracle UK, comments

Singla explains that many MRP/ERP systems

and increasing the need to equip workers with

that it is really

were primarily designed a few decades back to

solutions that enable ever higher levels of

important to

serve the factory-centric world. “Many new SCM

performance. With labour the single highest cost

understand market

application categories, such as APS (Advanced

for these businesses, VDC research indicates

dynamics and the

Planning Systems), TMS (Transportation

that as long as the human element continues to

evolution of supply

Management systems), PLM (Product Lifecycle

play a central role in warehousing, any

chain discipline as it

Management) were created around these

technology that optimises workflows and

has matured rapidly in

systems to meet the challenges of the evolving

improves accuracy will add tremendous value.

recent years. “Today,

world,” he said. “It is a bit like the patchwork

organisations can’t rely

extension of an airport or a train station that can

Other innovations highlighted by Husain and

on the traditional transactional relationships with

go only so far to meet the needs of today.

Krebs include modular SCM offerings, data

their customers,” he said. “Customers today

Despite heavy investment and spending years to

sharing cross systems, and the emergence of

demand high-quality, personalised experiences

build, the security, scalability and the reliability

Cloud-based solutions. “Customisation and

based on their local needs. For organisations, this

become a serious issue which is why it is often

modularity will be appealing to organisations as

means that every interaction must improve the

easier and more efficient to build from scratch.”

they are able to pick and spend on software

Vikram Singla, product innovation and supply chain apps leader,

according to their warehouse operational needs,”

customer experience, not matter where it is in the customer lifecycle.”

they said.

Singla adds that a similar approach for supply chain IT was long overdue and the systems

Singla explains that supply chains have had to

needed to be built, ground-up, to support various

Further changes to software, according to Husain

change to effectively and efficiently deliver these

business flows, including:

and Krebs, will be Cloud-based management

expectations and non-delivery directly hits the top

a) Ideation to commercialisation.

systems that can be accessed from anywhere

and bottom line. “Organisations today need to

b) Order to cash.

and from multiple platforms, and the analytics of

leverage local Intellectual Property (IP) to ensure

c) Source to settle.

Big Data will play a role in shaping the

an appropriate offering for each target market

d) Plan to produce.

warehouse/distribution centre of the future.

segment,” he stressed. “True partnerships,

e) Break to fix.

“Developments are already in place with solution

across companies, must work to ensure that a

“So, the changes have been rather fundamental

providers developing modular management

customised offering, for an increasingly smaller

and driven to serve an entirely different set of

platforms instead of complete WMS, WCS, or

customer segment, is delivered profitably with as

end-user needs than those that used to exist

WES packages,” they pointed out.

much commonality and customisation as

before,” he said.

possible. Supply chains are now at the heart of

Visibility and traceability

the business and not just cost-centres looking for

Competitive differentiation

David Stain, senior vertical marketing manager

Shahroze Husain, research associate, AIDC,

EMEA manufacturing, field mobility & healthcare,

According to Singla, IT is now more important

VDC Research, and David Krebs, executive vice

Zebra Technologies, comments that visibility and

than ever to enable the modernisation of the

president, enterprise mobility & AIDC, VDC

traceability are becoming the cornerstones of

supply chains. “The traditional approach of multi-

Research, comment that for many organisations

fulfilment and service. “As manufacturers drive

year software deployment projects and not

supply chain operations are becoming a growing

towards lean enterprises and consumers are

upgrading the systems for five to ten years can

source of competitive differentiation, increasing

demanding

hold back businesses,” he said. “To keep up with

the focus on investment decisions surrounding

personalised products

efficiency gains only.”

market demand, modern SCM systems need to

disciplines such as logistics and warehouse

delivered on their

be Cloud-based so that latest IT innovations can

operations. “As organisations look to retool their

terms the supply chain

be consumed to respond to the dynamic

operations to better meet these rigours,

has to be more

marketplace.” Singla added that Cloud-based

warehouse solution decision makers are citing

transparent,” he said.

solutions have also given rise to the use of IoT

the need to support faster shipments and

“Manufacturers are

data within the supply chain, which is allowing

improve labour performance as leading

now more centric to

organisations to deliver a far superior customer

warehouse solution investment catalysts, driving

the supply chain as

experience. “By pulling together information from

the need for smarter warehouse operations,”

stored inventory is

multiple sources, and analysing it, businesses are

they said.

expensive. Hence manufacturers have to

able to gain a holistic view of operations and can use the understand to drive greater efficiency

6

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December 2016

Eric Kimberling, president,

Husain and Krebs added that workflow shifts

be lean and accurate

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Supply Chain Management

Special Technology Report

to enable on-time-in-

accurate picking,” he said. “Voice and RFID

Singla points out that there are three key means

full delivery.” In terms

systems are for data capture and ultimately

of integrating effectively:

of drivers for change,

dependent on the application. Part of the lack of

Stain considers these

progress in finding ways of better integrating

specifically for integration, that provides, cost

to be several-fold.

these with SCM is the creation of unnecessary

saving, scalability and flexibility. For example,

“However, put simply,

complexities which can arise when attempting to

Oracle’s Integration Cloud Service

people are driving

integrate SCM software with other systems that

automatically provides an environment pre-

smart devices and

are not fit for purpose.”

loaded with connections to all subscribed

demand smart Muthuraman ‘Ram’ Ramasamy, research manager – automation and process control,

First is the availability of Cloud solutions,

Oracle SaaS applications. This not only

fulfilment from smart

In the case of WMS, Bellwood comments that

provides the ability to connect to other Cloud

factories,” he said.

RFID is good for use in the docking bay at Goods

services, but also to existing on-premise

“Shopping is being

In, but barcode-based data capture is better for

partnered by clicks

scanning of pallets. He adds that one-way Voice

and in industry

solutions. •

Second is the availability of pre-built

is best for picking rather than for two-way

adapters. These accelerate integration and

fulfilment conversations replaced with data

communications. “It is good for directing pickers

reduce cost even further. Oracle and its

transfer.”

to the next location and advising them on such

partners provide a portfolio of pre-built

things as number of orders left to pick, delivery

adapters through the Cloud marketplace.

priorities, time left on shift,” said Bellwood.

These can be used as-is or are customisable

Gary Shaw, business consultant, DynaSys,

as per the business requirements.

considers that the availability of data for decision •

Third is the availability of Cloud solutions to

making is important. “People hear about Big

Shaw observes that there is a continuing trend of

Data, and at the same time it’s taking them five

moving to the Cloud for all business applications,

collate data from multiple sources e.g.

days to prepare their spreadsheets for the

and the growth of applications such as Dell

production machines, fleet. Oracle’s Internet

S&OP/IBP meetings,” he said. “Now we have in-

Boomi to link these systems together. He explains

of Things Cloud (IoT) enables data collection,

memory databases and powerful computing

that DynaSys’s parent company, QAD, has

analysis and then feeds to enterprise

combined with an end-to-end integrated APS.

created an Interoperability team to support

systems to improve the business process.

Organisations who capitalise on this have access

requirements in this area to effectively link any

to the data and decision making tools such as

systems together. Stain points out that Voice picking is a means of

Disruption of actual operations

scenario planning and financial planning that underpin a robust S&OP/IBP process.”

managing humans and also migrating over to

Mark Atwood, analyst, Gartner, believes that a

Shaw reflects that a key motivation for change

manufacturing with Voice-directed assembly.

digitally vulnerable supply chain can lead to

is people’s expectation to have data at their

“Ultimately, the notion of Industry 4.0 will become

disruption of actual operations. He added that it

fingertips from their use of applications

real and the cyber physical world will drive a

can also lead to significant damage to brand and

outside of work. “So, it’s natural that they want

greater need for technology to support the

reputation, product safety and integrity issues,

business applications that give the same

human machine interface – HMI,” he said. “The

loss or theft of intellectual property, and

speed of response and quality of user

impact of Voice has many positive features –

substantial fines and fees. Given the stakes,

experience,” he said. Pascal Garsmeur,

including route picking optimisation, better

Atwood explains that security is a top concern for

product manager, DynaSys, adds that a full

space/visual awareness by pickers (safety),

supply chain leaders. He added that in Gartner

web user interface, mobility, Cloud-based

dynamic storage balancing (moving locations

studies of supply chain senior executives,

solutions and social media interaction are

around for space optimisation while still ensuring

‘cybersecurity’ has

other key factors that drive SCM change.

that stock location can be easily found by

been ranked as the

pickers) and quick and effective training of staff.”

top worry for the past two years.

Integration

Singla explains that treating ERP and WMS

Have ways of best integrating SCM with other

systems in silo is no longer applicable. “They

Atwood also states

systems developed to any notable degree over

need to interact and work with each other and

that digitalisation has

the past year or two? Jonathan Bellwood, founder

every other system in the organisation,” he said.

blurred the line

and CEO, Peoplevox, doesn’t believe this is the

“To do this, and drive the most value from SCM

between how

case, although he points out that Android is

systems, organisations should look to deploy

information is secured

making positive strides in this respect when it

systems that are built from the ground up.

and how physical

comes to the integration of Voice for picking.

However, this is not always possible and

environments are

“Android is essential for the successful integration

businesses need to find ways to integrate new

secured, requiring a

of Voice when it comes to easier, faster and more

applications with existing current infrastructure.”

shared security

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Shahroze Husain, research associate, AIDC,

IT

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December 2016

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Special Technology Report

David Krebs, executive vice president, enterprise mobility & AIDC,

Supply Chain Management

strategy and

Capgemini Consulting, explains that in an earlier

planning processes will create overall

planning. “The term

Capgemini blog ‘Supply Chain Control Towers: is

possibilities to reduce working capital and

‘cybersecurity’ does

the hype over?’, one of the conclusions was that

not adequately

control tower solutions are now mature but that

capture the physical

many control tower implementations still have a

implementing the control tower concept in

and the information

limited scope from a supply chain and/or

more countries/regions or business

worlds that are

functionality perspective.

units/divisions will create synergies which will

increasingly

Expanding on the theme, van Doesburg

have a positive impact on operational costs

merging,” he said.

addresses the questions of how companies can

“This can lead to

assess the maturity of their current supply chain

confusion and

control tower solution, and how they can drive

more decision rights will have a particularly

incomplete

cost reductions and improve service levels by

positive impact on service levels and working

approaches to

extending their existing control tower solutions.

capital costs.

dealing with the

According to van Doesburg, the maturity of

expanded threat to the supply chain. Therefore, a

supply chain control tower solutions can be

new approach to governance, planning and

assessed using the following dimensions:

management that Gartner designates as ‘digital

improve quality. •

Extend geography/business scope:

(staff, IT, etc.) in particular. •

Extend governance: to give the control tower

Enforcing capabilities: stronger capabilities of staff members will create more possibilities for flexibility in the supply chain.

Supply chain: which supply chain processes

Better IT support: dedicated and integrated

security’ is required to denote the digital effects

are supported, e.g. manufacturing,

tools will notably reduce operational costs as

on both information and physical environments of

warehousing and transportation for inbound

a result of automation of manual work,

and/or outbound flows.

communication and decision support.

the supply chain.” •

Functionality: which activities are conducted,

Atwood explains that digital security uses the

e.g. order management, planning, event

Thus, explains van Doesburg, enhancing the

tools and techniques of IT for data and software

management, cost control, analytics and/or

maturity of a control tower solution through these

as well as engineering-oriented techniques from

workflow management.

different drivers can have significant benefits,

Geography: which countries/regions are in

both in terms of cost reduction and improvement

scope of the control tower.

of service levels. “The hype may be over, but the

Business: how many business units or

real value of having a control tower solution may

divisions are supported.

only now begin to surface,” he said.

OT, the IoT and physical security automation and

management. He points out that both types are also used in product security to minimise

vulnerabilities, maintain system integrity, allow access only to approved ‘entities’ (human and

Governance: decisions rights of the control tower, e.g. accountable, responsible,

machine) and protect assets.

Functionality enhancements

consulting and/or supporting. “Digital security is an issue for all business

Capabilities: operational, tactical and/or strategic capabilities of staff members.

Has the level of functionality notably increased

IT support: tools and systems supporting the

within today’s state-of-the-art SCM systems? Stain

number of ‘hand-offs’ that typically occur from

control tower and level of integration with

sees it as getting more granular and more

raw material to delivery of finished good with the

other systems.

defined, but adds that volume, variety, verification

processes and capabilities,” remarked Atwood. “Supply chain, however, stands alone in the

customer or patient. All the functional areas of an

and velocity is growing in terms of material

integrated, end-to-end supply chain – plan,

According to van Doesburg, control towers can

handling. “To that end, we are seeing a shift

source, make, deliver, and customer service –

be taken ‘to the next level’ by extending the

towards 2d barcode

are potential touchpoints where threats could

scope on the dimensions that have been

adoption to

occur.” Atwood added that digital security for the

identified before. For example, the maturity of a

accommodate bigger

supply chain requires the governance,

transportation control tower could be improved

data needs and

management and development of operational

by including warehousing activities and/or other

authenticity,” he said.

processes. “It uses security tools and techniques

countries or divisions. In van Doesburg’s view,

for protecting information and physical assets to

typical benefits of these types of measures are:

Kimberling has

achieve regulatory compliance, and maintain

Extending the supply chain scope: by adding

witnessed that, in

privacy, safety and resiliency across the supply

warehousing and/or manufacturing

general, SCM and

chain,” he explained.

processes and collaboration with partners in

ERP software have

particular, the logistic execution costs and

done a better job of

end-to-end supply chain quality can improve.

developing more

Extend functionality: transforming a control

flexible integration

tower from an administrative set-up to an

tools in recent years.

operational control tower also responsible for

In addition, he points

Supply chain control towers 2.0 Rob van Doesburg, lead logistics and fulfilment,

8

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David Stain, senior vertical marketing manager EMEA manufacturing, field mobility & healthcare,

www.logisticsit.com


Supply Chain Management

Gary Shaw, business consultant,

Special Technology Report

out that vendors have



a certain industry or even geography giving them

invested more not only

Singla elaborates: â&#x20AC;&#x153;In this customer-centric world,

specialisms that differentiates their offering from

in their direct

the customers want the perfect order â&#x20AC;&#x201C; on-time,

competitors. Examples include capturing of

products, but also in

complete, damage free and with accurate

ideas, demand planning or trade compliance

their ecosystems of

documentation. An order, as an example, may

management.â&#x20AC;?

third-party solutions

consist of multiple products shipped from

that are able to

different factories across the world and each

  

integrate with their

factory may have a different ERP system.

Singla comments: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some of the vendors now

core offerings.

However, the customer wants simplicity and does

offer Infrastructure-as-a-Service SCM solutions.

Kimberling believes

not really want different delivery dates for different

The main advantages are the breadth of

these two trends have

products unless stated. They want one, seamless

capability and lower hardware cost. The

enabled better

experience where the various systems work

deployment and refresh approach is traditional.â&#x20AC;?

integration with their

together to provide them with a single order. As organisations transition towards a single ERP

   

system, the concept of an Order Hub sitting

Singla comments: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The third approach is a

Ramasamy comments that SCM systems of late

across multiple capture and fulfilment systems

complete rebuild of the applications to support

have been seen to integrate with various other

has become extremely important. It drives the

modern end-to-end business processes. The

systems to drive informed decision making.

orchestration of the fulfilment, across orders

main advantages are the breadth of capability

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Particularly over the past five years, the level of

collected from all channels, to deliver the product

and lower deployment costs. As the software is

integration among SCM with manufacturing

in a timely and profitable manner.â&#x20AC;?

provided on the Cloud, the business can

systems.

execution systems, planning systems and quality

consume IT innovations as required.â&#x20AC;?

systems has risen to improve production



throughput and customer line service level

Singla comments: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Many CEOs (Good to

efficiencies,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Also, the integration of

grow 2014 US CEO Survey â&#x20AC;&#x201C; PWC) cite

Cloud/SaaS

IoT/sensor deployment on production lines allows

product innovation as a top priority to drive

And what is the current state of play regarding

customers to capture production-related data

growth. However, many studies (CIMdata -

the SaaS/Cloud adoption model in the supply

(such as torque, pressure, ambient conditions,

Innovation Management: Improving Returns

chain management sphere? Expanding on a key

etc.) and use it to enable full value-chain

on Innovation Investments) show that only a

point he addressed earlier in this report,

traceability once the product has been shipped

few (20%) believe that the investments in

Kimberling believes the Cloud has impacted the

and is being used by the customer. These

innovation are paying off. The challenge is not

SCM systems market in a big way. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It has paved

deployments will further be integrated as

having enough ideas, but how to rapidly filter

the ways for smaller and less sophisticated

customers find innovative use-cases and benefits

them through a consistent mechanism to

companies to start adopting these solutions,

from integration of SCM with other systems.â&#x20AC;?

compare apples to apples and hence drive

which for many was not feasible before the

few ideas all the way to the final product. This

advent of Cloud and SaaS solutions,â&#x20AC;? he

Ramasamy adds that Voice could be biggest

means having a holistic view of the ideation to

explained.

disruptor in SCM, as everything today is

commercialisation process. However, the

transaction-based and requires a system. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Use of

traditional systems were not really designed

Andrew Briggs, technical director, BEC (Systems

biometrics and Voice profiling-based

to support this process and even Product

Integration) Ltd., makes the point that the Cloud

authentication for batch releases, shipment

Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems only

model makes it easier to share applications and

releases will infuse further efficiencies into the

support the product development phase. New

data with suppliers, customers and partners,

system,â&#x20AC;? he said. Similarly, Ramasamy believes

functionalities such as Oracleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Innovation

using the standard

augmented reality will also be the next biggest

Management Cloud and Product Hub Cloud

security and access

disruptor. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As after-sales services, technically falls

are now available to support this process.â&#x20AC;?

control. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Historically,

within the gamut of a supply-chain, the use of

this created

AR/VR technologies will help problem resolution

In terms of some of the main functionality

headaches for IT

at source and first-time right processes,â&#x20AC;? he

differentiators among the SCM vendor community,

departments, with the

remarked.

Singla says three of the key approaches being

need to create custom

adopted in the SCM software space are:

reports, secure portals

Singla considers that the needs from modern SCM systems are quite different today. â&#x20AC;&#x153;State-of-

etc.,â&#x20AC;? he said, adding 

that the Cloud model

the-art systems are built from the ground up to

Singla elaborates: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Many vendors have decided

also facilitates

inherently serve todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs,â&#x20AC;? he said, adding

to focus on a certain aspect of a business

improved scalability

that they are characterised by:

process. They have built bespoke capabilities for

and roll-out of

www.logisticsit.com

Jonathan Bellwood, founder and CEO,

The Expert WMS Providers

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Special Technology Report

Supply Chain Management

solutions. “For

Mark Atwood, analyst,

really important topic. “We shouldn’t forget the most common item missed when looking at

extending business

More accurate real-time decision making

systems into TPLs,

Bellwood comments that SaaS is playing an

– total cost of ownership is around 33% more with

newly acquired

increasingly pivotal role in how quickly and easily

consumer grade devices from a support cost

business units etc.

users gain access to aggregated data; leading to

perspective alone.” Stain cites an extract from a

can be achieved

speedier, more accurate, real-time decision

VDC white paper from 2013, namely: “If the device

much quicker with

making across the supply chain. “As part of this,

you choose can’t support a mobile device remote

less resource,” he

SaaS is allowing SCM solutions to leverage the

management solution, the cost per mobile worker

explained.

potential of the IoT by connecting retailers’

can increase by as much as 85%.”

example, by

consumer- versus enterprise-grade mobile devices

warehouses into the supply chain and enabling Ramasamy sees

Another benefit of enterprise-grade WLAN devices

collection of passive data,” he said.

several new SaaS-driven business models

is voice reliability, says Stain. “These devices are

entering the SCM market. “Particularly, cost

In the area of WMS, Bellwood observes that SaaS

designed with superior radios that deliver a higher

efficiencies and scale optimisation are

is on the cusp of wide-scale adoption by retailers

level of performance. The result is seamless

experienced by using the Cloud-based

who are increasingly recognising the cost-savings

roaming, constant connection, fewer dropped calls

approach as compared to on-premise

and business benefits of using SaaS-based

and more effective communication.” A further

approach,” he said.

software for more easily and efficiently managing

benefit of enterprise-grade devices cited by Stain

distributed warehouses remotely from their

is no unwanted OS (operating system) upgrades.

Husain and Krebs comment that Cloud-based

headquarters. “The peace of mind of an offline ‘fail-

“Consumer-grade smartphones push out OS

solutions are expected to increase in adoption

safe’ operating mode, and the growing prevalence

upgrades on their timeline, not yours,” he said.

going forward. “Many solution providers are

of 4G as a back-up alternative to wireless/Internet

“Enterprise-grade devices let you lock in an OS

experimenting with the idea of Cloud-based

connection, is also accelerating this adoption,” he

and keep it for as long as you want to. This helps

WMS solutions, but the shift from on-premise

added.

to stabilise your operation and maximise uptime.”

to other enterprise applications (such as

Singla observes that as Cloud computing provides

Singla comments that mobile solutions have

CRM) due to security concerns, and the more

a wealth of benefits including low upfront

definitely had an impact both in terms of data

conservative approach supply chain

investment, secure access, faster deployments,

analysis and data provision, enabling the next level

executives take with technology investments,”

simplified integration, continuous upgrades and

of process efficiency. “Modern applications are

they said. “However, the trend is undeniable

effortless scalability, it is becoming the dominant IT

mobile-enabled and the analytics can be

and in the future we certainly expect Cloud-

model. “The enterprise-grade IT is now available to

accessed through tablets and even mobile

based supply chain applications – across the

a much larger marketplace,” he explains, adding

phones,” Singla pointed out. “Decisions can be

entire value stack – to scale massively. To put

that even shadow IT can now move to the Cloud.

made faster as the analytics and alerts are readily

this in perspective, data centres – today

“This shift to the Cloud creates a growth

available, and various stakeholders can provide

almost 80% on-premise – is expected to

opportunity in the SCM software solutions market,”

their perspectives on the go, speeding up the end-

decline to 20% by 2024.”

continued Singla. “At Oracle Open World, 2016,

to-end process.” Additionally, Singla highlights the

we highlighted SCM Cloud software market is

fact that mobility helps to capture more granular

Shaw believes the Cloud model is becoming

expected to be about $4.5 billion from about $1.8

information faster; e.g. proof-of-delivery information

the accepted norm. “People use Cloud apps

billion in 2013 and most supply chain leaders are

from the truck driver the minute the product is

for critical and secure functions like banking

already using or considering using SCM software

delivered; resulting in

outside of work, so it’s a natural progression

in the Cloud.”

faster invoice

to Cloud-based has been slow in comparison

inside work,” he said. “Using a good Cloud

processing and shorter

solution lets organisations focus on their core

cash-to-cash cycle.

business and frees up IT to work strategically

Mobile

Briggs makes the point

rather than maintaining servers and doing

Are mobile solutions, such as mobile computers

that the scope of

backups. From an implementation point of

and tablet PCs, having an impact or influence on

people using these

view, deploying a core APS (Advanced

SCM? “Immensely so,” remarks Stain. “A mobile

mobile devices is

Planning Systems) model to multiple sites

worker strategy is key to both within and beyond

changing. “More

through the Cloud is significantly easier than a

the four walls. In integration terms, familiarity with

people are having

traditional on-premise solution. It allows

device navigation such as Android is key to user

access to information

multiple sites to work in the same system and

adoption as is the need for rugged and best form

via smart phones and

provides a global view of the business for

factor for users – and, obviously, security.”

tablets for reports and

senior management.”

Stain adds that device selection has become a

dashboards while they

10

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December 2016

Rob van Doesburg, lead logistics and fulfilment,

www.logisticsit.com


Supply Chain Management

Special Technology Report

are out and about or at home, and more executive

making inroads to close the field workforce

solutions, such as

level personnel are using mobile devices than

automation loop.

Oracle’s Big Data

before,” he said.

Cloud, has also significantly reduced

Shaw says one of the benefits of mobility solutions

Big Data

the risk to undertake

is they can support forecast collaboration;

Another large talking point in the supply chain

investments in these

especially from field-based sales people. “Give

world is Big Data; a theme already referenced by

Big Data projects.”

them a nice user interface and a simple way of

some of our commentators above. So, to address

Singla also references

interacting with the forecast and they are much

the topic in more detail, how and to what extent is

a report from Hitachi

more inclined to spend time on the forecast to

Big Data having an impact on the world of SCM

that has revealed the

provide good quality insight,” he said.

solutions? Stain sees Big Data shifting to ‘right

technology

data’ as the extent and breadth of data can be

advancements and

overwhelming. “We are seeing a lot of App-

awareness are getting

based developments to enable use case and

aligned now. “The hardware has higher battery

work cell extension – a modular approach.”

life, processing power and miniaturisation,” he

Empowering warehouse personnel Bellwood remarks that mobile combined with

Andrew Briggs, technical director,

said. “Users are lot more familiar with mobile and

SaaS delivery is empowering warehouse

Singla reflects that Big Data is essentially

the applications as these have become

personnel. “It brings them much closer to the

providing huge swathes of data, at a rapid

ubiquitous. So, more data is being generated that

action – to the point of activity – and they are

speed, to allow organisations to easily and swiftly

can be exploited to improve different business

increasingly familiar and at home with typing on

understand their entire supply chain. “This can be

processes.”

touchscreen mobile devices,” he said. “This all

used to improve business efficiency and to

means greater speed, agility and accuracy when

improve customer experience,” he said. “For

Kimberling sees Big Data as a double-edged

it comes to decision making, as well as improved

example, a digital imaging solutions company

sword. “When properly leveraged, it gives

response times, productivity, customer service,

primarily built and sold products. However, they

organisations a better historical and predictive

and ultimately, profitability.”

were facing significant challenges around

understanding of their supply chain operations,”

monetising and improving the quality of its

he said. “On the other hand, many organisations

The evidence of mobile adoption is already out

customer services. They now collect and analyse

struggle with how to make good use of Big Data;

there, says Bellwood. “Mobile-friendly printers are

data from a million sensors and 100 million daily

either because the tools are too sophisticated for

now being deployed as required anywhere in the

transactions. This has helped them to transition to

them or because employees haven’t been

warehouse; keyboards on mobile, handhelds are

monetised services and increase throughput four

properly trained to effectively use them.”

being replaced by touchscreen. Just imagine the

times over its prior solution.”

situation without mobility. The operative has to find

In terms of the main drivers for these Big Data

In terms of the main drivers for these Big Data

a desktop PC or wait on a manager to print off a

developments, Singla says there is no denying

developments/enhancements, Kimberling reflects

report and then must walk down the aisle or to the

the fact that volume, variety and velocity of data

that for years companies have been stockpiling

packing bench to investigate the issue in question.

has increased dramatically; whether it is the

data about their operations with no structured

Then walk back to the PC to make the necessary

through the voice of the customer, product,

way to make sense of it all. “The Big Data

change on the system: all very slow and clunky.”

factory, asset. Singla points out that Beecham

movement is a way for companies to turn data

Research estimates more than 50 billion devices

into more meaningful information to allow them to

Bellwood also points out that as Android

will be connected by 2020, so the data

better plan and predict the future,” he said.

becomes increasingly adopted in SCM, more

complexity will only grow.

personnel in organisations are benefitting from fit job function. For example, one for the manager,

that the cost of the sensors and information

Identifying patterns and trends

another for operatives doing receiving and

processing has decreased dramatically and now

Husain and Krebs comment that for organisations

scanning tasks, and another one still for

make the economics to process Big Data viable.

preparing themselves for the future, collecting

supervisors, doing stock control tasks for

For example, with increasing availability and

and leveraging Big Data is about identifying

example. “Until recently this amount of choice

accuracy of store and daily data from retailers,

patterns and trends that can propel thair

would have been cost-prohibitive to mobile

early adopters are starting to plan at store and

business forward. “From a warehousing and

device manufacturers, but Android-led market

daily level. This helps companies create superior

logistics standpoint, studying data and metrics

demand across SCM is changing this,” he said.

plans and optimally trade off service and inventory

from equipment and labour performance against

levels. Moving to daily data typically meant going

external data sets can yield trends for optimising

Ramasamy points out that the use of smart

from 1X to 100X on the data scale and was cost

productivity, safety, and equipment utilisation in

watches, smart pads and smart glasses are all

prohibitive in the past. The availability of Cloud

the workplace,” they said.

for purpose mobile devices, designed for their

Singla adds: “Marco Annunziata at GE has stated

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Husain and Krebs add that Big Data has

handled immediately.”

Ramasamy also anticipates increased use of IoT

emerged as an operational advantage to

Shaw sees many of the key benefits of Big

and IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) – together

businesses as it can reveal valuable patterns,

Data, and drivers for further Big Data

with an increasing number of inputs into the

actionable insights and remains an untapped

developments, as pointing to the Internet of

systems. He also foresees security at end-device

resource for many. “Supply chain solutions

Things (IoT), something that is anticipated to

level. “Vulnerability is increasing from every point

generally address three core issues: planning,

become an increasingly strong force in the

connected; as security is not built into this device,”

execution and visibility,” they explained.

world of manufacturing and the supply chain;

he said.

“While many mature solutions are addressing

among other industry/business areas. Kimberling sees the continuation of the Cloud and

the first two, visibility continues to confound decision makers. In a certain degree it is

Bellwood says the human brain cannot possibly

Big Data movements, with vendors investing more

about Big Data, but really it is more about the

interpret the huge volume of ‘Big Data’ being

in this arena over time. He adds that the two-tier

right data. One of the biggest challenges for

created and stored, and believes it can only

ERP/SCM strategy (aka best of breed) is

supply chain operations has been integrating

become useful when used in association with

becoming more viable for organisations.

data from disparate sources – be it proof of

Artificial Intelligence. “Having an AI ‘sidekick’ will

delivery, weather, container location, etc. – to

increasingly empower humans to make more

Husain and Krebs anticipate greater

enable and scale real time decision making at

intuitive decisions based on real-time data,

integration/introduction of advanced analytics,

the point of interaction.”

captured and then aggregated from multiple

execution and control systems as the supply

sources,” he said. “For example, in the warehouse,

chain becomes more automated. Automation

managers will receive alerts and suggestions

optimisation through the analysis of data collected

believe the next step from a Big Data

based on actual events taking place. One area this

in the warehouse via sensors and data collection

perspective will be for vendors to introduce

will streamline and improve will be delivery cut off

devices. Organisations can use data capture

modules or solutions that can combine data

times. The AI will lend the intelligence to dispense

devices to collect data such as the hourly

from multiple data silos and systems to

with cut off times altogether and replace them with

capacity of an ASRS system or number of objects

provide actionable insights/results to users.

real-time delivery slots popping up on web-based

shipped per location and in turn use that data to

“As more data is harnessed and trends are

delivery systems – as they become available and

optimise operations, plan inventory, adjust

identified, modules and algorithms can be

matching them to customer preferences. This

production schedules, etc.

introduced for future management systems

means more orders can be accepted for next day

For solution providers, Husain and Krebs

such as WES and WCS to not only automate

or even same day, leading to increased sales and

Shaw anticipates a host of further developments

routine tasks but also to make complex

all without increasing staffing levels.” Bellwood

and enhancements; including extended mobility

decisions which are today left to end-user

added that Peoplevox is actively involved in AI for

with full web-based application, social media

decision-makers – thus opening the potential

WMS and will be launching a number of initiatives

interaction, KPIs and integrated supply chain

to achieving 100% fully automated

in 2017.

analytics. Bellwood believes that, without doubt, AI will be one of the key future developments for

warehouses and distribution centres.

leveraging the potential of Big Data. This, he

Leverage Big Data and analytics will be vital to drive innovation, deliver new products and

The way forward

maintains, will lead to faster, more accurate and

services, and compete successfully in an

What might be the next innovations/developments

predictive decision making.

emerging digital world.”

to look out for in the world of SCM software over the next year or two? Briggs points to the Internet

Stain foresees developments in the direction of

Briggs explains that much of the business

of things (IoT); connecting many sources of data,

trailer load analytics, dimensioning and an

intelligence in solutions to date has focused on

from the factory, warehouse, the vehicles on the

exponential adoption of 2d barcode, RTLS and

users; for example, the performance/productivity

road and the delivery points. “Getting all this data

RFID. He also makes the point that the average

of operatives. “We expect that we are going to

into the one place allows for much more powerful

CIO manages three to five operating systems

see much more use of the masses of data that

analytics, and automating the acquisition of data

although they would prefer just one. Additionally,

can be gathered through warehouse

in real time guarantees both its accuracy and

Stain observes that returns logistics is becoming

management systems,” he said. “From a supply

timeliness,” he said.

a selling point for retail brands – but can become very costly if technology is not brought to bear.

chain perspective, this will facilitate the ability to monitor all business process, transparency across

Ramasamy also anticipates increased use of

“Particularly around the Christmas period,

many sites. The large volumes of quantitative data

IoT and IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) –

visibility, track and trace and a technology driven

will enable very accurate measurement and

together with an increasing number of inputs

mobile workforce are key,” he said. “The mobile

forecasting of resources – labour, energy,

into the systems. He also foresees security at

computer at the doorstep to return goods with

materials etc. This will provide immediate real-time

end-device level. “Vulnerability is increasing

on-demand print capability to hand all

quality and reliability measures, with triggers for

from every point connected; security is not built

connected to your ERP assure the Christmas

anomalies, and exceptions that can then be

into this device,” he said.

Elves have total visibility.” 

12

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www.logisticsit.com


Just-in-time. TECHNOLOGY TO MANA AGE G PRO ODUCT VA ARIETY Y.

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


Supply Chain

Opinion

Optimising goods-in efficiencies By David Stain, senior vertical marketing manager EMEA manufacturing, field mobility & healthcare, Zebra Technologies.

F

or manufacturers, an effective goods-in regime – i.e. taking delivery of components and raw materials for production/subassembly and booking them in quickly and accurately – is key to production and storage good practice. However, for many companies this ideal remains a goal rather than a reality. The booking-in of goods can take too much time, resulting in manufacturing line down-time and yard congestion; part count reconciliation with the delivery manifest can contain costly discrepancies; and material marking and booking in of goods within the store or warehouse can be too time-consuming. All these constraints can seriously affect the manufacturer’s just in time methodology and potentially jeopardise supplier SLAs. This is why manufacturers and their suppliers should embrace smart fulfilment through the use of state-of-the-art scanning, printing and labelling technology. This type of technology deployment can help to take companies to a whole new level in terms of time and cost savings together with greater accuracy and improved overall process visibility.

Fulfilment constraints Since better routing and scheduling applications have been introduced, many logistics companies are already benefitting from improved pre-delivery planning visibility and more accurate time slot allocations. This has meant lorries no longer find themselves having to queue offsite from manufacturer’s docking area (or even sublocate into temporary warehousing) due to imprecise delivery slot allocations, often resulting in major dockside and local traffic congestion issues. 14

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However, in many instances there still remain inefficiencies in terms of goods-in fulfilment once the lorries have parked in the yard where consignments need to be recorded and offloaded. If this is not undertaken in a timely and accurate manner that ensures all required parts, components/sub-assemblies can be delivered line-side on the manufacturing shop floor, then there exists a serious risk of costly production downtime through a breakdown in the supply of goods. Although most consignments today are delivered in an array of containers from totes, stillages, roll cages to pallets most having a barcode attached to the outside, it can prove highly time-inefficient if the forklift truck driver tasked with decanting each consignment has to dismount his/her vehicle to scan the barcodes every time a wagon arrives with a new consignment.

Scanning, from 5cm to 21m from one device! The good news is that scanning technology has improved substantially over the past few years. For instance, one development that has had a major impact at goods-in is the improvement in 2d imagers. Whereas with some laser scanning technology operators need to be in close proximity to the barcode on a package in order to scan it, the 2d image scanning technology means reliable readings of all label types like 1d and 2d barcode, often even damaged labels, can be read over greater distances up to 21metres, but that same scanner can also scan at just 5cm. With these range improvements, forklift truck drivers do not have to dismount their vehicle to scan a barcode on a package within the lorry before offloading the roll cage or pallet.

Similarly, active RFID technology is a highly efficient (and now more affordable) way of scanning goods as they enter the gate at goods-in and manufacturing storage locations via a Wi-Fi infrastructure.

Battery life Also, the battery life of modern scanners has improved considerably. A few years ago, it the battery life of a scanner might only last the length of a six-hour shift; today this can be 14 hours or more – well over the length of a full shift.

Printer and label quality It is worth bearing in mind, however, that a barcode is only as good as its ability to be read by the scanner. If a label is badly printed or has sustained damage this can be a major setback in terms of accurately and speedily recording goods as they arrive at goods-in. Many of us experience this type of inconvenience when undertaking selfscanning in the supermarket or taking items to the till. This problem can be just as much of a hindrance, if not more so, in the yard. This is why it is critical that you and your suppliers use only high-definition, high-quality label printers that are designed to print on highquality, durable label materials that can stand up to the types of environmental conditions they are likely to be subjected to; for example, water or other potentially harmful outside elements. The right grade of adhesive should also be used in order to ensure the label remains in place and in good condition regardless of the conditions it may face at the point of dispatch or in transit. Zebra Technologies is one of the only manufacturers of both hardware and

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Opinion

labels and hence can optimise both for the environments deployed.

Knowledge base Additionally, technology is available that can make devices such as scanners and printers easier to use together. For example, with devices that include Zebra’s touch to pair functionality using Near Field Communication (NFC), you can benefit from quickly pairing devices at the start of a shift and can save your company upwards of three to four minutes every man day. From a device management point of view

demand is growing for devices that are mobile, intelligent and connected to the cloud. This emerging need calls for new technologies and solutions. In response, Zebra has created Mobility DNA the industry’s most comprehensive suite of offthe-shelf, end user apps, robust administration utilities and effortless app development tools and, the Link-OS environment: an open platform that pairs an operating system for smart Zebra devices with powerful software apps, making the devices easy to integrate, manage and maintain from any location All these benefits can become the foundation

Supply Chain

of a truly lean and efficient goods-in operation. 

Zebra Technologies Europe Ltd.

Zebra offers customers a complete end-to-end solution — from mobile computers and scanners to specialty printers, RFID, software and services — for identifying, tracking and managing critical assets, people and transactions. Zebra’s broad range of differentiated products, deep understanding of our customers and productive R&D ensure that we offer highly relevant solutions globally that help customers take advantage of key technology trends. Zebra has the industry’s most comprehensive go-to-market channel network of valueadded resellers, integrators, independent software vendors, distributors, original equipment manufacturers and sales to end users. Zebra makes businesses as smart and connected as the world we live in and, together with partners, creates a smarter, more connected global business community. Solutions offered Mobile Computing - Zebra’s mobile computing solutions capture real-time data and increase the productivity of an onthe-go workforce. Printing - Zebra is a leading global provider of rugged and reliable thermal printers. From 1d and 2d barcode right through to RFID in form factors and duty cycles that are built for your environment to provide a digital voice to your products and assets. Supplies – Zebra manufactures its own supplies from

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barcode labels to card printer supplies to RFID tags and more, Zebra has the largest selection of pre-tested, highquality printing supplies Data capture - Zebra’s barcode scanning solutions help organisations quickly and accurately capture data. We have the right scanner for your environment RFID – Zebra’s RFID printer/encoders/readers assist in the implementation of instant, measurable improvements in operating efficiency, accuracy for production and supply chain visibility. Location Solutions - RTLS - illuminate the daily events involving your assets, people and actions. You know in real time the location, condition, timing, accuracy, and speed of the events occurring throughout your operations. Use this knowledge to gain insights, inspire innovation and provide a digital view of physical operations. Software, Accessories and Services – Zebra provides solutions to industry needs and enable integration into your environment. Zatar - Zebra’s Zatar platform, a Cloud-based software service, is the world’s first IoT platform for enterprise applications. Industrial markets served All Discrete and Process Industries from Supply chain to Manufacturing and out to in-service life support.

Corporate Profile

With the unparalleled visibility Zebra provides, enterprises become as smart and connected as the world we live in. Real-time information – gleaned from visionary solutions including hardware, software and services – gives organisations the competitive edge they need to simplify operations, know more about their businesses and customers, and empower their mobile workers to succeed in today’s data-centric world.

Countries served Worldwide.

Website: www.zebra.com

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Supply Chain

Event

Think forward: Streamline the supply chain to accelerate success Join Oracle and its partners at the Modern Business Experience – 1-2 February 2017, ExCeL London.

D

o you have visibility across your entire supply chain? Does it adapt dynamically to market volatility? Today's supply chain organisations are feeling the pressure to modernise and transform their business processes to meet the challenges of our digital landscape. Join Oracle and its partners at the Modern Business Experience, and discover how to get the insights you need to respond quickly, control supply chain costs, and monitor operations to achieve your business goals. Attend Modern Business Experience and you can learn to: •

16

Make informed business decisions based on actionable data and business intelligence. Build winning products with open, aligned innovation.

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Use responsive networks to improve order fulfilment and service.

Programme sessions At the event, one of the key themes to be discussed during the sessions will be ‘Supply chains at the heart of the business’. The titles and details of the supply chain sessions across the two days are:

supply chain processes and systems of the past are holding back the transformation into a Digital Business. Supply chains have become so important that CEOs can no longer afford to delegate its strategic understanding. Now, as a host of disruptive technologies and new economic challenges appear, COOs, CSCOs and VPs of supply chain are being asked to use their growing stature to manage change and drive growth.

Supporting growth with a servicecentric supply chain

From the backroom to the boardroom The increasing sophistication of the customer is one of the major trends of recent years, with service becoming as much a competitive differentiator as cost. The expectations of the stakeholders have changed as well. Oracle’s experience shows a tipping point has been reached and the

Today’s supply chains operate with unprecedented volatility, uncertainty, and complexity. The digital revolution changes how competitive advantage is created and how supply chains are organised and managed. Oracle’s Modern Business Experience event will share customer insights on unique segmented approaches,

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Event

data-driven designs, and digital and Cloud technology that enable the rapid deployment of innovative supply chain models and enhance profitability.

Perfect order profitably – Reimagine order to cash With order channels multiplying, supply chains growing more complex, and customer expectations increasing, fulfilling orders consistently and efficiently – while meeting customer demands – is harder than ever. Customers want the perfect order, promised during the sales process: • • • •

On time. Complete. Damage-free. Accurate documentation.

The agile Cloud: Reacting to market demands in real time

speeding-up your organisation’s transformation and growth.

As many enterprises make the shift to the Cloud, others may be left wondering why such a big change is necessary. One of the biggest benefits received by companies that undergo this change is increased agility. But even once a business has shifted to the Cloud, they need to know what data is worth looking at. Studies have shown the two most important focus points are analytics and visibility. With Cloud-based analytics in place, companies are more able to adjust the fundamentals of their business based on what is happening in the marketplace. Oracle’s Modern Business Experience event will address all the above supply chain themes, and more.

Exhibits and Showcases

Featured speakers An agile and responsive supply chain, supported by IT providing seamless visibility end-to-end across all channels, is required more than ever to deliver profitable growth. This session will explore the practices that the leaders are adopting to deliver perfect order and hence enabling supply chains to deliver exceptional customer experience and help CEOs realise the business growth and CFOs realise the margin.

Supply Chain

Key speakers at the event will include: Roddy Martin, Oracle’s VP SC transformation thought leadership and SC Cloud product marketing; and Ray Hammond, futurologist and author.

Why you should attend

Walk the exhibition show floor and discover everything Oracles’ partners have to offer.

See you there Join Oracle and its partners at Modern Business Experience and sharpen your competitive edge: • Gain valuable insights and make use of forecasts, trends and outlooks from leading industry thinkers. • Develop strategies to help your business survive and thrive in a fragile economy and a crowded marketplace. • Assess the best solutions to increase your business agility, lower costs and reduce complexity. • Expand your network. Reconnect with colleagues and build new relationships in an informal environment. For more information, visit: https://go.oracle.com/modernbusinessexperi ence-london

    

  Join leading minds on business strategy, innovation and leadership to focus on

Built from the ground up for the Cloud and for the modern supply chain, Oracle SCM Cloud delivers the visibility, insights, and capabilities you need to create your own intelligent supply chain. With capabilities that include product innovation, strategic material sourcing, outsourced manufacturing, integrated logistics, omni-channel fulfilment, and integrated demand and supply planning, Oracle SCM Cloud is the most comprehensive SCM suite in the cloud. Oracle SCM Cloud allows you to deploy functionality incrementally, with minimal risk, lower cost, and maximum flexibility – all with the benefit of ongoing functional innovation.

Corporate Profile

Oracle Corporation Product Master Data Management. Supply Chain Planning. Industrial markets served All industries. Countries served Worldwide.

Website: www.oracle.com/goto/supplychain

Solutions offered Inventory Management. Logistics. Manufacturing. Order Management. Procurement. Product Lifecycle Management.

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\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Success story

      while meeting an accelerated serialisation deadline esica Pharmaceuticals s.r.l. is

A

the Italian division of Aesica Ltd (UK), one of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading pharmaceutical contract development and

manufacturing organisations. The company is committed to being fast, flexible, innovative and reliable with a dedication to service and working in partnership with their customers to achieve outstanding results. In state-of-the-art facilities Aesica is constantly evolving its technical and analytical skills to meet the ever-changing development and manufacturing demands of its customers in a growing number of markets. work needed for conforming to the new China

regulations. An upgrade to QAD EE and using

Prior to being acquired by Aesica UK, Aesica

regulations was underway with plans to

the new Serialisation module was the answer.

Pharmaceuticals was part of UCB, a global

implement within the twelve-month timeframe.

biopharma company. Its high performance

Aesica Pharmaceuticals was faced with an

Working hard and fast, QAD and Aesica

levels were a major factor in the acquisition.

unexpected challenge when the Chinese

Pharmaceuticals collaborated and had a

While with UCB, Aesica Pharmaceuticals used

government moved up the deadline for

presentation ready in only three weeks to

QAD Enterprise Applications, and with its

meeting all products serialisation

obtain corporate approval. Very soon after,

proven success record Aesica UK chose to

requirements; suddenly a twelve-month

the QAD EE upgrade was in motion with

keep QAD as the ERP solution for Aesica

timeframe was condensed to a three-month

QADâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s research and development team

Pharmaceuticals, even though SAP is used

deadline.

working directly with Aesica Pharmaceuticalsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; information technology group on the new

elsewhere in the company. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This deadline change was a huge challenge

The challenge: A critical deadline change requires a very fast response

Serialisation module.

for Aesica Pharmaceuticals,â&#x20AC;? notes Maurizio Beninati, IT director at Aesica

Aesica Pharmaceuticals was compliant with

Pharmaceuticals. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The process of meeting the

the new serialisation requirements three

serialisation regulation deadlines had to be

months after the initial request. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was a

Major changes in product serialisation and

expedited immediately. If we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t meet this

stressful but very productive three months. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

tracking regulations are happening in

new deadline we would be fined substantially,

very impressive what can be accomplished

pharmaceutical markets worldwide. The main

and it could damage future dealings with our

with motivation, expertise and cooperation,â&#x20AC;?

goal of the new requirements is to maintain

Chinese customers.â&#x20AC;?

notes Beninati.

The solution: A quick response made possible by a collaborative effort

The benefits: New deadline is met and Chinese revenue stream is protected

Aesicaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pharmaceutical products is for the

QAD quickly responded by collaborating with

With QADâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s assistance, Aesica

Chinese market. Worldwide deadlines for

Aesica Pharmaceuticalsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; management to

Pharmaceuticals met the accelerated

adhering to the new serialisation regulations

present alternative courses of action. A new

deadline. The relationship with their Chinese

vary by country, ranging from 2014 to 2017,

Serialisation module was in development in

pharmaceutical market customers continues

and the China Food and Drug Administration

QAD Enterprise Applications Enterprise

to be solid and ready for future growth. The

(CFDA)1 deadline was 12 months out. The

Edition (QAD EE) which addressed the new

decision to keep and upgrade QAD as the

customer safety while fighting drug counterfeiting, streamlining the recall process and minimising financial loss. A large percentage of the production of

18

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Success story

\\\ Manufacturing \\\

ERP system in Italy proved to be the right choice. The Serialisation module will be used in all of Aesica Pharmaceuticals’ other markets as the varying deadlines approach. Aesica Pharmaceuticals has also found a complete all-in-one solution for its financial

HIGHLIGHTS Company

Aesica Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Location

Pianezza, Italy

Industry

Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

Products

Contract development and manufacturing (wet granulation, tablet production, encapsulation, liquid manufacturing, blister packaging, bottle packing)

Solutions Utilised

QAD Enterprise Applications Enterprise Edition

needs and procedures with the new Enterprise Financials module. The company has reduced the number of applications it is using down to the essentials, achieving the goal of covering all the company’s business processes in one complete ERP solution. Aesica Pharmaceuticals can now: • Identify each individual packaging unit down to the smallest sellable unit. • Aggregate individual unit serial numbers as packages are bundled, boxed and placed on shipping pallets. • Seamlessly track and trace each single pack of medication. • Report serial numbers to the required government agencies once products have been produced and imported. Aesica Pharmaceuticals benefited not only by meeting the accelerated serialisation regulation deadline while upgrading to QAD EE, they also were able to show an example to Aesica UK of their ability to successfully handle unexpected change. Prior to April 2014 the CFDA was the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA).

1

QAD In 1979, QAD was founded by Pamela Lopker, who was later

Applications is a complete ERP suite designed to address the

joined by her husband Karl Lopker, as a small start-up solution

needs of global manufacturers.

to address a large gap in complete, integrated business QAD Enterprise Applications has been a leading ERP solution for global manufacturers in the automotive, high-tech, food and QAD began with a few local customers, supporting them from

beverage, consumer, industrial and life sciences industries for

the company’s headquarters in Santa Barbara, California.

several decades.

However, as customers took their brands to the next level – international – QAD adapted quickly to keep up. Today QAD

QAD Enterprise Applications supports multiple local languages

supports customers in over 100 countries around the world.

and country-specific business practices and legal requirements.

QAD’s products have gone global, too, and the company has

QAD Enterprise Applications’ domain architecture enables you

spent years innovating and growing its offering as customers

to easily configure ERP to match your organisational structure

expand their businesses overseas.

including support for shared services.

You will often hear the company say that at the heart of QAD is a strong and loyal customer community. The company

QAD designed its ERP for manufacturers and has never

believes that to create the best full-featured manufacturing

deviated from that commitment. Whether you operate a single

ERP software for customers QAD and its customers need to

plant or span the globe, QAD Enterprise Applications is built

work together. QAD prides itself on its customer engagement

for manufacturers; it’s built for you.

and its commitment to continually evolve as the manufacturing industry changes.

Industrial markets served QAD serves the following manufacturing sub verticals:

It has been over three decades; QAD still focuses solely on

Life Sciences.

manufacturing – living and breathing it every day alongside its

Automotive.

customers. QAD’s passion is your advantage. Become an

Industrial Manufacturing.

Effective Enterprise with us.

Electronics/Hi Tech. Food & Beverage.

Solutions offered

Corporate Profile

software for manufacturing companies.

Consumer Products.

Effective manufacturers depend on their enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to streamline business operations and

Countries served

to scale and adapt as their business changes. QAD Enterprise

Worldwide.

Website: www.qad.com

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MOBILE

AUTOMATIC COMPUTING

Success story

BEC secures one of its largest hardware deals in its company history with Malcolm Logistics EC (Systems Integration) Ltd., a

while the business also manages

leading UK-based supplier of

considerable warehousing activities at a

data capture solutions for supply

number of customers’ locations.

B

chain logistics and manufacturing, has recently

Tony Hampson, managing director at BEC,

secured one of its largest hardware deals in

commented: “We are delighted to have

its company history, thanks to a recent

secured such a significant contract from one

contract win with long-term business partner

of our most valued customers. We worked

Malcolm Logistics, one of the UK’s leading

closely with Malcolms in order to fully

providers of logistics services.

understand their requirements and guide them through the product selection process.

A division of The Malcolm Group, Malcolm

Their new system utilises Zebra XT15 rugged

Logistics provides fully integrated road, rail,

mobile computers and VH10 truck mount

host ERP system to fulfil business and

warehousing and bonded warehousing

terminals with Honeywell SR61 barcode

commercial requirements.

services throughout the UK and has a long-

scanners. The introduction of end-to-end

established focus on operational and service

barcode scanning gives Malcolms real-time

Allan Bowes, Group IT manager at Malcolms,

quality which has earned a strong reputation

track and trace and up-to-date stock

concluded: “The integration of the terminals

within the industry.

availability, resulting in greater control over its

and barcode scanners into our warehouse

customers’ stock.”

management system went smoothly and we

End-to-end distribution

were able to fast-track this element of the

Future-proofed

implementation as a result. BEC took the time

providing 24-hour vehicle scheduling,

With a proven and trusted track record in

team were extremely knowledgeable from a

Malcolm Logistics’ intermodal service offers

supplying and implementing data capture

technical perspective. The project was

the end-to-end distribution of products

technology within a range of warehousing and

delivered within aggressive timescales which

through road and rail integration. Its

distribution centre applications, BEC is a

was important to us as lead time was critical to

warehousing facilities encompass 5 million

specialist provider of future-proofed and

the success of the project. As a business, we

square feet of warehousing space spread

innovative Automated Data Capture solutions,

very much look forward to providing an even

over 10 locations, 3 of which are rail-side,

designed to integrate seamlessly into any

better customer experience as a result.” 

With strategically placed distribution centres

to fully understand our requirements and the

Malcolm Logistics – one of the UK’s leading providers of logistics services. 20

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AUTOMATIC MOBILE COMPUTING BEC (Systems Integration) Ltd. Vocollect Voice-directed technologies, BEC’s future-proof

of Automated Data Capture solutions for use within the

solutions integrate seamlessly into any host ERP system to

supply chain and manufacturing industries. Based on the

fulfil business and commercial requirements.

BEC’s own eSmart Data Capture software suite, the

Through the development of innovative AIDC solutions with

company’s systems offer complete end-to-end solutions that

barcoding and Voice technology at their core, BEC offers a

improve the productivity and accuracy of its clients’

comprehensive set of services, from initial consultation,

operations, whilst delivering increased profitability and quality

advice and design, through to delivery, implementation and

with a rapid return on investment.

after-sales support.

BEC has performed a substantial amount of successful

Industrial markets served

implementations in mission-critical operational areas such as

Manufacturing.

receiving, inventory management, production control and

Food & Beverage.

shipping. The company’s team has a wealth of experience in

Supply Chain.

seamlessly integrating data capture solutions to various

Warehousing.

business hosts, including M3, SAP, Oracle, Microsoft

Distribution.

Dynamics and IFS.

Engineering.

Corporate Profile

BEC (Systems Integration) Ltd. is a leading UK-based supplier

Pharmaceutical. With a notable list of clients which includes Kerrygold, Baxi,

Clothing & Apparel.

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

Oil & Gas.

Horseware, Sellafield and Raleigh, BEC’s customers vary

Nuclear.

from small and medium enterprises to blue-chip household names throughout the UK, Europe and the USA.

Countries served Pan-European & USA.

Solutions offered Offering access to a range of cutting-edge data collection

Website: www.becsi.co.uk

hardware from market-leading vendors, including Honeywell

BEC eSmart® Voice WMS Enabling Complete Door-to-Door Voice Solutions 9 Increase worker productivity by up to 35% 9 Reduction in picking errors by up to 50% 9 ROI typically within 6-12 months 9 Built with voice technology at its core, not as an add-on 9 Based on our proven eSmart Warehouse platform 9 Real-time dashboard reporting & status updates 9 Seamless integration into any host ERP system 9 %HQH¿WVWKHIXOOFRPSOHPHQWRIZDUHKRXVLQJSURFHVVHV

VOICE WMS

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

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Warehouse Management

I

Opinion

The perfect storm that’s transforming WMS Jonathan Bellwood, founder and CEO, Peoplevox, considers how Software as a Service combined with Android-fuelled mobility is changing Warehouse Management Systems for the better.

Jonathan Bellwood: The revolution has already begun.

T

here’s a perfect storm brewing in the warehouse. It’s being brought about by the alignment of two technology disruptors, namely Software as a Service (SaaS), and Android, the mobile operating system. Together they are transforming Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), heralding a new era of more affordable, flexible, accessible and agile solutions to the benefit, and no doubt great relief, of many retailers and warehouse operators across the globe. SaaS has for some time been well-proven in a number of other industry sectors as a costeffective means of delivering and deploying software. However, more recent and growing acceptance in the supply chain warehouse is being hastened by the prevalence of 4G and the availability of offline operating modes. These additional fail-safe options are providing extra peace of mind to those businesses still a little wary of business continuity issues when it comes to online Cloud-based systems. With this potential worry removed, the business benefits of a subscription-based software delivery model versus outright purchase, or re-engineering existing legacy systems, are being swiftly recognised. Among them, lower total cost of ownership, rapid deployment, scalability, software maintenance and updates performed remotely, minimal reliance on in-house IT staff - less risk altogether. The other ‘revolutionary’ force at work in the 22

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warehouse is Android. The mobile operating system is of course well-accepted and used in the mass consumer market. This familiarity, along with the imminent phasing out of Windows Mobile and Windows C/E, hitherto the default operating systems for handhelds used in the warehouse, are acting as catalysts for change. So far, when it comes to warehouse mobility, it has been a case of make do and mend. Users have been compromised by the limited functionality of the handhelds that their legacy WMS or ERP software providers support. There has been little alternative other than investing considerable time and money on custom implementations, or simply reverting to paper and pen systems.

Times are changing Fortunately, times are changing. There is growing demand for WMS systems which are designed with Android in mind, allowing device manufacturers to bring more fit-forpurpose mobile devices to market. This is leading to greater choice based on user job function. Suitably ruggedised, these are becoming much more intuitive and easy to use, with some HMIs dispensing with keyboards altogether in favour of touch screens that are sufficiently sensitive to accommodate gloved hands. A ‘mobile-first’ WMS software strategy, leveraging Android, puts operatives at the point of activity. This provides greater agility and flexibility for more quickly and easily performing essential warehouse tasks taking place between point of order and final delivery. Scanning, picking, packing and shipping are prime examples.

embraced the value of both mobile and the Cloud. However, it is also the sheer pace and complexity of online retail which has necessitated a new approach to WMS design and deployment, where speed, flexibility and real-time reporting are prerequisites. As a consequence, well-known brands, pureplay and multichannel retail businesses are adopting SaaS and replacing first generation handheld devices with highly functional userfriendly mobile WMS systems. These can deliver holistic insights into all critical warehouse operations including live-to-thesecond information on inventory levels, eradicating the potential for offering out of stock items and risking customer disappointment. Putting powerful WMS at the fingertips of operatives offers other advantages too. The setting up of temporary locations anywhere in the warehouse will improve productivity and job satisfaction, optimise staffing levels, maximise sales opportunities, avoid incorrect label addressing, and ensure delivery deadlines are met. All of which contribute to business growth and profitability. In summary, as SaaS and Android increasingly take hold, the old order of clunky and costly legacy WMS systems will be replaced. The revolution has already begun, with e-commerce retail warehouses leading the charge. Warehouses of all descriptions will not be far behind them. 

E-commerce retailers are at the forefront of transforming the WMS market. Perhaps this is not so surprising since many in the retail sector have for some time recognised and

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Warehouse Management

I

Opinion

Peoplevox is a Software-as-a-service (SaaS) Warehouse Management System (WMS) expert provider offering a fit for purpose WMS solution capable of handling the complexities and pace of e-commerce and multi-channel retailing. Formed in 2009 by Jonathan Bellwood, the company specialises in helping businesses, including brands, pureplay e-commerce and multi-channel retailers, meet their fulfilment needs by improving people management, efficiency and performance.

• •

• •

The Peoplevox WMS system is relied on by more than 100 Clients in 20 countries, including such well-known brands as Barbour, Intersport, Mothercare and The Range. Over 1 million items were successfully shipped using Peoplevox on Black Friday 2015. Solutions offered Peoplevox is a mobile-first WMS with Android capability. SaaSbased it supports operations from goods-in, through control and movement of stock within the warehouse, to picking and despatching orders, and can be tailored to suit different Clients’ processes. Features and benefits include: • Order control and tracking: single and multiple batch management allows efficient and accurate picking, from small e-commerce through to large store or wholesale orders.

Scalable: single or multiple warehouse management enables user numbers to be increased or decreased. Configurable reports and dashboards: real-time and historical metrics on a wide range of warehouse operations including live-to-the-second stock levels and employee performance. Off-the-shelf-integration: Seamless support for all major e-commerce platforms, ERP tools and shipping software. Open API support: accommodates additional external systems required by Clients. Cloud printing: allows total flexibility on label and document printer location, and configurable print rules control what to print.

Industrial markets served • Pureplay e-commerce retailing: including fashion, sports and leisure, homewares. • Multichannel retailing: mixed product ranges supplying retail stores alongside wholesale and e-commerce operations. Countries served Worldwide.

Corporate Profile

Peoplevox

Website: www.peoplevox.co.uk

Tired of not being able to meet customer expectations? Peoplevox’s efficient Warehouse Management System (WMS) provides you with the quality solution you need, whilst being supported by our dedicated team every step of the way.

+44 (0)1923 606 660 | +1.929.224.0715 sales@peoplevox.co.uk | www.peoplevox.co.uk

The Expert WMS Providers


Warehouse Management

I

Success story

Automation paves the way for ifm’s success

i

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

New home, new horizons ifm’s solution was to move to a new location in which a future-proof, automated solution could be implemented. In January 2015, ifm selected Vanderlande to help it plan for – and realise – a new solution to overcome its logistic challenges.

The two organisations worked closely during the initial phases to develop a solution based on Vanderlande’s ADAPTO system. This is a 3D solution that ensures easy access to around 8000 different products in 23,320 locations at all times. It comprises: a racking structure across ten aisles with an integrated shuttle track system; 25 multidirectional shuttles; and seven lifts that allow the shuttles to move between rack levels and system exits/entries. Each shuttle can reach every location in the system, keeping service levels at a maximum. Maintenance platforms with additional staircases also allow quick operator access for fast troubleshooting if and when required. This is also supported by a spare parts package, as well as a maintenance and hotline contract (to follow). ADAPTO performs independently of the number of SKUs and order size, and maintains a high level of control and shortened lead times. In addition, it can change rapidly to match varying business requirements, and represents a favourable ROI. “We preferred a ‘hybrid’ system, which combines goods-to-person and person-togoods technologies,” explained ifm’s managing director Thorben Petersen. “ADAPTO is an excellent solution for moving goods to the operator, but for faster moving items, we chose a Pick-to-Light system, in which the operator moves to the goods. This combined approach

Each shuttle can reach every location in the system, keeping service levels at a maximum.

is a perfect match, and its flexibility and scalability are two of the key features.”

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

IFM ifm, based in Essen, Germany, develops, produces and sells sensors, controllers and systems for industrial automation worldwide. The company has over 5500 employees, with around 700 working in research and development (R&D) and 3800 based in Germany. In 2013, it achieved a turnover of €630 million and this had grown to more than €720 million in 2015. Essen is home to its new 6200m2 worldwide distribution centre, which supplies the company’s distribution network in over 70 countries.

24

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www.logisticsit.com


Warehouse Management

I

Success story

Vanderlande is a leading supplier of value-added logistic process automation for warehouses. The company is also the global market leader for automated solutions at airports, and in the parcel market. It is a reliable partner for warehousing in the e-commerce, food retail and fashion sectors. Twelve of Europe’s top 20 e-commerce businesses and many distribution firms already have confidence in Vanderlande’s efficient and reliable solutions. Vandeerlande focuses on the optimisation of its customers’ business processes and competitive positions. Through close cooperation, Vanderlande strives for the improvement of their operational activities and the expansion of their logistical achievements. The company’s extensive portfolio of integrated solutions – innovative systems, intelligent software and life-cycle services – results in the realisation of fast, reliable and efficient automation technology. Established in 1949, Vanderlande has more than 4500 employees, all committed to moving its customers’

businesses forward at diverse locations on every continent. With a consistently increasing turnover of more than one billion euros, it has established a global reputation over the past six decades as a highly reliable partner for value-added logistic process automation.

Industrial markets served Next to solutions for the Warehousing market, Vanderlande’s systems are active in 600 airports including 17 of the world’s top 25. More than 20 million parcels (300 packages per second) are sorted by its systems every day. These have been installed for a variety of customers including the four largest parcel and postal companies in the world. Countries served Worldwide.

Website: www.vanderlande.com

Corporate Profile

Vanderlande

WAREHOUSING

Reliable partner for value-added logistic process automation

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


Special Technology Report

AIDC/Mobile Computing

Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke to a number of experts from the vendor and analyst communities about recent developments in the world of automatic identification & data capture and mobile computing technologies – including those concerning integration, security and technology convergence. The contributors also reflect on some of the key drivers for these developments, and consider what AIDC/mobile computer solution users can likely look forward to in the not too distant future.

T

Gupta, director, autoID & data capture, VDC

patterns, trends, and associations – is a topic

crucial physical assets or inventory counts is

Research, observes that the explosion in e-

generating significant interest among AIDC

critical to making business decisions across

commerce sales volumes has retailers and

industry veterans,” said Gupta. “It is gaining

many organisations. “We have historically seen

service providers scrambling to get their

significance in the modern connected world as

RFID deployed in the supply chain for inventory

technology infrastructure up to date in order to

the collection of ‘non-traditional’ data increases;

tracking; however, IT organisations are

enable greater supply chain visibility and

information vital to accurate business decision-

expanding the uses of RFID for access to

seamless communication across a broad array

making can be found not only in transactional

buildings, as well as to track crucial assets in

of connected devices. She cites several factors

data collection methods but even more so via

the data centre, hospitals and libraries,” he said.

that are impacting warehouse operations and

scanners, imagers, machine vision systems, and

subsequent investments in AutoID solutions,

disparate sensing technologies. AutoID

Although there is no horizontal hardware vendor

including:

solutions represent the front end supporting

for all RFID technologies, Zimmerman points out

o kick-off this in-depth discussion regarding some of the current key

5. Growing interest in wearables for hands-free

Expanded use

operation.

Tim Zimmerman, research VP, Gartner, reflects

talking points and/or innovations/developments related to

“Big Data – defined simply as extremely large

that, in today's environment, gathering location

AIDC/mobile computing, Richa

datasets that can be analysed to reveal

or access information about key personnel,

many Big Data initiatives. From managing stock

that some of the most successful organisation-

1. Omni-channel retailing pressures.

levels and tracking customer behaviour in retail

wide RFID deployments, particularly in

2. E-commerce sales spike and the need for

to monitoring supply chain wellness in

aerospace and healthcare, consist of multiple

perishable item distribution and identifying

frequencies. Zimmerman explains that to

3. Escalating labour costs.

patterns to enhance manufacturing efficiencies

operate properly, RFID solutions may also

4. Migration from laser scanners to camera-

item level fulfilment.

26

and yield, leveraging AIDC technologies

require one or multiple readers, where the

based imagers for barcode data capture

enables workers to undertake sophisticated

information from the tag is communicated to the

and QA/QC.

statistical analysis and data assessments.”

reader via one or more antennas, then

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AIDC/Mobile Computing

Special Technology Report

communicated upstream across the network

on the move has also been improved. For

include both

infrastructure to an application.

example, HTML 5 has been developed to

handheld and vehicle-

perform many functions usually taken by native

mounted mobile

Jon Hall, chief operating officer, TouchStar,

applications running on a mobile terminal. Users

computers, wearables

believes the most exciting concept that has

can now work offline, safe in the knowledge that

utilising mobile

been introduced recently has to be the ‘Wide

data will be synchronised when a connection is

computers and

Area Warehouse’. “It has the potential to take

re-established.”

Bluetooth ring scanners, wearables

the ‘Elastic Warehouse’ idea – whereby a warehouse operation can rapidly grow or shrink

Adam Boyce, manager of IT strategy, Panorama

utilising Voice

according to demand – and apply it to the entire

Consulting, points out that the barcode remains

technology and sleds

supply chain,” he explained. “It always surprises

popular for tracking and resource management

that enhance

me when so much effort is put into monitoring

such as inventory position and manufacturing

commercial devices

what is inside the four walls of a warehouse; that

progression. OCR (optical character

to perform more like

visibility is all but lost once a product leaves for

recognition) is increasing as the recognition

rugged devices.

the next stage of the chain. Visibility is such a

technology improves,” he said. “Early adoption

Tim Zimmerman, research VP,

key aspect of the supply chain that I often think

was tough as the accuracy was not always the

Clark adds that the appeal of the smartphone in

of the delivery vehicle as a location that must be

best at identifying characters.

terms of ease of use and reduced training time

Boyce added that RFID deployment is also

is influencing the design of new rugged devices,

Hall added that understanding stock levels as

increasing, especially for areas where general

however. She continued: “There is a trend

well as movement increases the ability to

proximity is preferred, or line of sight scanning is

towards lighter devices with larger

maximise an operation. “The Wide Area

not feasible. Boyce also explained that

touchscreens, as well as an increasing adoption

for the end user, due to a familiar user interface,

managed as a warehouse would be.”

Warehouse idea will undoubtedly help

biometrics such as fingerprinting and facial

of Android as an alternative to Windows

organisations to stay lean, competitive and

recognition tend to be employed for security

operating system. Increasingly, these devices

better meet customer expectation,” he said.

usually as an additional layer. “There are still

are being used for more than just traditional

questions around the legitimacy of some these

barcode scanning. With advances in scan

On a smaller scale – but no less important in

systems and if they can be ‘fooled’,” he said.

engine technology, enterprises are able to

terms of its impact – Hall maintains that

“Smart cards can also be deployed for security

extend their use to scan not just the barcode,

advancements in imager technology are

such as in government areas where users are

but the document around it, and use capabilities

shaking up the industry. “The latest breed of

able to store their credentials in multiple formats

such as OCR to capture more data. This also

imager devices are able to compete directly

on a single card.”

allows companies to explore new revenue

with laser scanners in terms of speed and

opportunities, such as parcel delivery

accuracy, but also offer the benefit of being able

companies also performing meter readings; as

to read 2D barcodes,” he explained. “This is a

Rugged advantage

the Internet of Things (IoT) expands, this trend

key development, as 2D barcodes have to

Justine Clark, industry marketing manager –

will grow exponentially.”

conform to worldwide standards, so imager

transport and logistics Europe, Honeywell Daniel Dombach, EMEA director for industry

devices are becoming an enabler of greater

Sensing and Productivity Solutions, pointed out

collaboration and the sharing of data.”

that, while some companies are testing

solutions, Zebra Technologies, believes we are

smartphones and other commercial-grade

in the midst of a new technology revolution that

devices, they are proving to lack the

was initially described in Germany as Industry

the databases of

ruggedness to consistently perform optimally in

4.0. He explains that the name points to the

contrasting systems

the field environment. In addition, she maintains

potential offered by a range of converging

can be time

that whilst appearing initially to be a lower

technologies to transform the way we collect,

consuming and

capital investment, they fail to deliver key

analyse and share data to provide real-time

costly. Imager

attributes that an enterprise requires; such as

visibility into every corner of an organisation.

devices offer an

stability of operating system version, advanced

Dombach believes this Enterprise Asset

alternative as

security, an extensive range of accessories and

Intelligence (EAI) promises to improve a huge

shipment data can be

battery management.

range of operations – from enhancing the way

updated throughout

Clark believes the best option for optimal

run, to transforming the performance of vehicle

its journey to its

performance and workflow efficiency and lowest

fleets, to making a major leap forward in the

destination. The ability

total cost of ownership are still the rugged,

efficiency and productivity of warehouses.

to update databases

purpose-built devices. She explains that these

Hall continued: “We all know that trying to link

production lines are planned, monitored and

stored locally but then Richa Gupta, director, autoID & data capture,

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Special Technology Report

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Dombach continues: “While many technologies

benefit of this is that the user no longer

people and in-coming

play a lead role in Industry 4.0, the Internet of

needs to tilt the device to read the screen

vehicles – the light

Things and mobile computing are key

after each scan: they simply pull the trigger.

could be dim, and it

components:

And, with its consumer-style all-touch

may well be very

operation, many key applications that

cold. Operators may

“The Internet of Things: Smart sensors and

previously required multiple button presses

also be wearing bulky

tags, such as RFID and barcode labels, can

need just one or two taps on the screen.

clothing and gloves.

be attached to objects – from machines, to

Pilot customers, such as DHL Supply Chain,

It’s our responsibility

people, to vehicles, to parcels, to pallets

have seen productivity improve by up to 20

to produce devices

and many, many more. The tags give items

per cent per operative.

that thrive in this

a digital voice that streams data over the

environment and that

Internet to provide informative dialogue

“The TC8000 is compatible with Zebra’s All-

intuitively provide

about the day-to-day operations of the

Touch Terminal Emulation software. This uses

simple accessibility to

business. For example, a logistics company

the increased processing power on devices to

smart and dedicated

can use smart sensors to continually

replace the legacy green-screen, and its

features to help users easily see, hear and

determine the temperature, status and

multiple menus and key presses, with a simple

share the critical information they need to get

health of the assets it’s carrying. The

and easy-to-use graphical menu built around

their jobs done.”

intelligence collected from operations can

Android. Teams using Android devices require

be used in three ways. First to sense what’s

less training and they more readily embrace the technology as it helps them work in more natural

auto identification and data capture, Frost &

that data; and third, to act upon it. Critically,

and intuitive ways.

Sullivan, believes there is greater visibility in

“Zebra is also investing heavily in wearables.

“Assets can be tracked and condition monitored

Cloud and improved data analytics, the time

We see this as one of the next big trends in end-

round the clock; moreover, this happens at

between data being captured and

user computing in manufacturing and logistics.

closer proximity, and located with high

networks, on-tap computing power in the

retail, manufacturing, logistics, and healthcare.

presented in useful ways for people – or

Wearables promise to improve productivity and

accuracy,” she said. Bhattacharya added there

machines – to make decisions on it is

lower error rates by presenting information to

are various emerging applications such as

closing. In fact, in many instances, it

operatives in more natural and easier-to-digest

advertising in retail, studying customer

happens in real time, allowing organisations

ways.”

behaviour, health monitoring of livestock,

to move faster, become more agile and take

analysing the techniques and activities of

better decisions. What’s more, with Big Data

athletes or sportspersons, remote patient

systems continually crunching real-time

Andrew Briggs, technical director, BEC, also

data, the analysis will uncover new ways to

homed-in on the benefits of the new Zebra

continually improve performance.

monitoring, hand hygiene, and many more.

TC8000. “This innovative product is right in our

Bhattacharya also made the point that due to

sweet spot in terms of vertical alignment, i.e.

growth of Cloud computing and the increased

warehousing & manufacturing, with its tough

use of smartphones, information is now available

used in logistics and manufacturing are

form factor and rugged, tilted screen etc.,” he

anytime anywhere for users. Additionally,

changing as the best innovations from the

said. “There’s also a lot of discussion around

Bhattacharya points to the growth of software as

consumer space are adapted for the

Android – this is bringing the price of devices

a service (SaaS) models for radio-frequency

“Powerful, intuitive devices: Mobile devices

enterprise. A good example of an all-new

down, as customers are not paying for a

identification RFID software. “A lot more

device that offers a

Windows licence on a mobile device so the

protocols and combination of multiple protocols

highly intuitive

purchase price is cheaper.”

are being used today apart from just active and

TC8000 mobile

[subhead] The importance of design

“For real-time location system (RTLS) solutions,

computer. It’s built

James Morley-Smith, director of user

Ultra-Wide Band, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is

around a new form

experience, Zebra Technologies, pointed to the

increasingly becoming popular for indoor

factor, moving away

importance of design: “Teams working on

location applications.”

from the traditional

production floors or in the warehouse have very

gun design by

different requirements to the average iPhone

placing a 4-inch high-

user. The environment itself presents what we

Benelux and strategic partner development

resolution WVGA

call Situational Disabilities that inhibit decision

Europe, Denso, points out that the traditional

screen on top of the

making. For instance, it’s likely to be noisy, there

rugged AIDC market has been impacted by the

handle. The main

will be a lot of movement – such as forklifts,

consumer mobile devices market and the ability

interface is Zebra’s

Adam Boyce, manager of IT strategy,

28

Nandini Bhattacharya, senior research analyst –

going on in a business; second to analyse with faster and ubiquitous Wi-Fi and 4G

Jon Hall, chief operating officer,

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MANUFACTURING

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December 2016

passive RFID for real-time monitoring,” she said.

Tim Thompson, head of sales UK/Nordics &

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AIDC/Mobile Computing

Special Technology Report

for enterprise businesses to utilise web-based

advancements in image recognition

change is the

applications. He explains that AIDC companies

technologies to see how these can be utilised

demand for increased

have therefore had to be more innovative in their

within the supply chain for applications such as

automation without

design and usability of devices. In Thompson’s

reverse logistics.

sacrificing accuracy

view, key developments are:

and security. “Organisations desire

“Devices are still rugged however the

Ergonomics

tools to improve

ergonomics are much more akin to smart

Doyle is also starting to see less focus on the

performance reliability

phone devices and include full touch

amount of memory a device has or what its

that can also drive

screens, integrated scanning and a full suite

processor performance is, and more emphasis

down costs and

of communication capability – Wi-Fi, 4G,

on the ergonomics and usability of the device.

improve quality,” he

VOIP.

“By combining outstanding form, size and

said. “Rapidly

“Android is now becoming a popular

ergonomics together with a modular approach

improving technology

operating system but security and

to device functionality, we are seeing even

at reduced costs as

challenges around system updates remains

greater productivity and potential for return on

adoption arises means the systems won’t be as

a concern.

investment,” he explained.

“RFID reading capability is becoming more

Justine Clark, industry marketing manager – transport and logistics Europe,

restrictive to purchase or implement. It also allows investment into development that can

widespread as the need for greater

In addition to ensuring that ergonomics are at

efficiencies impacts businesses.

the core of the design process, Doyle pointed

further capabilities.”

“Multifunction devices – e.g combined

out that Datalogic is also implementing

Another factor, according to Boyce, is the

barcode scanning and NFC read capability

technologies such as wireless charging, indoor

prevalence of these technologies on a

– help reduced costs, improve performance

positioning and MIMO Wi-Fi technology into its

personal level. “OCR, biometrics and mobile

and reduce device management

latest devices, which he explains will provide

systems are a part of our everyday lives,” he

challenges.”

additional value and differentiation for end

said. “Computers and smart devices such as

users.

phones allow for fingerprint and facial recognition. OCR can be found in mobile apps

2D imaging

that convert words from an image or hand-

Mike Doyle, country manager UK&I, Datalogic,

Drivers for change

written notes into digital text. Accessibility

points out that imaging is the main area where

What has driven the above changes? Dombach

allows for expanded usage and subsequent

he is seeing continued evolution and great

believes a key driver behind the improvements

improvement.”

potential to help end users maximise

to technology is the need to reduce costs while

productivity within the supply chain. “2D

simultaneously doing more, and doing it more

barcodes have been widely adopted in the retail

quickly. “Relentless improvement is a

Refining consumer service

sector, particularly with the rapid emergence of

prerequisite for doing business in manufacturing

Clark believes e-commerce has had a huge

mobile couponing and to a certain extent this

and logistics,” he said, adding that, of course,

effect. “Consumers are driving how their

improved knowledge about the benefits of 2D

greater competition across sectors also plays a

products are delivered and visibility of where,

imaging vs linear models is driving uptake

role in innovation while the end consumer, in the

when and how they are delivered,” she said.

deeper into the supply chain,” he said. “Devices

Internet age, has become much more

“Retailers and logistics companies need to

that have a 2D imaging capability offer end

demanding. “Take fashion retailers: they need to

continually refine and improve the service they

users far more in terms of potential returns than

meet shoppers’ demands for next-day and,

provide their customers to remain competitive.

linear scanners. 2D barcode symbologies such

increasingly, same-day delivery – flawlessly.

Use of handhelds taking barcode data enables

as data matrix, PDF417 and DPM codes can

This expectation has seen organisations look at

consumers to keep track of where their product

contain more data such as serial numbers,

warehouses differently in recent years – rather

is, from order received to delivery or if it’s

locations and date information to speed up

than a cost centre, they’re seen as a value

ready for collection.”

production, improve traceability, reduce costs

centre that can help organisations secure

and enhance customer service throughout the

business by the speed at which they fulfil

According to Clark, changing market

supply chain.”

orders…” Dombach observes a similar trend at

requirements also play a huge role; “for

play in manufacturing; with people expecting

instance in transport and logistics or retail

As well as integrating 2D imaging capabilities

their goods to be made more quickly. “Not only

where the workforce is affected by peaks and

into devices that can cope with near-far

that, they increasingly want them made to

the workforce is becoming younger, they

scanning, Doyle explained that Datalogic is also

order,” he added.

require a familiar looking device that is easy to

developing devices to read invisible, digitally watermarked barcodes and exploring

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use so that they can be up and running as Boyce believes one of the main drivers for

soon as possible.”

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Bhattacharya observes that smarter

software perspective. “As people have become

machines, people, the back office and more

manufacturing and Industry 4.0 is changing the

more familiar with mobile technology in their

across the value chain brings many benefits.

use of RFID in manufacturing and industrial

personal lives, they have also become more

“The increasing number of data collection points

applications. She adds that businesses across

comfortable using it in a work environment. This

allied to faster networks means that the time

sectors are looking for information on the

increased familiarity has huge advantages when

between the creation and the analysis of data is

locations and condition of their assets to

it comes to user adoption and training

shrinking,” he said. “And, as we move forward,

increase profitability. Bhattacharya also believes

requirements.”

this will increasingly happen in real time, presenting both humans and machines with

the growth of Cloud computing is changing the software business models and has helped with

Briggs commented that, in terms of the Zebra

immediate intelligence on which to not only base

many emerging and new applications with

TC8000 it is very different to the ‘norm’ in terms

more effective decisions but to better predict

smartphones and tablets. “Because of the

of design, so this must be attributed to the

what might happen and plan accordingly. The

constantly increasing use of smartphones, and

vendor taking into account and listening to what

knock-on effect is that organisations can

tablets, and other mobile devices, it is possible

users in warehousing and manufacturing

become even more agile and flexible, which is

to develop solutions that work on Bluetooth, or

environments need from a mobile device.

essential to cope with growing complexity and

GPS, or geomagnetic technology,” she said.

Briggs added that the scope of service and

the demand for customised solutions.”

support contracts has also changed to cover Thompson considers the main drivers for

abuse; e.g. if users drop it and break it, it is now

change to be:

covered as standard. Also, Briggs points out

Reduced cost

that the cost of contracts has dropped, and

Hall makes the point that in recent years the

The continued demands on business to use

“users can get three years cover very cheap if

cost of the hardware has dramatically

innovative technology to help drive at cost,

they buy it on day one”.

reduced while functionality has dramatically

improve productivity and gain competitive

increased. “Technology has become much

advantage. •

more intuitive and familiarity with smartphones

Vendors have had to react to market

Improved benefits

has increased,” he said. “All this goes

demands for smaller, more durable,

What have been the subsequent benefit

towards making mobile devices much more

consumer-like devices with operating

improvements for the user? According to Briggs,

accessible. The extra familiarity means

systems that are familiar to the demographic

these include faster implementations with better

lengthy training periods for new or temporary

of the users.

middleware and less modifications (for example,

staff are often not necessary. This is a huge

Developers are creating applications in

BEC’s eSmart Voice WMS solution) – giving a

bonus for those considering the Elastic or

HTML, making the apps more OS agnostic

broader functionality to middleware etc. In terms

Wide Area Warehouse concepts, and who will

and giving businesses the opportunity to

of wireless communications, Dombach believes

depend on the ability to bring in temporary

choose from a wider range of devices – and

the standardisation of the technology through

staff and have them quickly up to speed.”

even permit BYOD (bring your own device).

the Wi-Fi Alliance has paved the way for Wi-Fi to become an integral part of warehouse and

From a user perspective, Clark reflects that

Doyle considers that, without a doubt, a lot of

factory operations. He also maintains that Wi-Fi

the freedom of choice regarding operating

the drivers around form factor and usability are

has also benefited from the trend across the IT

systems has driven greater ease of use, as

being driven by the consumer smartphone

industry – seen for example in the availability of

solutions become more familiar in terms of

market. “Organisations are looking for devices

Cloud services – to reduce the complexity of IT.

user interface. “Workers want a device that is

that still retain the industrial and enterprise

“Our Wi-Fi systems provide carrier-grade ultra-

easy to learn and intuitive, which is why

requirements of a rugged handheld device, but

reliable performance but are easily installed by

Honeywell places a strong focus on user

at the same time they

a guided and largely self-provisioned process,”

design for its technology,” she said.

are attracted to

said Dombach. “Designed for non-stop

devices that have a

business, they include ‘Smart RF’ whereby

Clark added that another significant trend in

similar look and feel to

access points can sense problems and

user workflows is toward hands-free

their consumer grade

automatically adjust performance to optimise

technologies – such as wearables and Voice

devices such as large

services. Everything is built and managed with

solutions – to drive greater productivity and

displays and

our WiNG operating system, which makes it

accuracy while promoting safety, ergonomics

touchscreens in a

simple to run, monitor and maintain the network

and employee morale. “Users who feel safer,

sleek design,” he

from any location – on-premise or in the Cloud.”

Daniel Dombach, EMEA director for industry solutions,

30

IT

said. Moving away from Wi-Fi and to a more general Doyle added that this

point, Dombach comments that greater

is just as true from a

connectivity between sensors, devices,

MANUFACTURING

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December 2016

are more productive and can do their job easier, tend to have much higher job satisfaction,” she remarked. Thompson explains that improvements in

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AIDC/Mobile Computing

Special Technology Report

wireless performance standards – greater

Looking at devices, technology made for the

an integrated

capacity, faster and more secure and resilient –

enterprise must be different, according to

environment it’s key

together with improvements in 4G data networks

Dombach. “As well as being robust and

that the right

have meant the data captured can be delivered

reliable, it must be easy to deploy, operate and

protocols exist so that

more reliably and the operating range of

run,” he said. With this in mind, Dombach

the devices and

devices is extended through the business. This,

explained that Zebra provides a suite of

technologies play

says Thompson, helps information to be

supporting technology: Mobility DNA. “This

nice together and do

processed and acted on more quickly.

includes end-user apps, robust admin utilities

not excessively

and effortless development tools to make it

overlap. These

Doyle reiterates that the move to business

easier for customers to get the most value from

solutions tend to

Andrew Briggs, technical director,

versions of operating systems like Android give

their mobile devices. We also build smart

come with their own

end users devices and applications that they

software into our devices, such as 123Scan

hardware and

are familiar with, and the knock-on effects of this

that connects our scanners to the back office.

software that need to

create a number of benefits that shouldn’t be

It streamlines staging, makes it easy to

be evaluated to ensure they are complimentary

underestimated. “This is particularly noticeable

remotely oversee devices and protects key

with back-office systems.”

during roll out and training phases and by

features – such as the battery by continuously

reducing the learning curve for using technology

monitoring battery life and charging patterns

Clark comments that e-commerce and omni-

organisations have the potential to start seeing

and sharing this data with the back office.”

channel selling has also had a large impact regarding the back-office system relationship.

measurable business benefits much more Hall observes that rapid advancements in

“This has greatly increased the complexity for

mobile computing, plus the availability of high-

the retailer of tracking where inventory is in the

speed and affordable mobile networks, has

supply chain,” she said. “As options expand to

Back-office systems

been the driver of the changes we have

buy in store, collect from store, have delivered

In terms of the relationship between

recently been a part of. “With this platform in

from store or warehouse, or transfer from one

AIDC/mobile computer systems and back-

place, we have seen end-users embrace Cloud

store to another, visibility of inventory and

office solutions, what have been some of the

technology, as the ability to access data from

maintaining accurate data has never been

key recent changes? In manufacturing,

any location with a connection is extremely

more important, nor more difficult. This is just

Dombach has witnessed major producers

valuable,” he said. “Knowing exactly where

one example of the continued need for

focus a lot of effort on better connecting their

stock is at every stage in the supply cycle is

businesses to improve efficiencies and

entire production processes. “A particular

crucial for the Wide Area Warehouse concept

processes, whilst also reducing costs.”

focus has been on improving Manufacturing

too. It offers greater visibility, awareness and

Execution Systems (MES) – the interface

flexibility as data is quickly analysed and

Clark added that Cloud platforms offer a range

between the machine itself, which produces

efficiency gains can be identified.”

of opportunities to better collect, share and

quickly,” he said.

analyse data. “Businesses with a distributed

the goods, and the ERP systems that govern the order, planning and production process,”

Hall adds that one only has to look at Microsoft

workforce need software solutions that can be

he explained. “The goal is to enhance visibility

Azure to see the power of this combination of

rapidly developed, are massively scalable and

by improving information flow.”

new technology. “Azure runs on a worldwide

that make their mobile teams better connected.

network of Microsoft-managed data centres

Honeywell recently acquired Movilizer, which

Dombach added that mobile computers are

across 22 regions and is expanding its

offers customers the ability to seamlessly

also being increasingly used across production

footprint rapidly. The proliferation of data

collect, transmit and analyse data from their

processes, and the digitisation of standard

centres means that data can be held local to

workers on their existing IT systems. This

operating procedures is now making it much

where you need it, ensuring fast delivery of

enables businesses to harness the power of

easier to not only change these procedures but

real-time data to a mobile workforce wherever

their workforce from anywhere to best serve

to provide engaging guidance for users

they are operating.”

the needs of their end customers.”

through mobile devices using Voice, Video and In addition, Clark points out that logistics

3D models. On a broader level, Dombach pointed out that the industrial browser has

The right protocols

providers want the freedom to choose their

become more common, with major ERP, WMS

Boyce makes the point that AIDC/etc. systems

technology platforms, including their operating

and CRM apps available via web browsers.

are typically viewed as extensions or tools that

systems and want the flexibility to upgrade or

“This means that organisations don’t have to

work in tandem with back-office business

change over time. “This is why Honeywell

match devices to particular operating systems,

solutions such as ERP. “Having a standalone

offers future-proof solutions and supports all

providing the freedom to select the best device

AIDC limits the capabilities and visibility to data

operating systems – iOS, Android and

for teams,” he said.

that more companies are seeking,” he said. “In

Windows,” she explained.

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AIDC/Mobile Computing

Bhattacharya states that the latest middleware

that integration with enterprise systems

to support their aspirations,” said

and software suites are advanced enough to

remains streamlined. In addition, he observes

Zimmerman.

allow seamless integration between the ERP

that there continues to be changes and

and RFID. “The RFID software available now

uncertainty in the OS market, which are

can support multiple technologies together

naturally having an impact on the relationship

The future

and make them function smoothly with high

between devices and the respective back

What might be the next innovations and

accuracy,” she said. “The advanced software

office system. “We are seeing many

developments to look out for over the next year

platforms available can be hosted on servers,

developers explore Android as a platform

or two within the AIDC/mobile computing

and on Clouds. These software solutions are

and this is particularly prevalent in outside

space? Gupta considers that data capture

capable of supporting smart phones and

the four walls for applications like electronic

industry veterans today face stiff competition not

tablets making it easier for the end users. The

proof of delivery where consumer

only from new and emerging barcode scanner

software development kit (SDKs) made

applications are having a strong influence on

vendors introducing lower-cost devices in

available by the software companies can be

how the market is evolving. Where in-house

conventional form factors, but also from non-

easily integrated by the end users into their

applications, such as warehouse

traditional ecosystem participants building

systems.”

management systems, are concerned

scanning accessories and software

Microsoft CE and Compact 7 are still

enhancements for consumer handhelds like

According to Thompson, the key changes

dominant. For these applications, the

smartphones and tablets. “This advent of

regarding the relationship between

additional features and benefits of Android

scanning alternatives is challenging the

AIDC/mobile computer systems and back-

are unlikely to outweigh the additional effort

advantage that purpose-built devices hold over

office solutions have been the capability to

required to maintain security.”

general-purpose, non-enterprise-grade options,”

capture and deliver data more efficiently

she said. “VDC expects success in the data

through improved functionality in devices and

With regard to RFID technology, Zimmerman

improved communicability – faster Wi-Fi and

explains that organisations must assure that

ability to be adequately agile in their sales and

WAN connectivity.

the following three areas are addressed

marketing strategies, especially as enterprise-

regarding application:

wide solution consistency, low TCOs, and higher

capture market to be determined by vendors’

ROIs become necessary.”

Closer integration

Integration into back-end systems that

Doyle comments that closer integration of

will process RFID tag or reader data, and

mobile devices with back-office systems is

whether middleware is needed to convert

to provide their largest customers with guidance

being enabled by advancements in mobile

or filter the data or provide additional

and direction in analysing and presenting Big

device management and terminal emulation.

reporting capabilities based on the

Data in a meaningful way will be most

“Terminal Emulation has been a conduit for

additional information available on the

successful in the future. “Offering support

transferring data between devices and back-

tag. It is critical that implementers

services that go beyond simple break-fix and

office systems for many years, offering a very

understand the ability of any middleware

depot repairs will play a crucial role in

fast a reliable connection for workers,” he

or back-end application to scale as the

determining AIDC vendors’ success in

said. “We have seen a trend to browser

number of tags is increased.

transforming their business to better align with

technology but recommend that clients considering this option carry out thorough

demands of today’s organisations,” she said. •

Applications must be able to incorporate

diagnostics, technology- and brand-agnostic

increase in data

technologies that make up a total

device management, and even application

traffic could slow

solution.

hosting services. VDC envisions more data

down response times.”

32

IT

capture solution providers will begin to innovate •

Applications must be able to collect data

and make investments in portfolio expansion

from multiple locations. For example,

that goes beyond hardware.”

From a mobile

supply chain applications may have

device management

multiple warehouses where inventory can

Hall fully expects that the IoT will make good on

perspective, Doyle

be moved or located.

its potential and provide the productivity and

considers that there

performance gains that will take supply chain

are now lots of

“Organisations need to be clear about the

efficiency to the next level. As well the

options available to

scope of their RFID strategies, and must

automation of many processes, Hall also

end users to

carefully evaluate not only the tags and

believes IoT will also offer the level of visibility

remotely manage

readers, but also the capability of relevant

that is key to turning the Wide Area Warehouse

devices and ensure

RFID middleware platforms and applications

concept into a reality. “It will allow stock to be

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&LOGISTICS

“These include remote monitoring and

the data from the different tag/reader

testing before implementing as a huge

Nandini Bhattacharya, senior research analyst – auto identification and data capture,

Gupta added that AIDC vendors with the ability

December 2016

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AIDC/Mobile Computing

Special Technology Report

managed more effectively, space to be used

database, the interaction is carried out by Voice

provide users with all

more productively and give us flexibility to deal

while the system is updated automatically,” she

the information they

with unforeseen issues,” he said.

explained. “Using a Voice-directed, hands-free

need in their eye line

and eyes-free inspection process, workers

and be tailored to the

As the industry advances, Boyce believes we

eliminate skipped steps, make fewer errors, are

individual’s job in

could see more inclusion of technologies in the

more productive and have higher job

hand. Complemented

form of wearables, but also collaboration with

satisfaction. The Voice-directed solution for fleet

by Voice guidance

VR/AR and AI. He also thinks there is potential

maintenance eliminates the post-inspection

and the use of

for AIDC to work with driverless technology that

manual data entry process and facilitates

augmented reality (for

could allow improved supply chain

compliance.” Clark adds that, whilst RFID has

example, presenting

management in areas such as forecasting,

been talked about for many years, its adoption

3D SOP guidance to

planning and tracking. Boyce adds that robotics

is becoming a reality for many enterprises now,

a line worker), the

and drone technologies are other areas that

as costs are driven down and the demand for

technology will

continue to be promising for automated data

supply chain visibility grows.

provide more intuitive

capture.

Tim Thompson, head of sales UK/Nordics & Benelux and strategic partner development Europe,

and natural ways to work to productively and Similarly, Thompson maintains that fixed and

effectively manage tasks.”

mobile RFID will become more widespread as

Increased use of RFID

business requirements for more data more

Bhattacharya anticipates that printed RFID

quickly drives demand. He believes this

Continuing evolution

labels will be more popular. “There will be an

technology will become integrated into more

Software will also continue to evolve, according

increased use of protocols such as BLE, UWB

devices.

to Dombach. “Look out for enterprise apps that apply analysis of Big Data and the operator’s

for location monitoring,” she said. “Increasingly, businesses will be shifting to IoT space, thereby

Dombach comments that, to coin a phrase,

own style of working on their device, to learn on

increasing the number connected RFID devices

we’ve seen nothing yet when it comes to

the fly and change workflows,” he said.

exponentially. RFID/ RTLS will be a key enabler

stretching the value from the trends

“Devices may also have the intelligence to

to the smart city, smart manufacturing, smart

contributing to Industry 4.0, from Enterprise

change their applications and interfaces based

retail, smart healthcare, and smart

Asset Intelligence (EAI), to mobile computing,

on assessing the user’s level of competence –

transportation. Smart supply chain across

Big Data and more. “Take trailer loads for

a key advantage where a large number of

industries will grow with increased RFID

example – around 70 per cent of trucks on the

seasonal workers are using devices.”

penetration.”

road today in the US are not full [Reference: Visibility that’s Visionary, Zebra report, 2016],

Doyle envisages that we will see greater

Briggs believes vendors may come up with

leading to huge revenue leakage,” he said.

adoption and more developments in Voice

less-traditional form factors, taking the TC8000

“By using spatial awareness apps on mobile

technologies over the next few years. “Voice

as a leading example. He also foresees further

devices, which can capture the space that an

technology has already seen some significant

developments in the area of the IoT in terms of

item takes up – not just its size – firms will be

advancements with next generation solutions

how data is collected and how devices will be

able to use predictive technology to optimise

delivering astonishing picking accuracy,” he

able to talk to a wider variety of machinery,

their loads and make better use of their fleets,

said. “This is being achieved through additional

equipment etc. to capture Big Data.

reduce costs and protect the environment

functionality like location validation, which is

through fewer wasted miles. We’ll also see

designed to prevent users from memorising

augmented reality used via devices. For

locations and picking items without visually

applying Voice-

example, a point of a camera at a shelving

confirming the location. Users can also interact

directed work

unit could return an image overlaid with

with some Voice software if they are uncertain

According to Clark, one key innovation involves

technology, which

advice such as what product should be

about what product to pick, things like ‘Show

was once mostly

picked, what items might be missing and

Me’ functionality will display a picture of the

used in the

what items need to be put away, where.”

product on the mobile device that the Voice unit

distribution centre, to

Mike Doyle, country manager UK&I,

is paired with.”

vehicle maintenance

Dombach pointed out that Zebra launched its

and inspection work.

first wearable device 20 years ago and believes

Doyle also believes we will see more changes

“Instead of having

that the explosion of wearables that we’ve seen

in the software space; particularly as more and

technicians recording

in the consumer space will be matched in the

more applications and infrastructure become

findings on paper

enterprise. “We’re now looking closely at the

Cloud-based and adopt SaaS, IaaS

and manually

potential of customised heads-up displays in

(Infrastructure as a Service) and EaaS

entering them into a

smart glasses,” he said. “The displays will

(Everything as a Service) models. 

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Special Technology Report

Printing & Labelling

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

T

the most vibrant and fast-changing technology

with a kiosk at the grocery store – maybe all

By 2025, new US OEMs such as Local Motors

areas actively deployed within the

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

are expected to increase adoption of

manufacturing, logistics and retail fields. Michael

technology understanding and adoption has

microfactory business models to:

Dizdar, project manager, Panorama Consulting,

driven advances to end user labelling and

opens the debate by observing that labels are

printing requirements.”

his report will consider a host of

the day-to-day lives of consumers has

current key discussion points and

significantly impacted the changes in the

tools such as jigs, fixtures, and moulds. •

Prototype parts, such as Ford’s 4-cylinder

recent and ongoing areas of

labelling and printing environments. An end-user

EcoBoost engine and F-150 exhaust

innovation and development with the

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

manifold.

printing & labelling space; one of

played a new video game, and/or interacted

Print parts at authorised representative locations, reducing supply chain

moving away from being a display mechanism

complexities and cost.

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

Viroop Narla, mobility research analyst, Frost &

a label was printed two days’ ago when a pallet

Sullivan, considers 3D printing and the

was received (and may or not be correct at the

technology’s impact on the automotive industry.

current time) to a vessel that can give updated

This, he states, has primarily been in research

and changeable information based on

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

transactional events and environmental factors,”

the corner into commercially printed parts for

he said. “New labelling advances from

mainstream production. Frost & Sullivan

Expansion of 3D printing in the value chain is

companies like Thinfilm allow real-time

research indicates that in 2014, 90% of 3D

expected to face multiple challenges, such as:

temperature data to be produced accurately

printing applications in the automotive industry

and timely based on the needs of the current

were for prototyping and 10% for production,

user, not what was produced in the past based

enabling OEMs and suppliers to:

• •

• point that the pervasiveness of technology into

IT

The high cost of 3D printing machinery and materials.

Conventional component manufacturers lobbying governments against 3D printing.

In terms of drivers for change, Dizdar makes the

MANUFACTURING

&LOGISTICS

Enable convenient and quick vehicle servicing to maximise customer satisfaction.

on stale information.”

34

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

December 2016

Create proof of concepts with localised manufacturing.

Customer patent infringement implications for OEMs and suppliers.

Fabricate complex and unique production

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Special Technology Report

A shift from 3D prototyping to production is

hearing aids, implants and surgical tools.

voice to the item it

expected by 2030 due to:

However, they comment that while there are a

is placed on.

lot of 3DP technologies that have promise and

More and more

An expected 40% reduction in raw material

have moved beyond the proof of concept phase

we are seeing,

prices for 3D printing.

at companies, not every organisation is ready to

however, the

Price similarity: A conventionally

adopt. Further, merely adopting 3DP in a

need to connect

manufactured part now is 78% cheaper

vacuum can be a recipe for disaster, they said,

the printer to the

than one that is 3D printed; the gap is

adding: “The majority of organisations still need

network so status

expected to shrink to as low as 11%.

to adapt or create new internal processes for

can be observed.

handling 3DP workflows, data, hardware, supply

Also, the ability to

Gartner analysts, Michael Shanler and Pete

chain management and products. The

connect quickly to

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

mainstream media, vendor capitalists (VCs) and

other peripherals

industry continues to see growth, innovation and

vendors are still creating a very ‘hyped’

such as scanners

many new players. “While several of the seven

environment where 3DP can solve everything –

or mobile computers is key to efficiency and

3DP technologies have existed for nearly 30

from 3D-printed food to end world hunger to

years, those early tools had limitations to speed,

creating body parts so people can live forever.”

quality, resolution and performance,” they said.

intelligence.” •

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

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

Michael Dizdar, project manager,

convenient delivery commitments. Those

Internet of Things

that won’t will shop around, so inventory

last five years, the ‘maker movement’ catalysed

David Stain, senior vertical marketing manager

visibility is key and getting the stock to a

numerous 3DP activities and inspired 3DP

EMEA manufacturing, field mobility &

convenient location for the customer just as

solution vendors and end users alike to begin

healthcare, Zebra Technologies, comments that

key. Track & trace is vital to both.”

leveraging 3DP in ways to create brand new

developments we see taking prominence are

values and societal impacts. Many industries

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

have moved beyond leveraging 3DP in

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

experiments and will be approaching an

explains, is about making the print devices

Centralisation and standardisation

inflection point within the next five years, where

visible across the user estate where there may

Ken Moir, VP marketing, NiceLabel,

executing on 3DP is industrialised into the value

be several hundred or thousand devices,

comments that, first, there is more

chain.”

flagging their status, use rate and being able to

centralisation and standardisation taking

manage them from a central location.

place because companies want to increase

Shanler and Basiliere added that, recently,

the agility of their business. “These types of

major aerospace and automotive companies

process optimisation benefits can mean

have leveraged 3DP to create new products

Configurability

companies are able to ship product faster,

and assemblies that were previously impossible

Another development of note, according to

sell more product, have less downtime, have

to build or to shorten delivery times on orders.

Stain, is the appreciation that the labels

less product returns, reduce inventory,

“New materials have been 3D-printed in the

themselves have become much more

mitigate the risk of mislabelling etc. – these

retail industry to create new aesthetic and

configurable by use case; for example, new

are the key drivers for change,” he said.

performance characteristics, as well as to satisfy

RFID tags designed specifically to work better

Also, Moir points out that web technology now

consumers' growing appetite for personalised

on metal components, shelf-edge labels that

allows companies to do client-side web printing.

products,” they remarked.

peel away more easily when being replaced

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

and wrist bands for medical applications. Stain

web technology doesn’t require Silverlight or

Shanler and Basiliere

considers that the drivers for change can be

Flash plugins, and doesn’t require administration

also make the point

characterised as follows:

that the medical device and healthcare

Customisation. “Both end user and

anywhere across the extended supply chain for

enterprises want products and components

any authorised user. It can be deployed across

moved toward

that are right for them. Hence we are seeing

your own business, your stores, your franchises,

improved patient

mass customisation or product variants

your suppliers, your contract manufacturers or

being produced to fulfil this need.”

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

community has

outcomes and reduced cycle times Pete Basiliere, analyst,

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

Visibility. “In a connected world, all devices

by delivering 3D-

need to be connected and indeed the

Moir adds that the latest integration systems

printed personalised

outputs of a printer – the tag or label –

and service buses also allow companies to

dental devices,

enable the connectivity by giving a digital

take advantage of universal templates and

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Special Technology Report

Printing & Labelling

print from any device on any operating

“Our mobile print solutions seamlessly integrate

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

Greater business efficiency

with industry-leading software, meaning the set-

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

Ioana Nitu, product manager at ICT services

up and incorporation of the technology into

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

provider Brother UK, states that the main

existing systems is straightforward. We've also

he remarked. “Most retail stores and

function of mobile and label printers in the

invested in the range of connectivity options

warehouses use mobile devices and it’s now

manufacturing and logistics industry is to

available on our products, helping to ensure

easy to actually print from these devices. You

increase business efficiency by allowing

they're compatible with a both iOS and Android

no longer need to hard code or generate and

employees to print simply, quickly and easily

devices. Print speed has always been a key

embed printer command templates in your

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

feature for us, coupled with the continued need

applications. This is what NiceLabel calls

However, what has changed in her view is the

for reliable, hardwearing and compact solutions.”

next-generation mobile printing.”

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

Mari Waldron, global business development

Previously, explains Moir, some vendors

the minute. “As businesses across all sectors,

manager, Honeywell printers, points to key areas

would offer template printing solutions

including this one, broaden the devices they're

of development as being simplicity, ease-of-use

whereby users could design a label, print it to

using, connectivity has become more important,”

and connectivity – with command language auto

file, take the printer command language and

said Nitu. “Manufacturing businesses are

sense, printers automatically analysing incoming

embed it within their application. “However,

investing resource into innovative new

data streams. This, she explains, means a user

what users now want are universal templates,”

technology to help employees work more

can pull the printer out of the box and

he said. “Integration systems now make it

efficiently while reducing costs, and any print

immediately start printing, which makes the start-

easy for iOS, Android etc. to print universal

systems need to be compatible with these.”

up process quick and simple for the end user.

intelligent labels; they don’t need to store

“Customers have come to expect user-friendly

separate templates for different mobile

Running almost parallel to this, according to Nitu,

design, including a large, multi-colour touch

devices. It’s now easy to integrate mobile

is the growth of different technology used across

screen with easy-to-use commands,” said

computers into label management systems

businesses and the impact this has on how

Waldron. “This is driven by consumerisation

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

easily these different devices integrate. “As

trends, which means a familiar interface and

whether mobile or fixed. It doesn’t matter what

technology develops, businesses are

compatibility with consumer devices, such as

printer you use. The point is that mobile,

continuously trialing new software and hardware,

smartphones.”

desktop or tablet computers can be easily

making it more and more challenging to ensure

integrated into LMS.”

these different systems are compatible with each

In terms of motivation for change, Waldron

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

believes the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

In terms of the key drivers for change, Moir

now more than ever, want mobile printers that

and the need for connectivity is driving retailers,

comments that, in addition to reduced product

integrate easily with existing systems and cause

manufacturers and supply chain firms to invest in

returns, reduced inventory, reduction in

minimum disruption.”

technology to enhance their business

labelling errors, etc., there are drivers

performance. She points out that companies look

concerning legal compliance. “In life sciences,

Additionally, Nitu considers that the evolution of

to connected devices to improve flexibility,

the FDA UDI deadline recently passed in the

technology over the past decade has raised the

efficiency and profitability.

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

bar in terms of customer expectations. “In

medical device manufacture is going to be the

everyday life people want solutions which have

EU medical device

an instant impact with minimal inconvenience,

directive. In

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

Increased adoption of consumer technology

pharmaceutical,

said. “Customers are looking for high-speed,

In addition, Waldron explains that Honeywell

there will be further

compact devices that increase business

customers place a strong emphasis on ease-

changes regarding

efficiency and empower employees from any

of-use when it comes to technology for their

serialisation and

location.”

workers. “This is partly driven by an increased

track and trace over

David Stain, senior vertical marketing manager EMEA manufacturing, field mobility & healthcare,

36

IT

Nitu added that the speed that technology has

“Workers on a manufacturing or distribution

years. This is all

developed in recent years has led to a

centre floor expect the devices they use to be

naturally driving the

continuous need for investment in Brother’s

familiar and intuitive. This is particularly

need for a more

products. “All of our solutions are designed with

important when hiring and training new

centralised,

the customers’ needs front of mind, and we

workers. For seasonal workers hired during

standardised

spend a lot of time understanding the sector and

peak times, a printer must be easy to use in

labelling

the challenges they're facing to ensure our

order for the new staff to be productive in a

methodology.”

products can help meet these needs,” she said.

short amount of time.”

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&LOGISTICS

adoption of consumer technology,” she said.

the next couple of

December 2016

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Printing & Labelling

Special Technology Report

Jörk Schüßler, marketing director EMEA for

ways; for example, Bluetooth and WiFi,” he

patterns also helps

Citizen Systems Europe, maintains that

said.

organisations to manage printing

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

Lassus added that printers with intelligence

activities. “As

points where printing and labelling is involved.

onboard, such as SATO Application Enabled

electronic business

“For example, customers now receive and return

Printing (AEP), mean that separate printers and

and communication

goods in a variety of ways, which can be

PCs are no longer required. “An application-

processes gradually

challenging for warehouse and logistics

enabled printer not only has its own internal

replace paper,

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

processing power – so it can connect to other

organisations are

efficient and not overly costly for the goods

devices such as weighing scales, a handheld

reducing costs by

provider, it requires perfect integration. For

barcode scanner, or a keyboard, and it can print

moving pages from

instance, let’s say a customer who ordered

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

printed to digital form

something online opts to pick up the

designed to be readily reprogrammable,” said

and printing only

merchandise in store but return it via a courier if

Lassus. “With increased intelligence, printers can

when and where they

they decide not to keep it. The customer will

also monitor their status, reporting back to the

truly need physical documents,” she said.

receive a receipt from the store, and also a

maintenance team 24/7, and alerting them before

returns label to send back the goods. This

any problems occur. This reduces downtime as

Print providers, in turn, evaluate, transform and

places different demands on printers. The way to

well as unnecessary regular service costs.”

adapt to a maturing technology market and

Laurent Lassus, general manager marketing & product management,

businesses' impending challenges, commented

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

Also, Lassus explains mobile printers that are

Lam. “The need for organisations to manage

and perfectly integrated them – through Wi-Fi or

portable and easy to operate allow users to print

printing costs and move content freely back and

Bluetooth – into the shop’s retail system.”

on the move, where and when required,

forth from physical to digital is creating

regardless of having to be near a power supply

opportunities for providers,” she said. “The need

Regarding motivation for development, Schüßler

or infrastructure. In Lassus’s view, drivers for

to better manage printing costs in organisations

explains that these changes are simply driven by

development include the continual need for

led to the growth in managed print services

the changing world and the different demands of

businesses to work more efficiently, and

(MPS) over the years. As organisations seek to

shoppers. “Potential customers are always online

streamline operations, with the adoption of

digitise their work processes and manage their

nowadays and they expect the same from

Cloud-based technologies.

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

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

of solutions, such as data capture and retrieval

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

Optimisation

solutions, document management services and

between private and professional IT is blurring

Gartner analyst, Lai-ling Lam, states that

managed content services (MCS), that help

more and more, with the user experience

providers can no longer rely on the success

companies to this end. Investment in high-

becoming a critical factor in the success of

formulae of print hardware and supplies to thrive

volume digital printing technology is increasing

implementing different technologies.”

in this industry. Printing cost, being one of the

as print service providers gradually shift from

nonpriority expenses, was high on the cost-

offset to digital printing.”

Laurent Lassus, general manager marketing &

cutting lists of most organisations. To control

product management, SATO, believes the

printing costs, Lam points out that organisations

Lam added that the growing trend toward Cloud

most current trends in printing and labelling

have embarked on projects to optimise their

delivery, digital transformation and global

are connectivity,

printing fleets, reduce hardware purchases, and

adoption of mobile devices leads to revenue

more intelligent

control excessive printing and supplies usage.

opportunities for print management solutions and

printing and mobility

As a result, print volume has shrunk, followed by

a possibility for managed IT services that extend

of equipment, and

lower consumables sales. Total end-user

beyond printing.

that they all relate to

spending on printers, copiers and multifunction

the wider Internet of

products (MFPs) has declined for the past five

Things (IOT)

years. In 2015, total end-user spending on

megatrend. “End

printers, copiers and MFPs declined 6.2% while

Printable electronics and the packaging industry

users are demanding

consumables spending for enterprises shrank

Mike Hopkins, project manager, CDi Yorkshire (a

printers that easily

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

special interest group of the BPIF), explains that

connect to the

expected to improve despite having small

the increase in the use of smartphones and the

network and can

pockets of growth, such as production printing.

incorporation of printed electronic solutions and

communicate

Lam comments that adoption of print

printed logic into consumer products is creating

through a number of

management tools to track and monitor printing

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

Mari Waldron, global business development manager,

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million smartphones

predominantly manufactured with conventional

of-the-art Printing and Labelling systems, what

were sold to

electronic components. The project is continuing

do you feel have been some of the key recent

consumers worldwide

to work to overcome the challenges of creating a

changes? Nitu believes this ties into the growing

and it is projected that

hybrid label which will be manufactured with

trend for seamless integration. “Businesses are

by 2019 sales of

both conventional and printed electronics that is

looking for one solution to help them increase

smartphones will

able to survive the rigorous application process

business efficiency and cost savings,” she said.

reach over 2 billion,”

and post labelling electronic quality control.

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

he said. “The capabilities of

Hopkins explains that the printing of electronic

they work together as one solution which is why

smartphones and the

functionality will enable designers to embed

simple integration is key.” Nitu adds that due to

way in which we use

technology into their designs, creating innovative

the flexibility that technology has offered

them has changed

components that are smarter, lightweight and

businesses, customers are also now demanding

since the first

wireless without the need for expensive and rigid

bespoke end-to-end solutions that serve their

smartphones came onto the market in the late

silicon chips. “Typically, the technology has been

specific needs. “No one business and their

1990s. Today’s smartphones include touch-

embedded into RFID (radio frequency

requirements is identical, so it's important ICT

screens, high-speed internet access and NFC

identification device) tags used for tagging and

services providers spend time understanding the

(near field communications) which has altered

tracking purposes,” he said. “These electronic

company and ensuring its mobile print or

the way we interact with people, and objects,

tags (circuits) contain data which can then be

labelling solution is going to achieve optimum

conduct business and make purchases.”

transmitted back to an antenna using radio

results,” she said.

Ken Moir, VP marketing,

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

technology which goes one step further. An NFC

Dizdar considers one revolutionary change to be

incorporate NFC into smart products grows,

chip, which is embedded into a device, operates

the increasing incidence of data that originates

Hopkins points out that so does the demand to

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

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

produce high-volume printed electronic

by another chip, data can then be gathered and

and ends up being printed via a label or other

components at low cost. “This is essential to

transferred between the two devices when held

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

extend the reach of electronic intelligence into

a few centimetres apart.”

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

everyday objects, where conventional siliconHopkins adds that printable electronics is

number of devices – whether a personal phone,

moving from niche applications into more

an anchored RFID reader, or a camera attached

The BPIF is involved with project SCOPE, the aim

lucrative mainstream applications. One such

to a traffic light. These different collection

of which is to develop new processes,

application area is packaging and labelling. “As

mechanisms are driving consistency and

equipment and applications – in essence

the unit price for a printed electronic system falls,

openness with the ERP/CRM/WMS vendors in

building a UK supply chain – in order to meet the

smart packaging is set to become a reality and

order to allow their customers ease of integration

growing demand for high volume (billions or

may even evolve into what futurists are heralding

and use.”

even trillions) units incorporating various

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

components, at low cost. It will also provide a

observes that brands, packaging companies

Waldron considers that, increasingly, users are

technology platform to develop new, innovative

and retailers are all keen to embrace this

wanting to print their own shipping label directly

and ultimately more complex and novel

technology for applications such as:

from their smartphones to reduce cost and

based electronics is unsuitable,” he said.

increase speed. “It is important for printers to

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

integrate with smartphones – supporting the

• Consumer management.

major mobile

Initial concepts have been carried out to develop

• Logistics track and trace.

operating systems –

low-cost, high volume, printed logic for

• Monitoring a pack’s contents.

in order to seamlessly

capabilities and strengthen the UK supply-chain.

connect the devices,”

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

“All of these functions can be framed within

she said. “For

goods for the end user. Initially prototypes were

the umbrella term ‘smart packaging’ as a set

example, a consumer

produced using a combination of conventional

of technologies that allow packaging to

needs to ship a

and printed electronics, including Labels

contain, evaluate and transmit relevant

parcel. He or she

incorporating LEDs, used for promotional

information,” he said.

books the shipment with a smartphone

purposes by one of the UK’s major fast moving

app and takes the

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

Back-office relationship

parcel to a store to

electronics, the concepts have been

In terms of the relationship between some state-

ship. Using the

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Jörk Schüßler, marketing director EMEA,

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Printing & Labelling

Lai-ling Lam, analyst,

Special Technology Report

phone’s camera, the

that integration can, of course, cover everything

Moir points out that SAP is the ERP system of

consumer scans a

from document design and device integration

choice for many companies, particularly the

barcode from the

through to device management and developer

larger ones. “We realised that more and more

store’s printer screen,

tools. Regarding developer tools, he thinks it is

companies wanted to deploy LMS and see

which pairs the device

important that users provide an SDK developer

previews of labels inside SAP before they printed

to the printer and

kit to their suppliers to allow them to use the app

them as finished labels; basically, they wanted to

communicates the

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

see the label with the master data in the ERP

shipping data. The

can also enable the devices and the Cloud

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

printer immediately

platform to connect better.

an easy way to get a preview into SAP from

prints the shipping

LMS. Realising that some of our clients had

label, thereby saving

Stain said many of the Cloud challenges that

spent a considerable amount of time trying to

time and giving the

Zebra comes across are around what the

achieve this, we decided to develop an add-on

shopper a user-

company terms terminal emulation, for

for SAP, which has proved to be very popular

friendly process. Honeywell’s PC43d printer

companies that want their brand on the label,

with our customers. We are now looking to

offer a hi-res, colour display to enable this

and also want standard format and standard

develop similar pre-built solutions for other

process.” Another trend highlighted by Waldron

label sizing. “These companies want the format

systems so that more companies are able to

involves the use of smartphone apps and

of that printer to be able to be emulated across

achieve faster time to value.”

mobile printers in transportation & logistics

all the devices on their estate,” he explained.

space. “Delivery drivers are being utilised for

“This is an area where the Cloud can really reap

In Schüßler’s view, one key change that stands

other doorstep services, such as collecting

benefits because you can place your template in

out is the relationship between mobile and back-

parcels, for which a receipt or label would be

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

office systems, which is so close that they have

needed,” she said.

houseware and this can then be downloaded by

to become one system. “This combination helps

each store as a when they are need it.”

enterprises to work more efficiently by reducing

Stain believes touch to pair on devices is without

time and increasing precision,” he said.

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

Convenience

scanner or mobile computer, is done in seconds

Stain adds that in the retail world ‘convenience’,

Convergence

– almost like the speed difference between

is becoming the watchword; hence the click &

What are the current key discussion points

contactless card payment transactions and the

collect and home delivery markets are

concerning convergence within the printing &

PIN number method. Stain also makes the point

developing to fulfil the consumer need, as well

labelling technology space? Dizdar comments

that manufacturing is in the midst of Industry 4.0

as seeing into other store branches’ stock levels

that convergence is a consequence of

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

to check availability. In terms of the healthcare

technological advancement, thus it is a

of the key elements is better visibility of material

market, Stain points out that Positive Patient ID is

positive force for the end user and the

flow through the line extending right back to the

the cornerstone of secondary healthcare. He

marketplace. “End users are going to

supply chain = AIDC and RFID deployment,” he

also makes the point that, with the digitalisation

continue to demand increasing functionality

said. “Transport & logistics business are seeing

of records, administration of the right treatment

from any technological device in the future,”

parcel delivery increasing and the need for

and medication is now much more accessible.

he said. “Technology that can only perform a

accurate time slot of delivery. Waiting in all day

“In hospital, that means giving the patient a

single task is going to be seen as outdated

for a parcel is no longer acceptable for the

digital voice via a wristband,” he said.

when compared to other multi-function

consumer. 30- and 15-minute delivery windows

technologies. For example, the ability to take

are here along with a stream of notification

Lassus believes the methods of communications

a picture via a

capabilities to the customer on status of

have seen the most development. “Bluetooth-

smartphone is now

delivery.”

enabled printing has been available for a

commonplace; thus

number of years, but now printers are being built

for many purchasing

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

a camera to take

SaaS and Cloud

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

pictures is now

In terms of device integration, Stain points out

being introduced into equipment which allows

unthinkable. From a

that Zebra offers Cloud Connect, which allows

users to simply copy the settings from a printer

printing/labelling

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

to an Android phone, so they can send the same

perspective, a

drives areas such as SAP or Oracle ERP

settings to other printers while they are switched

movement towards

integration as well as Zebra’s Link OS PDF Direct

off. The NFC also allows users’ phones to view

multiple functions

capability that allows the printing of PDF

some of the printer’s settings which is an

(with printing as one

documents without middleware. Stain explains

advantage for service.”

of the basket of

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Printing & Labelling

functions) for a device will be seen as

smaller environmental footprint and efficient use

access data via

commonplace and necessary at a minimum.”

of valuable space. We also see this in the field

labels or printed

for connecting mobile workers and enhancing

material,” he

Moir believes there will be an increasing level of

productivity. Logistics and direct-store-delivery

explained.

convergence in terms of, for example, labelling

firms are implementing PrintPads which combine

and direct marking solutions. A good case in

a mobile computer and a printer, vehicle-mount

Schüßler reflects that

point is the dairy company he referenced earlier,

printers and wearable printers.”

labelling & printing are commodity

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

Stain explains that Zebra is putting labels on hot

solutions nowadays.

requirements. Moir is also seeing convergence in

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

“They might be

the ability to access label master data from ERP

type of convergence capability regarding

enhanced in a way

and MES on mobile devices such as

adhesives and labelling within the business it

that they are APP like

smartphones and tablets; as well as on desktop

starts to open up many more avenues of

and web-based

PCs. “Again, the requirement for greater

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

systems, so for the

standardisation and centralisation is driving

challenge for many print companies is they don’t

next year or two I think usability might be the

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

have a print supply business, whereas Zebra

main focus,” he said. Waldron believes linerless

and more companies want to reduce IT

does. In terms of marking, from etching through

media presents interesting, environmentally

complexity because this also helps to reduce

to direct part marking, our scanners can read

friendly opportunities in printing and labelling in

costs and unplanned downtime, as well as save

both.” Stain added that tap to pair is another

industrial applications. “When printing linerless

time and increase agility.”

convergence where NFC enables printer and

labels, backing paper, which may end up in

scanner to be paired swiftly.

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

Stain considers that technology will continue to

tripping over any backing paper hanging off a

offers the chance to choose best of breed

advance, but believes we need to remember

printer in linerless printing.”

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

that many enterprises want scalability. “So even

addition, there is no risk of workers slipping or

Schüßler sees the convergence trend as very positive. “The acceptance is much higher and it

Mike Hopkins, project manager, CDi Yorkshire – a special interest group of the

longer a secret or bad things. Most people fully

though sensing technology could be seen as a

Waldron added that the future of the printing &

understand that it is making their work life and

threat to the printed barcode, having a portfolio

labelling marketplace will be dynamic as

private life much easier.” Lassus also believes

that embraces both positions the supplier in a

companies look for ways to reduce costs and

the convergence of technology is a good thing

more strategic light with customers as it gives

increase productivity. “Consumers and retailers

for manufacturers. “With printers using the same

them choices as to which technology to deploy

are increasingly moving away from printed

common languages to communicate, installation

based on use case and density of visibility

receipts and instead receiving their confirmations

and operation will become much easier, so users

needed.”

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

can ensure their workplace runs more efficiently,”

to deliver solutions that still provide Return on

he remarked.

The future

Investment where demand is reduced.”

In general, Waldron considers technology

What might be the next key

convergence to be a positive trend. “Today,

innovations/developments to look out for over

Stain believes we will see the 2D barcode get

businesses face constant pressure to do more

the next year or two within the printing &

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

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

labelling technology space? Dizdar

very valuable from a security and authenticity

looking at Smart Printing, in which the printer

anticipates continued development of the

(fake product) standpoint, for example,” he

runs apps and

ability for a printed document or label to give

said. “Zebra has already supplied micro

doesn’t require a

‘real-time’ information in a proactive instead

labelling to a number of electronic

computer, to support

of a reactive manner. “Instead of a label

manufacturing businesses. This means the

convergence. This

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

companies are able to identify small parts very

can help reduce

will utilise rules and data to determine when

easily and readily using 2D barcodes with scan

costs as a company

to inform due to changes in the entity that is

capabilities on the other machines. Therefore, I

does not need to

labelled,” he said. Another development,

believe marking, and certainly 2D printing, will

invest in additional

states Dizdar, is to continue to allow for a

increasingly become not just about ID; we will

computers to support

user outside of a closed system to access

also start to see more security features too.”

their printers. Smart

data via a label or printed document. “This

Stain also maintains that interoperability

Printing also leads to

will allow organisations to market better

between devices will grow, and that will yield

decreased energy

transparency between themselves and the

unprecedented ease of use, configuration and

consumption, a

end customer due to the end user’s ability to

manageability. Also, he believes the ability to

Michael Shanler, analyst,

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Special Technology Report

embed identity into a small form factor will help

Narla considers that the future price of 3D

however, their revenue

lead to an age of total transparency.

printing is expected to stagnate if speed,

contribution would

Hopkins observes that developments in smart

machinery technical capabilities, software usage,

remain a small part of

and connected electronics applications are

and material specifications do not change

the overall print

opening up significant new market opportunities

significantly; conventional manufacturing

industry. Lam adds that

in areas such as e-health, intelligent packaging

techniques are still expected to dominate.

total enterprise print spending will still shrink

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

He added that the cost of difference between

throughout the forecast

describes a world in which every day physical

conventional manufacturing and 3D printing is

period. However, “the

objects or ‘things’ are embedded with

expected to shrink to only 11% by 2030 based

shift to Cloud,

electronics, sensors and connectivity which

on close parity to raw material prices. A

increased workforce

enable them to exchange data with the

summary of some of the key future indicators

mobility and digital

manufacturer, operator and/or other connected

regarding 3D printing from Frost & Sullivan’s

business transformation are opening up

devices.

perspective is as follows:

opportunities for print providers to sell related

He adds that, although embedded computers

Ioana Nitu, product manager,

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

have been able to communicate wirelessly for

is expected to bring about faster and

Shanler comments that while there are myriad

years, the majority of these have been closed

localised production, but only by achieving

options for 3D printing of concept ‘non-

systems that are only able to communicate with

economies of scale.

functional’ prototypes to assist with iterative

Current high cost of materials and

design and feedback, users could consider

a central computer. “With the Internet of Things,

devices are able to communicate with other

machinery, and low printing speeds, prohibit

driving 3DP for creation of ‘functional

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

large-scale manufacturing.

prototypes’. “This could mean leveraging more

Only very-low-volume production can be

advanced 3DP technologies, such as powder

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

undertaken when tooling investment is

bed fusion and directed energy deposition, that

activities worldwide through sensors, and they

necessary.

may deliver more exotic materials than

communicate through wireless technologies

can be controlled or accessed from anywhere in

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

Connect to things simply by scanning them

Prices decline exponentially as quantities

traditional acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene

increase since cost is spread over

(acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastics,” he

quantities.

said. Shanler added that using 3DP for

In the future, low prices for materials and

prototyping can assist with reducing new

machinery are expected to lower production

product development schedules via faster,

costs.

frequent and more insightful feedback when in

Printing time and material availability

the concept/ideation, research, development

Monitor things remotely.

challenges still expected to prohibit wide

and beta-testing phases.

Manage things better, from traffic flows to

adoption and stagnate prices.

with our smartphone.

Moir considers that IoT will increasingly

use of energy within the home. •

Control things, such as smart thermostats.

Lassus believes the next generation of printers

empower managed print services (MPS) and

will have look and feel of tablets and

predictive maintenance etc. He anticipates that

smartphones, becoming PCs that print, rather

further Cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS)

Project SCOPE

than simply printers. “Users will come to expect

development will also continue to change

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

a similar user experience throughout their

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

connect the technology and technology

industrial applications as they find in their typical

model that’s something similar to Office 365,

providers to the packaging industry, began in

day-to-day personal lives,” he said.

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

late 2014 and will conclude in the middle of next

more confident about having business-critical

year. Towards the end of the project the BPIF will

Lam comments that weak demand for print

devise awareness and training programmes to

hardware and consumables will remain the main

manufacturing applications in the Cloud this will

inform the industry of the new opportunities that

challenges for print vendors as demand for

become more prevalent. It is possible that

the technology will open up. Hopkins points out

printed pages stagnates or declines, and

smaller users will move to this type of solution

that of particular importance will be the

content moves from paper to digital. She adds

before some of the large businesses, then more

brainstorming with the technology experts to

that consumables spending will fall at a faster

and more companies of all sizes will adopt it.

understand the potential applications of the

pace than hardware spending within the forecast

The main point is the Cloud and SaaS will

technology both now and in the future and how

period. Lam also maintains that print services

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

the label industry in particular can integrate into

and solutions will become growth drivers that

start to see SaaS LMS in the Cloud within the

their production runs.

place print vendors in front of enterprises;

next few years.” 

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Special Technology Report

Transportation Management

Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with a number of the leading vendors and analysts about current key trends and discussion points within the field of transportation management systems and processes. his report will consider many

T

to appear on smartphones and tablets that

current key discussion points and

feed data into a TMS.”

System (TMS) space. However, to begin our

money is through good utilisation of their

decisions –

debate, Steve Twydell, CEO, 3t Group,

vehicles. “Shippers want the most cost-

a. Know which customers are costing you

provides some context and foundation to the

effective way of transporting their goods,

proceedings by offering a concise definition

whether by parcel, pallet, full or part truckload

of the term TMS, both from a carrier’s and

or any other form of transport that is around,”

shipper’s perspective: “To a carrier or fleet

he said. “For a common user carrier to be

owner, a TMS is a computing system to

effective there has to be synergy with other

manage the planning and routing of a fleet,

operations. Backhaul and primary move are

“In each of the above headings we are seeing

driver management and all the administration.

terms of the past; the aim is to keep the

a revolution in terms of the systems and

To a shipper, a TMS will is a system

vehicle moving 24 hours a day in a cost-

capabilities that are starting to appear on the

integrated into their ERP systems that at order

effective way.”

market,” said Twydell. “At 3t we

a. Staff reduction, better organised back office and subsequent cost reduction which leads on to profit or cheaper

recent and ongoing areas of innovation and development with

Twydell adds that the reality is carriers want

the Transportation Management

to make money and the way they make their

rates. 3. Information to make better business

more what drivers are performing better. b. Better business decision means more profit or cheaper rates.

predominately work with shippers; however,

level will work out what is the optimum mode

because of the lack of desire from carriers to

of shipment and the best carrier to use. In some cases, it will work out the volumetric for

Requirements

adopt new technology we are more and more

packing, routing and automation of carrier

Twydell considers that there are three main

creating systems for them so they can provide

communication. For some it is the automation

headings that cover what all TMS users want.

the shippers with the real-time information and

of the documentation required to go with the

These are:

visibility they are now demanding.”

1. Optimum vehicle utilisation –

In the view of Sathyanarayana Kabirdas,

shipments, the automation of the entire administration process such as the proof of delivery process, freight bill process and then the management information. On top of all this you now have the mobile applications starting

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a. Reduction of empty mileage resulting in profit or cheaper rates. 2. Automation of administration –

research manager, Frost & Sullivan, and J Sivan, industry manager, Frost & Sullivan, some of the current key talking points within

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Transportation Management

the world of TMS are:

Special Technology Report

management centres),” they said.

nearby carriers and owner-operators

Kabirdas and Sivan also recognise the

within their network

eco-systems able to ease the

benefits of augmented reality systems. They

in real time for

communication and data path for shippers,

explained that these systems deliver virtual

automatic dispatch.

end customers and carriers.

images and information that is projected onto

“Even in Europe

• Analytics.

the windscreen of the car, and adapts

companies like

• Telematics – how this type of solution has

automatically in real time to the objects in the

TGMatrix have

been further developed by the vendor

environment. They added that this technology

evolved based on

community over the recent past.

presents information such as current speed of

this new technology,”

• Web-based transportation management

Steve Twydell, CEO,

the vehicle, the speed limit indicated by road

they said. “While

different technologies within one device

signs, road blocks and road bends, and

existing solutions

(including transportation-related

enhances safety while driving by sending out

look to eliminate

functionality): e.g. everything from phone,

alerts about obstacles to the driver.

inefficient load bidding system, the focus is

• The trend towards greater convergence of

expected to broaden to complete solutions

GPS/GPRS, Push-to-Talk capability in a Kabirdas and Sivan also spoke about web-

that include TMS, telematics, resource

based transportation management eco-

management and complete shipping tracking.

Kabirdas and Sivan comment that Intelligent

systems able to ease the communication and

This will create and enhance business among

Transport Management Computing solutions –

data path for shippers, end customers and

carriers and shippers. Both private and large

for example regarding a collaboration of

carriers. “Mobile-based freight brokering is a

for-hire fleets will adopt this service to

advanced information and communication

platform which connects shippers and

optimise their operations by enlisting unused

systems, wireless technologies, advanced

carriers, eliminating middlemen – the brokers.

capacity in their own fleets to take on extra

electronics and evolving control and sensing

This is growing rapidly in not just mature

business.”

innovations when integrated into the transport

markets like North America and Europe but

infrastructure – are offering a powerful, yet

also in developing markets like India.

Kabirdas and Sivan comment that innovations

transformative opportunity for enhanced

Technology companies slowly shift away from

in mobile communications, Cloud computing

connectivity in the sector. Of the several

traditional freight brokering and developing

infrastructure and the mass adoption of the

technology areas of development, Kabirdas

these solutions to improve efficiency. As the

Internet are facilitating the development of

and Sivan believe Cloud-enabled

current freight movement market is

Intelligent Transport Management Systems,

transportation management systems and

considerably inefficient, ample opportunities

which will greatly enhance the urban travel

Augmented Reality are two key areas

exist for mobile based platforms and TMS.”

experience and efficiency, reduce

single device.

environmental impact, improve road safety

stakeholders have focused on in recent years.

and emergency response, and save time and They add that with the help of in-vehicle

Digitisation

energy. Kabirdas and Sivan add that the key

communication systems, on-board computing

Kabirdas and Sivan added that digitisation in

drivers that are facilitating development in this

facilities and Cloud computing, vehicles are

trucking will put pressure on traditional freight

space are:

becoming more capable now; especially from

brokers to move their business towards web

the ‘drive dynamics’ standpoint. “The

and mobile based freight brokering. “Thus,

“Reduce Cost – Advanced transportation

convergence of sensor networks, content

many traditional freight brokers will develop

systems will help to reduce cost by

distribution and consolidation of hosting

mobile based freight brokerage capabilities

decreasing the requirement for human

enabled by Cloud is

that combine features from traditional freight

resources and through implementation of

causing a paradigm

brokering, load boards and web-based freight

sensing technologies to monitor the traffic

shift in the way traffic

brokering into one efficient solution for drivers

events. The convergence of computational

patterns are

and fleets,” they said. “Frost & Sullivan

technologies such as sensing technologies,

assessed, which

believes that by 2025, the market with grow

floating car data technologies, wireless

further enhances

from $100 million in 2014 to $26.4 billion in

technologies and computational technologies

multimodal travel

2025.”

enable vehicles to automatically learn and respond to the traffic infrastructure in real time

planning Sathyanarayana Kabirdas, research manager,

without any human intervention.

applications, thereby

Realising the market potential, Kabirdas and

delivering more

Sivan point out that several innovative firms

precise data to end

such as Cargomatic, Transfix, Coyote and

“Reduce Environmental Impact – Electric

users – especially in

Keychain Logistics are working on mobile-

vehicles utilise natural resources that avoid

TMC (traffic

based platforms that connect shippers to

the emission of harmful gases into the

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Marcel Frings, chief representative,

Transportation Management

atmosphere, thus

efficiently being sold.”

TMS are continuing to evolve due to the

providing a net

Frings adds that TimoCom’s second very

Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery model

positive

efficient and practical type of interface is its

and the increased importance of the ‘platform’

environmental

tracking solution TC eMap. “Already, over 170

capabilities required by shippers and logistics

impact than

telematics providers are connected,” he said.

service providers. “As best-of-breed TMS

traditional ICE

“During a transport job our users can allow

applications and niche software providers

vehicles. The

business partners access, so they can follow

gain traction in the market (replacing legacy

continuous emission

the vehicle via the hauliers’ telematics

on-premise solutions and winning first time

monitoring system

tracking and even without having to leave the

implementations), their functionality improves

(CEMS) attached in

TimoCom platform. In addition, multiple

as quickly as the markets changes,” he said.

individual vehicles

vehicles even with different telematics

“SaaS allows for all shippers and logistics

monitors the vehicle

systems can be displayed in one map.”

service providers to benefit from a single code base, as well as allowing them to

carbon emission

access the application from any web browser

and collectively stores the data in the cloud server to keep a

Streamlining

track on environmental pollution, thereby

Will Young, business development manager,

providing opportunity for better pollution

Transporeon, reflects that customers are now

Nickerson considers that the core functionality

control.

demanding more accurate details regarding

in a TMS is planning, optimisation, routing,

visibility of transport movements and greater

execution, in-transit visibility, settlement and

“Improve Safety – Real-time updates on traffic

functionality of gaining live PODs for example.

KPI reporting (data analytics). “A key to

information provide the opportunity for live

Young adds that there is also still the

implementing or maintaining an effective TMS

monitoring of people and vehicles, which can

continued drive towards great efficiency and

is well-defined and executed integration with

help reduce vehicle accidents and ensure

streamlining processes to make a more

internal and external systems,” he said.

safety.”

automated process for tendering, transport

“Because transportation touches so many

assignment, rate management, time slot

departments in and outside a company, it is

Marcel Frings, chief representative, TimoCom,

management, transport visibility and billing.

crucial that the systems trade data and

commented that, indeed, the optimisation of

“Hence, why we feel the Transporeon Group

documents very regularly. For example, the

processes in relation to the supply chain as

portfolio plays into all these key elements of

TMS should be integration with the ERP to

whole is of significant importance to stay cost-

communication from manufacturers to their

receive purchase, transfer, and sales order.

efficient and competitive. He added that

haulier partners,” he said.

Also, post-execution information like status

or mobile phone operating system.”

and invoice data should be passed back to

TimoCom’s work is exactly focused on this aspect. “We want to offer our users a platform

Young adds that there is a need for

the ERP. Carrier integration is also key –

on which they can close transport business

standardisation; whether the deliveries are

messages for tendering, in-transit information

deals securely, efficiently and process

done via own fleet or external sub-contractors

and invoices should be integrated. And then

supported,” he said. “This means that with the

– and with most 3PLs sub-contracting

non-EDI or XML connectivity through web-

support of our products, business partners

between 30 and 40 per cent, he considers

portals is becoming increasing popular to

within the transport chain are able to find

that this is a real challenge for them. “This is

support non-IT savvy providers or just remote

each other, are able to find ways to optimise

why we have seen such a fantastic reaction to

activity (from a cab or loading dock).”

the use of resources and to collaborate in the

Mobile Order Management (MOM), our smart

process.”

phone technology based solution for track

Mohsen Mohseninia,

and trace,” he remarked.

VP of market development,

Frings points out that this includes intelligent interfaces as TC Connect through which

Young makes the point that this type of state-

Europe, Aeris,

TimoCom, on customer request, can connect

of-the-art TMS functionality gives both hauliers

comments that the

customers’ transport management systems to

and external sub-contractors live visibility of

global trucking

TimoCom’s transport platform. “The big

what is happening with their own fleet and

industry is

advantage of this interface is that if these

develops a real pro-active dialogue to pre-

undergoing

offers cannot be placed intern to existing

determine late deliveries or damaged

enormous change.

companies, the freight offers from the

deliveries with the final customer delivery

He makes the point

customers’ system are directly transferred into

point.

that older vehicles are being replaced

the platform with just one click,” he explained. “And in the platform, the freight offers reach

Bill Nickerson, manager industry relations,

with ‘smart trucks’

out to 110,000 users and are quickly and

Panorama Consulting Solutions, observes that

using Internet of

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Will Young, business development manager,

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Transportation Management

Special Technology Report

Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M)

choice for fleet applications is cellular.

had reached US$5.7

systems and cellular communications

However, as Mohseninia explains, the cellular

billion in 2015.

technologies to transmit essential information

services offered may differ from region to

for management of the fleet operations.

region; what may be a successful product

Mohseninia also

and service in the US may have limitations in

comments that

Europe and vice-versa.

Cloud-based

Connectivity

IoT/M2M data

As commercial fleets begin to enjoy the

“Traditional cellular operators and cellular

management

benefits of IoT/M2M vehicle telematics,

service providers may burden deployments

platforms enable

Mohseninia points out that the fleet owners

with technical methods and business rules

trucking managers

and operators are seeking more reliable

designed for human handset and smartphone

to fine-tune their

connections, with flexible rate plans and

users,” said Mohseninia. “A simple example

operations. “They

seamless coverage across many geographic

illustrates this issue: most smartphone users

can access new

areas and remote locations. He comments

are small accounts with one – or perhaps a

applications in real-

that in Europe seamless cross-border

few – SIM cards in that account. Managing

time to determine reports on temperature,

operation for the trucks is an essential

the accounts for billing purposes, making

road safety, traffic congestion, weather,

requirement for these services to succeed.

payments, and monitoring usage is relatively

mileage, and fuel costs,” he said. “Multiple

easy for one (or even a few) SIMs. However, a

apps can be integrated, for example,

Mohseninia also observes that the commercial

company supporting the commercial fleet

combining weather and road safety to

fleet programs are also becoming more

owners, across their many fleets, may have

achieve a more precise picture of conditions

complex; from the simple need to manage

thousands of vehicles that are managed.

and save time.”

inventory, location, routing, and fuel costs, to

Requiring and managing a separate account

requirements for mission-critical reliability,

(and SIM) for each cellular device (in a truck)

In terms of managing driver behaviour,

connectivity for life and innovative market

is a prohibitively complex for the company

Mohseninia comments that new systems

differentiation.

providing the fleet telematics service and for

integrating information about weather, traffic,

Mohsen Mohseninia, VP of Market Development Europe,

the individual operations managers of the

and other factors give the drivers instant

Mohseninia explains that Aeris’ customers –

fleets. Fleet managers must be able to

feedback on safe driving practices in an

i.e., the companies providing these solutions

manage group rates, billing systems,

effort to decrease driver error and achieve

to the fleet owners and operators – continue

reporting and analytics for process

better gas mileage. “Managers can create

to add new telematics applications. “These

improvements.”

detailed data-based plans to advise drivers on eliminating unsafe driving behaviours like

on-board applications are helping fleets overcome a variety of challenges above and

Mohseninia makes the point that when

speeding, fast cornering, and hard braking

beyond the projected cost reductions and

developing fleet applications using cellular

or acceleration,” he explained. “For example,

efficiency gains,” he said. “For example, new

technologies, the device certification

a driver might be able to receive information

legislative regulations, including tighter

requirements are sometimes daunting.

about recommended speed as he

carbon emissions and new standards for

“Companies developing products for

approaches dangerous sections of a

driver monitoring, require compliance from

operation in new regions must have experts in

roadway where a recent storm has left ice

fleet managers.”

IoT/M2M that have a thorough understanding

patches. This information could be

of the specific certification requirements in the

transmitted from a wide variety of methods,

region,” he said.

including from texts and voice, or displayed

Not surprisingly, adds Mohseninia, the market

on a console.”

for fleet solutions is crowded, particularly in Europe, and competition continues to grow. “The companies providing solutions to the

Big Data and analytics

Regarding sophisticated diagnostics,

fleet operators must compete on factors other

Mohseninia also considers how Big Data,

Mohseninia points out that IoT/M2M systems

than price: service reliability and availability,

and the analytics it enables, gives fleet

enable the development of applications that

rapid implementation of new value-added

management systems with telematics

can identify vehicle issues and instantly

services, improved customer experience,

capabilities the ability to provide much more

notify drivers about maintenance

etc.,” he said. “They must recognise any new

sophisticated information in the form of

requirements in order to avoid costly repairs

needs of the changing fleet industry or new

applications customised for individual

and roadside breakdowns. He explains that

legislation and quickly provide the solutions

companies. Mohseninia points out that ABI

drivers can receive updates on a variety of

that meet those requirements.”

Research confirmed the growing role of Big

truck performance metrics that can lead to

Data in IoT/M2M, estimating that integrating,

improved efficiency, safety and overall

storing, analysing, and presenting IoT data

condition of vehicles.

Often, the communications technology of

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Mohseninia also points to the benefits of

food, grocery, clothing, etc. At the same time,

system, Mona Moll said: “Manifold use cases

smart alerts. “Enhanced alerts management

competition in this space is increasing and

and extensions of CAR2SHARE cargo are

allows fleet customers to define custom alerts

providing a one-hour delivery service is

imaginable. Every company that works in

with an array of options in addition to

expensive, so the sustainability of this

delivery or courier services or operates a fleet

predefined system alerts,” he said. “Fleet

business model will be tested.”

of vans, can benefit from the features. In the future a cloud of drivers (e.g. students) will be

managers can define alerts and notify drivers about issues regarding engine performance,

But what of OEM mobility schemes? Muir

available for courier companies to operate

tire pressure or electrical malfunctions, and

states it is well-publicised that OEMs are

rides. Opening the platform for B2C, will give

thus reduce costs significantly.”

positioning themselves as mobility providers;

private customers the possibility to book a

From an insurance perspective, Mohseninia

perhaps most notably Ford, with its recent

van spontaneously while the courier company

highlights the fact that the ability of IoT/M2M

announcements at CES and the Detroit Auto

can reduce downtimes. An extension to the

systems to deliver instant driving data from a

show, and Daimler with schemes such as

management of other assets that need to be

variety of sources creates multiple insurance-

CAR2GO and CAR2SHARE. “Whilst the

bookable (e.g. cargo bikes, trucks) is also

related benefits for both truck owners and

focus has been on consumer mobility,

planned.”

insurers. “For truck owners, such systems can

Daimler has seen the value in adapting such

fast-track claims processing and more

models to the movement of goods with its

However, whilst this solution addresses some

efficiently help resolve claims,” he said. “For

recent announcement of CAR2SHARE cargo

of the fundamental challenges of delivery,

insurers, premiums can be calculated on

– a digital fleet and driver management

next-day or next possible day-delivery over

actual usage and driving behaviour to reduce

system that allows for vans to be booked

longer distances is a different ballgame,

costs and increase profitability.”

using the car sharing model,” said Muir.

believes Muir. He adds that a network like TNT’s European road network, which spans

He continued: “CAR2SHARE cargo offers a

over 40 countries, cannot be easily

Redefining final mile delivery

comprehensive solution for creating a more

duplicated; with a sweet spot in the 300 to

efficient transport process – from the

1500 km range.

Connectivity and all its subsets, namely

deployment planning of drivers and vehicles,

autonomy and mobility, are dramatically

the coordination of the route to the digital

But Muir explains that while networks such as

altering the fleet and logistics sector,

management and spontaneous bookings in

TNT’s allow it to effectively and profitably

according to Jamie Muir, project director, TU-

the event of bottlenecks.” Muir added that

function in the longer distance delivery, there

Automotive. In terms of some of the latest

Mona Moll, global communications Mercedes-

are moves to apply mobility models, into this

innovations making waves in these spaces,

Benz Cars – research, development and

challenging sector. One such organisation

Muir believes the focus of new mobility

environmental communications at Daimler AG,

cited by Muir is TGMatrix, a new player that

models has traditionally been on the

says the all-round planning tool consists of

operates a freight matching engine to match

movement of people. “However, things are

three modules that build on one another:

supply and demand (freight & assets) in the

changing, and the major mobility providers

Smart Van, Courier Assist and Virtual Fleet.

Intermodal freight marketplace (road, rail, short sea, coastal & inland waterways). “In

are turning their attention to the movement of goods,” he said. “One notable example is

Muir comments that the development of

essence, TGMatrix is applying the Uber

UberRush, currently being trialled in San

CAR2SHARE cargo was relatively simple,

made, to intermodal freight transportation,

Francisco, New York and Chicago, which

requiring only that a telematics control unit be

targeting – as TGMatrix’s founder, Brian

brings the concept of Uber to parcel

added to the vehicle to create a smart van

Bolam puts it, “empty trucks and modal shift

delivery.”

that is online, bookable and lockable via an

from road to rail/short sea and coastal,” said

app – and the whole fleet management

Muir.

Jamie Muir, project director,

Muir points out that

process works keyless. “The system will

Jeroen Gehlen,

ultimately allow for organisations to reduce

He added that the organisations message of

director pick-up &

their fixed capital along with reducing fixed

‘bringing freight transport into the Internet

delivery innovation

and variable cost such as leasing instalments

age’ seems to be striking a chord with the

and optimisation,

and fuel expenditure,” said Muir. “Combining

solution currently being run in Beta with the

TNT Express,

the system with inner city next day delivery

world’s largest logic’s firm. “The potential of

commented:

solutions, such as that of Tiramizoo, the

this model is vast, with Brian arguing that the

“UberRush is

system has the power to reduce delivery

impact of TGMatrix will be transformational,”

certainly challenging

times, light running and therefore traffic in city

said Muir. “The cost and emissions

local courier

centres.”

implications, however, are dramatic with estimates of 15 per cent cost reduction from

services. This may work well for flowers,

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In terms of the future developments of the

shippers, 200 per cent margin improvement

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Special Technology Report

for carriers (more loaded/paid kilometres per

these digital strategy requirements would

solutions to optimise

truck/train) and a 25 per cent reduction in

push roaming costs down and could result in

transport duration

CO2 emissions (from combination of filling

equality between domestic and international

and ensure safety of

empty space and modal shift).”

costs across Europe,” he said.

the shipments,

In terms of the technology needed for this

Twydell considers that legislation just keeps

human resources

solution. ‘multi-agent technology linked to

on becoming more complicated for the fleet

involved in

ontologies and powered with GPU

owner. “Shippers don’t see the issues; it’s the

transportation.

processors’ was required. Brian Bolam said:

carrier’s problem,” he said. “In the last 15

“It is a black box solution with EDI

years legislation issues are seen in the rate

Additionally,

connectivity to ERP/TMS/WMS and GPS

not in a shipper’s TMS, which is the opposite

Kabirdas and Sivan

connectivity to equipped trucks and GSM

for a carrier’s system. And, again, the distinct

consider that the

triangulation for T&T via our own smartphone

fear or dislike of IS systems by regional

impact of regulations

application.” In future, TGMatrix plans to

carriers has put cost pressure in the

such as SOLAS

enable the ability to file a route plan – like a

administration side of the business.”

(Safety of Life at Sea) container weight

transport mode and

flight plan and with the ability to re-route on

Bill Nickerson, manager industry relations,

verification requirement is tremendous. They

the fly based on real-time weather, traffic and

Kabirdas and Sivan make the point that

explain that the International Maritime

road conditions (this is phase 2 planned for

changes in legislations regarding surface

Organisation (IMO) approved the changes to

early 2017). Muir points out that, according to

transport, railways, airways or trade generates

the SOLAS convention regarding the weight

Bolam, there will also be massive Big Data

the need to capture required data, generate

verification requirement for shippers. The

mining opportunity to balance traffic flows by

compliant report documents, ensure

regulation necessitates the transmission of

managing the dispersion of traffic flow across

compliance and generate alerts in case of

critical information such as verified gross

the built infrastructure.

deviations and ensure compatibility with new

mass (VGM), date of weighing, authorised

devices if mandated by the policies such as

person identity and so on. Kabirdas and Sivan

Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs).

point out that the onus of providing accurate

Regulations

Therefore, they add, policy changes are vital

information to the regulatory authorities often

In terms of regulatory considerations,

to track to ensure up-to-date solutions in the

falls on the LSPs. “Thus, the TMS solutions

Mohseninia comments that cost savings

market. Kabirdas and Sivan explained that the

should be able to track the information and

brought about by on-board telematics

US recently mandated the installation of ELDs

ensure the constituent data are collected from

solutions are needed to help truck fleets

in trucks by December 2017. “These devices

different sources such as carriers, forwarders

overcome a wide range of regulations

are synched with the engines to record the

and other stakeholders,” they said. This

threatening to inhibit cost-effective

driving time and hence HOS of the driver in

regulation is scheduled to be implemented

management. He believes new regulations –

order to ensure adherence to 34-hour restart

from 1 July 2016.

including tighter carbon emissions rules and

rule,” they said. “This compels the TMS

new standards for drivers in the US and the

solutions to capture the data from the ELDs

EU such as the rules regarding hours of

and generate alerts in case of deviations to

Integration

service (HOS) – are putting pressure on

reduce regulatory deviations.”

What have been some of the most notable recent developments in terms of integration

managers to comply. “Legislation can mandate new fleet standards that can force

Kabirdas and Sivan also comment that growth

between TMS and other systems? Mohseninia

companies to upgrade fleets or even replace

investment policies such as Horizon 2020 by

explains that legacy Transportation systems

vehicles,” said Mohseninia, who adds that

the European Union targets Intelligent

were mostly ‘point products’ and operated in

rising fuel costs continue to reduce margins.

Transport Systems to bring about enhanced

a standalone fashion. “There is a definite

green and competitive transport system.

trend towards integrating legacy and new

While US fleet managers have always enjoyed

Horizon 2020 is an initiative by the European

Transportation Solutions offerings with ERP

‘single market’ benefits of roaming,

Union to focus on ‘Mobility for Growth’ and

and Supply Chain Management providers

Mohseninia points out that fleet managers in

‘Automated Road Transport’. Kabirdas and

such as Oracle, SAP, etc. for full end-to-end

Europe have had to worry about high roaming

Sivan explain that the initiative includes plans

integration via web services, APIs etc.,” he

fees as they moved across country borders.

to revamp the tracking system for air, rail and

said.

But the European Commission has adopted a

road infrastructure. They add that, utilising the

‘Digital Single Market’, calling for, among

tracking technologies, the goal is to establish

In terms of customer integration, Mohseninia

other things, the end of all mobile roaming

better coordinated and modernised modes of

comments that enhanced IoT/M2M platforms

fees for voice calls, SMS, and data by 2017.

transport. These tracking technologies

enable the development of more

“Once put into place by member countries,

generate data that can be utilised by TMS

sophisticated ordering, tracking and supply

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chain systems that increasingly integrate truck

develop advanced solutions to meet this

added solutions built in the TMS solutions.

loads with customers in real-time. “For

concern and offering solutions for constant

“Solutions such as regulatory compliance

example, these systems enable real-time

monitoring of network-enabled devices,” they

documents support, GPS facilities to track

changes to orders, which maximise the

said. “Technologies like machine learning and

shipments, fleet management and analytics,

efficiency of deliveries,” he said. “With these

Big Data are slowly penetrating the security

distinguish future market leaders from the

new systems in place, the truck of the future

market and is playing vital role in enhancing

rest,” they explain. “The analytics tool utilises

will become a mobile network operating

such real-time security applications.”

vast amounts of data generated in the past to generate reports and provide better resource

centre for fleet managers, who can direct it to best advantage on a moment’s notice.”

Another issue affecting the security and

utilisation, optimised routes and networks, and

confidentiality of information exchanges,

customisable dashboards for Key

according to Kabirdas and Sivan, is the lack

Performance Indicator (KPI) tracking.”

Security

of standardisation policies for Transport

Are there any remaining security and/or

Management application development

Twydell maintains that there are few true end-

confidentiality concerns within the TMS

globally. “Most of the security and privacy

to-end systems available and in the past they

space? Nickerson believes security is always

policies for Connected Car are region-specific

been expensive and prohibitive for many mid-

a question as SaaS and mobile application

– this is hindering the adoption growth

size organisations. However, he adds that

use grows. However, he adds that Panorama

significantly,” they remarked.

there is a growth of companies who can provide specific modular elements of a TMS.

has not seen or heard of any incidence where

Some examples are tracking, sign on glass

customer or carrier data has been compromised. “Software providers are always

Differentiators

POD for smart phones, goods in/despatch

at risk of server penetration, so they use

What are some of the key differentiators within

control screens and multi carrier multimode

highly secure hosting providers to ensure

the world of today’s TMS? Kabirdas and Sivan

labelling systems. “This is where the

compliance,” he said.

believe the primary key differentiator among

companies that do not want to spend millions

the brands that offer TMS is the flexibility in

of pounds on a complete transportation

Will Young believes that, from Transporeon’s

terms of platform, on-premise, SaaS and

system are starting to use elements of what

point of view, the initial concerns regarding

Cloud based Solutions. The on-premise

used to be only in the big TMS systems,” said

security are pretty easily removed due to the

solutions are software installed on the client IT

Twydell.

measures the company has in place, but also

infrastructure whereas SaaS and Cloud-based

based on how most people now run their own

solutions are hosted by the TMS vendors.

Twydell believes there is no doubt that the

personal lives. “For example, online banking

“The flexibility provides Logistics Service

web and the visibility it provides through its

and ECOM shopping are two simple methods

Providers (LSPs) to choose solutions based

communication capability has had a

of Internet processes which are now seen as

on their existing Information Technology (IT)

fundamental impact on most transport

standard where there is a certain amount of

infrastructure, internal budgets and their

management operations. “Believe it or not, it

confidential detail shared trustingly,” he said.

suppliers compatibility,” they said. “Utilising

is rare to see a fax machine in most transport

“And I feel that Transportation Management

the technologies such as SaaS and Cloud

operations today because everything is done

would not be viewed any differently moving

computing, vendors can provide cost-

through some form of electronic

forward.”

effective solutions to LSPs since it eliminates

communication,” he said.

the need to invest in buyers’ IT infrastructure, Kabirdas and Sivan make the point that since

provides economical customised packages

However, Twydell adds that this doesn’t mean

the connected vehicle infrastructure heavily

based on budget and additionally provides

integration issues have disappeared. He

relies on open

value add in the form of access to data via

points out that to have real efficient

interface networks

mobile devices.”

communication the shipper’s TMS needs to integrate efficiently with the ERP system. Also,

and radio signals for

J Sivan, industry manager,

48

IT

exchanging data

Kabirdas and Sivan point out that, currently,

Twydell comments that getting two IS

between various

the adoption rate for on-premise TMS

departments to work with each other can be a

data sources with

Solutions is over 50 per cent. However, they

challenge. Twydell adds that there are also

different data types,

believe low adoption rates for SaaS and

the many carrier TM systems which make

it becomes

Cloud-based solutions coupled with

their money out of upselling additional

vulnerable to cyber-

affordability will fuel the growth of SaaS and

programming work.

attacks. “Companies

Cloud-based TMS solutions.

security domain are

Another key differentiator in the market,

solution should bring the cost down, Twydell

constantly trying to

according to Kabirdas and Sivan, is the value-

explains that 3t has dealt with many carrier

MANUFACTURING

&LOGISTICS

Although producing a multiple company

in the network

December 2016

www.logisticsit.com


Transportation Management

Special Technology Report

TMS suppliers who do not want to share

of Deep Learning algorithms with natural

devices (due to imminent legislation) and

deals over multiple customers and also do

language processing technology will further

integration-as-a-service for APIs,” he said.

not want to collaborate as they believe it

enhance the capabilities of such systems.

“While innovations are happening right in front of

could lose them their customer relationship

“Deep Learning based Artificial Intelligence

us, large shippers and logistics service

(or have the customer completely rely on

(AI) is shaping up to be the next big

providers need time to understand, vet and

them).

technological development that could

implement these solutions. While the price point

One big problem, according to Twydell, is

penetrate the automotive industry,” they

on all of these solutions is dropping, they still

many companies have put substantial sums

said. “With the advent of AI, the future of

need to establish a near-term ROI to justify

of money into large CapEx projects around

cars has been on a trajectory of

making this change. Most changes will happen

PDA and robust laptop in cab type

transforming into fully automated intelligent

in the smaller, more nimble companies, and

solutions, only for them to be superseded by

smart cars that are smart enough to make

those who have innovation as part of their

the more cost-effective smartphone. “What

decisions on their own. AI combined with

culture and can take on the risk and change

used to cost £1000 two years ago is now

Big Data has the capability to serve the

management responsibilities associated.”

£10 – it is that dramatic,” he remarked.

futuristic need of a fully automated transportation system with real-time

Twydell adds that some organisations are

solutions.”

struggling to come to terms with the

Automating delivery If we are to believe the headlines then

prospect of having to discard something

autonomous delivery is an area that tech giants

functionality can now be produced on a

Multiple systems interfacing

example, recently patented what they term an

smartphone. “These systems are not just

Young points out that Transporeon is always

‘autonomous delivery platform’; an autonomous

that has cost millions of pounds because the

are taking a great interest in. “Google, for

applications for showing you where your

working with clients to continue to develop its

delivery truck featuring a delivery system familiar

vehicles or shipment is, they are being used

platform to create innovative developments and

to any user of Amazon Locker,” said Muir.

to replace what was considered

maintain its dominant position in the ‘software as

sacrosanct,” he said. “For example,

a service’ sector. Looking ahead, Young

Twydell also makes the point that several

telematics – for most smartphones there is

anticipates that the continued focus will be to

companies are developing an uber-type app for

the equivalent of two gyroscopes and the

further develop the connectivity part of

hauliers, which he believes should become a

actual smartphone itself can measure

communication via multiple systems interfacing

feature component of a TMS. “The biggest issue

breaking, control, vehicle management and

through single portals to not only streamline

here is about the control of service and the

all of these functions which you would think

processes but also to produce more user-

control of how people get paid and the financial

would need to be connected to the engines

friendly applications.

transaction and administration around it,” said

Frings explains that during 2016 TimoCom is

someone calling for a taxi as opposed to

and systems within the truck. These can now be done on a smartphone without actually being connected.”

Twydell. “There is a big difference between preparing many small updates which in most

someone needing a multi-drop, just-in-time

cases are being done on request of customers

delivery into a production line.”

and their feedback. The offer-related Messenger

The future

in the exchange, which was launched last

Currently at 3t, Twydell explains that the

What might be the next

Autumn, is also in focus in 2016. Furthermore,

feedback from hauliers is they are looking

innovations/developments to look out for

Frings points out that the company is working on

for a single computer platform that allows all

over the next year or two? Kabirdas and

a simple and also secure solution which enables

the various devices and software to talk to

Sivan comment that with several advanced

customers to exchange documents within the

one another. “Many companies are

analytics and data management

TimoCom platform. He added: “There will be

developing their own applications for

technologies being brought to market in

many, smaller and practical improvements

tracking shipments and if you work for

recent years, and considering the fast

which are going to make the customer

several of these companies they each want

adoption rate of information and

experience and the customer use even better.

their app to be on the smartphone,” he said.

communication technologies, they expect

In other words: Pan-European; we are putting

“There is definitely a need for a software

that application developers will have

the pedal even harder to the metal, all for our

platform that allows for communication from

sufficient opportunities to bring in advanced

customers.”

all the various applications and can actually

feature sets to the existing solutions and

transmit to each of the customers or the

also introduce new products in the

Nickerson observes that, going forward, there

carrier’s customers the information they

transportation sector.

are many innovations in transportation

specifically require.” 

technology. “There are uber-like capacity Kabirdas and Sivan add that the integration

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