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Case Study - EquipU


The Customer


EquipU, formally known as Greater Glasgow Independent Living, supplies vital equipment to assist the physically challenged in the Glasgow area, achieve as normal a life as possible.


The Problem

   

Operatives need to register delivery of equipment to the client and ensure the correct product is supplied. Goods are identified by the part number, if it is misread or similar to another on the same delivery list errors can and do occur. They need to reduce errors and make every delivery count. It was also desirable for the drivers to carry just one device, which incorporated, mobile phone, barcode reader, GPS, Camera and mobile computer for the gathering of data.


The Challenge


Central Peripherals was challenged first to supply the printers and media to bar-code all the equipment in the stores and then find the ideal mobile computing devices for use in the stores and on the delivery vehicles. They had to be robust, easy to use, read bar codes, have GPRS, GPS, built in camera, have sufficient power to last a full shift and have a Windows Mobile operating system    



The Solution


Central Peripherals offered many alternative devices for testing and finally the MC35 from Symbol/Motorola was decided on as the unit that came nearest to providing the best solution. Although these have now been in use, successfully, for several years, it was found using the Camera/Wedge program on the MC35 was difficult and the users tended to key in the serial numbers instead of reading the barcode, resulting in errors. When Motorola launched the MC55, EquipU made the decision to trial it and as moved to this unit, but they continue to update their equipment and have now added the MC45 and MC65 to complement their portfolio. The MC45s and MC55s are used within the warehouse but the MC65, being the most robust is used out on the road where they make full use of the on-board telephony.  


The Benefits


All of the units are easy to use making it unnecessary to enter data manually, therefore improving efficiency. Clients are better served and complaints are fewer. Unnecessary repeat journeys are eliminated, fuel consumption is reduced and time freed for other calls. The durability of all three units combined with the efficiencies gained quickly result in a great Return on the Investment and reduced Total Cost of Ownership.





How Does System Work?


All stock is identified by a bar-coded label which is printed using either Datamax I-Class or M Class printer or the Zebra QL mobile printer using Bartender software to create barcoded labels. In the stores the MC45 and MC55 WiFi terminals are used for checking or picking stock for despatch. The MC65s are used by the drivers to register the delivery of goods to the customer; the information can be fed back to base using GPRS. The MC65 can also be used for locating delivery addresses using its GPS system. The GSM facility on the device allows the driver to communicate with base verbally which means that they only need to carry one device.



The Future


Central Peripherals will continue to work closely with EquipU to ensure that the hardware they are using is always the best solution for their needs.


Solution Components




Case Study: Benkert (UK) Ltd


The Customer


Based in Clackmannanshire, Benkert (UK) Ltd is a leading producer of tipping paper to a global marketplace.


The Challenge


"Previously Benkert (UK) Ltd operated a manual system for recording pallet loading. This system was prone to error and these errors could be very expensive".


On average 3000 paper bobbins are shipped every week, staff loading these bobbins onto pallets would manually record the order, pallet and bobbin numbers. Central Peripherals were tasked with finding a way of unobtrusively bar-coding each bobbin and automatically recording the loading of each bobbin to a pallet.


The Solution


A short pilot project was started to investigate the best way of attaching and then scanning a barcode on each bobbin. Using many years of experience in the data capture industry, Central Peripherals custom built a complete solution combining the best and most suitable hardware from a number of manufacturers with bespoke software.


The Benefits


"The introduction of the bar-code system eliminated most of the risk of error and generally improved efficiency. The difference was a case of night and day!" Benkert (UK) Ltd felt there was no need to try and calculate a ROI (return on investment) as "it is obvious to us that the system has produced considerable benefits".


The Future


Having seen the benefits a bar-coding system can bring, Central Peripherals have continued to work with Benkert and with the aid of a Symbol wireless network and MC9090G & MC3190 mobile computers, Handheld Products 5620 scanners and Zebra printers "we have further developed the system to include links to our QC (quality control) system and a stock management system - both of these considerably improving efficiency".


And, says Neil Sharpe, Financial Director of Benkert (UK) Ltd, it doesn't stop there, "The system will continue to be refined as further opportunities to improve efficiency are identified".

The system was first installed in 2002 and has been evolving ever since.


sales@centralp.co.uk