Supply Chain News

Distributor Locks Down Handheld Equipment

Automated locker system streamlines radio frequency scanner management to significantly increase accountability and productivity.

Cheney Brothers, a foodservice distributor with locations in Orlando, Ocala and Riviera Beach, Fla., was looking for a solution to organize, store and track the company’s Radio Frequency (RF) scanner equipment.

After installing an automated locker system, the company improved accountability, cut costs and boosted productivity.

Before the new lockers, scanners were often lost - even accidentally thrown in the trash.

This meant managers frequently had to drop what they were doing to search the 525,000-square-foot Ocala DC.

According to Ignacio Estupinan, operation systems coordinator, it might take three days to track them down, so there were extra scanners just to keep people working.

“People used a different scanner every day, so they were careless with them, and it caused a lot of damage, a lot of repairs and a lot of finger-pointing.”

The company had managed its RF devices out of a locked equipment room. An RF technician arrived 30 minutes before each shift to organize all the devices and verify their IDs. Then came the daily “lineup.”

Cheney Brothers Eliminating the Scanner Bottleneck and Boosting Accountability

Operators each waited at least five minutes to check out their equipment and sign the daily log. At the end of each shift, they all lined up again for check-in.

This lineup repeated three times a day with 150 employees. That process consumed roughly 15 RF tech hours and more than 125 operator hours each week.

The new automated locker system from Apex Supply Chain Technologies, manages 100 voice-enabled scanners and headsets - enough to assign one per operator - and 25 two-way radios.

Each scanner or radio is assigned to a specific compartment and a specific operator. The check-in and check-out processes now take less than one minute per employee, and the system records each transaction.

The company has saved $28,080 in annual technician labor and $143,000 in annual operator savings, the productivity equivalent of three full-time operators.

In the first nine months, not a single scanner had to be sent out for repair, and Cheney Brothers expects zero annual costs for replacing lost or missing scanners.

Based on the success at Ocala, the company plans to incorporate a similar solution at a new DC under construction in Punta Gorda.

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Objectives in Designing Future State Automated Systems for Management of Mission-Critical Assets
Managing Mission-Critical Operational Assets with Cloud-Based, Self-Service Automated Locker Systems


Article Topics
News   Videos   Best Practices   Supply Chain   Supply Chain Optimization   Automated Locker Systems   Cloud Applications   All topics


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About the Author
Josh Bond, Senior Editor
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.
 
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