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JUNE 2014

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

Special Technology Reports: AIDC/MOBILE COMPUTERS PRINTING & LABELLING Retail Special Feature: SMITHS NEWS

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Do wn lo a & d L M an uf ac tu rin g

EFACS is the right tool for Gordon Ellis & Co Mobile solutions keep production and logistics rolling at Bridgestone Mobile data collection is taking Hope Mills by storm Strategic answer to key enterprise labelling challenges

NE W ap

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enterprising

The Dolphin 70e Black enterprise hybrid device successfully combines the size, stylish form factor and optimal communication of consumer grade devices with the durability, integrated scanning and long life cycle of traditional ruggedized mobile computers.

Interested in the enterprise hybrid mobile device? Contact us on www.dolphinblack.com or call +31 40 7110 041 to learn more. Š 2013 Honeywell International Inc.


IT The right foundations MANUFACTURING

June 2014

&LOGISTICS

The sourcing and integration and deployment of state-of-the-art network, data centre and IT services can seem somewhat daunting to companies in a wide range of sectors that mainly need to concentrate on their core competencies; making things, delivering goods, selling goods and so on. However, while focusing primarily on ‘what they do’, businesses sometimes forget that by putting in place an effective IT infrastructure this can produce a host of benefits related to communication, data and analytics etc. that can speed efficiencies, improve accuracy, and as a result even enhance their reputation with their endcustomers. While many companies have their finger firmly on the pulse of such tech issues, a large number would appear somewhat behind the times. A research report commissioned by Colt Technology Services, and conducted by independent research agency Loudhouse based in London, has identified a tech deficit that affects almost three quarters (72 per cent) of European businesses. This deficit leads to a gap between what businesses need to achieve and what their infrastructure can support. The good news is that when compared with their European counterparts, UK companies are among the most prepared with 64 per cent citing they face a moderate or significant tech deficit. According to the research findings, the best prepared country is Spain, with 62 per cent of companies facing a tech deficit, compared with 81 per cent of German companies. Two thirds (66 per cent) of companies say that the channel will play an important role in closing the technology gap. The research also demonstrates that there is an opportunity for resellers to further deepen relationships with their customers, as three quarters (76 per cent) of companies see their resellers as partners rather than just suppliers for the IT organisation. The research also points to a move towards more consolidation of suppliers and strategic partners, with 63 per cent of respondents stating they see benefit in a single supplier model that provides a range of different IT service and infrastructure options. The majority of European organisations highlight that their infrastructure foundations need to evolve over the next two years to meet future business needs – including voice and communications (88 per cent), data centre infrastructure (90 per cent) and network infrastructure (85 per cent). The research indicates that simplification and automation is the preferred route for infrastructure evolution, with 60 per cent of European respondents looking for increased simplicity in their infrastructure. The use of a service-based model is expected to become increasingly important in the next two years, with Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Software-asas-Service, and data centre colocation expected to grow by 52 per cent, 55 per cent and 33 per cent respectively. The research also points to a move towards more consolidation of suppliers and strategic partners, with 63 per cent of respondents stating they see benefit in a single supplier model that provides a range of different IT service and infrastructure options. Based on the research findings, Colt has identified three key trends for European businesses:

Ed Holden Editor

1. Service-based delivery will help change how businesses think about owning infrastructure, moving away from buying technology and embracing a service based model. 2. Flexibility will drive business models and commercial arrangements. Businesses will seek out suppliers that enable them to manage change. 3. Simplification of processes will empower the IT department: moving to the Cloud, consolidating suppliers and identifying strategic partners. Putting the right IT foundations in place may seem like a costly and time-consuming endeavour. However, with IT at all levels – whether in the data centre, in the ‘back-office’ or in the field – now playing an increasingly mission-critical role in ensuring companies remain operationally efficient, profitable and forward-looking in terms of market growth and brand identity, it is certainly worth taking seriously.

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IT June 2014

MANUFACTURING

&LOGISTICS

CONTENTS Manufacturing and Logistics IT June 2014 The European magazine promoting the effective use of IT in supply chain applications

Retail Special Feature 6

Editor: Ed Holden

Smiths News

Special Technology Report 10

AIDC/Mobile Computers

Contributors: Bernard Williams, Zebra Technologies

Special Technology Report

Jörk Schüßler, Citizen Systems Europe

16

Ken Moir, NiceLabel Publisher: Dean Taylor

Printing & Labelling

Manufacturing

Designer: Ian Curtis, First Sight Graphics

22

Infor launches Automotive Exchange for SyteLine Exel Computer Systems: EFACS is the right tool for Gordon Ellis & Co Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 now available

Production: Carolyn Pither

Planning

Circulation: Carole Chiesa

28

Logility acquires MID Retail to deliver comprehensive supply chain solutions to the retail market

IT Manager: Peter West Accounts: Sarah Schofield

Printing & Labelling

30

Published by: B2B Publishing Ltd PO Box 3575, Barnet, Herts, EN5 9QD UK Tel: +44 (0) 1707 664200 Fax: +44 (0) 1707 664800 Email (publishing): info@logisticsit.com Email (editorial): editor@ibcpub.com

Zebra Technologies: Getting connected Citizen Systems Europe: The future of printing for logistics NiceLabel: Strategic answer to key enterprise labelling challenges

Automatic Data Capture 36

Honeywell: Mobile solutions keep production and logistics rolling at Bridgestone Handheld Group: Mobile data collection is taking Hope Mills by storm BEC celebrates 20th birthday with special Technology Day

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

Baxi achieves 10 per cent improvement in inventory accuracy thanks to BEC Varlink has manufacturing and logistics technology covered

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

Warehouse Management 46

Vanderlande achieves process flow optimisation at EDEKA

Supply Chain Management 48

JDA: Retail supply chain letting down home delivery customers Gartner: Worldwide supply chain management and procurement software market grew 7.3 per cent in 2013

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SAVE SA AV VE € €400 Register by 11 July 2014

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Smiths News Retail

Spreading the news Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with Aurian Lyne, logistics systems manager at Smiths News, about the IT backbone behind the leading newspaper and magazine wholesaler’s success, and its plans for further technological enhancements. erving 30,000 customers from 43

telephone number, which enables customers

distribution centres across the

calls to be transferred across its network to

UK, Smiths News’ people,

customer service operators promptly and

processes and technology make

accurately.

S

it the UK’s leading newspaper

and magazine wholesaler, with an annual

Many businesses work from dawn to dusk,

value of £2.06 billion and £3.3 billion

but Smiths News goes one step further. The

respectively. The company’s customers

company works around the clock to ensure its

include supermarkets, high street chains,

whole supply chain operation functions

independent retailers, petrol forecourts and

efficiently and smoothly. It all starts at 2am,

home delivery networks. Ranging from small

when the first of the day’s papers arrive in

and reliable stock, delivery and return

independent retailers in remote locations, to

Smiths News’s distribution centres. The night

regime. One of the enablers in the

the nation’s biggest supermarkets, Smiths

teams immediately start breaking down the

company’s IT armoury is its recently sourced

News delivers 364 days a year.

deliveries and packing individual customer

fleet of Dolphin 7800 rugged enterprise

consignments. This represents the start of a

digital assistant (EDA) mobile computers

The service the company provides to retailers

process that eventually ends the following

from Honeywell. The Dolphin 7800 is

includes daily delivery of newspapers and

morning when the unsold newspapers are

designed to deliver multi-purpose

magazines with the majority being provided

returned for recycling.

computing, communication, and data

on a sale or return basis. Smiths News

collection at desktop-like speed,

collects newspaper returns six days of the

empowering workers to undertake their daily

week, and four days for magazines. These are

Auto-ID

processed daily in order to give prompt

Behind Smiths News’ supply chain

credit, and enhance cash flow for customers.

processes is an IT infrastructure that is

Smiths News’ logistics systems Manager,

Smiths News also provides an 0845 local call

carefully constructed to ensure an effective

Aurian Lyne, explained that whenever the

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tasks effectively, regardless of location.

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Retail

Smiths News

vendors in the market had to offer. However, after comparing many of the products in terms of form factor and functionality, we concluded that once again Honeywell offered devices that best suited our operational requirements in terms of efficiency, functionality, form factor and ergonomics.” In terms of ergonomics, Lyne pointed out that the compact Honeywell Dolphin 7800 devices company sources new auto-ID devices it

are just the right size for the delivery drivers.

embedded camera on the rear of the device

undergoes a thorough tender process. “We

“If they were larger they would potentially

has opened up a number of opportunities that

are now on our fourth generation of

prove to be too unwieldy for the drivers,” he

weren’t available to the company previously.

Honeywell devices, stretching back to when

said. “The drivers make several manual

“For example, utilising the devices’ GPS

the solutions were Handheld Products prior

deliveries of large plastic tote boxes and

functionality, we could now take geocoded

to the Honeywell takeover,” he said. “Each

bundles of newspapers each day, so they

photos at the point of delivery, to provide

time we source new devices we go through

need their handhelds to be compact while still

proof that newspapers and magazines were

a full evaluation procedure and are

packing in all the data capture features

delivered to the customer in good

committed to choosing the very best and

needed for the job.”

condition,” he said.

most suitable solutions for our missioncritical data capture requirements. The last time we went through the process a year and a half ago we looked at the market even harder than ever before, undertaking a full market study.”

Each time we source new devices we go through a full evaluation procedure and are committed to choosing the very best and most suitable solutions for our mission-critical data capture requirements. The last time we went through the process a year and a half ago we looked at the market even harder than ever before, undertaking a full market study.”

Unique ID, based in High Wycombe, is Smiths News’s Auto-ID technology partner. “They helped us to survey the market and whittle

Lyne added that Smiths News is already

The camera also offers many additional

many of the best solutions down to shortlist of

gaining major benefits from the reliability of

benefits, including making the process of

three preferred suppliers,” explained Lyne.

the devices’ embedded barcode image

reverse logistics more watertight. “For

“Although we already had a long-standing

scanner, which is considered by the users to

example, if goods are damaged at the point

relationship with Honeywell we were

be easy and quick to operate. He also

of delivery we have a visual record of the

committed to finding out what all the leading

explained that the Honeywell Dolphin 7800’s

condition of goods when we pick them up

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Smiths News Retail

Printing & labelling In terms of its niche printing and labelling activities, Smiths News relies on Citizen CLS700 and CLP-8301 thermal transfer printers in the warehouse. These printers are used for bundle label printing and consignment printing on their TWI pick-by-light packing systems. The CL-S700 series features a metal mechanism that opens vertically to a full 90° to allow for easy ribbon access, while integrated ribbon control and positioning support precision printing on even small or specialist media. The CL-S700 also comes with the option to print in both direct thermal and thermal transfer modes. The Citizen CLP8301 thermal transfer printer features 300 dpi resolution at 4 inches per second throughput speed. Roll fed (up to 8 inches), continuous or fan fold media may be printed at widths up from the customer, rather than relying on the

designed by both TWI and our own in-house

to 8.6 inches. The Citizen CLP-8301 can also

condition they arrive at when we receive

development team,” explained Lyne.

print on 6 inch media for those narrower

them back at the depot,” explained Lyne.

application requirements. The secondary but equally important function

Lyne explained that Smiths News’ Auto ID

of the Honeywell devices for Smiths News

“We have relied on our Citizen printers for the

technology partner Unique ID undertakes

concerns unsold newspaper process. “One of

past six or seven years and have been

some minor aftermarket customisation with full

our contractual requirements is to scan every

extremely happy with them in terms of their

Honeywell support. “One example of

copy we receive back from a customer as

resilience, user-friendliness and reliability,”

customisation on our new Honeywell Dolphin

unsold copy,” Lyne pointed out. “This is

said Lyne. “They are integrated directly with

7800s is the addition of an RFID chip for identification purposes to the back of the devices,” said Lyne. “This ensures we are able to track the location of each device in the

Being a fourth-generation user of mobile technology has given us valuable experience of getting the best out of these devices.”

warehouse. Also, giving

something that the

the TWI packing system and we’ve had

delivery drivers undertake

excellent uptime.”

once they return to the warehouse. When they

Refresh regime

have fully scanned and

Lyne explains that Smiths News is always

processed all unsold

mindful of the need to keep up to date with

copies that data

new devices and systems that come to

integrates very tightly in

market, as well as the need to improve

each device a unique ID together with an

with our SAP back-office system. It’s really

existing systems through upgrades or greater

RFID chip number means we can easily track

good to be able to enjoy that level of

levels of integration with other IT solutions.

them through the next-day repair service if

convenience, speed and flexibility.”

“Being a fourth-generation user of mobile technology has given us valuable experience

they become damaged. This gives us very

of getting the best out of these devices.”

good visibility of where each device is

The warehouse management functionality the

through the whole repair cycle and enables

company relies on is also part of its SAP

people in the warehouse to be aware of

package. Lyne explained that Smith News is

Lyne concluded: “We have long recognised

where their device is at any given time and

currently midway through a project which

the value of proven and efficient IT systems

when they can expect its return.”

uses the Honeywell Dolphin 7800s and

both in the warehouse and in the field. Our

integrates to the SAP WMS system. “When

recent investment in new mobile computers,

this process goes live – which we anticipate

together with our plans to upgrade our

Warehouse integration

will only take a few more months – all data

printing & labelling solutions and achieve a

The primary function of the Honeywell devices

related to the picking and packing of goods in

greater level of integration over our IT estate,

is to talk to Smiths News’ tote tracking system

the stock cages and the wrapping of

are testament to our commitment to continue

for full tracking and traceability of goods. “Our

magazines will be able to be fed directly into

to enhance our own internal efficiencies while

full packing, tracking and return system was

our SAP warehouse management system,”

also providing the best possible service to our

built by the German company TWI, but was

said Lyne.

customers.” 

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Special technology report

AIDC/Mobile computers

Integrated communicat ion landscape Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with leading vendors, analysts, systems integrators and distributors about current issues, developments and possible future trends in the world of auto-ID and mobile computing technology. he world of auto-ID and mobile

T

supply chain those types of devices are

too much because I think consumer-grade

computing has changed

second nature to them. We are seeing more

devices are normally just not durable enough

considerably in recent times, not

of our customers enquiring whether we can

in the manufacturing and warehouse

least with regard to the choice of

provide support for Android platforms.”

environment; so we wouldn’t recommend it in

operating system. Johan Hed,

Hampson believes an increasing number of

the industry sectors where we tend to

product manager at Handheld Group, has

people are more intuitively aligned to Android

operate,” he said. “Rugged handhelds may

lately seen an increase of Android-based

as opposed to Windows-type systems now,

be more expensive than consumer devices,

applications on the market. However, he

and he thinks the popularity of Android is

but these days most providers of industrial-

maintains that for the immediate future, over

forcing manufacturers to offer it as an

grade devices are offering three-year

the next year or two, Windows and Windows

alternative. “Three years ago there wasn’t

contracts, so our customers know the fixed

Mobile will still remain dominant. “As a result

really on alternative, but there has been a big

prices from day one. They buy their handheld

of Windows 8 and Android we can see a

groundswell of popularity there now so

computer and it comes with a support

trend and desire to control computers in the

certainly Android is driving change,” he

package that includes abuse cover; so your

same way as consumer products; that is,

remarked.

costs are fixed and you have no surprises for three years. Consumer-grade devices could

through capacitive touchscreen technology,” he added. “Resistive touch technology will

Hampson is also seeing changes for NFC

have problems in the warehouse environment

however remain an important technique in

(near field communication). “Now it’s not just

in terms of breakages and damage, so I can’t

humid and rainy environments due to

traditional barcodes or RFID; NFC is coming

see many employees wanting to use their own

challenges offered by the combination of

into the frame little bit more now,” he said.

device in that kind of environment. It’s not

capacitive touch and water.”

“There isn’t an established application for it

really an applicable technology for use inside

just yet in the warehousing environment but I

the four walls.”

Tony Hampson, managing director at BEC

think people are hedging their bets and

(Systems Integration), agrees with Hed to the

looking at dual technologies from a future

Eric de Greef; product marketing manager

extent that one key area of change is

proofing point of view.”

Mobility EMEIA, Honeywell Scanning & Mobility, believes smartphones from the

Android’s increasing prevalence in the autoID space. “Increasingly it is becoming the

Additionally, Hampson has his finger on the

consumer space have been influencing the

platform of choice for a lot of users within a

pulse of the ongoing BYOD debate, although

role of enterprise mobile devices. “Honeywell

mobile computing arena,” he said. “If you look

he doesn’t consider it to be too big an issue

Scanning & Mobility has noticed that

at it from a people perspective the younger

within the manufacturing and warehousing

smartphone culture and ‘Bring your own

generation is growing up with Android now,

arena. “A small number of our customers

Device’ (BYOD) has now influenced the

so increasingly for the workforce within the

have talked about it, but we don’t dwell on it

development of devices in the AIDC industry,”

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AIDC/Mobile computers

Special technology report

he said. “A few examples are full touch screen devices, no more physical keypads or Android operating systems entering our space.” Another evolution, according to de Greef, is 2D for reading barcodes with a dedicated imager rather than what he describes as the ‘less user-friendly camera’, also allowing capturing barcodes from smart phones. From the software side, de Greef has witnessed the growing interest and deployment of remote device management software. In terms of what has driven these developments, de Greef’s view is that the younger generation is so used to using smartphones that the market is clearly seeing a trend towards a device without a keypad, something which is pocketable, no longer 500

Research, makes the point that there is a

In terms of warehousing, Dombach believes

grams, but below 200 grams. “Some

marked shift in scanning technology adoption

there is a desire for many companies to make

companies want something they can put in

in the barcode scanner marketplace – from

a transition, as warehousing becomes a cost

their pockets with more capacity in radio

laser scanners to camera-based imaging

factor. However, he explains that making

transmission, maybe also the ability to make a

solutions. “The value imaging solutions offer,

intelligent use of your warehouse through

movie or colour pictures that can be sent

beyond just reading barcodes, particularly

mobility helps create an opportunity to

back to base,” he said. “Let’s say the

seems to resonate with enterprises that have

differentiate yourself in the market and

smartphone is entering into our world, into our

customer-facing applications and those that

delivers a competitive advantage. “By using

traditional automatic identification and data

need to scan different types of codes,” she

mobility solutions in an effective way you can

capture world. We see a trend where

said.

move your warehouse away from being a cost

customers want to have the smartphone-like

centre to becoming a more positive and

user experience that is combined with rugged

Within manufacturing today, in addition to

profitable business centre for the business,”

form factor and all the necessary pre-

discussing social media, mobility, Big Data

said Dombach.

requisites such as long battery life, ability to

and the Cloud, Daniel Dombach, director of

connect with back-office platforms.”

the EIA industry solutions group at Motorola

Mobility is on the agenda of every CIO, plant

Solutions, observes there is a clear trend

and logistics manager. Dombach points out

In terms of mobile network, de Greef makes

towards embracing Industry 4.0; a high-tech

that the expectation is to have better visibility

the point that full 3G is now the minimum for

strategy that promotes the computerisation of

of what is going on in the

communication in order to allow fast and

the industry. “The goal is to have better

manufacturing/warehouse environment. In his

accurate data transfer and voice

visibility of every tool and mobile device and

view, the questions to ask are; do I really

communication. He added that even LTE or

every element in every machine used within

know my inventory in real time? Do I really

4G is now considered allowing even video

the factory or warehouse environment,” he

understand what is happening on my

streaming. “The

explained, adding: “This sounds like a great

production lines at any given moment? Do I

open platforms allow

concept, but so far we have yet to see any

really know where the workers are and what

end users to access

large scale implementations. When we talk to

they are doing? “We believe the objective of

Google Mobile

manufacturers one of the key areas they feel

mobile technology is to help solve these

Services and

they should invest in is asset management in

questions,” he said, adding: “Do I know my

download eventually

order to better understand their tools,

inventory? Do I know what is coming into the

some useful

machines and vehicles – to know where and

warehouse? Do I know where things are in the

applications,” he

what state they are in at any given time. Of

warehouse? There is a clear need to capture

said.

course, unplanned downtime can be

information related to items coming into the

extremely costly in the manufacturing

warehouse using technology such as 1-D and

Richa Gupta, senior

environment. If a company has better visibility

2-D barcode data capture devices. We

analyst, AutoID &

of its assets it can better safeguard itself

currently see quite a steep adoption curve of

Data Capture at VDC

against unpredicted events.”

RFID, though not so much at item level and

Daniel Dombach, director of the EIA industry solutions group,

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Special technology report

AIDC/Mobile computers

not on lower cost

And Pullon doesn’t think that is any clearer in

productivity gains,” he said. Are we seeing

goods.”

the world of mobile printing and companion

massive adoption of IOT? “The interesting

scanning. “Instead of being able to

thing is I don’t think we know for sure,”

Dombach adds that

consolidate we now see some of the core

considered Pullon. “This is because once the

capturing information

manufacturers having to work hard on having

machine is on the network and gets an IP

through the use of

SDKs developed, available, robust and

address, and if someone wants to harness

cameras on mobile

working to enable people to hook up printers

that power it’s there. Yes there are some

devices is also

to an operating system platform of their

configuration tools that some companies have

important in order to

choice,” he said. “And scanner manufacturers

been selling for network control for some

maintain a visual

have to become quite inventive and creative

years that we didn’t see a massive uptake on,

record of the

in producing companion scanners which

but IOT doesn’t even require a manufacturer’s

condition of a

deliver the same sort of productivity gains that

involvement with the tools necessarily. A good

product. “For

traditional barcode scanners plugged into a

systems engineer in a company with a focus

example, certain goods might be damaged

terminal would give, but aimed at a

on uptime could be implementing an IOT

when they are delivered to site. You can take

completely different customer base whether

strategy without necessarily the

a picture with a mobile computer to document

it’s in retail, distribution, manufacturing or any

manufacturers, distributors or even the

the damage and create a report. All these

sort of automation environment. I’m not sure

resellers being aware of it. And it’s going to

solutions provide an opportunity to fill in forms

that prior to the advent of the iPad and prior

be interesting to see how vendors and their

with additional data providing better overall

to the proliferation of installations involving

partners can add value to their solutions sale

quality of information.”

Android devices I don’t think we were

when actually a lot of the power is now in the

particularly seeing that trend. So that’s been a

hands of the end user.”

Eric de Greef; product marketing manager Mobility EMEIA,

Mike Pullon, CEO of distributor Varlink,

kind of sea change and one that we have to

reflects that here are things current

adapt to in terms of the number of items we

happening in the AIDC space that many

keep in stock.”

Back-office

observers didn’t necessarily see coming a

Dombach explains that another important

few years ago. “Proprietary operating systems

Pullon adds that the core ideas behind the

thing is to have connectivity to a back-office

or a proprietary approach to terminal

Internet of things (IOT) have been talked

system. In the warehouse it will likely be the

programming was definitely on the wane, and

about for several years, but he now believes it

warehouse management system (WMS), and

open systems – particularly in the form of

has actually become mainstream. “If you look

on the manufacturing shop floor it will likely be

Windows – meant that everybody was now

at Twitter every day there’s a constant stream

the manufacturing execution system (MES) or

moving towards the same core skills and you

of messaging from vendors on the IOT and

ERP system. “This necessitates a network

saw a common approach from manufacturers.

what it’s going to do; from control of assets to

infrastructure to which the devices connect

So I wouldn’t say all products are the same

maximisation of uptime for all sorts of

via wireless LAN,” he pointed out. “The

but essentially you could move from one platform to another. However what I think we’re seeing now is almost a three-way bet taking place. Microsoft is clearly the incumbent, Apple to some degree is the thing that people aspire to have and Android has been very quietly building up a massive user base. So if you look at hardware instead of that consolidation around core principles and core ideas what we now have is manufacturers having to have a Johan Hed, product Manager,

three-way approach to product development.”

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AIDC/Mobile computers

Special technology report

important thing is that you have connectivity

reporting dashboards, and being able to

track-and-trace are

and visibility. If you are scanning items that

remotely monitor that whilst you may not be

driving VDC’s

come from trucks into the warehouse you

actually in the warehouse. Today, the

predictions for

must ensure, ideally in real-time, that you can

warehouse manager can review the

continued interest

send that information into the WMS. What is in

dashboards and statistics anywhere in the

and investments in

the warehouse needs to be recorded in the

world and know exactly what’s going on within

these multi-faceted

WMS and what is recorded in the WMS must

the four walls, even though he’s not there

solutions,” she said.

be in the warehouse. You need to be able to

himself. Technology is enabling that through

find it. If you have a broken link, then you

3G and 4G providing much faster

Pullon makes the

could have dead inventory, which is costly

connections.”

point that seamless

because you will not be able to sell it.

Richa Gupta, senior analyst, AutoID & Data Capture,

communication with

Because the key phrase here is real-time, the

Hampson added that, in the past, KPI

back office systems

connectivity of the mobile device to the

information was there but it was less visible

has been desirable

backend system is critical.”

and only a small number of people had

for many years. “It was something that was

access to it. “However, these KPIs are now

clearly an identified need where there were a

With regard to customer relationship

instantly available to a much wider

number of standalone mobile solutions that

management (CRM), Dombach explains that

community; with display boards

could be integrated but required somebody

service technicians dealing with customers

and technology throughout the

with a specialist skill to do

out in the field need to be able to quickly

warehouse,” he pointed out.

the integration,” he said. “I

check whether a customer has an order

“We’re seeing more and more

history with the company, or a maintenance

big screen display TVs

history for the device being repaired.

in the warehouse

“Technicians might be picking up a job

environment, with

started by the service engineer the previous

the dashboards

day, so they will need to know what tasks

that anyone can

know of a number of resellers that had tremendous opportunities but didn’t have those integration skills within their own businesses and therefore had to go out and forge alliances and

have already been performed,” he said. “Are

allegiances to get the job done. If you

there frequently recurring errors in the field, or

look at some of the early

a quality problem on the production line which

starters of mobile

needs to be rectified? Connectivity can

solutions they

really help complete such jobs better

recognised really

and faster, which helps to meet and

early on that that

improve profit margins.”

integration was necessary and I think

Hampson considers there is now a lot more

see rather than being

focus on management reporting or KPIs (key

the preserve of an individual or a

performance indicators). “Being able to

privileged group of people. From the

access that sort of information remotely is

operator’s point of view, there is nothing to

going through their second wave of

where the changes are,” he said. “If you look

hide behind; your statistics are on the screen

investment who could now offer a fully

at the basic transactions that take place in the

for everyone to see along with the statistics of

integrated solution on a pay per month tariff

warehouse – goods receiving, put-away,

your co-workers. Basically, this technology

that probably meets the needs of most end-

goods receiving, picking etc. – that hasn’t

provides greater visibility and, as a result, can

users.

really changed

provide a company with competitive edge as

because there is a

well.”

limited number of

Mike Pullon, CEO,

there are certainly a number of largish organisations that are

I think the people that still need help from external sources would tend to be those who

ways you can move

Gupta considers that consumerisation of IT is

have an occasional opportunity to sell that

product around

the biggest driver for growing imaging

type of technology. And because they might

through the supply

technology adoption in support of data

have an opportunity to sell it over many

chain. However,

capture applications. “The need for

different application areas they haven’t seen

what is changing is

enterprises to future-proof their technology

enough business in one particular area to

the emphasis on

investments, capture images, decode the

create a solution that they are really

presenting this

wealth of information locked in different

comfortable integrating themselves. But I think

information in the

barcode symbologies today and facilitate a

that’s always going to be the case in a

form of management

broad range of applications beyond traditional

business that is populated by a large number

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AIDC/Mobile computers

of start-ups and entrepreneurial companies.” Pullon adds that there are quite a few startups in the previously used or second user market. “A lot of companies start by offering servicing, refreshing and equipment rental. Then they start selling new equipment and then have the opportunity to sell some systems but need to put together an alliance to do that. After a while they realise there’s a rich vein of business that they have become involved in. The next thing is they need those integration skills and maybe look to get their application ready to go to the Cloud. So I think some of the early difficulties have worked their way through as the opportunities become more mature, and there are a large number of integrators out there that are joining up the mobile solution to the internal

Dombach reflects that there was a time

trend for technology ‘Convergence’ within the

system seamlessly. I’m not sure it’s an issue

recently when bring your own device (BYOD)

AIDC/Mobile Computing marketplace at the

any more as long as you choose your reseller

was a big story, and there remains an

moment? Gupta reflects that, from a mobile

and integrator carefully.”

ongoing debate as to whether non-

computing perspective, convergence is a key

ruggedised consumer-grade devices could

trend that is very beneficial for the end user

In de Greef’s view, the industry may continue

be effectively used in the industrial

community, although perhaps not so much for

to be talking about the Cloud, but this is still in

environment. “Some people will say the initial

technology vendors. “This helps organisations

terms of a project-based status. “Of course,

cost of purchase of a consumer-grade device

focus their technology budgets on specific

the industrial end user still needs the strong

is cheaper,” he said. “However industrial

devices that serve their application

connection with back-office platforms and the

companies would not normally purchase

requirements as opposed to having to invest

above mentioned software tools will stay

devices to operate for a year or 18 months;

in disparate technologies that need to then be

around and supported by global and major

the usual life-cycle is three to five or more

made to communicate with each other via

players,” he said.

years. If you add up all the ‘soft costs,’ such

Bluetooth or other wireless connectivity

as insurance, the replacement costs and then

options, snowballing into an integration

compare consumer grade devices and

nightmare in a lot of cases,” she said.

Remaining concerns

ruggedised devices, ruggedised devices offer

“At the very least,” continued Gupta,

Are there any notable remaining concerns

a much better total cost of ownership over a

“ensuring that the more ‘basic’ app

regarding the use of AIDC/Mobile

three to five year lifespan.”

requirements are addressed by a single device makes a seamless enterprise-wide

Computing/RFID systems? Gupta believes the overarching concern with investments in, and

Motorola Solutions also sees that there is

use of, traditional data capture devices is

currently a strong growth in demand for

potential obsolescence; particularly with many

Tony Hampson, managing director,

mobile devices with an Android operating

From the industrial scanning perspective,

viable consumer-

system. “Users are used to dealing with these

Gupta considers that data capture solutions

grade device

devices – they have their own mobile phones

(including industrial barcode scanners and

alternatives flooding

at home and there is a strong desire from the

machine vision systems) are increasingly

the marketplace. She

end-user to work with technology that they are

being integrated with the broader factory and

adds that a growing

familiar with,” said Dombach. “So the switch

logistics automation infrastructure. “These

number of

in the enterprise environment from a Windows

serve a specific function as part of the larger

enterprises, across

Mobile or Windows CE environment to an

solution set. This helps users eliminate

tier levels, are today

Android environment is a big discussion point

operational redundancies while also

considering

at the moment.”

enhancing overall efficiencies,” she said.

investments in de Greef reiterated that smartphone culture

consumer devices

14

IT

for everyday

Converged technologies

and the BYOD trend has now influenced the

operations.

What do our commentators think about the

development of devices in the AIDC industry.

MANUFACTURING

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communication experience entirely possible.”

June 2014

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Special technology report

However, he adds that the market needs to

almost mimicking the application capabilities

time to try and get the reseller community

be careful about going too far down the

of traditional machine vision systems, expect

really galvanised. This process will continue

BYOD path. In his view, with possible security

manufacturing enterprises to leverage these

for some time.”

issues and open access to applications,

technologies for quality assurance and

Dombach reiterates that Industry 4.0 remains

BYOD could become an issue for the IT-

control, surface inspection, and defect

the big topic for the moment. “From there you

department. Additionally, de Greef stressed

elimination in the production line,” she said,

have a very short step to the Internet of

the importance for mobile workers of using

adding: “Continued innovation and

Things,” he said. “So we will continue to see

devices that offer long battery life and rugged

application development centred on camera-

development there not super-fast, but we are

form factor, something that, again, the BYOD

based imaging technology will make one-for-

starting to see retail, especially fashion retail,

model can fail to deliver.

all imagers a popular investment option.”

picking up on this.”

Hampson believes that in the area of barcode

In manufacturing and warehousing,

Eye on the future

scanning there is definitely a move towards

Dombach believes there will be noticeable

And what might be the next key

2D scan technologies. “That’s definitely

improvements in the level of automation in

developments to look out for over the next

happening now,” he said. “We sell a lot more

warehouses. “Over the next two or three

year or two within the AIDC/Mobile

image-based hardware than traditional laser-

years the warehouse environment will see

Computing/RFID marketplace? Hed sees a

based solutions.”

the adoption of visual aids to help workers perform certain tasks,” he said. “For

trend towards more connected devices, and not only in terms of UMTS (Universal Mobile

In terms of mobile devices, Pullon thinks there

example, prototypes of computer glasses

Telecommunications System, the third

is now recognition among the established

are running in various countries. With these it

generation mobile cellular system for networks

manufacturers of handheld terminals that they

becomes possible to share more information

based on the GSM standard) but also the LTE

will need to be even more innovative and

with the worker in more convenient ways,

(Long-Term Evolution, commonly marketed as

more cost-effective than perhaps they have

saving even more time while improving

4G LTE) mobile phone standard. These, he

been in the past. “It isn’t enough any more to

picking accuracy. However, alongside this,

believes, will be standard for products in the

say commercial devices are robust,” he said.

the level of Voice-directed picking

nearest future. Additionally Hed considers we

“The ongoing discussions are now very much

deployments will continue to rise.”

will see more power-efficient devices, which

to do with the balance of power in that

means longer operating time alternatively

handheld space – does it reside with some of

Dombach believes we will also see more

lighter devices while maintaining uptime.

the consumer-grade device manufacturers or

automation in terms of robotics in warehouses

is there a way that the power balance within

where applicable. He adds that workforce

Gupta points out that VDC expects growing

the commercial sectors could reside with the

management in manufacturing will grow as

convergence between the AIDC and factory

specialists we deal with that offer industrial-

well, as more companies try to optimise

automation worlds in the coming future,

grade devices? So we’re seeing ongoing

production by moving away from producing

particularly with regards to camera-based

developments in form factors and ergonomics

out of inventory and moving more towards

solutions. “With fixed-position imager use

etc. in a way that has been absent for some

actual demand. “It is really important to optimise your workforce and have technology in place that enables you to know the capabilities of particular workers and how they could be best utilised at any given time,” he said, adding that this also takes us into the area of Six Sigma. “When looking at waste we usually talk about the seven wastes that make up unprofitable activity within a company: defects; overproduction; waiting; inventory; motion and processing and transportation,” he said. “But we now need to add another waste to this list, based around capturing all the data from all the manufacturing machines and RFID chips in a way that ensures the most effective type of Business Intelligence and Analytics functionality is used to provide people with the right amount and type of data needed to derive valuable benefit.” 

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Special technology report

Printing & Labelling

Mark of approval Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with a number of leading vendors and analysts from the printing & labelling sector about recent, ongoing and possible future developments in this important technology space. he printing & labelling solutions

T

integration with various transaction-enabling

become increasingly complex to coordinate all

sector has to be fast-changing in a

solutions and contactless technologies like

of the data management that is needed for

number of ways, largely to meet

Near Field Communication (NFC). Demand is

efficient and compliant label and artwork

changing end user needs and

rising for portable solutions that are not only

management,” she said. Suleski added that

desires; for example, their need to

WiFi- or Bluetooth-enabled but can also

Gartner has also seen consumer products

remain compliant in the face of changing

seamlessly communicate with disparate

companies adopt some of the selling patterns of

regulations in different parts of the globe,

solutions both on-premise and in the field. As

fashion companies, and as a result there are

greater workforce mobilisation, and their

the diversity of consumer and enterprise-grade

products with labels that have shorter and faster

growing awareness of the data visibility

devices increases, the need for mobile printers

life cycles. “So, life cycles have shrunk at the

benefits achievable by networking a greater

to be platform and OS-independent will rise.”

same time as the need for accuracy has become more complex, both in terms of the

number of objects and devices used within the warehouse and manufacturing space. There

As regards drivers for change, Gupta makes

content of the labels and in making sure

are also fresh developments regularly brought

the point that enterprise end users are making

products that are shipping to specific markets

to market by the solutions vendors and the

more technology investments than ever before

and geographies have the right labels applied

wider platform community.

– in both traditional systems as well as those

to meet regulatory compliance requirements for

that fulfil their next-generation application

those precise locations,” she remarked.

From the perspective of Richa Gupta, senior

requirements. “They now have a bigger say in

analyst, auto-ID & data capture at VDC

vendors’ technology roadmaps, particularly in

Gartner recently conducted an analysis of

Research, the conversation over the past few

today’s age of technology confluence,” she

product recalls in the US and this showed that

months seems to have moved beyond print

said, adding: “The Big Data revolution has

a substantial number of product recalls were

technology and technical specifications to

especially triggered users’ interest in and

due to labelling errors. “This is a very costly

device management capabilities, Cloud-based

support of next-generation solution sets.”

type of error for companies to make, and they simply can’t afford to keep making those errors

platforms, and managed services. “While hardware continues to be at the centre of most

Janet Suleski, research director supply chain &

in the very competitive and regulatory

investment discussions, users are increasingly

PLM at Gartner, points out that the complexity of

environments they operate in,” stressed

evaluating the role that these systems have to

managing label and artwork data has grown

Suleski. “So it is essential that they find better

play as part of the broader automation

tremendously over the past decade or so.

ways of scaling their ability to manage that

infrastructure setup,” she said. “Workforce

“Because of the international expansion of

data, as well as having visibility of all

mobilisation and related requirements will spur

companies in sectors such as food & beverage

applicable regulations and what may recently

current and anticipated product development

and consumer products, together with their

have changed. A lot of companies have relied

enhancements, requiring support for various

need to meet multiple regulatory requirements in

on home-grown applications for managing all

mobile operating systems, and seamless

multiple environments simultaneously, it has

of this data, but the use of such systems can

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become ineffective because the size and

time,” explained Taylor. “We have an API

Moir adds that

complexity of the data they are expected to

(application programming interface) that allows

improving operational

manage simply becomes unmanageable.”

the user to define the behaviour of the unit and

efficiency and

even archive the bitmap image that was sent to

meeting customer

the print head.”

and regulatory

Validation and verification

requirements are

David Taylor, business development manager

In terms of key industry drivers for these kinds

driving enterprises to

– manufacturing & supply chain at Zebra

of developments, Taylor reflects that this

deploy standardised

Technologies, reflects that one key current

heavily depends on the particular industry or

labelling solutions

talking point is the validation and verification of

vertical and whether they have legislative

that are centrally

integrity of the data that is being applied to

compliance or just mandates to their suppliers.

managed.

products and assets. “There is an increasing

“Food labelling can be caught up in

“Fragmented and

pressure on stakeholders within manufacturing

compliance issues,” he pointed out, “for

disparate systems

and supply chain to be able to guarantee that

example, the EU has ruled by December 2014

expose companies to risks of human error and

the items they are producing or handling can

all consumers are given comprehensive

inconsistency in labels between locations,

be tracked accurately,” he said. “In some

ingredient listing information for foods sold

which leads to expensive maintenance and

industries the label is now seen as being part

non-packed or pre-packed for direct sale. Not

compliance fines,” he said. “In addition, many

of the product as opposed to a simple identifier

only has the format and content of the data

enterprises are seeking to reduce the

– those with zero defect tolerance in

changed, but the number of end-users

instances of counterfeiting of their brands and

production are now applying that stricture to

affected has increased too. Unpackaged

centrally controlled labelling is a step towards

their labelling. This starts with the management

goods in hospitality or retail are now affected

achieving this.”

of the source data, but is also heavily affected

where previously it was just packaged food.

by the quality and management of the

Another pitfall is the demands of the (bigger)

According to Mari Waldron, EMEIA printer

machines applying identification marks or

end customers where failures in label integrity

product marketing manager at Honeywell

labels. This demand for consistency carries

can result in fines or rejected shipments.”

Scanning & Mobility, one growing trend among

Andy Johnson, product and solutions manager,

companies with barcode printing operations is

through to the materials used and processes As extended supply chains become more

to leverage the capabilities of ‘smart’ printers,

global and businesses strive for new levels of

which are printers that integrate the power of a

Taylor adds that Zebra has seen some

operational efficiency, Ken Moir, marketing

personal computer. “Smart printing takes

impressive use of its print engines in in-line

director at NiceLabel, believes next-generation

advantage of the memory and processing

applicators with real-time visual verification of

enterprise labelling solutions are replacing

power available in advanced printers to run

the label. Errors are captured by package

current generation label designers. “Public and

printing operations independently, without a PC

rejection on the conveyor or more recently with

Private Cloud technologies are making it easier

or network connection to another host

twin-head applicators where one backs off

to instantly deploy and centrally control

computer,” she said. “Smart printers can run

while the other continues. “Our Link-OS

labelling solutions across the supply chain,” he

software applications and can function as

enabled printer ranges are capable of

said. “This technology also allows labelling

PLCs to control other devices, including

connecting out to a predetermined URL where

solutions to be extended to business partners

scales, scanners and label applicators. By

they can either be remotely managed or –

and suppliers allowing for stronger

using the computing power that’s in the printer,

where compliance is a driver – confirm the

collaboration and more accurate labelling

organisations can reduce their IT hardware,

formats and data that they are printing in real

across the extended supply chain.”

networking and support requirements, lower

that validate their correct application.”

the total cost of printing operations, and create work processes that improve productivity and reduce opportunities for errors.” Intermec by Honeywell introduced the widely used C# programming language into its SmartPrinting solution last year. This makes it possible to design sophisticated graphic interfaces for the applications, which make them even easier to use. Intermec by Honeywell Smart Printers include a comprehensive selection of rugged, industrial fixed printers as well as the industry’s only Smart mobile receipt and label printers.

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Printing & Labelling

As regards drivers for change, Waldron

that the way people work is changing,

without having to be

believes end users are forever looking for ways

therefore printing now needs to be accessible

moved to a labelling

to make their operations more efficient.

from any device, anywhere. “A YouGov survey

station, that saves a

“Because smart printers are programmable

last year revealed that 47 per cent of all British

lot of time and

and can operate without a computer or network

adults now use their smartphone, laptop or

manpower.”

connection, they provide tremendous flexibility

tablet for work purposes,” he explained. “The

in where they can be placed and how they can

increase in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

Matt Parker,

be used,” she said. “Using the printer as a

and CYOD (Choose Your Own Device) has led

independent auto-ID

controller or programmable logic controller

to a rise in demand for printing from mobile

analyst, believes if

(PLC) eliminates the need for operators to

devices, with businesses striving to streamline

one looks at the end

trigger label requests or other actions, and

the process. The proliferation of mobile working

user marketplace –

therefore reduces the opportunity for operator

has driven the market for portable printers, as

the organisations that

error. Industrial smart printers can be installed

printing ‘on the go’ saves supply chain time

are actually buying

in harsh environments where PCs can’t, while

that was previously spent travelling back to the

printing, labelling and

mobile models can bring new intelligence and

office.”

marking systems today – the overwhelming

David Taylor, business development manager – manufacturing & supply chain,

desire is one of extending network reach.

hardware independence to workers in the field. As a result, organisations can optimise their

Jörk Schüßler, European marketing manager

“There are very good reasons for this; one

business processes and logically integrate

for Citizen Systems Europe, considers that iOS

being that anything that is networked is

printing into operations, rather than treating it

integration is a major talking point, as is Cloud

visible,” he said. “Once you can see it then you

as a separate, inefficient step.”

integration of systems. “That’s because

can monitor it, you can measure it and

customers increasingly demand the capability

therefore you make changes and

Andy Johnson, product and solutions manager

to print from mobile devices,” he said. In his

improvements based on the information you’re

at Brother UK, observes that NFC (Near Field

view that is also why BYOD (Bring Your Own

receiving. So in the auto-ID sector specific to

Communications) is a relatively new technology

Device) is receiving more and more attention.

printing & labelling, once again we’re seeing a

in printers and label printers, but one that is

“We haven’t yet seen any serious integration of

tremendous increase in the number of systems

gathering pace within the industry as users

BYOD but it will come,” he said, adding:

and projects that are coming in, but on the

look to make printing as quick and simple as

“Currently, manufacturers are providing more

back of this desire for increased network

possible. He added that Brother’s new range of

market-specific products than ever before and

reach. This is because ultimately the means of

colour laser machines will use NFC as a means

we’ve expanded the capability to print from

doing that is by applying a code of some kind

of authentication with the company’s B-Guard

mobile devices. The consumerisation of IT in

to an inanimate object. While it may not be

pull printing solution. Additionally, Johnson

business and print on-demand at the point of

physically networked via an industrial Ethernet,

believes printer manufacturers are responding

purchase is revolutionising the use of small,

having a code on it that is readable – either by

to the increased use of mobile devices in

mobile printers. Recent research from the

an automated system or a manually operated

business by providing wireless and Cloud print

International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates

scanner – means for that split second an item

solutions as standard, allowing workers to print

that by 2015 around one-third of the global

becomes networked, in my view. It’s visible on

important documents directly from

workforce will effectively be mobile.”

the system; you can know its location, what its status is and what it’s doing, and you are

smartphones and tablets. He adds that Cloud

therefore able to make changes and

support also enables users to print directly

Blurring of work and personal time

adjustments based on that information.

portable printing has

Schüßler makes the point that we are

Parker considers that the drivers behind these

also increased, as

surrounded by devices with mobile capability

changes are based around the need for

today’s workforce is

in our everyday lives. “We are accustomed to

greater visibility of objects. “If you can’t see

becoming more agile.

it, so it is only natural that customers expect

something you can’t measure it, and if you

“At Brother, we have

the same capability from printing and

can’t measure it then you can’t improve it,” he

seen a significant

labelling,” he said. Another driver in Schüßler’s

said. “Companies such as manufacturing

increase in sales of

view is that, with the increasingly mobile

organisations need to be able measure and

our range of portable

workforce, there’s a blurring of work and

understand flow and performance – and the

printers in the past

personal time, which brings us back again to

way to have the means to do that is through

year,” he said.

BYOD. “Of course, a strong driver is always the

having greater visibility. I think the innovations

need to make cost savings, and mobile

we are seeing on the back of that within

In terms of drivers,

printing can achieve this,” he said. “If a

printing & labelling systems really is now less

Johnson observes

product can be labelled where it already sits,

about the physical technology – in terms of

from and scan to the Cloud. Additionally, Johnson makes the point that the demand for

Mari Waldron, EMEIA printer product marketing manager,

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how it prints and how fast it can print – it’s

from any suitable network connected device

the single source of

much more to do with how it fits into an

where a ZATAR (http://www.zatar.com/)

the truth, improves

enterprise and how it can respond and react to

gateway is present. “We can create a device

labelling data

requests; whether they are from distance or

profile called an Avatar and users can

accuracy and

whether they are in some cases automated

develop their own analytics using the ZATAR

increases efficiency.

print requests that are coming in from a cause-

API,” he said.

Label Lifecycle management helps

and-effect relationship based on greater visibility. So today an in-line printer should be

Janet Suleski’s view is that the market can

enterprises manage

able to constantly readjust and adapt its

mainly be broken down into at least two main

versions, revisions

content or the location on which it’s printing

areas, and companies need two different

and compare/track

something based on what is going through.

strategies to deal with this. The first area is

changes. This is

Equally, there are those items that are reading

concerned with the labelling and artwork that

especially critical for

objects when they are coming through the

goes on to a physical product, and the second

regulated industries

other end, marked either directly with a label or

is the labelling that goes onto the packaging in

such as pharmaceutical, healthcare,

otherwise.”

which the product is shipped; i.e. carton label

chemical, food & beverage etc. Universal

management. “There are currently two

smart label templates, one template instead of

separate pools of solutions that are used for

hundreds, work across many brands and

The back end

addressing these areas,” said Suleski, “and

models of printers.” Moir also pointed out that

In terms of the relationship between printing

many companies would like to source these

by implementing an enterprise-centric

and labelling systems and back-office systems

types of solutions from a single provider;

labelling strategy, companies benefit from

such as ERP and WMS, what do our

although that’s not where the market is

more efficiency, greater accuracy and

commentators consider to have been some of

currently.” In terms of coordinating with some

improved customer responsiveness. “They

the recent key developments? Taylor believes

of the back-end systems, Suleski explains that

dramatically reduce the total cost of

that, without doubt, the ubiquity of smart

the most direct link is with ERP as the system

ownership of their labelling processes and

computing in the hands of everyday users has

of record for product masters and

reduce downtime,” he added.

driven expectations of connectedness in our

synchronising changes in product label and

work environment. “Having a smartphone that

artwork management with changes in the

The big change in Schüßler’s view is that

connects you in real time to a vast number of

product masters. “Many companies have

mobile solutions have now been broadly

sources of information does make you question

conducted this process manually, but this can

accepted by management as well as workers.

why systems in your work aren’t so

cause a number of errors to be made over

“This has led to the availability of many

accessible,” he said.

time,” she adds. “Some companies have

products on standard platforms, which in turn

Janet Suleski, research director supply chain & PLM,

undertaken to clean up the errors that have

have encouraged yet more users to move

Taylor adds that The Internet of Things – or

been made, but they would like a more

towards providing mobile capability,” he said.

Internet of Everything, as it is now being

automated way of maintaining that

“The latest generation of portable printers have

referred to – can, from printer perspective, be

synchronisation between all the different

been made smaller, lighter and more robust,

seen in two ways. “First, any asset that is given

moving parts of their label and artwork

while incorporating greater functionality,

an identity (barcode, RFID tag, etc.) gets a

management supply chain.

performance and a longer battery life; this

‘digital voice’,” he explains. “We now expect to

The good news is that almost all of the

additional functionality has included WiFi and

be able to identify what an item is and discover

software vendors we have spoken with have

Bluetooth. Mobile printing is now a major focus

(or even add to) its provenance. Devices that

standard application programming interfaces

for manufacturers and Cloud computing via

are used to mark assets should themselves be

(APIs) to the large ERP systems available

mobile devices is leading customers to request

connected and

today, such as SAP and Oracle; and other ERP

facilities to print from mobile devices, which is

remotely accessible

systems as relevant to their specific industries.”

why the market leaders are expanding their capability to print from mobile devices.”

to confirm they are doing what they are

Matt Parker, independent auto-ID analyst.

supposed to be

Single source of the truth

According to Schüßler, the key benefits to

doing.”

Moir observes that enterprises are focusing

users are the ones they feel most – savings in

Secondly, Taylor

on driving labelling directly from their ERP

time and cost. He adds that there is also

makes the point that

systems such as SAP/Oracle and connecting

increasingly better integration to bear in mind.

not only are our

to their master data. “They are leveraging, not

“We offer SDKs with our printers and, as most

printing devices

changing, their existing business processes,”

serious players are doing it, integration is much

connected but we

he said. “Label printing with label content

easier than before,” he said, adding that,

can now gather data

data driven directly from ERP transactions,

historically, one of the challenges has been the

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19


Special technology report

Printing & Labelling

complexity of creating mobile enterprise-wide

process then that’s going to be an issue. So

a positive thing.

printing platforms, linked to the best choice of

manufacturing is an interesting sector because

“Nowadays, mobile

print hardware, while delivering reliable point-

we have to think about the ‘soft’ elements as

devices such as

of-transaction printing that improves worker

well is the hard elements in terms of the

smartphones and

productivity, labelling accuracy and

physical printed output.”

tablets are

responsiveness to customer needs. “Portable

commonplace and

printer technology continues to evolve but has

we place significant

now reached the point where establishing

Convergence

emphasis on their

enterprise-wide platforms is much less

And what of functionality convergence currently

use in our daily lives,”

complex,” he said.

taking place within the printing & labelling

he said. “However,

Richa Gupta, senior analyst auto-ID & data capture,

solutions arena? Parker believes the kind of

until now, the use of

Matt Parker believes today there is much tighter

convergence we continue to witness will revolve

generic mobile

handshaking between the printing & labelling

around how items are read and how they are

devices for use in the

device and the overarching management

absorbed into a planning system or centralised

working environment has not reached its full

system. “Again, it comes back to this concept

management system within an organisation. “I

potential due to lack of crucial functions such

of an extended and richer network depth,” he

think we will see increased convergence in that

as restricted access to printers. Now, as I said

said. “Anything that is hanging off a central

area within the broader auto-ID ecosystem

before, many offer standard platforms today

planning or management system needs to be

because to stand alone doesn’t really make a

such as Android, Windows or even iOS, so

able to respond and adjust what it is doing

lot of sense,” he said. “Slave devices such as

brand manufacturers should have no problem

based on information that is coming down.

printers are increasingly becoming an integral

working together.”

Equally, what it is producing needs to be

part of a network and linked to the

readable; if the printer is producing something

manufacturing process.”

Moir reflects that the connected extended

that causes an onward problem because the

supply chain is a great opportunity for

barcode, RFID tag etc. is unreadable for

Gupta considers that technology convergence

companies such as NiceLabel. “We can now

whatever reason, then that can cause issues.”

as a trend is extremely beneficial to the user

implement centralised labelling solutions that

community. “Printing & labelling systems are

can be scaled across the entire globe to

Therefore, Parker maintains that one of the

part of the overall (factory or logistics)

factories, warehouses, distribution centres,

improvements we are seeing beyond the

automation solution, serving a very particular

shops, franchises and suppliers,” he said. “We

handshaking and interaction systems in the

application requirement,” she said. “This

have some unique features in the way we do

slave devices is the materials on which

requires extensive collaboration with systems

this – and our Enterprise solutions are built up

barcodes are being printed. “There is now a

integrators to ensure seamless communication

from our core technologies and products, MS

much greater variety of materials that can have

across major solution components, driving

certified printer drivers, label designers and

codes printed on them,” he explained. “Some

them to perform a specific function.”

application development tools. These are

of these materials are able to withstand

volume tested and proven every day in millions

extremes of temperature, can be used

Suleski thinks these tools are now very much

of installations worldwide – NiceLabel

outdoors as well as indoors, are tear-resistant

focused on becoming better label and artwork

technology is shipped by the leading label

and tamperproof. We should consider those

management systems, rather than broadening

printer manufacturers and powers in excess of

kinds of things as well because when we are

out into areas of converged functionality.

all label printers sold today. So even the

talking about the types of flow-based

However, she adds that where there has been

largest enterprises with the most complex of

processes found in manufacturing, logistics or

some convergence is in the use of artwork

label management needs can be sure that

retail we constantly

across multiple channels of communication

NiceLabel will be a safe technology choice as

should be thinking

with the customer. “For example, if a food &

well as a highly attractive and versatile one.”

about the next stage in

beverage manufacturer has a piece of artwork

the process. The

that is applied to a package of dairy

Waldron commented that Intermec by

communication and

products, the company often wants to ensure

Honeywell’s programmable Smart Printers are

interaction between

that same artwork is used on its online

a good example of technology convergence.

the printer and WMS

channel and in its printed material channels

“The printer can act as a computer, there is no

may be absolutely fine,

such as paper flyers and inserts,” she said.

need to purchase a PC to do data processing,”

but if this interaction is

“So there is definitely a focus on using these

she said. “The PM43 range of industrial

producing something

systems to coordinate brand identity across

printers takes this ‘PC inside the printer’

that is going to cause

multiple channels of communication.”

approach one step further by offering a touch

Jörk Schüßler, European marketing manager,

a problem on line-side further down the

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screen interface on the printer, making the user Schüßler believes convergence is undoubtedly

experience very similar to that of using a smart

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Printing & Labelling

Special technology report

phone: you scroll

smarter, lighter, systems that are more app-

he said. “There will be a situation that drives

through menus, e.g.

based. “With the increasing availability of

the need for increased visibility of previously

if you are not sure

inexpensive off-the-shelf mobile devices,

inanimate objects that were just scanned and

how to change a

portable and mobile printers will offer wider

were just visible for a certain amount of time.

label roll, you can

scope to businesses, particularly smaller,

Something to look out for in the near future will

see the instructions

faster paced businesses or those on the move

be an intelligent label with a more feature-rich

on your printer’s

such as retail, logistics and the restaurant

sensor embedded in it, as opposed to a

screen. You can also

sectors,” he remarked.

traditional RFID tag. This intelligent label could

load printing Ken Moir, marketing director,

possibly communicate over a much greater

programs into the

Waldron sees linerless printing as a clear trend

distance, and give much greater levels of

printer and the touch

that seems to be getting stronger, and

information within a certain zoned environment

screen can be used

observes that linerless label materials have

or area of the shop floor or warehouse. We are

to interact with the

improved over the years. “The technology has

already seeing this sort of technology adopted

program. This is very powerful and can help to

matured and the applications work very

in the healthcare space.”

simplify printing applications such that training

successfully nowadays,” she said. “The drivers

requirements are minimised and the whole

for this trend are environmental – liner is not

Suleski thinks we will see continued interest in

process is simplified and made more efficient.

recyclable – but also related to health & safety

companies wanting to source their label and

We think this is a good thing – end users want

and operational efficiency: the liner can cause

artwork and packaging design and

to get more out of their printer investment and

a slip hazard in a warehouse or a retail store.

engineering solutions from a single vendor.

intelligent printers make that possible.”

Some users have also been able to achieve

“There are currently three or four different kinds

clear ROI on investing in linerless technology

of software vendors that are serving the label

due to the time saved by not having to peel

and artwork management space – in particular,

Things to watch

backing paper off labels. Linerless is now also

I am referring to the specialist ERP and

What might be the next key developments to

becoming popular in mobile printing and we

product lifecycle management (PLM) vendors,”

look out for over the next year or two within the

expect to see more innovations both in the

she said. “Many companies consider label and

Printing & Labelling space? Gupta reiterates

linerless label materials as well as on the

artwork management to be part of the PLM

that innovation in the printing & labelling

hardware side.”

process, so I believe we will see more consolidation of label and artwork management

systems market is not going to be restricted to hardware alone. “Expect to see a stronger

As consumer industries require a much richer

capabilities into PLM, although at the moment

demand for device management capabilities,

and higher level of intelligent packaging,

there is still very much a place for market

data security, integration with Cloud-based

Parker believes it is obvious that we are going

specialists. When talking to companies and

platforms, and managed print services,” she

to enter a level of requirement for intelligent

their future needs, many of these relate to

said. Johnson expects the mobile print market

labels that are put on parts, components and

basic ongoing requirements for cleansing and

to grow significantly in the coming years, as

materials to eliminate that point-in-time issue he

synchronising their data, and putting the most

Juniper Research predicts that the number of

spoke of earlier. “Again, it comes back to the

effective workflows in place to speed-up their

employee-owned smartphones and tablets

requirement for an extended network reach,”

processes.” 

used in business is expected to exceed one billion by 2018. “The most important factor in the speed of this growth is education, as most smartphone owners are unaware that they can print from their device,” he said. “If we raise awareness of these features amongst end users, and make mobile printing as seamless as possible, then this will contribute to a rapid increase in those using it.” Moir believes the extended supply chain will continue to get ‘more connected’, and that Cloud technology, Big Data and the ‘Internet of things’ will all play an increasingly large part in the printing & labelling space. Schüßler’s view is that we can expect to see the same evolution that we have seen in mobile phones –

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21


\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Product news

Infor launches Automotive Exchange for SyteLine nfor, provider of business application

I

software serving more than 70,000 customers, has announced the launch of Infor Automotive Exchange, an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and release

accounting system designed specifically for automotive tier suppliers. Infor Automotive Exchange works directly with Infor SyteLine, Infor's enterprise resource planning (ERP) product, which focuses on high-volume manufacturers such as tier automotive suppliers.

Exceptional connectivity Infor Automotive Exchange helps enable tier suppliers to quickly and efficiently communicate order demand, shipment and labelling information with their Original Equipment

closed loop forecasts, orders, schedules,

"Through the power of Infor ION, this product

Manufacturer (OEM) customers using Infor

shipments and financials.

enables us to circulate critical data that is stored in ERP, Infor Automotive Exchange

SyteLine as the core ERP. The combination of Automotive Exchange with SyteLine establishes

Infor Automotive Exchange comes with

(EDI) and other applications, equipping our

an automotive industry product suite that is

preconfigured translations, business partner

employees with real-time information."

claimed to provide exceptional connectivity, capabilities and user experience. The product suite supports many of the global automotive EDI requirements commonly used by OEM and tier suppliers with preconfigured and ready-to-use Transformation Services (TFS) translation maps and transformation via Sales Release Management (SRM) business

We are always looking for a better, faster way to communicate information, both within our organisation and with customers. Through the power of Infor ION, this product enables us to circulate critical data that is stored in ERP, Infor Automotive Exchange (EDI) and other applications, equipping our employees with real-time information." – Peter Šifrer, LTH Castings Group.

rule controls. Communication to and from Infor SyteLine is conveyed through Infor ION, the

order rules and documents delivered as a

intelligent open network that is used across

single set. Infor Automotive Exchange can be

numerous Infor applications.

used on premise or hosted as a full Software-

"Automotive tier suppliers face a unique set

as-a-Service (SaaS) deployment. The Infor

of challenges, including increasingly high

ION based integration provides support for

standards in order accuracy while reducing

Developed from the ground up

Unique set of challenges

many ERPs and is easily integrated to others.

costs to process the orders," said John

Infor Automotive Exchange includes EDI

The single technology stack affords a

Bermudez, vice president product

applications that have been developed from

common security model, with the master data

management at Infor. "With a product like

the ground up. The global offering covers all

controlled via the synchronised ERP.

Infor Automotive Exchange, tier suppliers can help boost productivity and increase

regions of the world that use X.12, Edifact, Odette, VDA and emerging XML standards.

"As a high-volume manufacturer, our data is

speed and response-ability with their OEM

The product offers more than translation

constantly changing. We are always looking

customers while regaining resources that in

capabilities, including full trading partner

for a better, faster way to communicate

the past were spend maintaining EDI

rules, CUM management, in transit

information, both within our organisation and

transactions and manual order and shipment

calculations, order rationalisation and release

with customers," said Peter Šifrer, finance and

transaction processing." 

sequencing. The transaction support features

administration manager, LTH Castings Group.

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\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Success story

EFACS is the right tool for Gordon Ellis & Co ith its origins in the 1800s,

W

maximum efficiency.” However, the company’s

Gordon Ellis & Co now

demand mix is completely unpredictable

List of requirements

comprises three specialist

which creates challenges in achieving

In order to answer this, Holland talked with

businesses providing

smoothness of production as well as visibility

home healthcare safety

of the progress of any order at any given

comprehensive list of

products, rotational moulding and precision

time when compared with a projected

requirements that Gordon Ellis &

machining of wood and composites. The

schedule. A further challenge comes in

Co would require from any new

company manufactures and supplies a

the form of managing and storing the

system and compiled a

diverse range of high quality products to over

wide variety of raw materials used as

30 countries, from plastic tee markers, raised

well as keeping Work in Progress

toilet seats through to engine covers for huge

(WIP) under control from both a

leading vendors

JCB earth movers. Production across the

space and cost

were identified

entire company is generally split into plastic

perspective.

and invited to

key managers and drew up a

substantial shortlist of candidates. The

rotational moulding (85 per cent) and

demo their

precision machining of wood and composites

solutions and

(15 per cent) with customers being equally

Holland is

split into the two categories of Contract

unflinchingly

(Make to Order) and Healthcare (Make to

honest when she

Stock). Order sizes range from single

explains that none were ideal.

figures through to batches in multiples of

“The directors and I recognised

hundreds, and while simple products require

that ours is a very challenging business

only two to three process steps, something as

and we were not surprised that no system did

complex as their Basketweave commode

exactly everything we would want. However,

takes many more.

the latest version of EFACS came closest, and with the Java platform combined with the inbuilt ADAPT customisation toolkit we knew it

Key challenges

would also be the easiest to make the various Gordon Ellis & Co has been relying on

bespoke changes we would require.”

It is no wonder that IT manager Alison

EFACS from Exel Computer Systems plc since

Holland, with 20 years’ experience at Gordon

1996 and it is a testament to the success of

She continued: “There was the additional

Ellis & Co, describes one of the company’s

the original implementation that the company

benefit of having a long and proven working

key challenges as optimising capacity across its many and varied machine resources. “We have upwards of 20 primary machines in our timber machining and rotational moulding production areas, many of which need to ideally work on batches of products to gain

24

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Not only has the increased functionality of the new system removed the need for a number of separate systems and workarounds where data issues could arise, the inbuilt Workflow module ensures that all process steps are followed exactly as required.”

only needed one minor upgrade in the

relationship with Exel as a supplier. We knew

following 15 years. At the heart of their

how their development teams, implementation

biennial system review was the question ‘Will

teams and support teams worked and unlike

an upgrade give us significantly more than

system resellers, we knew they completely

our existing version does in order to justify the

understood their system. They also

investment?’ It wasn’t until around 2011 that

understood how our business works and

the answer increasingly moved towards a

already had all our data tables mapped which

‘yes’, when the question became ‘do we

gave us the maximum confidence in ensuring

upgrade or look for a new system completely’.

the upgrade was a success.” Almost as an

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Success story

\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Greater visibility This, coupled with the creation of a wide range of custom reports has helped the company achieve much greater visibility not just of data, but of meaningful business information which in turn improves decision making processes throughout the company. Another key area which is further enhancing this is in managing and controlling the flow of aside she mentions that EFACS E/8 was by far

data on the shop floor. Gordon Ellis & Co had

the cheaper option, all of which led to an

a Shop Floor Data Collection (SFDC) system

order being placed in February 2012.

in place with its earlier version of EFACS but it was so time consuming and inflexible to use, it eventually was dropped. The new version,

‘Little and often’

EFACS E/8, with its integrated SFDC module

Gordon Ellis & Co has upwards of 20 primary machines in its timber machining and rotational moulding production areas, many of which need to ideally work on batches of products to gain maximum efficiency.

is being successfully used with touchscreens

Working closely with Exel, the company went

and handheld scanners for booking in

E/8 – you couldn’t do it. We’ve so much more

for a ‘little and often’ approach to the

finished products and goods received.

to get out of EFACS E/8, not just within our

implementation which involved bringing Exel

own company but in terms of integrating with

consultants in for everyone in large groups.

Holland recognises that the company is

our customers and suppliers and their

This was complemented by setting up

“barely scratching the surface” of what the

systems, extending its use and benefits, both

relevant workshops with the specific aim of

new system can do. She concluded: “We

up and down the supply chain.” 

evaluating how the increased functionality of

couldn’t manage without a system like EFACS

the new EFACS E/8 system could help improve existing business processes. Holland credits this as significantly helping move the company culture away from a departmental focus to a “holistic approach to data”. “The intended outcome of the implementation was for us to be a more streamlined, better business,” she added.

Meeting expectations Gordon Ellis & Co successfully went live with EFACS E/8 in September 2012 and it comfortably met everyone’s high expectations. 18 months on and Holland identifies the increase in data accuracy as the biggest benefit the company has achieved so far. Not only has the increased functionality of the new system removed the need for a number of separate systems and workarounds where data issues could arise, the inbuilt Workflow module ensures that all process steps are followed exactly as required. This removes the possibility of data errors at each step, which in turn removes the resulting impact of those data errors flowing downstream through subsequent business processes.

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June 2014

&LOGISTICS

25


\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Product news

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 now available icrosoft Corp. has unveiled the

a solution that helps businesses enable new

them with the agility required to keep up with

next major update to its

mobile scenarios, take strategic advantage of

ever-changing business environments. Early

flagship ERP solution, Microsoft

the Cloud, have deeper engagements with their

adoption of this service has demonstrated that

Dynamics AX 2012 R3.

customers, and overall, deliver amazing

customers have been able to significantly reduce

Designed to help businesses

experiences for people at work and on the go."

time spent to define, develop and operate their

M

business application. For example, in cases

run an agile operation that exceeds their customers' needs, engage with them on their

This update introduces a new end-to-end apps

where early adopter customers needed incident

terms and help fuel growth, Microsoft Dynamics

and services framework, allowing businesses

support, more than 65 per cent of them were

AX 2012 R3 delivers new warehouse and

to develop and distribute modern apps for

able to address issues and questions on their

transportation management capabilities to

specific scenarios and mobile devices that can

own through the use of this service.

provide customers with real-time end-to-end

easily and securely connect with Microsoft

Reinforcing the value Microsoft Dynamics AX is

insights into supply-chain execution.

Dynamics AX. Adding to the growing number

delivering to businesses, Microsoft released a

of mobile apps, the update will include a new

commissioned Forrester Consulting TEI (Total

New Lifecycle Services available with this

app for shop floor operators that lets them

Economic Impact) study. Based on customer

release will help organisations improve the

report on production jobs with touch-enabled

surveys and interviews, Forrester determined that

predictability of Microsoft Dynamics AX

Windows devices.

a composite organisation using Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 had a three-year ROI of 92

implementations by simplifying and standardising processes, and bringing

Significantly reducing time to value

serviceability and support.

per cent, a payback period of 21 months and benefits of over ÂŁ3.5 million,* highlighting the real

innovative and integrated experiences for To rapidly serve more customers in new

benefit and time to value this solution delivers to

segments and emerging markets, Microsoft

customers.

"Technology has transformed how we engage,

Dynamics AX 2012 R3 adds support for

connect and interact with one another," said a

deployment on Microsoft Azure via infrastructure

Microsoft spokesperson. "With the new Microsoft

as a service. This capability delivers high

Dynamics AX 2012 R3 release, we are delivering

availability of data and disaster recovery data, as

Microsoft believes Dynamics AX 2012 R3 is a

critical business data is stored in the Cloud and

significant step for the entire industry toward the

can be retrieved by businesses virtually anytime,

future of ERP, with apps, devices and services in

anywhere. Pre-configured environments are also

the Cloud as cornerstones of its new capabilities.

available on Windows Azure for businesses to

The company adds that the advancements the

speed deployment, and significantly reduce time

solution offers in business logic and data model,

to value from Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3,

Cloud and new apps, and services and devices

for demonstration, development, testing and

scenarios all set the stage for continued future

production usage.

innovation evolving directly from the functionality

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 delivers new warehouse and transportation management capabilities to provide customers with real-time end-to-end insights into supply-chain execution.

26

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Continued future innovation

being delivered today. Powered by Microsoft Azure, this release includes Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services

* Total Economic Impact Study of Microsoft

which introduces new solutions for serviceability

Dynamics AX 2012, a commissioned study

and support to help organisations improve the

conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of

predictability of implementations and provides

Microsoft, December 2013. 

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ERP

CRM

W O R K F LO W

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT

EBUSINESS

EXPECT, EXCEED,

EXEL.

For over a quarter of a century, EXEL has been developing and supplying business management solutions that have helped companies like yours maximise their potential and become world class. Thousands of businesses of all sizes in all industry sectors rely on EFACS E/8, EXEL’s fully-integrated, modular, browser-based solution. To find out more about EFACS E/8 and how we can help your business, call EXEL on 0115 946 0101 or email sales@exel.co.uk

A GREAT

BRITISH

BUSINESS

exel.co.uk

Business as usual, only smarter. EXEL


P

lanning Company news

Logility

acquires MID Retail to deliver comprehensive supply chain solutions to the retail market deliver higher product availability and

Voyager Retail Optimization can be deployed

customer service. The allocation capabilities

as a stand-alone solution or as a part of a

ensure product availability and improve

broader supply chain initiative. Additionally,

customer satisfaction while efficiently

the MID Retail support, development,

managing inventory positions by strategically

implementation, training, and sales team will

placing inventory into the proper channel or

join Logility.

location to best serve customer demand. Edenfield continued: “MID Retail’s innovative According to the company’s website, MID

retail planning and allocation solutions

Retail works with several well-respected retail

complement the Logility Voyager Solutions

leaders, including Abercrombie & Fitch,

suite. The combination provides a robust,

Anna’s Linens, Big Lots!, Bon-Ton, Finish Line,

comprehensive supply chain solution that

Orvis, Tuesday Morning, Urban Outfitters, and

helps retailers, brand owners, wholesale

Wet Seal.

distributors, and manufacturers intelligently grow their businesses, increase customer

Mike Edenfield: “With this acquisition, Logility Voyager Solutions delivers the holistic supply chain solution retail companies need to compete in today’s complex marketplace.”

service levels and reduce working capital.”

The inclusion of MID Retail’s solutions will expand Logility’s supply chain suite to drive additional value for retail, wholesale

The addition of MID Retail further strengthens

distribution and manufacturing companies to

Logility Voyager Solutions as a

improve operational performance and deliver

comprehensive supply chain planning

ogility Inc., long-known for its

a comprehensive Omni-Channel customer

solution marketed to Fortune 500, large and

strength in delivering supply chain

experience. Logility can now offer retail

midsize companies in the retail, wholesale

solutions to the manufacturing and

organisations the complete breadth of retail

distribution and manufacturing industries.

wholesale distribution industries,

supply chain planning capabilities from

has solidified its presence in the

strategic planning and optimisation right

"We are excited to become part of the Logility

retail market through the acquisition of MID

down to daily execution, and retail store-level

team, and have long admired Logility’s robust

Retail, a provider of retail allocation and

replenishment and allocation with an end-to-

supply chain suite, large and satisfied

merchandise planning solutions.

end synchronised process.

customer base, and proven track record of

The retail industry faces several challenges

“With this acquisition, Logility Voyager

founder and COO, MID Retail. “This

including the accelerating pace of new

Solutions delivers the holistic supply chain

announcement will enable us to develop and

product introductions, the need to deliver a

solution retail companies need to compete in

deliver more innovative supply chain solutions

consistent Omni-Channel customer

today’s complex marketplace,” stated Mike

to our retail customers. There is tremendous

experience, and increasing pricing and

Edenfield, Logility president and CEO.

synergy in our joint solution offering that will

L

financial stability,” said Mike Ruhana, co-

allow retailers to plan more efficiently across

service pressures from aggressive competitors. To succeed and stay ahead of

MID Retail’s products will be integrated into

strategic, tactical and operational time

the competition, retailers require a

the Logility Voyager Solutions suite and be

horizons to ensure better in-stock

comprehensive supply chain solution that can

rebranded as Voyager Retail Optimization.

performance and streamline Omni-Channel

optimise their operations from sourcing

Like other components in Logility’s suite,

planning initiatives.” 

through manufacturing to store and customer delivery. With this acquisition, Logility is wellpositioned to satisfy this need. MID Retail’s technology helps retailers to synchronise merchandise financial plans with customer demand at each retail location to boost in-stock performance, profitably grow the business, allocate merchandise, and 28

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your supply chain to: ‡ Grow your Business ‡Improve Margins ‡Outperform the Competition Logility Voyager Solutions™ can help you leave the competition behind. With Logility’s proven three-pronged strategy, OUTPLAN, OUTPACE, OUTPERFORM, DPNQBOJFTDBONPSFQSPåUBCMZTBUJTGZDVTUPNFS demand—and stay in the winner’s circle—by getting the right products at the right cost to the right place at the right time.

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Worldwide Headquarters: 800-762-5207 EMEA Headquarters: +44 (0) 121 629 7866


Printing & Labelling

Opinion

Getting connected Bernard Williams, business development director – EMEA at Zebra Technologies, looks at how the company’s Zatar information platform meets the need for greater connectivity among mobile devices while also providing an ideal medium for business collaboration.

W

hen many people think about mobile devices, the first things that come to mind will likely be smartphones, PDAs and possibly mobile printers. However, a mobile device could just as easily be a term used to describe a drill or any form of mobile object that have the potential to become ‘smart’ with the application of an RFID tag or direct part mark. Nevertheless, regardless of how wide the term mobile device is applied to objects within the workplace and no matter how smart individual items become, many still operate in silos with no connecting thread between them. That said, there is now growing awareness surrounding the benefits of mobile devices being more easily connected with one another in order for companies to benefit from more seamless, real-time visibility of where these devices are or what they doing at any given time.

Apps world Also, we are increasingly living in an apps-

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dominated world. Cisco recently spoke about billions of devices that are going to be smart the next 10 years. If this is the case, there are going to be a lot of devices out there that are going to be smart with the ability to provide updates in terms of their current location and activity status.

they should. Another key advantage is that the platform makes it easy for users to connect all kinds of mobile devices regardless of where they are around the globe. In this sense, Zatar could be thought of as a platform that helps companies to connect, create and control worldwide.

Zatar is all about taking consumer-type expectations and putting them into the enterprise area to allow companies to develop solutions and to keep a better track of individual devices and objects in terms of where they currently are in the chain and what tasks they may currently be performing.”

To facilitate connectivity of a wide range of different devices used by a company and its partner network, and to help device developers provide or source the best applications for specific tasks at hand, Zebra has launched its open Cloud-based platform called Zatar. Zatar can not only help more ‘mainstream’ mobile devices to connect, it also looks at devices on the edge of the mobility spectrum; devices that don’t usually enjoy as much visibility as

Greater collaboration Moreover, Zatar makes it easier for companies to work together more efficiently. It’s more than about simply connecting mobile devices to the platform; because Zatar is a completely open API (application program interface) users can enjoy a rich open world of collaboration. In a traditional enterprise

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Opinion

there would often be an administrator sat behind one desk and one monitor. However, in the modern manufacturing, retail and healthcare environment companies want more of their people to see the data, understand what’s happening at various levels and speed up their processes by accessing more realtime information. To make information more visible over a company’s different sites and departments, Zatar allows users to take all that available information, put it into the Cloud and collaborate more effectively and seamlessly with individual people, teams and groups. Essentially, they can benefit from a shared business world. These worlds are still private, while allowing users to choose who they wish to collaborate with. It’s a little like giving a Facebook page to a technical smart device. A mobile device connected to Zatar can effectively update its status, saying ‘here I am and this is what I’m currently doing’.

Scalable Zatar has been designed to be simple to use, while also being highly scalable – and this is where many of the business benefits come in, particularly for manufacturers. By paying a monthly payto-use fee, companies can not only become more efficient, they can also become more agile in how their business processes work. One interesting area of development is around the concept of the Internet of Things (IOT), which essentially refers to individual identifiable objects and how they are virtually represented within an Internet-like structure. A recent report indicated that many manufacturers believe IOT would change the business process and in so doing unlock new revenue opportunities from existing products and services. If you have a group of people currently talking about how IOT will make these types of changes that’s got to be a strong indication of where things are moving. And of course the great enabler of this type of IOT methodology is greater track & trace together with more convenience means of collaboration.

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Secure A point to stress here is that data that sits at the Cloud level in Zatar belongs to the company that owns the data. If that company wishes its partners or supply chain network to access the information they can easily to this, however nothing happens with the data unless someone writes an app for it. In this regard, Zebra is looking to create connected devices by putting together a pool of apps manufacturers in order to give IT people working in manufacturing, retail, healthcare and logistics the freedom to choose who their apps developer should be. Zebra is not advising companies to use a particular apps manufacturer; they can make their own decisions all the way through the process. Indeed, Zebra has built its entire position and brand on giving the end-user the best means to make their own informed choice as to what solution they want to put together.

Printing & Labelling BIOGRAPHY Bernard Williams is business development director – EMEA at Zebra Technologies. His current responsibilities are to develop business opportunities for new technologies in integrated visibility, connected device solutions and mobile payment process. With over 28 years in the ink jet printing and thermal printing Auto ID market, Williams heads up an incubator team specifically recruited to create early adoption in the markets. Williams trained as an engineer building packaging machines in Bristol for Bradman Lake Ltd. He then spent 10 years with Domino printing sciences based in Cambridge, moving onto Eltron and Zebra Technologies for the past 18 years. He has a broad experience of Europe having worked in Germany and the Nordics for a number of years as well as operating on a pan-EMEA basis.

At the cutting-edge of mobility development In summary, Zatar is all about taking consumer-type expectations and putting them into the enterprise area to allow companies to develop solutions and to keep a better track of individual devices and objects in terms of where they currently are in the chain and what tasks they may currently be performing. Through encouraging and facilitating the proliferation of connected devices we feel Zatar is at the cutting edge of mobile device development. 

Bernard Williams: “Because Zatar is a completely open API users can enjoy a rich open world of collaboration.”

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Printing & Labelling

Opinion

The future of printing for logistics To meet the needs of logistics and warehouse operators, printer technology needs to provide cost-saving, convenient and compact service. Jörk Schüßler, European marketing manager for Citizen Systems Europe, looks at how printer and barcode technology is addressing the needs of the logistics industry.

T

he label printer has developed steadily over the last 25 years. From dot-matrix, inkjet and laser, through the advent of Windows 95, to ERP and RFID, the rate and breadth of change has been phenomenal. Change has been driven by new technologies, legislation and end user demand for ever greater performance, reliability and functionality at lower cost. Of course, the greatest driver is cost and traders in all industries are fighting hard to manage costs and maximise profitability in a difficult economic climate. To help them achieve this, market-leading printer manufacturers are designing and manufacturing new units that are fast, tough and easy to use. In warehouse and logistics, machines are required to deliver optimum performance, functionality and reliability to bring customers the best possible return on investment and so printer designers are investing their machines with features that offer hassle-free, high quality output with minimal maintenance. The new generation of energy efficient printers cut costs and reduce waste, and there are some impressively compact models that both save space and allow portable printing around the facility.

GS1 DataBar codes One innovative development that printer technology has had to match has been the introduction of GS1 DataBar codes, which complement traditional barcodes such as UPC. GS1 DataBar brings considerably more information to product labels than conventional barcodes and can be printed on particularly small labels. This makes it

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ideal for compact or irregularly shaped items including loose components and tools, handheld machinery or miniaturised electronics, which are not large enough to accommodate traditional barcodes. The latest generation of printers from Citizen Systems Europe comply with the GS1 specifications for EAN and GS1 DataBar codes and print both barcode types, ensuring that for a supplier, wholesaler or retailer gradually shifting from EAN codes to GS1 DataBar their investment is protected.

tension system that allows for clearer prints.

Cost-effective substitute

Thermal printers are a costeffective substitute for laser printers when printing documents such as invoices Jörk Schüßler: “Robust, and delivery notes because, reliable printing although laser printers are equipment is essential widely used throughout the in the performance of logistics sector, they are not logistics services, and the companies that without their problems: cost of succeed in this sector ownership, unreliability, paper attach great importance jams and ozone generation to their choice of being just a few. In contrast, partners.” thermal printers are quiet, Advances in printer technology have meant reliable and easy to operate, and print fast that, as well as using a thermal printer for without a delay for warm-up. All in all, the labelling, a second thermal printer can meet reduction in maintenance, energy other printing needs in logistics operations consumption and waste achieved by more efficiently than a laser printer. Delivery thermal printing means a significantly lower notes, invoices, route plans, and lists (such total lifetime cost compared with laser as picking lists, to-do lists and checklists) printing. can all be economically provided by a thermal printer. Today, thermal printers are Of increasing importance in logistics is the available that provide output at up to 6capability to print on the move. Recent inches-per-second, and because printing is research estimates that by 2015 around 37 from a roll, and not restricted to A4, there’s per cent of the global workforce, and almost the capacity for variable print length. For 75 per cent of the workforce in the USA, will example, the Citizen CL S6621 6-inch effectively be mobile. printer reduces A4 pages to A5 by changing the resolution. The Citizen CL International Data Corporation (IDC), a S6621 is 50 per cent smaller than the next global provider of market intelligence, largest 6-inch printer and half the price, advisory services, and events for the making it not only the smallest but also the information technology, telecommunications best priced 6-inch label printer on the and consumer technology markets, has this market. Even so, it is packed with to say about mobile printing. “The mobile technology that boosts print quality and printing paradigm is enjoying good market reliability, including the ARCP automatic reception. Customers are educated about

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Opinion

The latest generation of portable printers have been made smaller, lighter and more robust, while incorporating greater functionality, performance and a longer battery life. the value proposition and are engaging with mobile solution providers. Primary drivers, of course, are the requirements of an increasingly mobile and distributed workforce and the continued blurring of work and personal time.� These trends create a new set of demands for the manufacturers of printers for use in the workplace, especially devices that are used for labels for logistics. One of the challenges is the complexity of creating mobile enterprise-wide printing platforms,

e z i s f l Ha e! z i r p half

A new dimension in 6-inch printing.

Printing & Labelling

linked to the best choice of print hardware, while delivering reliable point-of-transaction printing that improves worker productivity, labelling accuracy and responsiveness to customer needs. Although the science of printing has not leapt forward at the same rate of that for mobile scanning and data recognition, portable printer technology has nonetheless been quietly evolving in the background.

Our business and trading culture is changing dramatically, particularly in the logistics sector, which faces new challenges in an ever-evolving economy and technology environment. Regardless of the inevitable changes to the supply and value chain, distribution centres and courier services will get busier and that means that the effect of any efficiencies in terms of timesaved or waste avoided are multiplied, making them even more valuable than ever.

Expanded capability

Robust, reliable printing equipment is essential in the performance of logistics services, and the companies that succeed in this sector attach great importance to their choice of partners. By working with an experienced partner such as Citizen Systems Europe, which is at the leading edge of printer design, logistics operators can specify and install machines with features that offer hassle-free, high quality output with minimal maintenance, and stay connected with the changing face of printer and labelling technology. 

The latest generation of portable printers have been made smaller, lighter and more robust, while incorporating greater functionality, performance and a longer battery life; this additional functionality has included WiFi and Bluetooth, offering further benefits in warehouse and logistics applications. Mobile printing is now a major focus for manufacturers; Cloud computing via mobile devices is leading customers to request facilities to print from them and that is why the market leaders are working to expand this capability.

Wherever space is at a premium, the new CITIZEN CL-S6621 6-inch printer is the ideal choice. But even if space is not an issue, this printer delivers top performance, is extremely reliable and comes at a highly affordable price. To save space, these are only the basics – visit our website for full information. www.citizen-europe.com

Scan for more Infos.


Printing & Labelling

Opinion

Strategic answer to key enterprise labelling challenges By Ken Moir, marketing director, NiceLabel.

A

s extended supply chains become more global and businesses strive for new levels of operational efficiency, labelling accuracy and data integrity has emerged as a key success factor. Enterprises are realising that legacy label management practices can't cope with demands of a modern agile supply chain. Challenges like label and brand consistency, data accuracy, regulatory compliance, customer responsiveness and counterfeiting can only be tackled by an all-inclusive enterprise labelling strategy. By implementing next generation labeling solutions enterprises can reduce the total cost of ownership and streamline their supply chain operations. Labelling and brand consistency Enterprises with international locations often end up with inconsistent labelling systems. Decentralised systems expose companies to risks of human error and variation in label formats and structure between locations, which leads to expensive maintenance and compliance fines. Centrally managed labelling solutions help achieve labelling consistency, unified control and standardised branding. Next-generation label lifecycle management solutions simplify collaboration and global management of label templates. Data accuracy is the cornerstone of operational excellence Data accuracy eliminates product recalls and inherent damage to productivity, profitability, brand reputation and in some instances even customer safety.

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Enterprises ensure high levels of data accuracy by integrating their label production with their business systems, ensuring the integrity of data printed on their product, shipping and safety labelling. Using product master data in an ERP system as the single source of truth maintains data accuracy, eliminates errors and avoids duplication. Enterprises often avoid customising their existing business transactions as first-generation labelling methods require labour intensive ‘workarounds’ and often costly changes to existing systems. Next-generation technologies introduce configuration without customised software coding and hence allow companies to leverage their existing business processes in the creation of process improvements in their label management. Operational efficiency, lower costs and business continuity Enterprises with multiple (often international) locations are moving to centralised control of labelling systems. Only centralised solutions put IT in control of mission-critical processes, reduce costs and ensure business continuity. Integrating labelling with enterprise applications simplifies maintenance, enables simultaneous mass changes and increases operational agility. Next-generation Web technology allows instant deployment of standardised labelling across the enterprise – and beyond to suppliers, too. Customer and regulatory requirements Evolving regulations, customer requests and globalisation are forcing companies to rethink their supply chain and labelling processes. To prevent compliance fines or loss of business,

Ken Moir: "By implementing next-generation labelling solutions enterprises can reduce the total cost of ownership and streamline their supply chain operations.” enterprises need a flexible and agile label lifecycle management (LLM) solution. Next-generation LLM solutions allow companies to improve their customer responsiveness and regulatory compliance while freeing up IT resources. Business users can easily create universal label templates without requiring the IT department to customise corporate systems. Modern LLM solutions use universal smart label templates that work across the complete printer population infrastructure and support multiple languages on the same label. The universal smart template reduces the number of label design variations to a few instead of thousands. EU Food Allergens directive, GHS Chemical labelling standard, UDI medical devices label requirements, ePedigree and FDA/GxP (Pharmaceutical) are just some of the regulations that are driving the change of labelling processes. A centralised and more agile Enterprise Labelling Solution delivers easier and faster compliance resulting in more customers, optimised processes and lower costs. Brand protection and avoiding counterfeiting New Web-based labelling technologies have become a powerful tool for fighting

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Opinion

against counterfeiting by some of the biggest global brands. Online centrally controlled label printing enables companies to control what, when and how many labels can be printed by suppliers. This real-time visibility and traceability of supplier label printing prevents production overruns and counterfeiting. Centralised label lifecycle management Label Lifecycle Management (LLM) software helps Enterprises manage versions, revisions and review/track changes. A secure central document repository, approval workflows with electronic signatures and printing traceability minimise risks and help comply with regulations. Design, audit and security features ensure control and consistent quality of all labelling. This is especially critical for regulated industries such as pharmaceutical, healthcare, food and beverage etc.

Printing & Labelling

Rely on a trusted partner to implement your labelling strategy The world’s largest organisations rely on NiceLabel proven technology to implement best practices for their enterprise and supply chain labelling. The next generation technology provides you with a robust platform for standardising labelling across your extended supply chain.

NiceLabel’s platform is the most proven and trusted label technology available. Shipped by the world’s largest printer manufacturers, proven in volume and used by the majority of Fortune 500 companies. NiceLabel’s experienced Professional Services Group ensures best practices implementation, maximum uptime and responsive support and on-site services for your global deployments.

The NiceLabel platform provides the fastest way to configure, deploy and manage a centrally controlled scalable enterprise labelling. First-generation approaches limit your enterprise’s need to adapt to changing customer and regulatory compliance requirements. NiceLabel’s Enterprise Solution gives you the ability and agility to rapidly react to the changing environment and lower the total cost of ownership.

Improve operational efficiency, data accuracy and customer responsiveness by implementing an enterprise labelling strategy Re-think your supply chain and implement an Enterprise-centric labelling strategy. Replace disparate and legacy labelling systems with a centralised configurable labelling platform to ensure a leaner supply chain and more responsive enterprise. 

Enterprise barcode labeling solutions

Standardize labeling across your extended supply chain

Contact us to standardize your labeling www.nicelabel.com/enterprise Americas +1 262 784 2456 sales.americas@nicelabel.com

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EMEA +386 4280 5000 sales@nicelabel.com

Germany +49 6104 405 400 sales@nicelabel.de

China +86 21 6249 0371 sales@nicelabel.cn

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AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE

Success story

Mobile solutions keep production and logistics rolling at Bridgestone ridgestone Corporation is the

and control production and logistics. Strict

other system in the future. Deploying the Thor

world’s largest manufacturer of

quality control and full traceability are

VX8 has also helped the company to improve

tyres and rubber products. It

essential. The product ID of every tyre needs

the reliability of its inventory management by

employs over 140,000 people

to be captured and stored, so that wherever it

facilitating faster and more accurate tracking

worldwide, operates 184 plants

is used it can always be traced back to its

of products. Further savings have come from

in 25 nations and sells products in more than

origin. Bridgestone’s large plant in Burgos,

more efficient use of resources throughout the

150 countries. Bridgestone Europe (BSEU) is

Spain manufactures vast quantities of tyres

production process.

headquartered in Brussels, Belgium and

every hour, requiring real-time visibility of the

employs over 13,000 people. It has nine tyre

production, storage and distribution to

manufacturing plants, several of which are in

optimise operations. For Bridgestone to

Spain, three logistics centres (one in Madrid),

maintain its profitable and market-leading

Bridgestone production workers need to

a major R&D and testing centre in Italy and

position it needs to maximise the availability of

examine every tyre to ensure product quality

two state-of-the-art proving grounds.

products to customers, while minimising

is to the highest standard before capturing

Bridgestone tyres are fitted to one in every

inventory across its diverse range of products.

individual product IDs, a crucial but time-

B

Hands-free scanning

consuming process. Introducing Honeywell

five vehicles in the world including everything

Warehouse efficiency

8650 Bluetooth Ring Scanners has helped to

car manufacturers fit Bridgestone tyres as

Updating its warehouse forklifts with the latest

scanner on a finger, employees keep both

original equipment. In Europe most of the

generation of vehicle-mounted mobile

hands free for handling heavy and bulky

company’s sales come from the aftermarket.

computers has helped Bridgestone to speed

tyres. Data capture is achieved quickly, safely

up data handling, drive down error rates and

and comfortably by simply pointing the finger

eliminate unnecessary forklift mileage, saving

and scanner at the barcode.

from motorcycles and cars to tractors and commercial vehicles. All of the world’s major

The business challenge

speed this process up. By wearing the ring

time, cost and energy consumption.

With tyres critical to the safety of drivers and

Mobile troubleshooting

passengers in the world’s one billion plus

After evaluation against other rugged vehicle-

vehicles, Bridgestone takes its commitment to

mounted computers, Bridgestone chose to

Bridgestone’s business analysts and managers

those using the 200 million fitted with its

equip its forklifts with Honeywell’s Thor VX8

in production, logistics and warehouse

products extremely seriously. Bridgestone’s

mobile computers. As well as being much

operations need to be able to monitor and

company mission ‘Serving Society with

more affordable and more powerful than rival

respond to business issues as and when they

Superior Quality’ requires all parts of its

devices, the fact that the Thor VX8 can run

arise. By deploying several Honeywell Dolphin

business to deliver to the highest levels of

the Windows XP operating system also meant

7800 mobile computers, they are able to

performance and reliability. Meeting this

that it could be seamlessly integrated into

identify and respond to situations wherever

commitment, while keeping the company as a

Bridgestone’s existing warehouse

they occur much more quickly than before.

competitive leader in the global tyre market,

management software. It also offers the

Whether in quality, stock control or logistics,

requires state-of-the-art systems to monitor

company a simpler route for migration to any

these powerful EDAs (Enterprise Digital

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AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE

Introducing Honeywell 8650 Bluetooth Ring Scanners has helped to speed this process up. By wearing the ring scanner on a finger, employees keep both hands free for handling heavy and bulky tyres. Data capture is achieved quickly, safely and comfortably by simply pointing the finger and scanner at the barcode. Assistants) allow Bridgestone’s managers to

deployed in the field. Remote Mastermind

access accurate data in real-time and take

integrates security, remote management,

advantage of photo and e-mail functions for

configuration, deployment, diagnostics and

The range of Honeywell solutions deployed in

fast and effective problem solving. The

detailed reporting in a centralised solution.

different areas allows Bridgestone to fulfil its

warehouse manager also uses Honeywell’s

Changing the configuration of hundreds of

mission: ‘Serving Society with Superior

rugged Marathon field computer, which

devices can be handled centrally in just a few

Quality’ by offering high performance,

enables him to go into the vast warehouse and

mouse clicks, regardless of type of device.

improved quality and efficiency, error

Conclusion

reduction and cost savings. 

maintain contact with mission-critical applications in the ERP system.

Key Benefits

Mobile Device Management

Managing all of an enterprise’s mobile

Fast and accurate inventory management has reduced errors and recovery costs. More efficient use of production resources and reduced forklift mileage.

Overview

labour-intensive operation, especially over an

Accurate real-time reporting and alerts.

extensive site. By successfully deploying

Effective field checks in the warehouse

Client: Bridgestone. Country: Spain. Market: Manufacturing. Application: Inventory management, production control, warehouse management and IT Systems Support. Partner: Alfaland. Product Solutions: Thor VX8, Dolphin 7800, Marathon, Bluetooth Ring Scanner and Honeywell Remote.

devices can be a complex, disruptive and

with access to all applications.

Honeywell’s Remote Mastermind to manage its entire estate of mobile devices Bridgestone

Hands-free scanning of bulky tyres.

has been able to free up its IT department to

Seamless integration with existing warehouse management system, open to

concentrate on core activities, while spending

migration.

a fraction of the time previously required for updates and diagnostics. Disruption to users is also minimised as devices are kept

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Simplified mobile device management freeing up IT resources.

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AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE

Success story

Mobile data collection is taking Hope Mills by storm Handheld computers help a small North Carolina town to achieve greater efficiency for its stormwater inspection programme.

or small towns with limited

F

resources, efficiency is important. But when your entire stormwater department, responsible for inspecting and reporting on 2500

stormwater assets within the town’s limits, consists of only two people? Well, then efficiency is essential. The municipal separate storm sewer system in Hope Mills, North Carolina, a 6.2-squaremile (16 square-kilometer) town with slightly more than 15,000 residents, has to be monitored regularly as part of the town’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System EPA permit. Late last year, when Hope Mills started checking water inlets in addition to the outfalls it was already inspecting, it became obvious that its pen-and-paper system needed to be replaced with a better, more efficient method. The town partnered with Logic Concepts, a

Before the technology overhaul, technicians

Brown was lucky if she inspected and logged

also carried two-page paper inspection forms

35 sites per day.

and digital cameras for data collection.

Greenville, South Carolina-based technology company that specialises in data collection

“My pockets were filled, items were hanging

systems, to choose and implement a new

off my belt, and I had the camera around my

Finding the path of least resistance

system using mobile computers and

neck,” said Elisabeth Brown, a stormwater

When the stormwater and public works

customised software. Now, technicians can

technician and one half of the duo that

departments had had enough, they began

complete many times more inspections in a

monitors and maintains assets for Hope Mills.

asking around about ways to streamline

day, while staying safer in treacherous

Juggling gear wasn’t just an inconvenience

inspections using mobile computers. They

environments and collecting more accurate

for Brown; it was also a safety concern. “With

knew that any device they chose needed to

data.

my hands full, it was hard to navigate some of

be able to withstand drops onto ground or

the terrain, so I was constantly worried about

into water, while being light enough to carry

Through hell and high water

dropping the camera in the water or losing

easily on a belt along with other supplies, and

gear,” she remarked. “And I was afraid of not

small enough to fit comfortably in one hand.

Monitoring assets is no walk in the park.

being able to protect myself against animals.”

Getting to inspection sites can mean tromping

Their search led them to Logic Concepts, who

through remote wooded areas and waterways

If the forms got wet, they had to be redone.

helped them choose a hardware and software

while wearing personal safety gear such as

And after a long day of inspections, Brown’s

package that would fit their needs. They

snake boots and chaps, waders, machetes,

job still wasn’t finished — back in the office,

decided on the small-but-powerful Nautiz X7

heavy coats or gloves. Inspectors always

she had to start the tedious process of

unit from Handheld, paired with Logic

wear safety vests and carry animal-deterrent

logging reports onto spreadsheets, scanning

Concepts’ customisable Atlas360 software

spray and batons for protection from wildlife.

them into the computer and labeling images.

program.

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AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE

The Nautiz X7 meets US military standards for withstanding drops, and it is totally sealed against dust and water. It includes an advanced GPS system, lasts more than a full workday on a single charge, and features a built-in camera with autofocus and an LED flash. Despite its tough exterior, this handheld weighs in at just 17 ounces (490 g), and it is compact enough to hold and use with one hand. The Atlas360 program lets inspectors use customised electronic data-collection forms. “The software fit was based on the fact that they could create inspection forms in Atlas360, then use those forms in the field,” said Taji Richardson, product development director at Logic Concepts. To complete an inspection, Brown uses one set of characteristic traits to identify

The Nautiz X7 units have held up to every challenge, with no breaks or issues to report.

problematic outfalls, and a separate set of traits for inlet maintenance. Using Atlas360,

X7 has been an overwhelmingly positive

Where using pen and paper allowed a

she was able to create electronic versions of

change. Data stays safe until it can be

maximum of 35 inspections per day, the new

her paper forms and load them into the Nautiz

synchronised, and there are no handwriting,

system allows 21 in one hour. Over a full

X7 unit. “Now when she goes out to inspect

weather or manual-data-entry issues to

workday, that is a whopping 700 per cent

assets, she can use the forms she created to

overcome, which improves accuracy

increase in production.

quickly enter the inspection information,” said

immensely. Embedded GPS information tells

Richardson.

the department exactly when and where the

“A complete inspection with pictures takes

inspections took place, so no guesswork or

less than two minutes. All the information

Adding it all up

tedious location recording is needed. And the

collected in the field is uploaded from the

Nautiz X7 units have held up to every

handheld in less than a minute, and it’s ready

While familiarising themselves with a brand-

challenge, with no breaks or issues to report.

to print or email within minutes as well,” said

new technology wasn’t entirely without hiccups, Hope Mills’ transition to the Nautiz

Brown. So what is Hope Mills doing with all However the real proof is in the numbers:

this extra time? They’ve already started using the new system in their waste management and streets departments to log hazards and violations more quickly, and they’re busy dreaming up even more uses. Brown concluded: “Everything we need is in that one piece of equipment.” 

Challenge: Improve efficiency and accuracy for a two-person stormwater department in charge of inspecting and maintaining 2500 stormwater assets. Solution: Employ the ultra-rugged and compact Nautiz X7 computer from Handheld to gather data using customisable electronic forms, GPS and a built-in camera. Result: The Nautiz X7 has allowed the department to increase productivity 700 per cent, enhance data accuracy and improve employees’ personal safety in hazardous worksite environments.

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Company news

BEC celebrates 20th birthday with special Technology Day n celebration of 20 years’ year-on-year

I

growth, Blackburn-based BEC (Systems Integration) Ltd., the UK-based supplier of data capture solutions for supply chain logistics and manufacturing, held a special

Technology Day at the Land Rover Experience Centre in Solihull on 20 May, attended by customers, prospects and partners. After a welcome and introduction to the event by Philip Jarrett, BEC’s director of sales & marketing, Simon Jones, business development manager at Vocollect Solutions by Honeywell, gave a presentation outlining some of the core benefits of Vocollect’s Voicedirected picking solutions. He pointed out how the company’s solutions can allow operators to go about their picking tasks in the warehouse in a more fluid and effective manner. Jones explained that this is achieved by giving one instruction at a time, taking data and

At the Technology Day at the Land Rover Experience Centre (from left to right): Ebbie Khadem, managing director of Spirit Data Capture; Darrel Williams, N.EMEA sales director at Vocollect Solutions by Honeywell; Richard Smith, senior sales executive at SOTI; Tony Hampson, managing director at BEC; Simon Jones, business development manager at Vocollect Solutions by Honeywell; and Adrian Lawson, manager, channel sales UK & Ireland at Honeywell Scanning & Mobility.

commands from the WMS and changing these into voice instructions that ensure users receive

through the use of modern mobile devices and

need for their particular tasks.

applications connected to a reliable network.

the next command as they are finishing their previous action. He added that there are also

Richard Smith, senior sales executive at SOTI,

He also stressed the importance of Honeywell’s

major productivity, accuracy and time

spoke of the importance of mobile device

channel partner network, including the

management benefits due to Voice being a

management, and how SOTI can provide the

company’s relationship with BEC and Spirit

hands- and eyes-free methodology.

right device management solution for a range

Data Capture.

of industries, from logistics to utilities. He

Fruitful relationship

explained there are many things that can be

During the day attendees were able to talk to

achieved with device management, including

BEC’s partners at their interactive stations at the

Ebbie Khadem, managing director of Spirit

the remote control of a device in the

Land Rover Experience Centre, where a range

Data Capture, followed with a presentation

warehouse or out of the field. Smith added that

of products could be demonstrated. Then, in the

outlining what Spirit (which celebrates its own

SOTI is a full device management tool, so

afternoon, attendees had the opportunity to test

10th anniversary this year) can provide in

when the users source a new device they can

drive a brand new 4x4 as well as take a tour of

terms of software solutions that operate outside the four walls. Khadem spoke

put the remote control agent on control functionality will push everything to that

about Spirit’s

the famous Land Rover factory.

the device and the remote

Growth path

knowledge of the

device; applications,

latest wireless and

Wi-Fi settings, files

commented: “The future for BEC really looks

mobile computing

etc.

bright. We are continuing along our growth path

technologies and its

and have also established mutually beneficial Adrian Lawson,

total service and

Tony Hampson, managing director at BEC,

partnerships within associated industries,

support package. He added that Spirit has

manager, channel sales UK & Ireland at

allowing us to further broaden our current

enjoyed a very fruitful relationship with BEC

Honeywell Scanning & Mobility, rounded-off the

product offerings. We are also seeking to build

over the past year and half in terms of finding

presentations by talking about how users can

upon our already solid reputation, and are very

joint ventures together and helping customers

improve operations in the warehouse or

much looking forward to moving into the next

to source the right solutions and services they

distribution centre and outside the four walls

phase of our long-standing history.” 

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“The NAUTIZ X4 is a nicely done multipurpose device that’s a computer, a SKRQHDQDYLJDWRUDQGDGDWDFROOHFWRUWKDWZLWKRXWWULDODQGHUURUĂžWVULJKW into the Microsoft infrastructures still prevalent around the globe.â€? – www.ruggedPCreview.com

NAUTIZ X4 WORK-READY, FIELD-TOUGH


AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE

Success story

Baxi achieves 10 per cent improvement in inventory accuracy thanks to BEC ased in Preston, Lancashire, Baxi

the process to cope with the large number

is one of the leading domestic

of material movements. Richard Griffiths, IT

and commercial heating solution

development manager at Baxi, explained:

The first thing BEC did was to carry out a

providers in Europe. An ideas

“With the volume of products moving

thorough data capture audit of all Baxi’s

company right from the very

through the process steadily increasing, it

business processes at its various sites, and

beginning, 150 years ago, Baxi has always

was necessary for us to look at how we

came up with a solution that would work for its

been keen to come up with new and

could make the whole process easier, faster

specific needs and requirements. The solution

innovative ways to improve upon its award-

and generally more efficient. We already had

which BEC implemented was based on its

winning product offering, from making boilers

an M3 ERP system in place, but we realised

eSmart range of data capture software

which are more energy efficient to designing

that without accurate data being fed into it,

products. Flexible and fully customisable,

boilers that are easy to service.

we simply wouldn’t get the improvements we

eSmart products are designed to seamlessly

were looking for. We decided to move away

integrate into a variety of host ERP systems to

The problem

from manual entry and look for an

deliver improved accuracy and productivity.

Due to the substantial growth of the company

integrate with our existing ERP

Whenever items come into Baxi’s warehouse,

in recent years, in particular within the

infrastructure.”

they are now scanned and systematically put

B

The solution

automated data capture solution that would

away wherever the system tells the worker

renewable energy sector, it became clear that there was room for improvement in the way

Baxi spent a lot of time researching what the

that a particular product needs to go. Once

that components were moved between

market had to offer and eventually chose a

the item is scanned into its storage location,

manufacturing and assembly. Aware that a

solution from BEC, who already had a

this data is recorded so that the product can

higher amount of data errors tended to creep

partnership with the developers of M3.

be accurately picked when required. A stock

in when information was recorded manually,

Griffiths continued: “BEC really stood out

rotation feature within the new system also

Baxi decided to move away from manual data

from the other companies we considered

allows older stock to be picked first in order to

entry and looked to implement a fully

because of their long-standing working

maximise value.

automated data entry and handling system.

relationship with M3 business consultants.

The new system needed to cover the entire

They were very experienced and had highly

In the next stage of the manufacturing

manufacturing process, from goods-in

specialist knowledge in the data capture

process, once all of the required items arrive

through to manufacturing and onto dispatch.

area. They gave us every confidence that

at the production line, the boiler is then built

they would be able to supply an end-to-end

and scanned off at the end of the line. With

For an operation of this size and complexity,

solution that would meet all of our

the eSmart system, every part required for

data had to be captured at many points in

prerequisites and criteria.”

installation is also scanned, helping to ensure customer satisfaction and allowing Baxi to accurately record that the customer has received everything required for successful product implementation. The boiler then goes to the wrapping area where it is wrapped and scanned again, before a label is printed and placed onto the pallet which is then moved to the finished goods warehouse. By scanning the pallet of items after wrapping, the system also automatically updates inventory. Tony Hampson, managing director at BEC, explained further: “The eSmart solution acts as the front end to the supply chain activities, for recording the receipt of raw materials when they enter the components warehouse, and also manages the movement of items around the warehouse. Staff can bring up

The new eSmart system has achieved impressive results for Baxi, covering the entire manufacturing process, from goods-in through to manufacturing and onto dispatch.

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product details when they need them, helping

www.logisticsit.com


Success story

AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE

them to verify that the item has passed all the essential checks and has been packed properly with the necessary fittings and instructions.” During the implementation process, BEC advised on all aspects of hardware selection, working with Baxi to choose the most appropriate handheld computers, fork lift truck-mounted barcode readers, barcode printers and wireless infrastructure, all for use within a rugged environment. BEC also performed a full RF site survey to ensure that adequate wireless coverage was provided throughout the facility. efficient system of managing the movement of

Griffiths added that the support has been first

The result

materials between our sites,” said Griffiths.

class. “BEC always responded very quickly to

“The whole process is easier and faster, and

our requirements, and its team is able to

The new eSmart system has achieved

we have achieved everything we planned

consistently demonstrate exceptionally high

impressive results for Baxi. As a direct result

from the beginning of this process. BEC was

levels of data capture knowledge,” he

of the project, Baxi has made substantial

very flexible and always willing to go the extra

remarked. “The new system that BEC has

improvements in its stock management

mile to deliver everything we required – and

implemented has produced tangible results

efficiency: stock of raw materials has been

more. For example, they even added extra

for us as a business and we very much hope

reduced by 14 per cent, and work in progress

functionality to the eSmart solution that wasn’t

to work with BEC again in the future.” 

inventory dropped by 10 per cent. “Overall,

available in M3, which helped us to capture

we have achieved a significantly more

and control multi-level storage containers.”

Is there more room for profit in your warehouse or distribution centre? BEC specialises in unlocking hidden cost within warehouses and distribution centres. Our eSmart Data Capture Software offers fit-for-purpose solutions to a variety of data capture challenges. Our customers recognise considerable business advantages with their overall IT infrastructure, whilst achieving a significant return on investment. This helps them to get ahead - and stay ahead - of the competition. Want to know more? Call us today on +44 (0) 1254 688 088, visit www.becsi.co.uk or email us on info@becsi.co.uk.

www.logisticsit.com

SOLUTIONS

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MANUFACTURING

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43


AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE

Company profile

Varlink has manufacturing and logistics technology covered arlink works with resellers to

V

Datalogic

offer a variety of mobile computing devices

ideal for manufacturing and logistics

which help businesses streamline operations

applications. Datalogic's PowerScan industrial

and reduce downtime and errors. Below is a

handheld readers the data collection definitive

selection of Varlink’s key brands for the

example of ruggedness and durability. With an

manufacturing and logistics sector.

IP65 rating and a 2m drop spec these rugged

provide the best intelligent mobile solutions for manufacturing and

Datalogic’s rugged scanners and mobile

logistic applications. With a wide

computers can withstand rough handling,

portfolio of products, Varlink can

accidental drops, dirt and moisture, are all

Casio

manufacturing plants.

Casio handheld devices are ultra-rugged and

Datalogic’s Falcon X3 mobile computer offers a

A Zebra ZT200 Series industrial printer gets to work. Zebra printers can improve asset management and record keeping with serial numbers, production codes, configuration and service information.

built to last with IP ratings up to IP67 and drop

pistol grip form factor to deliver exceptional

devices offer a professional solution that

specs up to 3 meters, meaning they can

ergonomics designed to alleviate operator

enable customers to effectively manage data

survive high impact drops within a

fatigue. The Falcon X3 also incorporates a

and assets.

manufacturing plant or warehousing

camera to verify promotional displays and

environment.

document damage or returned goods in

The most recent addition to the Honeywell

distribution centres and manufacturing

scanning range is the Granit 1280i industrial-

warehouses.

grade full range laser scanner which can scan

scanners are perfect for logistic centres and

The DT-X8 is ergonomically designed for

up to 54ft away, withstands multiple drops to

frequent and rapid scanning in tough

Honeywell

concrete from 2 metres and has the capability

wearing gloves, and with a battery life of up to

Honeywell Scanning and Mobility’s range of

1280i is built to withstand the varied demands

25 hours, it can be comfortably used for long

high-performance image and laser based data

that exist in harsh working environment.

working shifts. It’s the ideal device for

collection hardware, including rugged mobile

warehousing and any transportation and

computers and barcode scanners drive

logistics company.

productivity for mobile workers. These rugged

conditions. The shape and feel of the keys facilitate error-free data entry – even when

to perform in temperatures as low as -30°. The

Motorola IMC Motorola’s Industrial Mobile Computing products allows manufacturing plants to monitor, diagnose and resolve asset and equipment issues with ease. Products like the Workabout Pro 4 (WAP4) provide asset visibility, preventing small issues from turning into bigger problems, leading to less downtime. The WAP4’s impressive modularity provides an extraordinary life cycle and minimal Total Cost of Ownership. With a robust 1.8m drop specification and an IP65 rating, this rugged device is built to handle all day use in demanding environments. With the fastest wireless — 802.11a/b/g/n — the WAP4

Honeywell’s Granit 1280i industrial-grade full range laser scanner can scan up to 54ft away, withstands multiple drops to concrete from 2 metres and has the capability to perform in temperatures as low as -30°. 44

IT June 2014

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provides workers with the fastest speeds possible for superior application performance.

www.logisticsit.com


Company profile

Trimble

AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE

logistics. Zebra printers can improve asset management and record keeping with serial

Trimble applies technology to make field and

numbers, production codes, configuration and

mobile workers in ultra-rugged working

service information.

environments significantly more productive. The Juno T41, Nomad, Ranger, and Yuma 2 rugged

Constructed with an all-metal frame and bi-fold

handheld computers help users collect accurate

door, the latest industrial printer from Zebra the

data and work more productively in any

ZT400 Series delivers advancements in print

manufacturing plant or logistics application.

speed, registration and connectivity as well as additional advanced features. ZT400 printers

The Trimble Nomad makes it easy to collect,

boast USB, Serial, Ethernet and Bluetooth

save and transmit data with its many built-in

connectivity along with expanded RFID

capabilities. Compute locations with integrated

capabilities for item identification and tracking.

Extricom

Motorola Workabout Pro 4 industrial mobile computer provides asset visibility, preventing small issues from turning into bigger problems, leading to less downtime.

the Nomad 900 is the ultimate rugged mobile

Extricom is the designer and manufacturer of an

floors, overcoming coverage obstacles, such as

device for industrial workers in extreme

award-winning enterprise Wireless LAN system

metal structures, corridors and changing RF

environments.

which represents a new generation of WLAN

landscapes due to movement of equipment and

infrastructure for providing data, voice, and

goods. The unique Channel Blanket architecture

Zebra Technologies

video services over wireless with the

enables constant and uninterrupted Wi-Fi

dependability and performance of the wired

coverage, eliminating roaming and re-

Zebra’s mobile, desktop and industrial printers

network.

authentication issues. This ensures increased

GPS receiver for navigation applications and quickly track any assets with the integrated laser barcode scanner. Tested to military standards

productivity and improved employee morale at

and labels are designed to offer lifetime identification and protection, improving

Extricom enables seamless WLAN deployment

efficiency and productivity in manufacturing and

throughout the entire warehouses and factory

Mobile Computing & Data Capture echnology TTechnology echnol e

Handhelds

warehouses and distribution centres. 

Printers

portfo of products suitable for With a full portfolio manuf manufacturing a logistics, Va and arlink have the t soluti for you! you solution Wit a host of key With ke features and beneďŹ ts, ďŹ ts, from rugged r rug IP ratings up to IP68, high quality uality printing pr printi up to 600 60 dpi, and fast scan speeds, peeds, our ou pr p od ducts cts can be tailored for your manufactu manufacturing anufacturing requir quirem ments. Whether you requir equi e rugged g handhelds, handhe sccanner ers, printe ers e, Va orr a WLAN infrastructur struct s arlink nk has a range of devices to tailor lo to your needs! need eeds!

Scanners

WLAN System

Call 0190 01904 7 71718 80 0 for f mor m e information. inform nformation.

Mobile Computing Computing & EPoS Distribution

www.varlink.co.uk

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MANUFACTURING

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45


Warehouse Management

I

Success story

Vanderlande achieves process flow optimisation at EDEKA ne of the most modern and efficient meat-processing facilities in Europe was built in Rheinstetten (Baden Württemberg, Germany). At the facility owned by EDEKA Südwest Fleisch GmbH top quality sausage and meat products are produced. The intimate mechanical interlinking and complex IT network architecture of the multiple functions and processes at the high-performance logistics centre, operated by EDEKA's Südwest Fleisch Rheinstetten meat products plant, evoke associations with the German term of ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ – a total art form.

O

Appropriately, the word ‘Kunst’ in German is derived from the verb ‘können’, which means to be able or capable of doing something. A closer look at some of the central activities and their networked functions reveals the completeness of the underlying design and the quality of the high-end intra logistics components that have been used to construct this bespoke centre to the most professional standards conceivable. And how it dynamically and flexibly reprograms itself in order to achieve continuous process optimisation based on the principle of maximum availability in terms of operation and delivery.

Quantum leap in productivity

Feedback from many of EDEKA Südwest’s employees indicates that their tasks are much easier to carry out now in comparison to the previous set-up.

sales staff more time for advising customers, and providing an optimum delivery service via our logistics centre". This process flow-optimised, efficient and flexibly organised plant was put into operation in July 2011. Vanderlande , in its role of general contractor working in close collaboration with EDEKA Südwest, played a crucial part in this project by designing and constructing the logistics centre, which is located between the meat and sausage production area and the shipping department.

from the total range of 3000 products, up to 70,000 shipping units are generated during the six-day, two-shift working week, which are then loaded into 3400 wheeled containers, affectionately known as ‘wheelies’, prior to delivery to more than 1300 EDEKA retail outlets via 120 predefined truck routes. The system includes: • • •

"The new meat processing plant with its integrated logistics centre has resulted in a quantum leap in productivity," said Jürgen Sinn, managing director of EDEKA Südwest Fleisch, Rheinstetten. "As a logistics centre for chilled meat and sausage products that offers a 24-hour delivery service six days a week, we see ourselves as an extension of our retail outlets' food preparation and vending areas.”

Inside this intelligently controlled and networked, exactly synchronised logistics centre that responds flexibly to the smallest of seasonal and daily market fluctuations, an ensemble of high-performance, automated warehousing and order-picking technologies, conveying, sorting, handling and palletisation systems all work together in perfect harmony.

The strategic goals that were set for the new plant included aspects such as "the highest degree of standardisation for individually precut meat products, for which our company is renowned, thus providing an optimal service for our sales counters in order to give our

Perfectly synchronised

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The required product and delivery volumes can only be achieved through a perfectly synchronised combination of employee knowhow and highly advanced logistics machinery:

Pallet high-bay storage system (3,000 pallet locations). 10 depalletising workstations (including two fully automated robot systems). 20-aisle Quickstore HDS shuttle system (50,000 locations; 140 HDS shuttles).

Inside the intelligently controlled and networked logistics centre, an ensemble of high-performance, automated warehousing and order-picking technologies, conveying, sorting, handling and palletisation systems all work together in perfect harmony.

www.logisticsit.com


Warehouse Management

I

Success story

outstandingly: a fantastic example of what you can achieve through good collaboration. We would have no reservations about building another plant with Vanderlande in the future.”

Conveyor system covering over 3000m linking a variety of logistics areas. • Order picking area with over 570 flow racks distributed across 19 workstations. • Two PICK@EASE ergonomic order picking workstations (‘goods-to-man’ principle). • Empty tote system. • Dispatch system consisting of a Posisorter sliding shoe sorer. • Semi-automatic workstations to support the loading of roll cages. Due to the intelligent and flexible solutions

from Vanderlande , EDEKA Südwest’s high standards are guaranteed for the future.

No reservations about Vanderlande Sinn, who is clearly enthusiastic about the plant and its performance, remarked: "All of those involved have done an excellent job, both the very competent and hard-working project team provided by Vanderlande and our own people have performed

He continued: "Feedback from many of our employees indicates that their tasks are much easier to carry out now in comparison to the previous set-up. Praise indeed, considering that our employees had to abandon old habits and routines as each department and each process step now depends on others in the new plant, where we work within an enormously closely linked and intermeshed process cycle. Everything now runs very smoothly, both in the factory and the logistics centre, which can also be attributed to the excellent work done by our logistics manager, Mr Klaus Schmitt, who motivates his team superbly. We are very happy to have implemented this degree of centralisation in our new meat processing plant. The new plant has put us at the forefront of our sector, it has resulted in a quantum leap in productivity, customer satisfaction is high and we have already received very positive feedback.” 

Leading in warehouse automation your challenge, our solution Vanderlande is dedicated to improving its customers’ business processes and competitive position by providing automated material handling systems and services. We improve our customers’ logistics processes and increase their logistics performance today, tomorrow and throughout the entire life cycle.


Supply Chain

Insight

Retail supply chain letting down home delivery customers igures released from JDA’s latest Customer Pulse Report reveal that nearly one in five (19 per cent) U.K. consumers have experienced problems with home deliveries over the past 12 months. The survey of 3139 UK adults revealed that of those consumers who experienced problems, 35 per cent suffered from late deliveries; 28 per cent missed deliveries despite being at home, while 26 per cent did not receive goods despite the retailer/delivery company claiming otherwise. In fact, 84 per cent of consumers believe that retailers should be held accountable, even if they use third-party delivery companies.

F

The research also reveals that an increasing number of consumers are turning towards ‘Click & Collect’ services, with nearly one in two (48 per cent) consumers stating they have used such services in the last 12 months. Of those consumers who have used ‘Click & Collect’, convenience (53 per cent) and cost (53 per cent) were by far the biggest reasons for doing so. In the face of growing customer expectations, 61 per cent of respondents stated they would switch retailer based on receiving an ‘unacceptable’ home delivery or ‘Click & Collect’ experience. When it comes to brand experience, 57 per cent of consumers believe that many retailers’ in-store and online channels are not well-integrated, leading to an inconsistent customer experience. “Today’s retail customer is demanding a seamless brand interaction. Those that fail to provide this risk damaging their brand and receiving rapid and negative exposure

through social media. However, it is clear from the research that a significant number of online orders are failing at the final hurdle,” said Lee Gill, vice president, retail strategy, EMEA at JDA. “Increasing consumer demand and more intense competition is likely to result in greater fulfilment complexity. Many retailers are now offering ‘Click & Collect’ services in an attempt to reduce fulfilment costs, improve service and offer greater convenience. However, the challenge they face is ensuring that they can scale for future growth and deliver a truly consistent experience between their online and in-store operations.”

No substitute for the right product When it comes to online grocery orders, product substitutions remain a big gripe for shoppers. More than half (55 per cent) stated that substitutions are a major frustration. In fact, more than two thirds (67 per cent) of respondents stated that frequent substitutions would make them consider changing their supermarket.

Faster fulfilment When it comes to home delivery, the research reveals that cost (64 per cent) rather than convenience (36 per cent) is most important to shoppers. However, nearly a third of consumers (32 per cent) said they would be prepared to pay a premium for the immediacy and convenience of same day (i.e. within 2 hours) delivery. •

54 per cent said they would chose a retailer

that offers same day delivery over one that offers standard delivery. •

40 per cent said they would choose a retailer that offers same day delivery over one that offers free delivery.

The majority of consumers (57 per cent) would be willing to pay between £1 and £5 for a same day delivery.

Groceries (40 per cent), Electrical & Entertainments (36 per cent) and Clothing and Footwear (31 per cent) were the retail segments consumers were most likely to pay a premium for immediacy and convenience.

Return to sender Online returns continue to be a source of discontent for many consumers, with 49 per cent stating that having to pay for returns postage & packaging is their biggest frustration. This was followed by having to return items by post/waiting for couriers (33 per cent) and the inability to return goods to store (22 per cent). When it comes to online fashion, which is the biggest sector for returns, more than half (51 per cent) of shoppers are returning at least one item per year, with the majority (24 per cent) returning 1-2 items per year. Considering the physical cost to handle returns, this can cost retailers £millions annually. “The continued growth in online shopping will bring further pressure on retailers’ fulfilment capabilities as they scramble to scale their operations to meet record levels of demand. The future also promises to be more complex, as both consumers and the competition force a contraction in order-to-delivery windows from days to hours and even minutes. It is the new retail battleground, where fulfilment excellence will succeed, as digital and physical supply chain operations converge and customer service is balanced with an eye on profitability,” added Gill. The omnibus survey of 3139 U.K. consumers aged 16-64, was commissioned by JDA and conducted by independent research company TNS. 

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Insight

Supply Chain

Worldwide supply chain management and procurement software market grew 7.3 per cent in 2013 – Gartner Key issues facing the supply chain industry are to be discussed at the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference 2014 from 10 to 11 September in London. ith supply chain continuing to be a key source of competitive advantage in driving business growth objectives, the worldwide supply chain management (SCM) and procurement software market grew 7.3 per cent to US$8.9 billion in 2013. The market performed well as supply chain investments kept their priority status and moved forward, even as IT budget decision makers remained cautious.

W

"Both influences have impacted strategic planning processes and have resulted in stronger price-based competition and smaller contracts. Cloud and subscription-based pricing is shifting revenue streams and influencing growth," said Chad Eschinger, research vice president at Gartner. "The impact of Cloud on traditional on-premises licence sales outside of the procurement market, which is heavily influenced by software as a service (SaaS), is minimal today. Hence, while growth rates are high, the starting point is much lower and many of the deals are for specific functionality, rather than full suite deployments." SAP retained its No. 1 market share position in SCM in 2013, with a 24 per cent increase (see Table 1). SAP held 23.9 per cent of the market and reached $2.14 billion in software revenue. SAP has been the market share leader within the aggregated supply chain market for more than a decade. Second-place Oracle's growth in its supply chain business during 2013 was relatively flat from 2012. It retained its position as the second-largest provider of supply chain technologies, growing 0.1 per cent and reaching $1.46

billion in revenue during 2013. JDA Software retained the third spot in 2013, which was a year of transition as it worked through product rationalisation and integration of several years of acquisitions and the 2013 merger with RedPrairie. In the highly fragmented market, the top 10 vendors experienced a slight shift due to acquisitions, but maintained, in essence, the status quo over smaller competitors in 2013, and accounted for 55.3 per cent of the market. Collectively, the remaining 58 vendors experienced annual revenue growth of 18.3 per cent, not only indicating opportunity in the market created by acquisitions, but also indicating strong demand for specialized offerings that are competitive, and often complementary, to the larger-suite providers' offerings. "While acquisition activity has further consolidated the top 10 market share, it has also opened opportunities for smaller, best of class (BOC) vendors," said Eschinger. "These

opportunities stem from users looking for alternative solutions to the larger vendors, as well as fear, uncertainty and doubt associated with the initial phases of a merger and acquisition (M&A). Typically, there is a 12- to 18-month window of enhanced opportunity for competitors. This is evident in the 2013 results, with BOC providers, collectively, more than doubling the growth of the overall market." Additional information is available in the Gartner report ‘Market Share Analysis: Supply Chain Management and Procurement Software, Worldwide, 2013’. The report is available on Gartner's website at: http://www.gartner.com/doc/2729617. Following on from the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference 2014, which took place last month (May) in Phoenix, Arizona US, the conference will also be held in London UK on 10 and 11 September. For additional information about this conference, visit: http://www.gartner.com/technology/summits/e mea/supply-chain/.

Table 1 Top Five SCM and Procurement Software Vendors by Total Software Revenue, Worldwide 2013 (Millions of Dollars) 2013 2013 Market 2012 Market 2012-2012 Company Revenue Share (%) 2012 Revenue Share (%) Growth (%) SAP 2,138.0 23.9 1,721.2 20.7 24.0 Oracle 1,455.0 16.3 1,453.3 17.4 0.1 JDA Software 455.3 5.0 426.0 5.1 5.0 Manhattan Associates 167.5 1.9 160.1 1.9 5.0 Epicor 159.4 1.8 138.2 1.7 15.0 Others 4,568.6 51.1 4,432.9 53.2 3.0 Total 8,943.8 100.0 8,331.7 100.0 7.3 Note: Ariba held the fourth market share position in 2012 and is now part of Gartner's estimates for SAP. RedPrairie held the ninth market share position in 2012 and is now part of Gartner's estimates for JDA Software. Source: Gartner (May 2014)

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Profile for First Sight Graphics

Manufacturing & Logistics IT - June 2014  

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

Manufacturing & Logistics IT - June 2014  

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