Exide Batteries use the barcode business's RF systems for Real Time distribution warehouse control
Exide is an international battery manufacturer with a distribution centre in Wales from where they distribute to the whole of the UK and parts of Europe. They were previously experiencing major issues with the picking and shipping of their stocks.
Their current IT infrastructure had several flaws:
- It only recorded the booked in location on the existing routine - picks and movements were done manually.
- The hardware and RF network was slow and unreliable with many dead spots in the warehouse.
- The system could not be used to record picking/moving items.
- Items were being moved / picked without the server being updated and consequently pickers would visit empty locations to pick goods.
- Documentation printed at the start of a shift was immediately out of date.
They spoke to the barcode business as an existing supplier of barcode and labelling solutions to their group. Two days was spent on site analysing their existing systems and then a detailed specification and recommendation report was delivered.
As a result the barcode business initiated:
- A detailed RF site survey to plan to avoid dead spots for RF communications.
- Installation of a barcode based RF cordless stock control system giving full data coverage of the warehouse area.
- Use of Datalogic DL9600 Viper terminals, which interface directly with their AS/400 host. This gives the pickers an emulation of their desktop screens on the Portable Terminal.
- The hardware screens to be mapped to their existing AS/400 screens so no re-mapping or screen scrolling was required.
The client now has a leading edge system giving them real benefits and because they are working real time, their stock data is always up to date. Pickers no longer visit empty locations and their picking efficiency and accuracy has dramatically improved. The result of this work has been a real improvement in the number of batteries being despatched in a shift than ever before!