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MARCH 2012

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

15TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION: Remembering how things were Special Report: PRINTING & LABELLING Automotive/Logistics special feature: AUTOGLASS

Also in this issue: Streamlining the multi-channel business At the heart of improved productivity Supporting 3PL growth The effective way to strip costs out of your supply chain

For the latest news and to subscribe to the Manufacturing and Logistics IT weekly newsletter visit

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FROM VISION TO DECISION

Warehouse managers want real time information. But what about empowering them to make real time decisions? Presenting VoxPilot: a new type of dashboard that spans the gap between information and action. Through a ‘one-click bridge,’ users can proceed from real time analytics to options for acting on what they see.

VoxPilot’s gadget-powered display is fully configurable, allowing users to tailor the dashboard to their specific job role – so all managers and executives have what they need to run a top-level voice operation in the warehouse. Perceive, Diagnose, Act. All in real time.


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Blink and you’ll miss something For the team at Manufacturing & Logistics IT it seems hard to believe that a whole decade and a half has passed since this journal first came off the presses in 1997. And one thing is for certain; during the intervening years the technology we regularly report on has done everything but stand still. Indeed the rate of change has been truly breath-taking in the way it has enhanced all our day-to-day business lives – and in many cases our social lives to boot. The backbone to many of these developments has to be the World Wide Web, which was only in its relative infancy when we first nurtured the idea of this magazine. One of the key current focuses of interest in the Web in a business sense can be seen in Cloud computing and Software as a Service (SaaS); where your chosen software functionality (and the data that is stored therein) can be accessed through a pay-as-you-go model via your computer – as opposed to the software being installed on your own company server. If we look back a mere 10 years or so ago, before the Cloud and SaaS models had even been fully conceptualised, we will remember when software was often built around rigid protocols, requiring much middleware interfacing in order to get two vendors’ pieces of kit to bolt together and ‘talk’ to one another. Then we became familiar with the phrase interoperability and the idea of making system interfacing a more seamless exercise. I’m sure many of you also remember the year or two leading up to the Year 2000, with all the concern about ‘Y2K’ being a regular read in the business press – even the ‘nationals’. The fear wasn’t just about critical-business data supposedly being at risk, I remember even reading that there was a danger of aircraft falling out of the sky when the witching hour finally arrived. And with ‘Y2K-proof’ systems being heavily promoted at the time, this milieu of concern served some IT solutions firms and consultants very well. Nevertheless, much to the relief of businesses around the globe, very little negative fallout actually occurred after the fireworks and all-night parties had come to pass.

Ed Holden Editor

In terms of business software itself, many vendors have extended the scope of their systems’ functionality. For example, a number of the big industry names from the world of warehouse management systems now offer considerably more than a ‘within the four walls’ solutions set – everything from supply chain management, forecasting & planning, S&OP, yard management and even people management, and all wrapped up with added business intelligence in many cases. Also, let’s not ignore mobile computers, which were less of a ubiquitous presence in the business world a decade or so ago. There is much to consider here: increased form-factor ruggedness better levels of ingress protection, increased battery life, richer software functionality, built-in high-resolution cameras – and the list of developments over the past few years so goes on. On the consumer front, we were introduced to the iPad in 2010; something that has inadvertently had a major effect on the business world’s growing awareness of the B2B tablet PC marketplace. And, of course, Voice-directed picking systems have become increasingly popular in recent times, offering compelling benefits in the warehouse and distribution centre such as increased picking accuracy and speed – not to mention an often impressively fast ROI into the bargain. Then there is the market geography factor to consider. The Chinese and Indian marketplaces for B2B hardware, software and related services, for example, were quite different propositions 15 years ago. Of course, the above observations barely begin to scratch the surface of what has really taken place since we first took receipt of our first edition of Manufacturing & Logistics IT all those years ago. So the question remains, what will the solutions landscape look like in another decade and a half? One thing’s for sure; vision and innovation will undoubtedly continue to re-shape our world.

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IT March 2012

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CONTENTS Manufacturing and Logistics IT March 2012

Automotive/Logistics Focus 6

Autoglass

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

Special Technology Report

Editor: Ed Holden

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Contributors: Plamen Petkov, Datamax-O’Neil Richard Adams, Vocollect Mark Garritt, ByBox

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Manufacturing

Publisher: Dean Taylor Advertising: Alex Prodromou

Printing & Labelling

22

Designer: Ian Curtis, First Sight Graphics

Exel Computer Systems: Newall takes its EFACS ERP system to the next level Sparrows Group soars ahead with Epicor Portsmouth Aviation first in UK to improve business agility with IFS Applications 8 Romag gains more business visibility with Columbus

Planning Lakeland chooses Maple Lake merchandise planning software to streamline multichannel business Woolworths South Africa selects JDA to optimise its retail supply chain Ortec Transport and Distribution: Continuous product development for optimal performance Gerdau Açominas selects Broner scheduling solution for new steckel and plate mill complex

Production: Carole Chiesa

Circulation:

26

Sarah Schofield IT Manager: Peter West Accounts: Carolyn Pither

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Published by:

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

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

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

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ISSN:1463-1172

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Printing & Labelling Epson makes additions to WorkForce Pro range Zebra Technologies labelling tracks semi-finished industrial steel products at Duferdofin-Nucor Datamax-OʼNeil: Safe and secure – todayʼs business motto Citizen printer helps wine manufacturer produce customised labels on demand

Automatic Data Capture Psion Omnii XT15 enables major savings in total cost of ownership Motion tablet computer device is at the heart of improved productivity and accuracy at Poundland DAP Technologies previews two new rugged products at Modex Cognex expands logistics barcode scanning capabilities

Voice Voxware Q&A Vocollect: Supporting growth in manufacturing logistics

WMS Ahlsell benefits from new central warehouse in Norway with the help of Vanderlande Community Foods hits target with ERP-integrated warehouse system from Balloon One Vernon Land Transport installs Delta system to support 3PL growth

Transportation Management Bettavend improves productivity and cuts costs with FleetMatics solution Linde extends Paragon transport planning software across 50 countries CargoWise to provide technology platform for Tigers

Supply Chain Ted Baker rolls out Cegid software to support expansion in US and Asia ByBox: The effective way to strip costs out of your supply chain


www.LogisticsIT.com

www.LogisticsHandling.com

www.TransportDistributionEurope.com


Autoglass

Automotive/Logistics

Clear vision Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with Neil Atherton, the finance director of Autoglass, about the organisation’s IT estate and how this leverages major advantages in terms of internal time and cost efficiencies, together with reliable levels of customer service.

Neil Atherton: Lean and mean operation. utoglass is the UK’s leading vehicle glass repair and replacement specialist, serving around 1.5 million motorists in the UK each year – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Autoglass is part of the Belron Group, the world’s leading vehicle glass repair and

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replacement company. The Belron Group operates in 33 countries and has a team of over 12,500 technicians serving more than 9 million customers a year – an average of one customer every three seconds. In addition to Autoglass, Belron is the home of many of the world’s leading brand names in the vehicle glass repair and replacement industry; including Carglass across Europe, O’Brien in Australia and Safelite in the US. As part of the service, motorists can choose to have the company help fix their problem in one of Autoglass’s 81 branches located across the UK, or, if preferred, one of the company’s 1200 mobile technicians can come directly to the motorist’s home, place of work or any other preferred location. Autoglass also has strong relationships with most of the UK’s major insurance companies, enabling it to take care of customers’ insurance claims if they are claiming for the work on their vehicle insurance. Autoglass is also committed to

reducing the number of accidents on UK roads by regularly launching campaigns to raise motorist awareness about road safety issues and the importance of driving safely.

Driving for greater efficiency There is always a demand for cracks in windscreens to be fixed, although, as Autoglass’s finance director Neil Atherton explains, there is evidence that some motorists are now putting off the job until it has reached a critical stage – typically when the car goes in for an MOT. Additionally, the current general market malaise is causing many people to drive slower and drive less. “This is predicated by the current price of fuel and by the fact that many people have less money in their pocket,” said Atherton. “Miles driven and speed of travel are two key determinants of the market in which we operate.”

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Automotive/Logistics

The other factor that affects Autoglass’s business is weather, and as Atherton observes, the UK has not had a traditional Winter this year. “So there haven’t been a lot of motorists pouring hot water on a frozen windscreen, turning a chip into a crack and therefore in need of our service,” he remarked. “Therefore, the effective use of IT, which has always been important to us, has

Autoglass

centralised IT hub for the Belron Group worldwide, although, due to the size and ethos of the group, a more localised IT culture is now the main focus, as Atherton explains: “A few years ago, part of the rationale behind deploying Oracle was to have every country on a single platform. However, due to the size of the group, some challenges existed around trying to implement a one-size-fits-all business

…the effective use of IT, which has always been important to us, has now become even more critical in a less buoyant economic climate in order to be as time- and cost-efficient as possible.”

now become even more critical in a less buoyant economic climate in order to be as time- and cost-efficient as possible.”

IT backbone When Atherton joined Autoglass seven years ago the company was in the process of implementing an Oracle ERP solution. After the system went live in the UK in 2005 it was subsequently extended to the French business unit within the Belron Group and then to the Irish arm of the business a couple of years later. There were then plans at group level for this system to be rolled out as the

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solution. A more centralised system can work well when you have a very centrally focused and quite autocratic organisation – for instance, in the world of banking – but that's not the case with the more autocratic culture within our own group. So the decision was taken quite recently to devolve much of the non-core operations from the central business unit. This has now gone the whole hog and we're ensuring that all activity is devolved back to local business units, and these business units can then share their own IT best-practice and knowledge among the group as a whole. This rather less centralised IT culture works well for us.” Atherton pointed out that Autoglass continues to use Oracle as

its core IT system in the UK and Ireland. The system is used primarily for all the company’s finance and inventory management requirements. It also provides data for Autoglass’s data warehousing and sits behind a Cognos Business Intelligence & Performance Management software toolkit to provide the company with all the data it requires.

Service Management software In terms of Capacity Planning at Autoglass, Atherton pointed out that this is managed by a front-office software package called Remedy – a proprietary action-request Service Management toolkit and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution that has been customised for Autoglass’s specific customer management requirements. Atherton explains that Autoglass’s customisation of the Remedy software was completed around a decade ago, but because it has proved to be such a good fit for the company’s daily customer and technician liaison activity over this time very few further modifications have had to be made to the system. “When customers have a crack on their windscreen they make a call and are directed to our Contact Centre based in Bedford. They can either use the direct number we advertise or come via one of our insurance partners’ glass lines, which are also directly linked to our Contact Centre. A call centre agent will then log all the details on the CRM system, which has a

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Autoglass

Automotive/Logistics

uses Oracle to interrogate availability of stock at their particular locale. If there isn't the required stock available further stock is scheduled for delivery within a short timeline. The Remedy system is used to scrutinise technician availability. It features a colourcoded Gantt chart which the Contact Centre agents can quickly interrogate to determine availability in a given area: for example, ‘green’ indicates plenty of availability, and amber indicates that only one technician is available for that time slot.” Other integrated software included within the Autoglass suite includes Smart Time & Attendance, used to reduce attendance management administration, lower operating costs, deliver an accurate payroll and provide proof of adherence to working time regulations.

Voice-directed picking

direct link to our windscreen services division in Swansea and also to a number of our insurers. Details will then populate the screen with information about the customer; his/her address and, in the majority of cases,

Around 18 months ago, the main distribution centre (DC) of Belron UK Ltd. (trading as Laddaw) in Bardon, Leicestershire installed a Voxware Voice-directed picking system. Prior to Voxware, order selectors worked with RF scanners, which had to be repeatedly holstered in order to handle the windscreens shipped from the Laddaw facility. And because windscreens have varying curvatures, they must be picked in the correct order for packing into specialised containers, called Supplainers. The focus of the Voxware 3 Voice-directed picking system implementation was therefore on speed and quality of the order selection process. The solution utilises the standard Voxware 3 Order Picking software product, with configurable extensions that translate order data from the Belron Oracle system, based on business rules supplied by Belron, into properly sequenced pick tasks for selectors to perform.

Integration Remedy is fully integrated with Autoglass’s Oracle ERP solution in order for the whole

[Our Voxware Voice-directed picking system] works incredibly well; anything that drives efficiency in the system and allows our pickers to be more productive while enjoying an all-round better working experience is an absolute winner.”

the insurance details so we know exactly what the policy format is. This makes everything, from customer service, to technician deployment, through to final invoicing a very smooth and accurate process.”

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process of action request, job allocation and stock availability to be as smooth as possible. Atherton: “Customers inform us of where they would like the job to be done – whether at home, at their place of work, etc. We then allocate that job to a particular branch, which

“This has gone on like a dream,” said Atherton. “It works incredibly well; anything that drives efficiency in the system and allows our pickers to be more productive while enjoying an all-round better working experience is an absolute winner. We currently have around 65 pickers using Voxware Voice-directed picking with plans to

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Automotive/Logistics

Autoglass

technicians with PDAs. We now have a business case for this based on productivity and also customer service, and there are other ancillary benefits that have helped our business case. Therefore, we plan to roll Motorola MC65 PDAs out to all our technicians over the next 4 to 5 months. By the end of the third quarter of this year every one of our technicians will have a handheld PDA device.”

Mobile printers Atherton added that, in addition to the many communication and data benefits that the PDAs afford, all Autoglass technicians will also shortly be equipped with mobile printers in order for them to print out receipts for the customer once the job have been completed. “Zebra thermal image printers are already being used by our repair technicians, but over the next few months every technician will have one in the consul of their vehicle,” he said.

Further IT developments

The Laddaw DC in Bardon, Leicestershire. increase this to around 150. Our pickers have taken to it incredibly quickly. The training on the system only took a day or two and it's already saved us many thousands of pounds; so we’ve more than recouped the ROI already. Our previous rate was 31 picks per hour; with the Voxware system this has increased to 41 picks per hour. This in itself has improved our productivity by a third. Not only that but error reduction in the number of times we pick one product we’ve probably saved around £100,000 a year.”

Field service PDAs Atherton points out that this year will see an increasingly important role played by Motorola MC65 handheld PDAs used by the company’s engineers for improved communication and data capture in the field. There are around 300 Autoglass technicians currently equipped

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with the PDAs, with a greater number due to be rolled out shortly, as Atherton explained: “At Autoglass we have a number of different technician skill levels, but primarily they deliver two types of product – our replacement technicians actually replace the windscreen, side glass and back glass, and our repair technicians fill in the chips on the windscreen. Our repair technicians are currently equipped with the PDAs, which are used to provide them with updates on their daily schedule on a regular basis. And if they are working ahead of their daily schedule the Contact Centre or the local repair hub can schedule additional work to that technician to optimise activity levels. The business case for a rollout of the PDAs to repair technicians was greater than equipping the replacement technicians; where there is the complexity of marrying up the technician with a piece of glass too. However, we are now in the process of also supplying our replacement

As for the future, Atherton explains that further Oracle upgrades are in the immediate pipeline, along with the addition of functionality within Oracle such as procurement and collection. Autoglass is also currently investigating third-party payment service provision linked through telephony and interactive voice response (IVR). This is to secure further improvements in efficiency. And, although the Oracle ERP system and the Remedy Service Management system are fully integrated and offering major benefits in terms of reliable levels of customer service and business efficiency Atherton points out that, in order to facilitate smoother program changes as required, Autoglass is currently seeking an interlayer/middleware connector to get around the obstacle of hard coding. “So things are evolving in terms of our IT deployment and development,” concluded Atherton. “This ensures we are in the best position both to serve our customers efficiently and also to ensure we remain lean and mean as a business going forward.” n

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Special technology report Printing & Labelling

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

some analysts expect one in three company

not naturally suited

presence in manufacturing and logistics

workers will be using mobile devices by 2013

to this purpose and

applications for many years. But where

– whether they work in field service,

Wi-Fi printing can be

are the current cutting-edge trends to be

warehousing or transport.

complicated,” he

I

said. “The trend is

found? To kick off the debate, Christian

Bischoff, regional general manager EMEA at

Jörk Schüßler, European marketing manager

towards expanding

Datamax-O'Neil, considers that a compact

for Citizen Systems Europe, makes the point

the capabilities of

and, in particular, modular design that allows

that mobile printing is a current big talking

printers and, driven

a printer to be adapted to specific

point, while Cloud computing via mobile

by customer

requirements is now as vital as energy

devices is leading customers to request

demand,

efficiency or offering a wide range of

facilities to print from mobile devices. This,

manufacturers are

interfaces to simplify data communication. In

explains Schüßler, is why Citizen expanded its

providing more

addition, Bischoff observes that the

capability to print from mobile devices earlier

market-specific

importance of small, light and robust mobile

this year. “The challenge is that systems such

products than ever before. For example, the

solutions is growing constantly. He adds that

as iOS (Apple's mobile operating system) are

Citizen CL-S400DT, a new cost-effective

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

development of the CL-S521, is ideal for

No company today restricts itself to products from a single manufacturer; all that counts is finding the best performance.” – Christian Bischoff, Datamax-O'Neil.

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ticketing and handling the fanfold media often used for that purpose.” Matt Parker, head of market development EMEA at Zebra points out that over the past

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Printing & Labelling

Jörk Schüßler, European marketing manager for Citizen Systems Europe.

12 months Zebra has

be driving some of this

seen significant

demand,” he said, “in line

uptake in two core

with a number of

areas: Linerless

technology improvements

printing and RFID.

such as on-pitch encoding,

“Linerless is an

which significantly reduce

interesting

the size of passive RFID

development in

tags/labels while improving

terms of the notable

the accuracy and reliability

uptake in demand

of encoding – and, as such,

over the past year as

cost benefits to the user.”

Special technology report

the concept of removing backing

Tom Roth, senior director,

liner from a traditional label is not a new one,”

printer products

he said. “Environmental and sustainability

management at Intermec,

pressures are perhaps one of the reasons

points out that printer users

behind this trend, not least as the silicon

have always needed

backing material is now formally classed as

products that integrate

‘packaging waste’ in the UK, and as such

easily into manufacturing

carries a disposal cost burden.” Parker added

environments and adapt to

that Zebra has engaged with many clients in

changing applications. And

recent months who express a real interest in

with fast print speeds and

eliminating backing liner from labels. This, he

particularly high print

says, is not just because of the environmental

quality, he explains that

and cost benefits, but also from a health &

Intermec’s own PX Series of

safety perspective – silicon liner is notoriously

printers are highly suitable

slippery, and long coils of it around print

for high-volume, on-

stations can present a genuine trip hazard.

demand and compliance labelling applications. With regard to developments within the world of

changing and becoming a lot more consumer-

False starts

smart printing – with the ‘brainpower’ of

like. Nevertheless, Roth emphasis that this

From an RFID perspective, after years of false

personal computers built in – Roth considers

must not redirect attention from the two most

starts Parker points out that Zebra is finally

that these types of printer have started to

important drivers: improving accuracy and

witnessing the take up of this technology in

enable businesses to change the way their

productivity.

volume within specific manufacturing sectors

printing operations are structured; simplifying

and the onward supply chain. “Anti-counterfeit

processes and slashing costs. However, he

Phil Jones, sales and marketing director at

efforts and demands from retail outlets seem

reflects that the technology is by no means

Brother UK, has witnessed that workforces are

widespread and Intermec is expecting a lot of

going mobile, and the manufacturing and

The trend is towards expanding the capabilities of printers and, driven by customer demand, manufacturers are providing more market-specific products than ever before.” – Jörk Schüßler, Citizen Systems Europe.

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new applications to appear, such as

logistics industry are no different. “Logistics

programmable smart printers able to host

and field service companies in particular are

applications that are simple and intuitive for

beginning to place greater importance on the

users; reducing training needs and improving

ability of mobile workers to print on site,” he

worker productivity. Roth adds that Intermec

said. In this regard, Brother’s RJ series of

customers have been asking for printers to be

‘rugged’ mobile printers allow users to print

a lot more user-friendly, requiring less IT

on site, so field-based workers can print

intervention. Therefore user interfaces are

important information instantly while on

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Special technology report Printing & Labelling

customer premises; improving the experience for the customer by instantly providing professional looking documents, such as sales orders and confirmations, invoices and receipts. Matt Parker, head of market development EMEA at Zebra.

According to Jones, demand for mobile

print technology is also high in the manufacturing sector. He explains that using wireless technology Brother’s RJ mobile printers can be used by warehouse workers to increase productivity by enabling them to print barcode labels almost anywhere in the building. This, he says, removes the need for the worker to use a centralised printer, and thus reduces the chance of mislabelling errors. “Employees in the manufacturing and logistics industry need technology which is

door use. In addition, it has been built to

incredibly durable to enable them to print in

withstand being dropped from 1.8 meters.

Drivers for change

warehouses or on the move in bad weather

This, along with the portability of the machines

What have been the key drivers for the above developments? With regard to smart phone

We have seen many customers adopt defined lean manufacturing principles. And, of course, in a bid to become increasingly competitive and profitable they are looking at means to become even leaner.” – Matt Parker, Zebra.

technology, Schüßler considers that customers are always seeking out and embracing new ways to use these devices. “Cloud computing is fuelling that need and manufacturers are now looking to see how they can bring further services and benefits to

conditions,” said Jones. “The RJ mobile

(which weigh only 850g), make them ideal for

these customers,” he said. Bischoff comments

printers have been designed to meet the IP54

mobile printing in difficult conditions.”

that Datamax-O'Neil sees the challenges as

standard, which means it’s suitable for out-

being driven primarily by end users. “Companies from a huge range of sectors have very high printer technology requirements,” he remarked. “They want individual solutions that increase their efficiency and productivity and allow them to compete effectively in the market. Mobile printers offer enormous potential in this area as they increase employee productivity by up to 20 per cent.” Acquisition and operating costs continue to be another important criteria, says Bischoff. “Requirements such as high printing speed and reliability are driving the development of ever more rugged devices with ever higher performance,” he said, adding: “Companies also plan for the future and demand flexible devices that can be adapted quickly and cheaply if application requirements change.”

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Printing & Labelling

Special technology report

the connections the marketplace can now

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

Among Zebra’s core

make between passive technologies

customer base,

(including barcode) through to active ‘Real

Parker believes

Time Location Solutions’ (RTLS) technologies

changes are

enable much greater visibility of assets; be

undoubtedly driven

they plant, machinery, finished goods or even

by a desire for

people. “The data this increased visibility

continuous

provides allows for much improved decision

improvement and

making and business improvement,” said

efficiency generation.

Parker. “It is this constant drive for operational

“We have seen many

and process improvement by our customers

customers adopt

that is pushing us as an organisation to

defined lean

develop new products and enhancements to

manufacturing principles,” he said. “And, of

help companies achieve more.”

course, in a bid to become increasingly competitive and profitable they are looking at

For Roth, end user requirement has driven

means to become even leaner. It is a never-

printer innovations in recent years. For

ending goal, and while eliminating backing

example, he makes the point that they have

liner from a label may sound like an action

demanded to be able to move the printer from

that would yield little of meaningful value,

one department to another and plug & play

As global corporations’ IT departments are becoming more powerful the topic of data security and integrity becomes more important especially in mission critical applications in manufacturing and logistics deployment environments.” – Tom Roth, Intermec.

computers, scanners and RFID) is ideally positioned to address these areas.

The back-office dynamic In terms of the relationship between current cutting-edge printing and labelling

when you consider the scalable reduction in

seamlessly. “From the technical perspective,

systems and back-office solutions, what have

waste inside the operating environment and

this means solutions such as wifi connectivity

been some of the key recent changes and

the complete elimination of onward waste

are becoming essential,” he commented. “The

subsequent benefit improvements for the

management, disposal costs and overhead, it

recent simplification of programming

user? Bischoff maintains that flexible

very quickly stacks up.”

languages is also the result of end users

integration into existing ERP, CRM or Supply

wishing to interact easier with the printers,

Chain Management systems is increasingly

and to use different applications without major

gaining in importance. “No company today

operational changes.”

restricts itself to products from a single

Parker adds that, from an RFID perspective,

manufacturer; all that counts is finding the best

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According to Roth, the other direction of

performance,” he said. “Stationary and mobile

innovation was that parts need to be changed

printer solutions must therefore be easy to

in-field as simply and as easily as possible.

integrate and communicate perfectly with

“This reduces downtime,” he pointed out.

connected machines.” According to Bischoff,

“Engineers don’t need to be called so

it must also be possible to evaluate and

maintenance costs are also under better

transmit data reliably and seamlessly beyond

control. But let’s not forget that improving

the borders of the system. “End users profit in

accuracy and productivity are the constant

this area from the ever growing number of

driving factors for every manufacturer. In a

emulations available with printer languages

very similar way to Distribution Centre

from the greatest possible number of

deployment environments, the primary target

manufacturers,” he commented, adding that

areas for manufacturing executive technology

users also benefit from a wide range of

investments are: increased accuracy and

communication interfaces such as WLAN or

productivity, reduced operating costs and

Bluetooth. “WPA2 security protocols are now

revenue growth.” Roth added that Intermec’s

used virtually as standard to ensure secure

portfolio of AIDC products (printers,

wireless data exchange,” Bischoff pointed out.

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Special technology report Printing & Labelling

Jones believes that greater flexibility is being demanded from IT systems in general. “The rise of ‘Bring your own device’ (BYOD) is increasing the variety of devices being used in the workplace,” he said. “The latest developments in printing and labelling revolve around this increase in diversity within IT provision in companies, and the demand for workers to be mobile. There is a range of apps that enable employees to print documents wirelessly from their mobile devices; such as Brother’s iPrint&Scan as well as Airprint, Google Cloud printing and Cortado. Documents can be printed directly from smartphone and tablets, allowing

Increase productivity: Exceptional ‘time to first label’ speed and ample battery life.

Security

Versatile: Single device that addresses

And are there any remaining concerns

multiple applications in fixed and mobile

regarding the use of Printing & Labelling

printing.

systems? According to Parker, security

Part of a complete mobile AIDC solution:

protocols with wireless devices are tried and

printing devices outside of the four walls,” he

printer, scanner, mobile computer,

tested so he sees very little concerns regards

said, “whether that be with a rugged

software, media, and service.

data security in the field in relation to printing

Stand-alone ‘smart printing’ – the only

and labelling. However, he adds that security

‘smart’ mobile printers on the market.

gaps in the supply chain from a counterfeit

employees to print from their own devices on the go.” Parker reflects that the ease of

platform/software development is perhaps the most vital change. “Certainly this has allowed for much greater penetration of mobile

handheld or computer, or a more consumer style smartphone device.”

perspective are the biggest security issue. “It is interesting to observe the methods being

The rise of ‘Bring your own device’ (BYOD) is increasing the variety of devices being used in the workplace.” – Phil Jones, Brother.

put in place using 2D barcode and RFID to limit this,” said Parker. “Auto-ID technology can do an awful lot more in terms of verification.”

Roth makes the point that remote device

Continuing the security theme, Roth considers

management and health monitoring are not

Schüßler has heard from distributors and

that data security, data integrity and future-

new in concept. Nevertheless the recent

resellers that there is a growing need for a

proof connectivity remain concerns in large

technological advances in remote battery

high level of reliability in barcode printing

global manufacturing companies. “As global

management, remote firmware updates and

throughout the supply chain. This, he says,

corporations’ IT departments are becoming

the improved two-way communication with the

is because significant costs can be incurred

more powerful the topic of data security and

printers have made it a lot more widespread

when receivers of goods decline to accept

integrity becomes more important especially

and enabled the management of large printer

deliveries because the barcode

in mission critical applications in

estates. “Some of the key changes have

reproduction is poor. “When you consider

manufacturing and

happened in the ability to expand our printing

the transport and administration costs this is

logistics deployment

applications into mobile environment and still

clearly a problem,” said Schüßler, “and

environments,” he

satisfy essential manufacturing need for

when you add the costs of, for example, a

said, pointing out

reliability and ruggedness,” he said, adding

fresh food delivery being rejected and

that Intermec’s

that Intermec mobile label printers that

potentially destroyed then it’s easy to see

industrial barcode

operate on the same firmware platform as the

why there is such a pressing need for high-

printers meet the

company’s rugged industrial printer products

quality barcode reproduction.” This, says

need of those

provide a number of pronounced benefits,

Schüßler, is why Citizen has provided

mission-critical

including:

barcode printers with active ribbon control

applications. The

to ensure that ribbon wrinkle and media

company’s multiple

slippage are eliminated.

interfaces, secure

Super-fast printing solution for WMS and

wireless connectivity

manufacturing.

14

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Phil Jones, sales and marketing director at Brother UK.

March 2012

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Printing & Labelling

Special technology report

(WPA2), CCX and WiFi certifications, and

priority for Citizen,” he said. “Our last six

capabilities through Intermec solutions like

standard support for upcoming IPv6

printers were all fuelled by Energy Star power

Smart Systems or partners solutions like

connectivity facilitate easy integration and

supplies.” Bischoff has observed that over

Wavelink Avelanche (both supported on

long-term scalability.

recent years, the significance of RFID labels

Intermec industrial printer products)

has grown in many sectors. He reminds us

guarantee the visibility and manageability of

that Datamax-O'Neil already offers its

number of installed products and significantly

Future imprint

customers a wide selection of RFID solutions

lower total cost of ownership for our

What might be the next most impactful

such as RFID-compatible printers. “Installing

customers.”

developments to look out for over the next

these devices ensures that companies are

year or two within the Printing & Labelling

already equipped to meet the challenges of

Jones makes the point that during a

solutions space? Parker has witnessed that

the future today,” he said. “By using faster

recession businesses will always look to cut

data volumes are increasing massively. “We

processors and more rugged materials, the

overheads. “And I think we will continue to

see auto-ID technologies being vital to the

development of even more efficient and

see companies demanding Printing &

management of this data,” he said, “be that

robust devices is sure to continue over the

Labelling solutions which are as efficient

passive in the form of a barcode or HF/UHF

coming years.”

and cost-effective as possible,” he said. Jones added that a recent Quocirca report

RFID tag or active with Ultra Wide Band RFID technology. Ultimately barcode labels and

Roth’s view is that convergence of commercial

highlighted the benefits for medium-sized

intelligent tags are the gateway to the

and industrial products are increasingly

businesses in using Managed Print Services

increased information and data that business

driving changes in terms of the user interface

(MPS) to improve workplace efficiency. MPS

is striving for so as to become more efficient,

and ease of use. He explains that Intermec

means that a business is buying ‘printing’

productive and flexible. So we foresee

printer products – manageable from multi

rather than ‘printers’, and Jones comments

increased reliance on 2D barcode and RFID

lingual web pages loaded on every printer –

that this can be a lower cost option for

in a passive and active sense depending on

ensure ability to configure, manage and

medium and large organisations. “Brother’s

the environment or application.”

monitor the device from rugged handhelds, or

MPS are tailored so that organisations can

even commercial products like smart phones

have the best printing solutions for their

Schüßler foresees more and more

and tablet computers. “In more complex and

specific requirements,” he said. n

contributions to ‘green IT’. “This is certainly a

larger installations, device management

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\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Success story

Newall takes its EFACS ERP system to the next level When it came to updating its long-serving EFACS Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system from Exel Computer Systems, high-tech company, Newall, chose to invest in the latest version of EFACS – but not for the reasons you might expect. stablished in 1968, Newall has

E

earned a worldwide reputation for providing reliable, accurate and dependable digital readout systems (DROs) and linear

feedback encoders. A brand of Custom Sensors and Technologies (CST), Newall exports 85 per cent of its products and has distribution and service outlets in 63 countries. With a sister subsidiary in the US and a stateof-the-art manufacturing facility in Leicester, UK, the company employs 60 personnel and is ISO 9001 accredited. Newall has always been a Make-To-Order (MTO) company but has seen the nature and extent of its business change over the years, especially in terms of the growing number of export markets the company supplies its products to. Order sizes

Newall has always been a Make-To-Order (MTO) company but has seen the nature and extent of its business change over the years, especially in terms of the growing number of export markets the company supplies its products to.

can range from repeat individual items for

ERP systems as a whole as opposed to simply

could trust them 100 per cent to deliver. The

individual customers through to sizeable

upgrading EFACS. That way we would be sure

fact that as an existing user the price was

batches of mixed product lines from

we were getting the very best product for

extremely competitive was an added bonus.”

distributors. The company’s lean philosophy

Newall.” The company agreed and after a visit to

means it needs to keep stocks to a minimum

an IT Showcase event, Garbett arrived at the

Newall decided to treat the EFACS upgrade as a

while also ensuring that its On-Time and In-Full

following conclusion. “After hearing lots of sales

completely new implementation and to break this

(OTIF) levels remain consistently high. For

and marketing about why each system was best,

down into 3 phases. Phase 1 was to completely

Newall today, this means an OTIF level of

it was clear that for a company like ours, any of

replicate on the new EFACS system the exact

between 99 and 100 per cent – in the past it

these systems could theoretically do the job.”

functionality from the old system to minimise any possible disruption to ongoing business. Garbett

wasn’t even measured. For Newall therefore, the selection criteria

again, “To reduce any possible disruption we

wouldn’t be the system, it would have to be

aimed to keep each area of the company

something else – something Garbett maintains

running EFACS as vanilla as possible and to

Newall had long since recognised the value of

can be even more important. “When the

follow Exel’s lead in achieving this.” This resulted

working with a business management

systems are essentially the same, what

in a successful go-live, on time in February 2011

information system and had been successfully

matters most is the relationship you have with

with Newall noticing a number of immediate

using its EFACS Enterprise Resource Planning

the vendor, and of course price. Support

benefits, especially in the area of reporting. “The

(ERP) system from Exel Computer Systems since

levels are important to us and I was already

fact we could now generate a range of standard

1998. However, for a number of reasons,

on first name terms with the excellent support

and custom reports, export these to Excel

Malcolm Garbett, Newall’s IT manager for 12

team at Exel. It was the same with the sales

spreadsheets and manipulate them for our wider

years, began alerting the management that the

consultants, implementation team, and the

business purposes provided an immediate

company could be doing even better if it

trainers.” He continued: “For a company like

benefit to the entire business,” said Garbett.

implemented a more modern, state-of-the-art

ours which has no spare internal resource,

ERP system and is candid about his starting

any implementation just has to work right first

point. “While being very happy with EFACS, I

time. We had a decade of proven experience

recommended to the company that we look at

working with Exel at every level and knew we

Best product for the task

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Honesty So successful was phase 1 and so minimal

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Success story

\\\ Manufacturing \\\ this was the same fully-integrated system across both sites delivered a number of significant benefits. For example, the marked increase in reporting flexibility could now not only be enjoyed in the US as well as the UK, it was also possible across both companies as a whole which even at an accounts level, has proved to be very helpful in terms of making wider business decisions.” Phase 3, where the deeper and more powerful elements of EFACS E8 will be explored and implemented, is already underway. In addition to adhering to the rule of trying ‘not to run before you can walk’, Garbett cites the relationship and

any disruption that Newall commenced Phase

unexpected problems when you go live.” This

collaboration with Exel as central to Newall’s

2 less than a month later. This was to

was very pertinent for Newall as a number of

success. “It’s more than the fact that everyone

implement EFACS into its US subsidiary,

US accounting and documentation issues

we’ve ever dealt with at Exel has been

replacing its aging Accpac system that

were discovered and addressed during the

knowledgeable and professional and always

incorporated a number of standalone

implementation phase.

delivered. It’s the fact that they treat us as a unique customer, offer advice and

databases & spreadsheets. This was done remotely, still following the Exel methodology

The approach clearly worked because Phase

recommendations specifically focussed on

except this time led by Garbett. “A key

2 went live in September 2011, again without

our business. Even to the extent that if they

element of the success of phase 2 was the

problems. While both the US and UK

thought we were going to get anything wrong

willingness of all those concerned to be

operations were still only essentially

during the implementation, they would tell us

completely honest throughout the training and

replicating their previous way of working with

and then recommend something better.” n

implementation so that there were no

the latest version of EFACS E8, the fact that

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\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Success story

Sparrows Group soars ahead with Epicor Sparrows Group, a provider of offshore lifting equipment, crane engineering, operations and maintenance services, has selected the Epicor next-generation enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to support the group’s further international growth. ince 2000, Sparrows has grown

engineering and field service time/resource

teams, or plan

from a £50 million (GBP) turnover

planning elements of our business. It also

effectively for

company with operations in three

gives us the facility to deliver our offshore

future needs,” said

countries to one of over £160

crane service more efficiently to clients

Malcolm Fox, director,

million, operating in 12 countries.

worldwide, further enhancing our renowned

product marketing for Epicor. “Epicor Human

service in this area.”

Capital Management can be configured to

S

integrate with our field service and CRM

The new Epicor implementation will replace three existing systems used across Sparrows’

Sparrows Group reviewed a number of

modules to allow the planning, forecasting

global operation, giving the company a single

solutions before selecting Epicor. The project

and allocation of resources, as well as identify

unified view of the business. Sparrows had

team felt that Epicor provided an excellent

individuals with skills that might be required

been impressed with the functionality of Epicor Vantage, which it used in its US operation, but it was clear that by upgrading to the next-generation ERP solution, the whole group could benefit. The new solution will make extensive use of Epicor Human Capital Management and Field Service Management modules, as well as its advanced Customer

Epicor ERP significantly adds to the earlier Vantage package we operated at our US locations. While retaining its strength in manufacturing support, it will allow us to manage much more closely the engineering and field service time/resource planning elements of our business.” – Martin Brayshaw, Sparrows Group.

Relationship Management features. balance between features and ease of use, as

for a given project. By understanding the

Increasing scale and complexity

well as supporting the company’s future

talent that exists in a business and how it is

needs in terms of scalability and flexibility, as

being used, managers can see where skills

“The rapidly increasing scale and complexity

it evolves to take advantage of new

gaps might exist and ensure they are

of our business calls for greater sophistication

opportunities. “Epicor had that perfect

recruiting employees with the right skills sets

in the management information systems

balance that we were looking for, without

to plug those gaps.” n

supporting it,” said Martin Brayshaw, finance

compromising on the features and flexibility

and business improvement executive at

we needed,” added Brayshaw.

Sparrows Group. “Epicor ERP significantly adds to the earlier Vantage package we

Plugging the skills gaps

operated at our US locations; while retaining its strength in manufacturing support, it will

“Very often service organisations struggle to

allow us to manage much more closely the

manage and assess the utilisation of their

Very often service organisations struggle to manage and assess the utilisation of their teams, or plan effectively for future needs. Epicor Human Capital Management can be configured to integrate with our field service and CRM modules to allow the planning, forecasting and allocation of resources, as well as identify individuals with skills that might be required for a given project.” – Malcolm Fox, Epicor.

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Epicor Software Corporation at a glance Epicor Software Corporation delivers business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail and services industries. With nearly 40 years of experience serving midmarket organisations and divisions of Global 1000 companies, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Point of Sale (POS), Supply Chain Management (SCM), and Human Capital Management (HCM) enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability.

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Success story

\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Portsmouth Aviation first in UK to improve business agility with IFS Applications 8 Portsmouth Aviation, one of the UK’s leading mechanical and aeronautical engineering companies, has chosen IFS Applications 8 to streamline operations and improve business agility. ortsmouth Aviation, a current IFS

P

customer, is one of the first companies in the world to participate in the IFS Applications 8 Early Adopter programme, and

to benefit from the enhanced features of the new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application. IFS Applications 8, the latest

The application’s component-based architecture has allowed us to tailor the system to suit our needs as we have evolved and grown. It’s clear that we’ll be able to continue doing this with IFS Applications 8, and keep streamlining our business processes, reducing operational costs, and improving profitability.” – James Greaves, Portsmouth Aviation.

version of IFS’ ERP application, includes a number of functional improvements and is

(IEE) user interface as a standard part of the

system to suit our needs as we have evolved

developed in close cooperation between IFS

solution. The interface is based on the latest

and grown. It’s clear that we’ll be able to

and its customers. Portsmouth Aviation is one

usability research and offers many intuitive

continue doing this with IFS Applications 8,

of a handful of IFS early adopters around the

features for filtering, searching and navigating

and keep streamlining our business

world working closely with IFS research and

data in order to suit each individual role and

processes, reducing operational costs, and

development teams to ensure that the release

competency within a company.

improving profitability.”

will meet the demanding standards of IFS customers.

Easy-to-use interface

Paul Massey, managing director at IFS Europe West said: “IFS Applications 8 contains a

James Greaves, systems manager at

number of innovations that benefit

Portsmouth Aviation, commented: “Everyone

engineering companies like Portsmouth

Founded 80 years ago as a flying service,

at the company logs into IFS Applications first

Aviation, including a more intuitive interface,

Portsmouth Aviation has evolved several times

thing in the morning, and uses it throughout

enabling better data quality, and user-defined

since then, and in recent years has

the day, so a clear and easy-to-use interface

fields, making the interface customisable and

successfully diversified into a business that

is vital. We’ve always found IFS Applications

thereby a better fit for all users, regardless of

conducts mass manufacturing and bespoke

very usable, but improvements in IFS

position or competency. By participating in

manufacturing projects. The company has

Applications 8, such as the new customisable

the Early Adopter programme, Portsmouth

been an IFS customer since 2005, and cites

data fields, will no doubt enhance our

Aviation will influence the development of the

IFS Applications as a key enabler of both its

productivity further – among other benefits.

application, and be one of the first companies

recent transformation and its continuing

The application’s component-based

in the world to enjoy its enhanced

growth. At present, the company uses IFS

architecture has allowed us to tailor the

functionality.” n

Key enabler

Applications for document management, human resources, finance and e-invoicing, maintenance, customer management and product data management. Portsmouth Aviation has chosen to implement IFS Applications 8 in order to access the user-

IFS at a glance IFS is a public company founded in 1983 that develops, supplies, and implements IFS Applications, a component-based extended ERP suite built on SOA technology. IFS focuses on agile businesses where any of four core processes are strategic: Service & Asset Management, Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Projects. The company has 2000 customers and is present in more than 50 countries with 2700 employees in total. Net revenue in 2010 was SKr 2.6 billion.

friendly and flexible IFS Enterprise Explorer

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\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Success story

Romag gains more business visibility with Columbus Columbus has entered an agreement with Romag Ltd to replace its current systems with a fully integrated 52-user ERP system based on Microsoft Dynamics AX.

omag is a glass processor

R

specialist serving the solar PV (photovoltaic), security glass, architectural glass and transport glass market sectors. The

company with its manufacturing plant is based in Consett, County Durham. Romag, which has been in operation since 1943, was acquired by the Gentoo Group in 2011.

Wide range Romag produces a range of laminates, including laminated solar panels generating renewable energy by combining float and tempered glass, modern plastics technology

supports our need to be responsive to future

and specialist interlayers. Among other things,

market and business demands.”

Strategic focus Charlton concluded: “We have a clear

the company also produces bullet and bomb blast proof glass that is used as protection in

The Microsoft Dynamics AX solution with 52

strategic focus in building targeted solutions

military vehicles, government buildings,

enterprise users replaces two older systems,

to the process and discrete manufacturing

embassies and VIP residences in worldwide

GlassPro for specialist sales order processing

sectors, and our ambition is to become the

locations.

in the glass processing industry and a

leading solution provider in this area. This

Pegasus Opera accounts package that

agreement is a testament to our focus and

“We work in a highly competitive global

previously managed financials, purchasing

commitment on providing world leading

market and recognise that to stay ahead our

and invoicing.

solutions to the manufacturing sector.” n

business needs access to joined up, accurate and timely information,” said Sean Brodie,

Simon Charlton, sales director at Columbus

finance director at Romag. “The Microsoft-

UK, commented: “The solution we provide will

based ERP system from Columbus enables us

allow for much greater integration and

to make better decisions, based on real-time

visibility. By using the same solution across

data that’s easier to access and action. The

the business, Romag will be able to optimise

Columbus solution also ensures that it

processes and streamline productivity.”

We work in a highly competitive global market and recognise that to stay ahead our business needs access to joined up, accurate and timely information. The Microsoft-based ERP system from Columbus enables us to make better decisions, based on real-time data that’s easier to access and action. The Columbus solution also ensures that it supports our need to be responsive to future market and business demands.” – Sean Brodie, Romag.

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Columbus at a glance With solid industry know-how, Columbus is a preferred business partner for ambitious companies within the food, retail and manufacturing sectors. Columbus’ key deliverables include flexible and future-safe ERP, CRM, BI and related business applications that deliver competitive advantage. We know how to adapt and implement our proven Microsoft-based solution sets to maximise efficiency and overall business performance – for immediate impact. Exceeding 20 years of experience and 6000 successful business cases, Columbus currently employs over 1000 dedicated staff working out of 38 offices in 18 countries.

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lanning Success story

Lakeland chooses Maple Lake

merchandise

planning software to streamline multi-channel business akeland, the UK kitchenware

L

retailer with 57 stores and a fastgrowing multi-channel business, has started to implement Maple Lake’s merchandise planning

solution in a bid to ensure high levels of availability for its customers. “Expansion and the inherent complexity in managing multiple channels has made us look harder at IT tools that give us more control and visibility in managing stock to sales,” said Matthew Canwell, buying director at Lakeland. The kitchenware retailer, which carries around 4000 product lines – everything from kitchen appliances to cooking utensils and cleaning products – has always prided itself on high levels of product availability and customer service. “We are a customer-centric retailer and so ensuring we have the right stock levels to meet customer demand is key to us,” commented Canwell.

We are a customer-centric retailer and so ensuring we have the right stock levels to meet customer demand is key to us.” – Matthew Canwell, Lakeland.

Improved visibility The Maple Lake software gives improved visibility of how different departments are performing and what sells when and where. It can be very time consuming analysing stock and sales on a daily or weekly basis, but the

Lakeland’s flagship store in Windermere.

technology helps by automatically identifying any potential gaps on the shelves and highlighting what customers are wanting and highlighting what exactly to buy more of. The

Maple Lake at a glance

Maple Lake QuickAssortment roll-out will be

Maple Lake Ltd. is a software and services provider for specialty retailers worldwide. The company offers QuickAssortment, QuickAllocation and QuickAnalytics, a set of applications that refines assortment management, allocation planning and ‘Open To Buy’ efforts for maximum sales and profitability. The company’s customers represent 10,000plus retail locations, including adidas Group, Aeropostale, Arcadia Group, Barneys New York, Columbia, Levi Strauss & Co. and Steve Madden. Maple Lake, a privately-held company formed in July 2000, is based in Markham, Ontario, Canada, with offices in the UK and Australia. Maple Lake is a certified Microsoft partner.

completed by summer 2012. “With our pedigree of so many successful deliveries at retail fashion businesses, we’re delighted to work with an outstanding housewares brand like Lakeland,” said Bob Jolley, group commercial director, Maple Lake. n

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lanning Success story

Woolworths South Africa

selects JDA to opt imise its retail supply chain needs and meet these needs with ever

their business and the precision, speed and

increasing consistency. Woolworths offers a

coordination needed to address customer

wide range of quality clothing, food, home

needs all the way down to the store and shelf

ware, beauty and financial services.

level. Woolworths’ continued investment in

Woolworths intends to use the JDA solutions

JDA solutions is proof that more and more

across its food business to improve inventory

retailers recognise that leveraging our supply

“ Razat Gaurav: “Retailers like Woolworths understand the customer-centric nature of their business and the precision, speed and coordination needed to address customer needs all the way down to the store and shelf level.”

We constantly work to make ‘the difference’ for our customers every day. By selecting JDA’s proven retail solutions, we are investing in and improving our information technology systems and strategies. Implementing these additional JDA applications over the next three years will allow us to maintain our competitiveness, improve our efficiency and thus our service to our customers, and to focus on our journey towards sustainability.” – Adrian Gebers, Woolworths South Africa.

allocation and replenishment across its supply

chain solutions can be a competitive

chain, tailor merchandise assortments to meet

differentiator in their business and positively

individual customer demand, monitor supply

impact their customers, revenue and

oolworths, one of South

W

chain performance across multiple channels

profitability.” n

Africa’s leading retail

and networks, and achieve more competitive

chains, selected a number

pricing for its customers at its more than 400

of JDA solutions in the

stores across South Africa.

Fulfilment, JDA Channel Clustering, JDA Assortment Optimisation, JDA Planogram

Journey towards sustainability

Generator, JDA Shelf Price Optimisation, JDA

“We constantly work to make ‘the difference’

Promotion Optimisation, and Markdown

for our customers every day,” said Adrian

Optimisation, were chosen to help increase

Gebers, head of IT business applications,

demand visibility across the entire trading

Woolworths South Africa. “By selecting JDA’s

network, identify consumer preferences, and

proven retail solutions, we are investing in and

optimise assortment, merchandising and

improving our information technology systems

pricing processes with the aim of improving

and strategies. Implementing these additional

sales and customer satisfaction for its food

JDA applications over the next three years will

business.

allow us to maintain our competitiveness,

fourth quarter of 2011. The

solutions, including JDA Demand, JDA

improve our efficiency and thus our service to our customers, and to focus on our journey

Competitive pricing

towards sustainability.”

Woolworths’ core philosophy is underpinned by quality, offering customers consistently

Razat Gaurav, senior vice president, Europe,

high quality merchandise at affordable prices

Middle East, Africa, JDA Software, added:“We

and incorporating developments across the

are delighted to have South Africa’s leading

business. Building lifetime relationships with

retailer continue their investment in JDA

customers remains critical to the business’

solutions. Retailers like Woolworths

success, ensuring that they understand their

understand the customer-centric nature of

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JDA Software Group at a glance JDA Software Group, Inc., The Supply Chain Company, is a provider of supply chain management, merchandising and pricing excellence solutions worldwide. JDA helps over 6000 companies of all sizes to make optimal decisions that improve profitability and achieve real results in the discrete and process manufacturing, wholesale distribution, transportation, retail and services industries. With an integrated solutions offering that spans the entire supply chain – from materials to the consumer – JDA leverages the powerful heritage and knowledge capital of acquired companies such as i2 Technologies, Manugistics, E3, Intactix and Arthur. JDA’s multiple service options, delivered via the JDA Private Cloud, provide customers with flexible configurations, rapid time-to-value, lower total cost of ownership and 24/7 functional and technical support.

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lanning Product news

Among other advantages, Ortec TD contains new functionality to assist logistics businesses in dealing with failed pickups and/or deliveries during route execution.

Ortec Transport and Distribution: Cont inuous product development for optimal per formance rtec's continuous product

These reports can even be viewed on the

Also noteworthy is the new functionality for

improvement process is

Apple iPad without the user having to open

capturing environmental zone data. Users can

evident with the latest

the Ortec TD application.

define zones or 'polygons' based on any truck

O

bans in force in a particular region or city and

updates to its Advanced

these restrictions will be taken into account

Planning solution for vehicle

routing, dispatch and execution – Ortec

Analytics dashboard

during the route and resource assignment

Transport and Distribution (Ortec TD).

A new analytics dashboard is now available to

calculations. This feature will increase

Enhancement packages 1 and 2 extend the

support planners and dispatchers in meeting

planning efficiency, save time and avoid

Ortec TD 2010 major release with several

management performance goals, i.e. average

unnecessary penalties.

ease-of-use improvements and major new

no. of stops, or revenue per route, etc. A

functionality, particularly in the area of

number of graphical display formats can be

reporting. Daniel Dam, product manager at

set by the user at route level, ie. gauges,

Focus on the environment

Ortec, commented: "Our product roadmap is

histograms, etc. These can also indicate target

Sustainability is at the forefront of Ortec's

continually evolving to take into account

values, which provide the planner with real-

product and service development. "We're

technological developments and specific

time feedback about whether the quality of the

really pleased to offer a new CO2 emission

industry requirements, and we're really

plan is below or above target. Daniel Dam

calculator that can assist companies in

pleased to be able to deliver to market this

added: "In the future, our product roadmap will

determining the carbon footprint of their daily

latest release of enhancements."

focus on Business Intelligence (BI) reporting,

transport routes,� said Dam. “Users can set

offering a framework for true BI reports based

the emission rate for each vehicle in their

on history and trends."

fleet, and when loads are assigned to a

Interactive reporting

vehicle the planner can assess the impact in terms of carbon dioxide volumes. This will

One of the most significant and more visual

Analytics module will provide users with a

Functionality enhancements for optimal performance

number of real-time, interactive, operational

In addition to these enhanced reporting

reports that will benefit planners and

features, Ortec TD also contains new

management alike. KPIs and target variables

functionality to assist logistics businesses in

Technical improvements

can be defined in the system in order to

dealing with failed pickups and/or deliveries

Ortec comments that technology and

compare plans against specific benchmarks

during route execution. The system supports

innovation are key ingredients for any of its

such as average load per trailer or average

both the manual and automatic input and

solutions, and with EP1 & 2, a number of

transportation cost per unit loaded etc. A key

processing of failure notifications and the

improvements have been made in this area.

benefit of these new reports is the ability to

consequences thereof. Planners are also set to

For example, enhancements have been made

interact with the data. Records can be

benefit from a new optimiser that integrates

to the Ortec TD web client, which is a web-

expanded and closed, users can drill-down

with the existing Ortec TD optimisers in order

based application that enables users to work

via hyperlinks, and if required, the data can

to smoothen depot departure times. This

with the main components of the software via a

be exported. Furthermore, as the module is

enhancement is particularly useful for

web client interface. Furthermore, with Ortec

based on Microsoft SQL Server reporting

preventing loading bottlenecks in distribution

TD EP2 users working in different time zones

services, users will have the flexibility to

environments, particularly early in the morning

will be able to use the system concurrently. n

create their own business-specific reports.

when route starting times tend to be clustered.

developments is in the area of data sheet and KPI reporting. The new Reporting and

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inevitably support organisations to monitor their carbon footprint and could even be used to track against sustainability KPIs."

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P

lanning Success story

Gerdau Açominas selects Broner scheduling solution for new steckel and plate mill complex roner Metals Solutions, the

B

specialist provider of integrated MES, supply chain and scheduling solutions for the

metals industries, has been

The objective of the new project is to provide the new production lines with Advanced Planning Scheduling solutions that will support Gerdau's production, inventory and sales strategies and place Gerdau Açominas among the most efficient producers of plates and hot coils.”

selected by Gerdau Açominas to implement a new advanced planning & scheduling solution

plate mill. The process uses current

finished product including the new steckel

for Gerdau’s new plate and steckel mills in

inventories, and caster schedules to

mill and plate mill, as well as the existing

Minas Gerais, Brazil. The objective of the new

generate multiple rounds, based on user-

heavy sections mill and billet mill.

project is to provide the new production lines

defined sequencing rules and parameters.

with Advanced Planning Scheduling solutions

The scheduling solution will also include the

that will support Gerdau's production,

ability to re-allocate slabs already loaded in

minimum inventory; optimum delivery

inventory and sales strategies and place

the reheat furnace to alternative orders

performance; maximum yield; and

Gerdau Açominas among the most efficient

should mill problems prevent the scheduled

minimal production costs.

producers of plates and hot coils.

specification being produced.

The ability to operate the new plant with:

David Mushin, CEO of Broner Metals

Plant-wide production & material plan

Benefits

Solutions, commented: “Broner has a long

Some of the benefits which will be provided

standing relationship with Gerdau Açominas

by Broner’s new solutions are said to include:

supplying advance scheduling solutions since

Broner’s Production Planner (PP) and Material Planner (MP) modules will be implemented to

1999 and I am pleased to continue this •

Integration of capacity balancing and

relationship to assist Gerdau with their

the new steckel and plate mill complex to

material flow planning across the entire

business needs.” n

provide an integrated, plant-wide, production &

plant from the Blast Furnace to shipping

material plan from steel making, rolling finishing and shipping. The Plate Combination module (PC) module will be introduced to provide functionality specific to the planning of plate mills. This functionality provides the ability to combine several orders for plate into one, larger master plate; and child slabs into mother slabs. PC groups orders by similar characteristics such as finished gauge, finished width, grade and quality and determines the ‘optimal’ cutting pattern for the master plate. The new Hotmill Scheduling solution (HS) will provide specialised programming capabilities for the single reheat furnace

Broner Metals Solutions at a glance Broner Metals Solutions specialises exclusively in delivering, metals specific, MES, planning, scheduling and supply chain solutions to the steel and aluminium industries. Broner solutions help metals producers respond to the greatest challenges of today’s economic climate, by improving customer service, improving productivity and reducing costs. Broner Metals Solutions provides packaged, configurable products that are designed specifically to manage the complexities and variabilities of metals production. The company’s solutions range from: business optimisation & order promising; through production and material planning, integrated/through-scheduling, production scheduling; to MES Production, Quality, Inventory and Equipment Management and Warehouse management. Broner Metals’ MES solutions are designed to the ISA95 standards and include tracking and data management & analysis.

and feedstock to both the Steckel mill and

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Printing & Labelling

Product news

Epson makes additions to WorkForce Pro range Epson has added to its WorkForce Pro range, with the WP-4095 DN and WP4595 DNF. These printers are specifically designed to offer cost and energy efficiency, high-quality output and durability to enterprise workgroups as well as small and medium-sized businesses.

E

pson comments that the These additions …offer the best of both worlds: durability and WorkForce Pro WP-4095 DN performance combined with economy and ecology. These devices and WP-4595 DNF printers are ideal solutions for enterprise offer users a massive 80 per cent reduction in energy consumption workgroups, offering the compared to competitive lasers, with a universal print driver and a emulations that IT managers expect, along range of emulations, providing both efficiency and environmental with performance, reliability and up to 50 per cent lower cost per page than benefits.” competitive lasers[1]. These inkjet printers – Peter Silcock, Epson UK are said to offer a genuine alternative to These devices offer users a massive 80 per English, German, French, Italian, laser products and provide further cost cent reduction[4] in energy Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch. Requires savings due to a super-fast automatic consumption compared to a wireless connection to the internet. double-sided printing function, reducing competitive lasers, with a paper usage. universal print driver and [4] Comparison made against the top 10 Businesses benefit from a range of A4 Colour Laser Printers & MFPs sold lower ink costs with a emulations, providing in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, & UK choice of high-yield both efficiency and in Q1 2011 tracked by IDC; power cartridges providing environmental consumption calculated using up to 3,400 pages benefits. With the manufacturers' published data for each[2], with a print WorkForce Pro Print/Average Mode as of July 2011. resolution of range, businesses 4800x1200dpi. This no longer have to [5] Determined in accordance with ISO/IEC provides businesses compromise between 24734 showing the average of ESAT / with top-quality prints reliability, performance FSOT from the Office Category Test for that are water, and cost-efficiency.” default simplex / duplex. n smudge, highlighter WP-4595 DNF. and fade resistant, as they dry instantly References: thanks to Epson DuraBrite Ultra ink. Both devices are network-ready for easy sharing [1] Comparison made against the top 10 and offer PDL support, including PCL6, A4 colour laser printers and MFPs sold PCL5c and genuine Adobe PostScript 3 in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and emulations. They also come with Epson the UK in Q4 2010 as tracked by IDC. Connect[3] to meet users’ mobile printing Cost per page is calculated from needs, enabling them to print on the move manufacturers' official list prices for from smartphones and tablet PCs. toner cartridges and published yields in Peter Silcock, product manager at Epson France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK, said: “These additions to the UK as of December 2010. WorkForce Pro line-up are created for seamless integration into enterprise [2] In accordance with ISO/IEEE workgroups. They offer the best of both 24711/24712. worlds: durability and performance combined with economy and ecology. [3] Supports the following languages: WP-4095 DN.

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Opinion

Printing & Labelling

Zebra Technologies labelling tracks semi-finished industrial steel products at Duferdofin-Nucor

B

ased on the strategic alliance between two major global players in the steel industry, Nucor Corporation and Duferco Group, Duferdofin-Nucor is now the primary manufacturer of beams, long rolled sections, merchant bars and rounds in Italy, Europe and North Africa. The combination of knowhow, technology and human resources has given rise to a cohesive, robust and integrated network of companies, able to achieve maximum synergies in production, at competitive costs and with minimal environmental impact.

Transparency and traceability The company, based in San Zeno Naviglio in the province of Brescia, Italy – and with 4 production units in this same location – controls the entire production chain, from liquid steel to end product. For more than a decade, Duferdofin-Nucor marked semifinished products (dog-bone, blooms and billets) by applying paint manually and writing a casting number on each piece of steel for reference. This manual system limited data completeness and was also subject to a high level of human error. Over time, this system proved to be inadequate, inefficient and incapable of guaranteeing the transparency and traceability of the entire production process. Duferdofin-Nucor required a durable label that would ensure reliable grip on uneven surfaces and provide resistance to the dust and soil that characterise steel warehouses. The labels would also be required to withstand temperatures of approximately 100°C as well as long journeys on open railcars and therefore variable weather conditions. Consequently, the company started to explore alternative solutions offered by the market and used by other manufacturers, testing different labelling systems, such as metal labels applied with silicone, plastic tags applied by nail gun and various types of adhesive labels.

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Superior adhesive power A Zebra channel partner worked closely with Duferdufin-Nucor to identify a solution that met the end user’s requirements. Zebra 8000T Ultra High-Tack Matte labels were chosen for their superior adhesive power and their resistance to extreme temperatures (-40° to 150°C), ensuring the steel blooms’ traceability from the very beginning of the manufacturing process in the steel mill. The channel partner implemented this solution because the Zebra labels are manufactured using high performance film coating made of heat resistant polyester, combined with ultrastrong special adhesive. This works on difficult-to-label surfaces, making them effective under extreme heat and in the event of exposure to chemicals and other hostile substances common in steel production facilities. The early stage of the identification process involved labelling the semi-finished products with information about section, length, quality and casting bloom number, and a barcode that enables the loading and unloading of stock by using handheld optical character readers. The company used Zebra Z Series mid-range printers to print these barcode labels. These printers are made of die-cast metal with a broad range of features and options, capable of fast production speeds and designed to ensure high performance for the most challenging processes and environments, such as heavy industry. Between 500 and 1200 labels are printed daily on-demand and then applied manually to the semi-finished products.

Error reduction

manufacturing process and easily tracked. The Zebra channel partner also developed a specialised portal reader with an industrial scanner that automatically identifed the end products. The use of this auto-ID technology solution has helped eliminate errors and verify the materials being used. This solution ensures complete traceability of materials as well as allowing for significant time and cost savings. Furthermore, the transition to this process required minimal upheaval as the staff only needed a quick training session to become familiar with using Zebra printers and the hand-held optical scanners deployed in this solution. “Finding a solution capable of withstanding the extreme conditions of industrial environments has been very challenging, but we have finally found the right product for our needs”, said Sergio Bassano, head of programming at Duferdofin-Nucor, Italy. “In future we plan to implement this auto-ID technology solution, so that the identification of the blooms at defined production stages is completely automated.” n

The use of barcode labels means that products can be identified early on in the

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Printing & Labelling

Opinion

Safe and secure – today’s business motto Today, more than ever, it is critical for anyone with a wireless network to work with a knowledgeable partner who is equipped to address the security concerns associated with their business, writes Plamen Petkov vice-president of marketing, Datamax-O’Neil.

The standardisation of 802.11 wireless devices has been a driving force in the advancement of worker efficiency. It has also brought higher levels of service to retail and commercial customers alike. The unassailable benefits of wireless devices are driving the growth of 802.11

Advances in the 802.11 protocol and securities will continue. Securities used five years ago are now considered noneffective. WPA2, along with Radius Authentication servers are now standard in enterprise systems.

It is incumbent on the ‘system’ to ensure that the device is a trusted part of the store-managed equipment, and authenticate it, before it is allowed access to the network.”

Plamen Petkov: The use of wireless technology is not without risks.

W

hether you’re in a store, the office, a warehouse, or in the field, wireless technology is a critical tool for conducting and improving business. Yet, despite its ubiquitous presence in business, we still read, almost daily, about hackers breaking into large network databases – heightening concerns about identity theft and credit card fraud. Security risks associated with wireless networks have forced businesses to comply with new, more stringent regulations for network security and data encryption. While there are risks any wireless network faces, current state-of-theart wireless hardware security systems can minimise that risk.

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technology. According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, chipsets sold on an annual basis to support wireless technology will grow to one billion units by 2012. Clearly, companies that ignore the value of wireless technology will be left behind as their competitors benefit from its many advantages. However, the use of wireless technology is not without risks, and astute companies will take measures to mitigate these risks before wholly embracing wireless devices.

Providers must also remain vigilant and knowledgeable about the progress hackers are making in developing methods to access propriety information contained within wireless networks. Today, more than ever, it is critical for anyone with a wireless network to work with a partner knowledgeable and equipped to address the security concerns associated with their business.

At risk Exponential pace Driven by the need to guard companysensitive data from nosey competitors and ruthless hackers, protocols to protect wireless data have made their way to the market at an exponential pace. It is incumbent on providers of wireless components to be authoritative experts in the latest wireless security technologies.

Unless strong wireless security measures are embraced, you are at risk of exposing your proprietary information to competitors. You are also at risk of having your customers’ financial data and other sensitive information compromised by hackers. To avoid such disastrous circumstances, it is critically important to implement wireless security measures.

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Opinion

incumbent on the ‘system’ to ensure that the device is a trusted part of the storemanaged equipment, and authenticate it, before it is allowed access to the network. Finally, to protect the communication links between trusted devices and the network server, the data is encrypted to render it unusable in the unlikely event it is somehow intercepted.

In any wireless network, access points give wireless devices, such as scanners, mobile computers, and printers, access to the heart of the operation, the network servers that store and distribute information. Each of these wireless devices, whether sending information, receiving information, or both, can associate with the network once it is within range of the access point. It is

20 % Faster Print Speed 44 % Faster Processing 50 % More Memory 6 1 % Lower Power Consumption

0%

your chance of finding a better printer

Printing & Labelling

The mix of industry standards and proprietary certifications are sure to expand over time as the hacker community adjusts its tactics to thwart industry-wide security measures. To sustain the integrity of your business data, it is essential that you choose a partner that can support your wireless security needs today and into the future. n

I-Class Mark II: We made the best better. Datamax-O’Neil’s I-Class revolutionized the barcode printer industry with its award winning modular design, field installable options and rugged reliability. For the past several years, resellers have named the I-Class the “best channel product” in some of the industry’s most reputable independent surveys. Now we’ve raised the bar even higher, with the redesigned I-Class Mark II. Offering the fastest processor, largest memory and widest selection of communication ports available in a midrange printer, the I-Class Mark II provides lower operating costs and flawless print quality. For applications as diverse as manufacturing, transportation & logistics, food & beverage and pharmaceuticals, the I-Class Mark II will maintain its outstanding reputation for performance, reliability and value.

+33 4 75 75 63 00 www.datamax-oneil.com

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Printing & Labelling

Success story

Citizen printer helps wine manufacturer produce customised labels on demand

T

he latest label printing technology from Citizen, the manufacturer of label, barcode and industrial printers, is helping Môreson Vineyard, a specialised South African wine producer, to create high-definition, customised labels for its range of Miss Molly wines. In particular, the Citizen technology is giving Môreson the ability to produce labels on demand either singly or in large volumes. Situated in the Western Cape Province just outside Cape Town, Môreson Vineyard produces bottles of wine in the thousands each year, requiring labels to be printed for each bottle on-site before dispatch. With many award-winning wines and periodic high bottling volumes, Môreson’s wanted to enhance the label quality for consumer benefit and also increase printing rates to improve the speed and efficiency of the process.

Reliable and fast Although the previous label printer supplied by Citizen proved to be reliable and fast, Môreson decided to upgrade to a model which offered the same performance but with enhanced printing capability. The label’s design was modified to depict the company’s distinctive logo and include the specific wine variety description, therefore helping to create a stronger brand identity while adding additional consumer information. Local Citizen value added reseller, Label Ales worked closely with Môreson to develop an effective solution based on the latest Citizen CLP-8301 Printer.

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For Môreson the key element was upgrading their existing Citizen printer for one with increased functionality without compromising on speed and reliability aspects. The CLP-8301 printer’s multi label printing, text and logo print capability now benefits both their bottle label production process and enhances the marketing of their wines.” – Esme Viljoen, Label Ales.

With the CLP-8301’s ability to print on a variety of media up to 220mm wide, Môreson is now able to produce individual labels as batches three labels aside for any combination of their wine varieties and at a high resolution of up to 300 dpi. This ensures the necessary high print quality needed for the distinctive logo, the wine description and consumer advice, and most importantly the barcode information. In fact, these features have made this printer popular for many retail applications requiring EAN/UCC compliant barcodes. With printing speeds of 100mm per second and fast media loading via the Metal Hi-Lift mechanism, label printing during the often busy wine bottling process has allowed multiple varieties to be processed simultaneously with minimal disruptions or delays.

Comprehensive range Esme Viljoen of Label Ales said: “We had been supplying Citizen’s comprehensive range of label printers to numerous customers for many years now. For Môreson the key element was upgrading their existing Citizen printer for one with increased functionality without compromising on speed and reliability aspects. The CLP-8301 printer’s multi label printing, text and logo print capability now benefits both their bottle label production process and enhances the marketing of their wines.” n

CITIZEN SYSTEMS EUROPE AT A GLANCE Citizen Systems Europe operates from locations throughout Europe covering the EMEA region. It offers a wide range of printers for industrial, retail, healthcare and mobile applications specialising in label, barcode, portable and point-of-sale printers. In each case, the company’s products are sold and supported by a network of specialised partners. Citizen Systems Europe is a wholly owned subsidiary of Citizen Systems Japan and part of the Citizen group of companies, a global organisation that manufactures products ranging from its world-famous Eco-Drive watches, calculators, mini-printers and industrial printing systems to machine tools, quartz oscillators, LEDs and other electronic components.

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Product news

AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE

Psion Omnii XT15 enables major savings in total cost of ownership sion has announced the Omnii

P

XT15, its next generation rugged handheld device. With its toughness, reliability and

Customers are looking for mobile business solutions that will continue to drive productivity and extend product life beyond three years. Psion’s Omnii XT15 provides customers with the flexibility to adapt their handheld devices in the future, by replacing modules with the latest technology available, thus extending the life of the product.” – David Krebs, VDC Research.

extended battery run time, the

Omnii XT15 represents a new landmark for rugged mobile devices. To extend the value of Omnii even further, the new Omnii Advantage programme gives customers the opportunity to re-purpose their devices free of charge at

XT15, they’re not just buying a product,

wholesale trade markets. The Omnii XT15 is a

any time after the first year of ownership. For

they’re buying into a unique product family.

significant addition to our company portfolio

example, a customer can start with a 2D

Omnii is the most customisable and

of products and an important step in our

barcode scanner and in the third year and

upgradeable platform in our industry. As

mission to develop devices based on our

replace that module with an RFID reader as

customers’ needs evolve, their Psion Omnii

open innovation model that help our

the market moves to this technology. This

devices can evolve with them.” Key features

customers to transform their business.” n

eliminates the need to replace the entire

of the Omnii XT15 include:

product. •

Extend product life

Certified for IP67 and IP65. •

Multiple data capture modules – Range of imaging and laser scanners from multiple

Industry analyst firms recognise the benefits

vendors.

of an adaptable product platform. David Krebs, vice president mobile & wireless at

Modular upgradeable rugged design –

Extremely rugged and upgradeable

VDC Research, commented: “Customers are

display module – Proven to withstand 1.25

looking for mobile business solutions that will

Joule impact with zero degradation to

continue to drive productivity and extend

touch performance.

product life beyond three years. Psion’s Omnii

Eight interchangeable keyboard modules.

XT15 provides customers with the flexibility to

Tri-Sensor technology – Accelerometer,

adapt their handheld devices in the future, by

digital compass and GPS are all standard

replacing modules with the latest technology

features – essential for Mobile Device

available, thus extending the life of the

Management (MDM).

product.”

Extended battery performance – High capacity battery and new architecture enable a continuous run time of 20 hours

The Omnii Advantage programme enables

(including scanning and wireless usage).

customers to upgrade any module free of charge after one full year of ownership. The

Expanded wireless capabilities – Includes

full Omnii Advantage programme terms can

WAN, 3.8G HSPA+, 2G Edge and

be found at:

802.11b/g/n.

http://www.psion.com/omniiadvantage-terms Conoley concluded: “We continue to meet the

Compelling adaptability

need for rugged and reliable devices for our

“No other company in our industry is offering

distribution, manufacturing and industrial, and

customers in the transportation and

such compelling adaptability and value. Choosing Omnii means you benefit from an economic proposition that is as strong as its technical leadership,” said John Conoley, CEO, Psion. “When customers buy the Omnii

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Psion’s Omnii XT15 provides customers with the flexibility to adapt their handheld devices in the future, by replacing modules with the latest technology available, thus extending the life of the product.”

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AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE

Success story

Motion tablet computer device

is at the heart of improved productivity and accuracy at Poundland he recipient of the Discount

T

Retailer of the Year 2011 at The Retail Industry Awards, Poundland has become a high street phenomenon. With increasing

sales and more than 380 stores, the huge number of deliveries handled by the two main Midlands-based warehouse hubs requires the latest in technology solutions to ensure that Poundland’s supply chain keeps pace with demand.

The challenge Poundland’s Quality Assurance Team, plays a pivotal role in ensuring the timely delivery of goods to stores across the UK and Eire in order to keep up with the ever expanding product range. The deployment of a comprehensive solution to check and record items being delivered became a priority for the IT team. Long-time technology solutions

Poundland to replace multiple different

and of course, in real time. When

partner Box Technologies was tasked with

elements of the legacy hardware. Long-term

discrepancies are found images must be

providing a truly mobile solution to increase

cost reductions in terms of maintenance and

taken to record these and where new items

accuracy and of course, productivity.

support costs could be realised with just one

are taken into stock, these must be entered

device doing the job previously performed

into the database.

Poundland had a solution in place that only

by four.

partly solved the problem. Its shortcomings came from the fact it was trolley based, cumbersome, and comprised a laptop,

Highly ergonomic Ideal platform

The IP54 rated F5 has enabled the Quality

scanner, and camera, powered by a mobile

The increasing sophistication and functionality

Assurance team to operate with one device

battery pack to ensure the solution could last

provided by tablet-based technology seemed

that captures data via a barcode scanner,

the shift. In an environment alive with forklift

to offer the ideal platform. Box Technologies

integrated 3.0 megapixel digital camera and

trucks and constant movement, the Quality

worked with the team at Poundland to specify

a web cam. The ergonomics of the

Assurance Team found itself having to

a tablet device incorporating all of the

lightweight device with its slip-free grip and

interrupt its work in order to allow the traffic to

required functionality. The Motion F5 PC

moulded handle make it an ideal design. It is

go past. Being trolley based, there was also

developed and manufactured by one of the

built to be carried all day, to survive bumps

an added problem of getting the unit between

leading vendors in the industry, takes

or drops and enables data capture while

pallets during busy periods. The challenge

technology into the field to streamline multiple

standing or walking. For hands-free

was to find a solution that was not only

processes and improve mobile workforce

operation Poundland equips the tablet with

mobile, portable, and compact but one that

productivity.

straps and a safety harness. Its gorilla glass

also incorporated all of the required

provides the strength needed within tough

technologies needed to allow the Quality

For Poundland, the objective was to roll out a

workplace environments and View Anywhere

Assurance team undertake their tasks with

solution that enabled a rapid and accurate

technology ensures excellent viewing of all

increased productivity.

quality control procedure through the use of

kinds of documentation and images

one portable device. As goods are delivered

whatever the light source.

Finally, it was the clear and quantifiable cost

into the warehouse, every box must be

savings delivered which convinced

opened and samples of the goods checked.

In operational terms, the device provides Wi-

Poundland to acquire the solution offered by

Type, quantity, colour and contents must all

Fi, Bluetooth wireless connectivity and

Box Technologies. The tablet device enabled

cross reference against the existing database,

optional mobile broadband with Gobi

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Success story

AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE

connectivity (WWAN) for real time data

of goods that we can offer our customers

speed with which we do that. Finally, we have

transfer. The device has powerful processing

means that the task will continue to expand

eliminated the need for a bulky and multi

capabilities and is available with up to an Intel

and evolve. The introduction of the Motion F5

faceted approach to one that brings the best

Core i7 vPro. It has an extended battery life to

tablet has brought huge benefits in our

of state of the art technology together in one

cope with the most demanding shift and

abilities to check the quality of goods, and the

lightweight and portable device.” n

incorporates a hot-swap battery feature which eliminates downtime when changing batteries. This superior performance and level of

Box Technologies at a glance

functionality within such a portable form-factor

Box Technologies is a UK provider of customer interface technology solutions, within six

answered Poundland’s requirements precisely.

core market sectors: retail, hospitality, finance, public sector, utilities, transportation and logistics. Box Technologies success over many years derives from its selling proposition

Greater mobility

of ‘Delivering the Customer Interface through Technology’. As an ISO 90001:2008accredited business, supported by direct relationship with leading manufacturers, Box

With the Box Technologies-enabled solution,

Technologies delivers total solutions across a number of product lines – digital signage,

the Quality Assurance team can go about

EPoS, mobile and self-service – supported by in-house service delivery teams.

their work more quickly and through increased flexibility and greater mobility, can improve its productivity levels. An added bonus is the reduction of interruptions for the fork lift drivers. This wearable and portable solution has revolutionised the task of the team. Mick Corbett, IT Solutions Leader at Poundland, confirmed this. “The Quality Assurance team have a mission critical task to

Motion Computing Motion Computing, headquartered in Austin, Texas, produces rugged, slate tablet PCs for mobile professionals in industries including healthcare, government, and field sales force automation. Motion is a mobile computing and wireless communications solutions provider, with an enhanced line of tablet PCs and accessories that are designed to increase productivity for on-the-go users while providing computing security, power and versatility.

perform. Our expansion and increasing range

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

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

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

01844 264 000 sales@boxtechnologies.com

www.boxtechnologies.com

Delivering the Customer Interface Through Technology &LOGISTICSIT

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AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE

Product news

DAP Technologies previews two new rugged products at Modex Attendees at the recently held Modex show in Atlanta got the first look at two new products from DAP Technologies: the V1010 vehicle-mount rugged computer with a 10-inch XGA display and the patent-pending quick-connect/disconnect modular Intelligent Docking System with Wireless USB.

he V1010 vehicle-mount computer

T

mounted computer is its

offers a rugged, high-resolution

ability to coexist with

XGA 10-inch touch screen display

DAP’s M9010 rugged

and a choice of Windows

tablet. The two products

Embedded 7 and Windows CE 6.0

share a patent-pending

for seamless migration into most supply-chain

mounting system that offers

environments.

a quick-connect/disconnect feature, as well as an

While drawing its main power from a forklift or

expandable interface

other industrial vehicle, the V1010 is also

enabling connection to

equipped with its own back-up battery, which

various peripherals.

provides continuous power for up to four hours, minimising downtime associated with transferring the computer between vehicles.

The V1010 – packing a lot of power and functionality into a slim form factor.

DAP’s V1010 also offers advanced communications options including Wireless USB, carrier-independent wireless broadband

DAP’s new Intelligent Docking

from Gobi TM 3000, and integrated ZigBee

System does more than

wireless technology. The vehicle-mount

simply secure a computer to

computer runs on the Intel E660T industrial

a forklift, truck or other

intended application by seamlessly integrating

processor and has 2 GB DDR2 RAM and a 32

industrial vehicle and provide

expansion modules with additional I/Os to meet

GB solid-state drive.

power. The mounted system is able to connect

most application needs. The quick-

design allows for maximum flexibility to fit the

connect/disconnect cradle offers customers I/O

ports for peripherals like barcode readers,

We know there is no such thing as one solution fits all. Customers often have a need for both tablets and fixed-mount computers.” – Khalid Kidari, DAP.

document scanners, printers, weight scales and telemetry interface to the vehicle’s onboard computer. “We know there is no such thing as one solution

“The V1010 packs a lot of power and

through traditional contacts or, as in the case of

fits all. Customers often have a need for both

functionality into a slim form factor that

the M9010 tablet and V1010, through Wireless

tablets and fixed-mount computers,” said Khalid

transitions from vehicle to vehicle with ease,”

USB to minimise failure points between the

Kidari, DAP’s director of product management

said DAP’s vice president Eric Miller. “Its 10-

cradle and the device.

and marketing. “With this cradle, customers get a sturdy docking system that accommodates

inch display complements our 7-inch rugged tablet and our widely deployed 12-inch vehiclemount computer.”

Seamless integration

both form factors for ease of purchase and

With the Intelligent Docking System, customers

expediting their return on investment.”

implementation, thereby maximising and

Quick-connect/disconnect feature

are no longer limited to the number of I/Os on a computer. Borrowing from the modular design

The devices will be available for purchase in

The added value of DAP’s new V1010 vehicle-

philosophy of DAP’s computers, its modular

the fourth quarter of this year. n

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Product News

AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE

Cognex expands logistics barcode scanning capabilities ognex Corporation has

package sortation as well as presentation

announced the new DataMan

scanning. The DataMan 300 is now available to

300 barcode reader for high

take on fixed 1-D code reading for high speed

speed logistics applications

tote scanning and print and apply lines.”

C

such as tote scanning, label

print and apply verification, and carton code

According to Cognex, the DataMan product

reading. The new DataMan 300 is a

line of barcode scanners can consistently

complement to the DataMan 500 reader,

provide higher read rates than laser scanners.

which has proven itself throughout its

With this new release, the Cognex algorithm,

introductory year as a popular choice for the

1DMax+ is paired with Hotbars technology

logistics, retail fulfilment and distribution

which is said to be able to dramatically

markets.

increase the decoding speed of damaged or

For high-speed logistics applications

poorly presented 1-D linear barcodes used in

barcode readers are claimed to be able to

the logistics industry.

help the logistics industry achieve:

High performance

“We saw an industry that has been relying on

Higher read rates that can reduce costs and increase throughput.

laser technology and knew that we could offer

Cognex comments that Hotbars uses texture

a better, yet affordable, image-based solution

to locate barcodes at any orientation, and

for high-speed logistics applications,” said Carl

then extracts high-resolution 1-D signals for

Gerst, vice president and business unit

decoding. Hotbars combines superior signal

manager, ID Products. “The DataMan 500

fidelity with super-fast speed, giving this next

reads 1-D or 2-D codes presented in any

generation of Cognex DataMan readers

becoming more prevalent through all

direction at high speeds for postal, parcel and

unprecedented performance. Camera-based

industries.

Visualisation to access data for continuous process improvement.

Lower equipment costs because imagers have no moving parts.

Future proofing as 2-D matrix codes are

New report shows how mobile technologies boost security

T

From a strategic perspective, the report

In addition the report carries two case

a resource for professionals

details the categories of risk associated with

studies. The first looks at the use of a

working with or around mobile

going mobile and five steps that can

mobility strategy to increase security and

technologies, recently launched

improve the security profile of a business

improve productivity at RCT Homes in

a report looking at the

deploying mobile technologies. Much of this

Wales, whose deployment of Motorola

interaction of mobile technologies and

initial activity requires little or no immediate

ES400 devices is a critical component of its

information security risk. The report,

investment. For example, for the 8 out of 10

maintenance operation. The second

compiled by security and mobility expert

businesses without a basic mobile device

investigates how a major high street retailer

Andrew Moloney, was launched at a recent

policy, the lowest hanging fruit is a simple

is managing a mix of dedicated and BYOD

inaugural Enterprise Mobility Network

do's and don'ts checklist. The report also

devices in its stores and the different

webinar, held in association with IDC.

identifies six key tactics to turn mobility into

applications it is finding for mobile

a key platform of increased security:

technologies.

chief strategy officer of SafeNet; Trefor

End-to-end encryption.

"It is incredible to think that despite the

Davies, CIO of Timico; Rashmi Knowles,

Geo-location via GPS or triangulation.

prevalence of mobile devices, as many as 8

chief security architect, Alun Dowling, head

Biometric identification as part of shared

out of 10 businesses still lack a written

devices.

policy on mobile device use," said Andrew

The use of one-time passcodes (OTP)

Moloney, CEO of security specialist Artisan

for authentication.

Southwest and author of the report. "As a

Out of band (OOB) – the use,

result, the lowest hanging fruit is also the

explodes the myth that mobility represents

segmentation and securing of individual

cheapest and does not require any

an increased security risk. Indeed, based

voice/text/data channels if compromise

additional investment, just the time to

on the interviews, the report concludes that

occurs on any single channel.

compile and distribute a written policy

Secure element – a chip inside the

outlining a few simple steps. This alone can

actually improve the security profile of a

phone as a secure, encrypted RFID

help improve the security of mobile

business.

source of credentials.

technologies in any business." n

Building on interviews with Tsion Gonen,

of IT at RCT Homes; Dave Mahdi, global product marketing manager at Entrust and

Jeffrey Peel, managing director at Quadriga, the report explores and

a comprehensive mobility strategy could

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Data capture Research

he Enterprise Mobility Network,

35


COLLABORATION IN MOTION Material Handling News and Video

YourLogistics LOGISTICS & MATERIAL HANDLING VIDEOS

www.YourLogisticsTV.com

www.LogisticsHandling.com


Interview

V OICE technology

Voxware Q&A Dave O’Reilly was recently named managing director of Voxware UK Ltd. He is responsible not only for the UK but also for oversees Voxware’s activities across the EMEA region. Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with him recently about the state of the Voice technology market.

emphasis was on cost reduction, whereas

MLIT:Give me an example.

today it is on enhancing key corporate strategies and delivering business value.

OʼReilly: Today we are seeing strong interest

Fortunately, Voice can do both, so that puts

in multi-modal solutions; these are

Voxware in a good position.

applications that utilise Voice but also take advantage of scanners, screens, and

MLIT: You also said that buyers are taking a

keyboards when the time is right. These

longer-range view?

applications require multi-modal mobility devices. By making our software portable, our

Dave O’Reilly: Excited about the future.

OʼReilly: True. In the past I think Voice

customers can upgrade from a Voice-only

solution providers over emphasised the quick

device to a multi-modal one – without paying

ROI that Voice delivers. What this led to, in

Voxware to change a single line of code in the

some cases, was a rush to put in solutions to

Voice solution because no such changes are

obtain short term ROI – only to wake up later

necessary. This gives customers greater

to long-term cost and flexibility issues that

flexibility for the future than would be the case

negatively impact the business.

if the Voice application was programmed for the specific device on which it was originally

MLIT: Voice in the warehouse has been around for nearly a decade in the UK. What is

MLIT: What kind of issues?

delivered. This is an example, we think, of responding to the longer-range mentality we

new? OʼReilly: Logistics is an endeavour in which

talked about a moment ago: when a company

OʼReilly: The market has definitely moved

agility and nimbleness are prized and

first brings in a Voice solution, they are usually

from the experimental stage into mass

rewarded. Yet all too often enterprises work

not thinking about a future device refresh;

adoption, so today’s buyers have different

very hard to put in technology solutions that

we’ve tried to plan ahead in our software so

selection criteria and they tend to take a

cannot be changed very easily. This, in turn,

when that day comes our customers will not

longer-range view when making technology

leads to a higher than desired cost to evolve

be unnecessarily restricted.

decisions.

a logistics operation. Today’s buyers are not

MLIT: How have buying criteria changed?

only looking for benefits tomorrow, they have

MLIT: You’ve recently announced a new

expanded their view to consider the day after

release of your product.

tomorrow. So we are seeing companies that OʼReilly: Enterprises have a keener focus on

are more carefully considering the cost of

OʼReilly: Yes, Voxware Voice Management

business value as opposed to simply driving

change, and adopting standards to ensure

Suite 5.0 is now generally available. It

cost out of an organisation. They are looking

that they do not deploy a new technology that

includes VoxPilot, a very advanced

for ways to better fulfil their primary value

ends up restricting them in the future.

dashboard that instantly connects analytics to actions that managers can take to intervene in

proposition as a business, and that often gets back to customer satisfaction and loyalty.

MLIT: How has Voxware responded to these

Voice solutions certainly help with these

new realities?

work as it progresses. MLIT: So what’s next for Voxware?

initiatives because they can enable a distribution centre to operate nearly error-free

OʼReilly: Well, we’ve had to evolve as a

in order selection.

company. We took the decision a long time

OʼReilly: We are excited about the future. We

ago to productise our software, and to make it

all know that economic conditions have been

both configurable and portable. It took time,

difficult in recent years, but fortunately for

but we’ve achieved what we set out to do. Our

Voxware the kind of customer business

OʼReilly: Perhaps not entirely new, but there

solutions give customers wider choices and

projects that are the first to be approved are

has been a shift in emphasis. Yesterday the

greater flexibility than was possible years ago.

the kind that we can help succeed. n

MLIT: And that’s a new development?

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V OICE technology

Opinion

Supporting growth in manufacturing logistics Vocollect’s vice president of EMEA sales, Richard Adams, explains how intelligent Voice-directed picking technology can deliver big benefits to large-scale manufacturing and logistics operations. oice-directed technology has

V

working patterns quickly. In particular, there

significant practical and

are distinct advantages for labour

commercial advantages for the

management, such as the ability to lessen

fast-paced manufacturing

indirect hours, decrease the likelihood of

industry, not least in its ability to

attrition and significantly reduce training time

help transform warehouse performance,

for new and seasonal

support business growth and increase

workers.

capacity. In the past, Voice-directed working picking processes. But as adoption of the

Speed and efficiency gains

technology by both large and small-scale

Producers and

picks can seriously impact

manufacturers and logistics operations has

distributors of high-

customer service often cite the

increased, it has been extended to additional

volume, low-value goods

increased accuracy that Voice-

warehouse processes such as goods

such as food

directed picking brings as being a

receiving, put-away, replenishment and

manufacturers,

major advantage. For example,

dispatch with equally impressive benefits.

meanwhile, are more

Clipper Logistics, one of the UK’s

likely to cite speed and

leading independent third-party

High value

efficiency gains as being

logistics companies, handles

The ‘hands-free, eyes-free,’ aspect of Voice

the biggest benefit of the

warehouse operations for the luxury

has been shown to be of high value both as

technology, especially in

part of the goods-in process and in dealing

achieving greater capacity, throughput and

Clipper chose to implement Vocollect Voice

with more complex workflows such as piece

lower per-unit costs.

technology in its warehouse, in conjunction

was applied almost exclusively to order

department store Liberty London.

with Vocollect solution partner VoiteQ, in order

picking. Companies deploying Vocollect’s technology, for example, typically report

For example, Allied Bakeries, part of

to improve the turnaround time of goods

productivity improvements of 10 to 25 per

Associated British Foods PLC, relies on an

coming in to the warehouse and arriving at

cent and reductions in errors of up to 80 per

estate of over 280 VoiteQ-supported Vocollect

the store.

cent. For a large operation using Vocollect

Talkman devices to ensure its broad customer

Voice in multiple areas of the warehouse, this

base receive a range of bread, rolls,

Moving to Voice-directed working allowed

translates to big savings and performance

crumpets, muffins and other baked goods.

Clipper not only to improve productivity and accuracy within the operation, but also gain

greater visibility of activities and stock. This

Manufacturers of high-value, low-volume goods, or distributors of products where mis-picks can seriously impact customer service often cite the increased accuracy that Voice-directed picking brings as being a major advantage.”

visibility means Clipper now provides realtime feedback to Liberty. Crucially, Liberty can now take advantage of this knowledge in its merchandising and promotions.

improvements. These business performance

The wearable apparatus is used by the

As Allied Bakeries, Clipper Logistics and

improvements typically deliver an investment

organisation to pick products and fulfil

many other manufacturers and logistics

payback of less than 18 months and often as

customer orders from an extensive logistics

operations have now discovered, the more

low as six to nine months.

operation spanning 19 UK distribution

complexity or velocity of products moving

For operations that experience a high degree

centres.

through the warehouse, the more compelling voice becomes. For this reason, while smaller-

of change and unpredictability such as food production and distribution, Voice-directed

Improved turnaround time

scale operations can benefit from Voice, the

working makes it easier to adapt to change,

Manufacturers of high-value, low-volume

technology really comes into its own in large,

add new warehouse capacity and adjust

goods, or distributors of products where mis-

fast-moving and complex operations. n

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IF YOUR WAREHOUSE COULD TALK... ...it would tell you that your warehouse staff would benefit hugely from voice-enabled technology. It’s easy to learn and use, especially compared with other warehousing technologies requiring weeks of training. Because voice is a natural means of communication, staff can get to grips with voice-directed working within an hour and be proficient in under a day, dramatically reducing training times and costs. Are you listening?

The Voice of The Warehouse

www.voiceofthewarehouse.com


Warehouse Management

n

Success story

Ahlsell benefits from new central warehouse in Norway with the help of Vanderlande hlsell is a leading company in the Nordic countries, the Baltic States and Russia supplying goods and associated services to professional users in the product areas of heating & plumbing, electrical, tools & machinery, construction and refrigeration. In this region, Ahlsell has some 250 stores. Ahlsell's efficient logistics system with central warehouses at strategic locations throughout Scandinavia forms the heart of the company's activities. Its stores, online store and large product range ensure a high level of service and reliable next-day delivery to customers. Due to direct deliveries from the

A

warehouse, Ahlsell can ensure that customers receive their goods on time. In Norway, Ahlsell used to have ten regional warehouses. Order picking in these facilities was based on traditional order picking methods. This type of work can be physically and mentally difficult, making it hard to find and retain good staff and limiting operator productivity. At the same time, customers are demanding that the correct order is delivered at exactly the right time and that order cut-off times are extended. This posed significant challenges to the regional warehouses.

The Quickstore miniload automated storage and retrieval system.

Improving operator productivity and customer service To improve operator productivity and customer service level, Ahlsell decided to build a central warehouse in Norway, near Oslo Airport, replacing nine regional warehouses. This new central warehouse optimises Ahlsell’s product flows and ensures fast and reliable deliveries. Central stock-keeping creates benefits of scale, which will allow the company to offer customers competitive prices. Ahlsell selected Vanderlande Industries to design and build the automated material handling system, including the Warehouse Control System (WCS).

Efficient automated goods receiving: Set up for all other warehousing activties

Order picking for parts and components with Pick@Ease.

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Incoming goods are de-palletised and placed in multi-compartment product totes at 2 receiving workstations. In the Receiving area, several activities come together, such as scanning, counting and quality checking.

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Warehouse Management

storage and retrieval system), where they are stored. Quickstore miniloads are characterised by high storage density, high performance, improved accuracy and low energy use. Based on incoming orders, the product totes are retrieved and conveyed to the order picking area.

n

Success story

from which compartment the operator must pick the products, enhancing accuracy. The operator selects the right shipping carton. Shipping labels are printed and applied automatically before the cartons are sorted and palletised. The warehouse process is controlled by the Vision WCS interfaced with Ahlsell’s ‘Astro’ host system. n

Goods-to-man order picking concept with Pick@Ease workstations

Pick@Ease workstation for multicompartment tote.

Requirements for receiving workstations are constantly increasing to improve efficiency and quality.

High storage density in Quickstore miniloads The product totes are conveyed to the 5-aisle Quickstore miniload system (automated

For order picking the goods-to-man concept with 5 Pick@Ease order picking workstations was selected, because it enables Ahlsell to improve operator productivity and customer service, while keeping operational costs down. The Pick@Ease workstation includes proven ergonomic characteristics. It is designed in a single level layout to minimise vertical arm and shoulder movement. The operator can adjust the workstation platform automatically to his or her ideal height. Operators pick items from multi-compartment totes directly into shipping cartons (pick/pack operation), minimising product handling. A pick pointer and the touch screen indicates

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

QUICK AND ACCURATE

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

www.vanderlande.com

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Warehouse Management

n

Success story

Community Foods hits target with ERP-integrated warehouse system from Balloon One Community Foods Ltd. has reportedly improved stock recording accuracy by 15 per cent in just six months using Balloon One’s wireless warehouse management system (WMS). The new system has also reduced wastage and improved stock reconciliation for the natural and organic dried food supplier. ommunity Foods selected the Accellos WMS because it integrates seamlessly with its new enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. John Davies, director of operations, Community Foods, commented: “It is fair to say that we’ve seen stock record accuracy move from the low 80 per cent to about 95 per cent in six months. In a short, we have seen significant gains since installing Accellos and we expect a lot more to come.” The company specialises in the procurement, sale and distribution of organic and natural dried fruits, nuts, seeds, pulses, grains and branded health foods. In 2011, the company celebrated 40 years of business success.

C

degree of stock loss and shrinkage by not being able to control our inventory movements. “Secondly, we were experiencing a high level of picking errors. Warehouse operatives picked the wrong product because it was in the wrong location or poorly recorded. As a result of these picking errors, we had a high level of invoice errors, which consequentially resulted in a lot of customer claims and credits.”

Inventory accuracy Community Food’s ultimate objective for the new WMS was to gain control of inventory accuracy in the warehouse and this would drive the planning and replenishment processes. The system would also ensure that orders were fresh, provide age control for the products and batch control for traceability. Davies concluded: “We import products from every continent around the world. To provide the necessary due diligence we need systems that will help control our processes. The real-time functionality of Accellos gives us much better information from the point of view of processing orders in real time to visibility of stock movements in real time.” n

Community Food’s ultimate objective for the new WMS was to gain control of inventory accuracy in the warehouse and this would drive the planning and replenishment processes. The system would also ensure that orders were fresh, provide age control for the products and batch control for traceability.

Accurate traceability The company adheres to strict food standards requiring accurate traceability and record keeping. This previously entailed keeping highly detailed, time-consuming manual stock records. “We did have a management system but it wasn’t warehouse specific,” explained Davies. “It had a manual paper-based workflow, which was batch updated during the course of the day. From our order-processing perspective, we were plagued with the uncertainty of quantity and freshness of stock in the warehouse when we came to pick orders. This resulted in a high

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Balloon One at a glance Balloon One is an IT provider specialising in the distribution, implementation and support of business software and supply chain applications. Balloon One’s goal is to make large scale enterprise applications accessible to small and midsize companies. The company focuses on applications that are affordable, easy to implement and able to deliver a rapid return on investment. With 20 years’ experience in the business application market Balloon One has worked with hundreds of businesses. The company has customers in a wide range of markets, including: packaging, toy/gift, hobby, clothing, wholesale, retail, timber, DIY, furniture, education, leisure, IT, electronics, healthcare, medical distribution, water treatment, and chemicals and lubricants. In 2002, Balloon One was appointed as the first business partner for SAP Business One and today it is widely respected as a worldwide Business One centre of expertise. In 2004, the company added the Accellos One Warehouse solution to its product portfolio. In 2007, Balloon One was awarded Partner of the Year by Accellos for its sales and implementation success.

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Warehouse Management

n

Success story

Vernon Land Transport installs Delta system to support 3PL growth

hird-party storage and distribution company, Vernon Land Transport, headquartered in Bradford, West Yorkshire, has purchased the DeltaWMS Warehouse Performance Management system to support its continued growth. Vernon Land, which operates throughout the UK and continental Europe, is expanding its warehouse capacity from 70,000 to 95,000 sq ft, increasing its warehouses from seven to ten. The company's circa 80 3PL clients include air freight, pharmaceutical, printed matter, automotive, manufacturing, brewing and retail distribution specialists.

T

DeltaWMS seemed a better and more user friendly system than the others we looked at. We noticed that many of the companies I would class as leaders in our field were already using Delta, and that also gave us the confidence to choose them." ity – makes the 150 a powerful and productive tool.” – Vernon Land, Vernon Land Transport.

networked DeltaWMS system will manage all Vernon Land's warehouse units, which are grouped on the same site.

Strengths User-friendly system "DeltaWMS seemed a better and more userfriendly system than the others we looked at," said managing director Vernon Land. "We noticed that many of the companies I would class as leaders in our field were already using Delta, and that also gave us the confidence to choose them." Vernon Land's new DeltaWMS environment will include RF scanning and an interactive module that allows customers to input to and track their orders, online, 24/7. A single,

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"The third-party logistics market is arguably the most demanding for warehouse technology," remarked Delta’s managing director Lance Bennett. "Delta's growing 3PL market share and its adoption by many of the market leaders reflects our proven strengths and reputation in this arena." Delta's 'optimise my supply chain' solutions can be integrated with any ERP or other system. DeltaWMS systems have been developed for all types of warehouse operation, including: distribution, third party, manufacturing and bonded. n

Delta Software at a glance Founded in 1990 and headquartered in Wakefield, Yorkshire, Delta Software is a supplier of interactive Warehouse Performance Management systems and a just-in-time technology developer. The company’s ‘DeltaWMS’ flagship singleand multi-site systems are opendatabase, feature a user-friendly interactive warehouse management ‘graphical map’ and can be easily integrated into any ERP enterprise or smaller business environment. Delta Software deploys its solutions throughout the UK and continental Europe, on-time and to-budget, providing rigorous fixed-price guarantees. Delta clients include The Co-op E-store, Eddie Stobart, Foulger Transport, Life Fitness, Maximuscle, Toyota Tsusho, Edexcel, Condor Ferries, Palletways and The Royal British Legion.

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TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT

Success story

Bettavend improves productivity and cuts costs with FleetMatics solution In order to keep up with growing customer demand independent regional vending company, Bettavend, turned to FleetMatics, the provider of fleet management solutions for commercial fleet vehicles, to help better manage its fleet.

ettavend has been supplying refreshment systems and ancillary services in the Hampshire area for over 20 years, during which time the fleet has grown to 28 vehicles. Operations manager, Ben West, pointed out that before fitting the FleetMatics GPS monitoring solution the company was unable to identify an engineer's location, thus causing a time delay from one job to another. "Our aim as a company is to offer a fast, efficient and friendly customer-focused service," he said "Due to a lack of information on driver's location on the road, we were unable to schedule work accurately for them and, as a result, we were weakening the standard of service we aim to provide."

B

Fuel-inefficient The GPS fleet tracking system has allowed Bettavend to improve scheduling of jobs and better manage its service engineers. A further benefit to the company is the reduction of fuel bills; even though the cost of fuel is

continuously on the rise, this has been achieved through the reduction in vehicle idling time. "Unthinking drivers can often spend time in their vehicle with the engine idling, which is incredibly fuel-inefficient," said West. The FleetMatics system records idling time and can, if required, send alerts when pre-set idling parameters are breached. With this information Bettavend has educated its workforce to think more about their idling time and this awareness has resulted in a large fuel saving. FleetMatics 'Live Fleet' shows dispatchers the exact location of each individual vehicle, as well as reporting how long the engineer was at a particular job and the time it took to go from one job to another. Knowing where a driver is at all times has made it easier for managers at Bettavend to assign unscheduled jobs to engineers more effectively, as they can quickly locate the nearest vehicles to that specific job and assign the job accordingly.

FleetMatics 'Daily report' is another tool used by Bettavend; this report is analysed against the daily plan for each driver to see what tasks were planned and which were completed. A major benefit for West is that the daily reports are sent directly to his iPhone, so he's able to investigate any unusual events immediately, wherever he is. "The iPhone App is a really great function to have," remarked West. "It means that even when I'm on the move, I still have Due to the monitoring of vehicles the drivers have become more access to all of the fleet punctual and relationships within the company have improved. information."

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A change of attitude among the staff hasn't gone unnoticed in the company either. Due to the monitoring of vehicles the drivers have become more punctual and relationships within the company have improved. West explains: "There have been a few occasions when a customer has claimed that an engineer hadn't turned up to a job; with GPS tracking we were able to quickly react and prove to the customer that in fact an engineer did show up, meaning we were able to back up our driver."

Insurance premium reduction One unexpected additional advantage of installing the GPS system is that Bettavend has seen a substantial reduction in insurance premiums. This reduction is due to the fact that historically GPS tracking has helped speed up the recovery of stolen vehicles, resulting in little or no loss or damages. "Having a live streaming GPS installed on vehicles means the location, speed and the safety of drivers are being monitored whenever the vehicle is in motion," said West. "The safety of our drivers is a big concern to us, knowing where they are has given me peace of mind." The overall benefits that Bettavend has seen since installing the FleetMatics GPS Fleet Monitoring tool have exceeded the expectations of the company. West concluded: "With GPS monitoring we are able to effectively strive for greater customer service and also improve the utilisation of vehicles, thus saving the company money and helping the business continue to grow at the same time." n

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Success story

TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT

Linde extends Paragon

transport

planning software across 50 countries inde Group is deploying Paragon routing and scheduling software in 50 countries around the world. This major roll out extends Linde’s use of Paragon for managing the distribution of industrial and therapeutic gases globally. With Paragon automating and optimising the routes and schedules, Linde customers can place orders for next-day delivery. Linde has demonstrated that the software has improved customer service levels, particularly with critical deliveries, and is enabling operational savings worldwide.

L

The Linde Group is a leading gases and engineering company with around 49,100 employees working in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the 2010 financial year it achieved sales of 12.868 billion euros. The software licence extension builds on a major deployment of Paragon announced back in March 2010, which saw Linde

With so many of our sites worldwide now using Paragon software, we have full confidence in the system and can vouch for the company’s support during implementation and afterwards, together with the excellent training it provides.” – Martyn Stretch, Linde.

operations in Europe, the Nordic regions and Australia and New Zealand implement Paragon for transport planning, including daily dynamic routing.

Optimised delivery Martyn Stretch, global transport manager for Linde's cylinder business, said: “Paragon is the routing software of choice for Linde cylinder business globally. It is integral to the efficiency of our gas cylinder business and we have proven that the software is the best choice for producing optimised delivery routes and schedules. With this new licence, we now have the opportunity to roll out the

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software to all our sites worldwide from centrally hosted servers within our IS network and accessed through a Citrix link. Paragon has proven to be a reliable supplier and has been supportive to our goal of continually improving our gas delivery operations.”

many of our sites worldwide now using Paragon software, we have full confidence in the system and can vouch for the company’s support during implementation and afterwards, together with the excellent training it provides.”

Stretch continued: “The new licence gives our logistics teams around the world the ability to use and benefit from Paragon’s superior transport planning capabilities, which ultimately will boost service levels. With so

Paragon is currently supporting the roll out of software to Poland, Argentina, Brazil, Malaysia and Chile, with further installations in the Baltics, South Africa, Hong Kong and Benelux coming during early 2012. n

Paragon Software Systems at a glance Paragon Software Systems is provider of transport optimisation solutions with over 1500 routing and scheduling systems installed in more than 33 countries. Paragon helps companies reduce transport costs by up to 20 per cent through more efficient deployment of vehicles and drivers. Headquartered in Dorking, Surrey UK, and with US offices in Dallas, Paragon is a developer of routing and scheduling with over 30 years’ experience. Paragon is employed by transport operations ranging from just 10 vehicles at a single site to hundreds of vehicles operating from several sites. The system is used for routing and scheduling optimisation; managing transport resources; strategic planning; scheduling home deliveries continuously as orders are being confirmed; and managing the execution of the transport plan in real time using vehicle tracking technology. Paragon assists many leading companies with their logistics including: ASDA, Royal Mail Group, Harrods, Sainsbury's, AB Agri, CEVA Logistics, Wincanton, DHL Exel, Norbert Dentressangle, Linde, Fuller's, John Lewis, Tesco, Keystone Distribution and Raleigh.

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TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT

Success story

CargoWise to provide technology platform for Tigers CargoWise, the global provider of unified platform software for logistics service providers (LSPs), has signed a multi-year agreement to provide its ediEnterprise global freight and logistics technology platform to the newly formed Tigers Ltd., a company created under a merger agreement between WLG, Inc. and Kamino Logistics Group Ltd. WLG is already using ediEnterprise globally. igers recognised the value of leveraging the current investment to standardise its operations and expand its product offering across additional countries and lines of business. Tigers will benefit from wideranging visibility during the merger and in the future by using ediEnterprise’s underlying single-file-concept to link all relevant information together in one globally accessible database.

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Gene Gander, VP business development Americas for CargoWise, said of CargoWise’s continuing relationship with the newly merged companies: “We have worked closely with WLG for many years to support their business requirements – they were one of our launch customers when we introduced our US Custom Brokerage product. Independently, we had also been involved in business discussions with Kamino. The flexibility of ediEnterprise is a great fit for a company like

Tigers and its strategic agent partners will operate ediEnterprise in offices across Asia, Australasia, the Americas and Europe under the Tigers brand. ediEnterprise will be implemented across all offices to provide global management visibility and operational efficiency.” – Andrew Jillings, Tigers.

Consistent, high-quality services Andrew Jillings, CEO for Tigers, commented: “We retained Spectrum Partners LLC to assist us in selecting the operating system for our newly merged company. Tigers and its strategic agent partners will operate ediEnterprise in offices across Asia, Australasia, the Americas and Europe under the Tigers brand. ediEnterprise will be implemented across all offices to provide global management visibility and operational efficiency. Tigers will be able to offer its customers consistent, high-quality services across the freight and logistics supply chain.”

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Tigers and we welcome the opportunity to expand our existing relationship and provide Tiger a ‘best practices’ global system for managing their operations and serving their market.”

CargoWise at a glance CargoWise is a global provider of logistics technology solutions that improve visibility, efficiency, quality of service and profitability. CargoWise is recognised for its next-generation solutions, including ediEnterprise, the integrated single platform supply chain logistics management system with global capability. With clients holding more than 80,000 licences across a customer community of 4000 sites in over 75 countries, CargoWise solutions have become an integral part of the global supply chain. The company operates worldwide from offices across the US, Europe and Asia. CargoWise is a key product brand of WiseTechGlobal, an international technology development company whose remit is to deliver innovative market-specific software solutions worldwide.

Real-time information ediEnterprise’s unified global platform and universal workflow supports Tigers’ commitment to delivering both information and freight worldwide. The single entry platform enables Tigers to deliver real-time information to customers consistently from all corners of the globe. n

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Success story

Supply Chain

Ted Baker rolls out Cegid software to support expansion in US and Asia ed Baker, the fast-growing British designer brand, is rolling-out new point-of-sale and retail management software, Yourcegid Retail, to help support its expansion abroad. Yourcegid Retail is expected to make dealing with complicated tax regimes and customer service in local languages more straightforward. The initial implementation of the stores in Hong Kong was completed just in time for the busy Christmas trading period and ahead of the opening of its first stores in mainland China early this year.

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Cegid is present in all the local markets we operate in and the software is highly flexible, giving local support in the relevant languages and lots of specific tools already configured for each region.” – Dustan Steer, Ted Baker.

Yourcegid Retail improves the productivity, performance and profitability of speciality retailers. The Yourcegid Retail portfolio includes merchandise planning, forecasting, sourcing and production, supply chain, multichannel merchandise management, EPOS and store management, CRM and loyalty and reporting. Over 1000 retailers and 20,000 stores in 70 countries are currently using Yourcegid Retail to drive their business forward. Dustan Steer, Ted Baker’s IT director, said: “We chose to work with Cegid because of its expertise in fashion and its international reach. Cegid is present in all the local markets we operate in and the software is highly flexible, giving local support in the relevant languages and lots of specific tools already configured for each region. Following local regulations is

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one of the greatest challenges in Asia, so Cegid proved to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for our overseas activity.”

to four new concessions and an outlet store in the US this year. n

Country-specific needs The retailer also plans to take advantage of other Cegid features to help better align the business with certain country-specific needs. For instance, higher levels of in store service in Asia often requires more sophisticated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and VIP tools, with gift card and loyalty schemes possibly being explored in the future. Steer also acknowledged the need for building new data centres in the US and Hong Kong to support the growing business and speed up data transfer. The £188 million designer brand recently announced further expansion abroad after half-year sales in the US went up by 74 per cent to $16.7 million (£10.8 million), boosted by new concessions and strong demand for its clothes. Ted Baker said it would add 13 concessions in US department stores, including Bloomingdales, to its existing base of 150+ stores, mainly in the UK, France, US and Asia. The company will also open a new flagship store in New York in 2012, in addition

Cegid Group at a glance Cegid Group is an international enterprise management and vertical software solutions provider, with a turnover of €249.6 million in 2010, 2000 employees and 400,000 users worldwide. Combining The company has offices in Milton Keynes, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Milan, New York, Casablanca, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Delivering solutions and services to improve our customer’s performance and development, Cegid’s offerings extend from vertical business solutions (retail, manufacturing & industry, hospitality, services, wholesale, CPAs, associations, Public sector) to ‘enterprise-wide’ solutions (finance & accounting, tax, performance management, human resources/payroll). Cegid’s solutions are also available ‘on demand’ based on a SaaS deployment model, and address the needs of companies of all sizes.

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Supply Chain

Opinion

The effective way

to strip costs out of your supply chain By Mark Garritt, managing director, ByBox.

he lean manufacturing model pioneered in the automotive industry is designed to save costs by reducing stock-holding but it can also expose a company to substantial risks. If not enough stock is delivered on time whole production lines can grind to a halt, with potentially serious consequences not only for lost profits but also for customer relations.

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Even short stoppages still carry a hefty price tag in lost production, especially in high-value industries such as aerospace and IT which have high fixed costs. The higher the fixed costs, the higher the potential lost profit; so companies with expensive state-of-the-art machinery and high research and development costs are particularly vulnerable. For example, a company running with 75 per cent fixed costs can lose twice as much off its bottom line as would a manufacturer that has fixed costs of 25 per cent for the same length of stoppage time. That’s without taking into account the expensive knock-on damage to a manufacturer’s reputation; if a manufacturer is unable to produce their products on time, it can only result in customer dissatisfaction.

Of course tsunamis are devastating, unpredictable and unstoppable. But companies that have stretched and vulnerable supply chains obviously want to minimise the risks they can control, without resorting to expensive over-stocking and abandoning their lean manufacturing processes.”

Natural disasters such as the Japanese earthquake, which disrupted supplies of automotive and IT parts to America and Europe, amply demonstrated that. A catastrophe of a kind which would almost certainly never occur in the UK had a direct impact straightaway, with Japanese car manufacturers being forced to slow down production at UK plants because of a lack of parts. Of course tsunamis are devastating, unpredictable and unstoppable. But companies that have stretched and vulnerable supply chains obviously want to minimise the risks they can control, without resorting to expensive overstocking and abandoning their lean manufacturing processes.

One model of stripping costs out of the supply chain that has proved highly successful in the UK was pioneered here at ByBox. We realised the potential for savings which could be achieved with a novel approach that gives complete visibility of the supply chain at all times. ByBox delivers innight, pre-8am to a network of more than 18,000 secure drop boxes at 1400 locations throughout the UK. The operation runs 365 days a year, including Bank Holidays, with an enviable delivery success rate of 99.77 per cent, making it one of the most reliable delivery methods available. Each part in the network is tracked at all times

Balancing act While not always easy to measure, a dent in a company’s reputation for reliability can swiftly become critical. It is no surprise that businesses want to ensure they get the balancing act between risk and efficiency right. One irony of the rise of Just in Time manufacturing methods is that in an increasingly globalised marketplace supply chains now stretch further round the world than ever before and are consequently more vulnerable.

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Opinion

by ByBox’ award-winning software platform Thinventory, which shows customers exactly where their stock is so they can move it according to need. Instead of rushing parts out using expensive same-day delivery, which attracts premium prices, companies can place orders as late as10:30 p.m. and parts will be in the ByBox drop box by 8am the next day, ready for collection before the start of a day’s work. With deliveries every day of the year, ByBox customers can save substantial sums of money by avoiding the need to use premium services such as same day delivery or weekend delivery in all but the most exceptional cases. Of course some companies, especially those that operate around the clock, may require parts urgently outside normal hours and ByBox can help them with its network of Forward Stock Locations across the UK which are open 24 hours a day. For simple swap-outs and non-intensive installations, ByBox’ expanding Tech Courier service operates 365 days a year, including

Bank Holidays, with a team of 160 technical couriers available across the UK. And if a company requires a skilled engineer as well, ByBox can supply a high-end engineering resource at variable cost through PPR Solutions, a subsidiary of ByBox, which deploys highly-skilled teams of mobile engineers across the UK. Here at ByBox we have always believed that the key to logistics is “moving the data” as much as it is about moving the parts. Our Thinventory software platform gives customers several advantages that can boost their bottom line and financial fitness.

Freeing up working capital First, the excellent visibility of ByBox’ supply chain enables customers to significantly reduce stock-holding; freeing up working capital to use more productively elsewhere in the business. Especially in these tough economic times when companies are finding it increasingly difficult to get credit from banks, this is a benefit that cannot be over-emphasised.

Supply Chain

Secondly, ByBox’ transparent system also allows companies to carefully manage the stock-holding of parts that are about to become obsolete, reducing the risk of having to squander capital by writing off large stocks of unusable parts. With Thinventory they can pinpoint such stock, use it where possible, and avoid ordering in unnecessarily. Thirdly, ByBox smooths the path for returning faulty parts under warranty. Parts are simply placed in the drop box and Thinventory does the rest. By maximising the number of compensation claims which were lodged in time, some of our customers have gained substantial sums in compensation. When we started ByBox in 2000 we firmly believed that many costs could be stripped out of supply chains with new technology and fresh thinking. The field services sector was the first to experience the ByBox ‘distribution revolution’. Now it is time to roll it out to other sectors where lean supply chains are the goal. n

24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year If you need an extended service on Sundays or Bank Holidays, contact ByBox.

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Manufacturing and Logistics IT - March 2012  

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

Manufacturing and Logistics IT - March 2012  

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

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