Monday, 19 October 2020

Twinings Teas - SAP Warehouse Modernisation

 Twinings is a 300 year old supplier of Tea, Coffee and infusion drinks.  Their Enterprise computer system is SAP and they run the whole business on this platform. However over time the warehouse system ( SAP WM ) had been left behind and so Twinings embarked on a radical overhaul of the warehouse, its software front end into SAP and the mobile devices that they used to manage all the warehouse transactions. 

 
Alan Talbot - Projects Systems Manager tells the story of the upgrade and the benefits and efficiency that Twinings gained from the new hardware and software.


Barcode-IT take the time to fully understand your business processes and the needs and methods in the warehouse, as well as your WMS and ERP system. Making sure they the devices that you install are as perfect as possible for your operations and budget. We understand that some applications will need very rugged devices that may need to scan barcodes from a distance, while other parts of the business require smaller light industrial devices, with less intensive usage needs.

If your business needs to have a mobile device refresh or is building a new warehouse, its time to call in the professionals at Barcode-IT. Call now on 01200 441977 or email sales@barcode-it.co.uk.

Thursday, 24 September 2020

When you really, really need a rugged Mobile Computer for the Factory or Warehouse.


There are many industrial mobile computers and terminals on the market and many "claim" to be fully rugged and fit for industrial use.  But there's rugged, as in "its a lot better than a mobile phone" and then there's really rugged, as in designed from the ground up to be capable of standing up to the harshest manufacturing, warehouse or logistics set-up.

 
 
 When the MC9090 was introduced in 2008 it was an instant hit with many large businesses running large ERP systems such as SAP and Warehouse Logistics operations.  The MC9090 redefined the Rugged Mobile computer and its a testament to their ruggedness and reliability that some units are still being used today.

The MC9300 (Android) is the latest evolution of that original concept, a hand held device that is over engineered for very active use, while still ergonomically designed to allow optimum performance for the worker.  In addition the Latest MC9300 uses an Enterprise version of Android to power through the ERP or WMS interface and provide a level of security not seen on other competing units.
 
Why Android?  Well its simple really, its because Microsoft retired hurt from the industrial mobile operating system market which is had dominated for years. Microsoft did not do well in the mobile phone market and so decided to abandon its mobile phone OS platform which left industrial device manufacturers with little choice but to move to Android. Read our Blog on "The bitter end for Windows"

Zebra Technologies were the first of the manufacturers to adopt Android and quickly realised that a "standard" version of Android would not be suitable for most corporate customers and so Zebra worked with Google and others to re-engineer a much more robust Enterprise version of Android that deals with all the security and operational issues that large corporate customers were concerned about.

Zebra MC9300 from Barcode-IT

So now in the MC9300 you have the perfect combination of robust construction, ergonomic design, lightening performance and secure operation that makes the MC9300 truly rugged and ideal for use in our high speed, deliver it tomorrow world.

Watch this video for a 90 second overview of why its the perfect rugged mobile computer for your business.

Monday, 27 April 2020

Preparing Your Business For Change: Are You Ready For Business Post COVID-19 Lockdown?


As the UK’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop, organisations are facing significant challenges and need to respond rapidly, whether that is immediately or following re-opening after lockdown. Everyone is speculating about it, but no-one really knows when the lockdown will end or what post lockdown UK will look like, especially for non-essential businesses, who are currently furloughed. 
 
 
 
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted to us all, just how important it is to ensure that information about illness and health is communicated efficiently. One thing we can be sure of, is that additional measures will need to be put into place within businesses to protect both staff and visitors, and prevent the further spread of this, or any other virus in the future.

Under the current regulations, the virus has made it crucial for workplaces to limit unnecessary person-to-person contact and potential transmission incidents. But once the lockdown is ended, it will become more important than ever that businesses have their own way of screening visitors and staff members coming into the building, to protect other employees and prevent further spread. If someone, who may be a risk to the health and safety of staff, enters your premises, you need to be able to identify them and take any necessary action; whether that’s to allow them entry in a controlled manner or to ask them to kindly reschedule and return at a later date dependant on your own company protocol for denying entry of high-risk individuals.

By implementing an automated entry system (Visitor Management System), businesses are able to pre-register individuals scheduled to visit site or simply ask them to answer questions at reception. This technology makes it possible to inform your visitors of site rules, PPE requirements and explain the check in process, whilst having the ability to store and recall this important information easily and quickly. Visitors can be asked questions regarding recent health issues and foreign travel, as this will be critical to mitigate the risk of any disease spreading through your business.


Barcode-IT are able to provide you with a fully digitised visitor entry solution, which can be tailored specifically to your business and any Health and Safety requirements you may have. We already supply visitor entry solutions into FMCG businesses around the UK, as it has been important for them to track visitors coming into their premises from the point of view of contamination for many years. Now the same may be the case for all businesses, so that records and information can be provided quickly to the relevant authorities, should the need arise.

If you would like to discuss the benefits of a digitised visitor entry system for your business or find out more information, please contact us on 01200 441977 or e-mail.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Security in the Cloud? How to stay safe when using Cloud applications.

We are all having our first real taste of Cloud based applications during the COVID-19 pandemic, and like all shiny new things, it's interesting and fun to try, but there are plenty of "gotchas" along the way - security being probably the most important consideration.

For example; we offer a Cloud-based labelling product called Label Cloud, which is a method of distributing the ability to print labels to remote users (anywhere in the world), using their local printer and PC as the workstation.  The beauty of this solution is that all of the important data and label designs are stored in the Cloud, so that print users can only interact with the labels and variable data that's in the Cloud, with admin functions such as label creation, connection to the information database and change control, all kept separate and not accessible by users.


Cloud Labelling solutions from Barcode-IT


This data and label information can be highly sensitive, with any mistakes; either accidental or malicious, having painful and disastrous consequences for the business in question. Imagine the trouble that thousands of product labels with rude messages could wreak on a big retail company for example.





So, whilst we are able to enjoy the powerful features of Cloud based applications and all the benefits they can bring, absolute control becomes the most important consideration. Heavy duty security, particularly on the Internet, is a very expensive game to be in and with major customers involved, all wanting an absolute guarantee, it can soon become an impossible task for all but the very largest players to compete. So, how can we ensure our customer's information is secure when hosting a Label Cloud solution?

Well, apparently we don't have to worry. When receiving my invitation to join our in-house Label Cloud demonstration, I was surprised to be asked for a Microsoft or Google email address to use as my login. Annoyed, as I didn't have either, and frankly didn't want either (yet another thing to remember!), it soon became clear why I needed one. It's so that giants like Microsoft and Google can do the "heavy lifting" on the first level of security and authentication, removing the need for additional and costly security measures.

And really, who is better qualified to undertake this difficult security task, than the two largest companies in the IT world?

This example gives us a clear indication of the future of Cloud based solutions. When setting up an account for someone in the Cloud, we won't need to store user detail or passwords, we'll simply send an invitation to a user, using their normal email address and they choose Microsoft or Google accounts to use for authentication. We never know what it is, so can't lose it or have it stolen plus Microsoft and Google act as our "Mighty Gate Keepers", while we get on with providing our customers with powerful remote labelling solutions.  Everybody wins and most importantly stays secure!

So, if you're looking to move your labelling solution into the Cloud to take advantage of the numerous benefits, don't let security concerns put you off. Call the team at Barcode-IT on 01200 441977 or e-mail sales@barcode-it.co.uk for full information and a demonstration of Cloud Labelling or any Cloud Application Deployment.

Monday, 3 February 2020

Barcode Label Printers. Its always the little things...

Our top selling mid range thermal printer, the Sato 4NX has just had an update.  Not that you would know to look at it, as all the enhancements are either invisible or too subtle to be obvious to the casual observer.  

But with label printers, as with many other technology devices, its the little things that make all the difference to the person who actually uses the printer. Higher print speed, faster processor or larger label roll size, don't mean much to the worker.  But a wide opening print head or a mechanism that does not cause "ribbon wrinkle" are the little things that make the user love their label printers.

Fortunately the new Sato CL4NX plus, has all the big features and all the little features too, so the business gets the benefits of the higher speed and amazing print quality and the worker gets the the clever design that makes his day to day operation of the printer frustration free.

Plus they both enjoy the amazing build quality and attention to detail that makes the Sato CL 4NX the best printer we have ever sold!

 


Call today and start reaping the benefits of replacing your tired old label printers with the new Sato 4NX Plus.

Sato CL 4NX - click image for PDF

Is Your Wireless Infrastructure Hurting Your Warehouse Operations?

Many Mobile devices are also designed to "WiFi roam" within the  warehouse, which means that moving between WiFi Access Points ( APs)   should not cause the signal to be dropped, but continue to work  seamlessly and continuing to send and receive information to the ERP or  WMS.  This depends on using "industrial WiFi" where the APs work behind  the scenes to manage the data so that the user is never disconnected.  True industrial mobile devices from companies such as Zebra and  Datalogic,also contain dual antennas, so that data is transmitted on one  antenna while the other is negotiating with the local APs to select the  best performance and range.



Many Mobile devices are also designed to "WiFi roam" within the  warehouse, which means that moving between WiFi Access Points ( APs)   should not cause the signal to be dropped, but continue to work  seamlessly and continuing to send and receive information to the ERP or  WMS.  This depends on using "industrial WiFi" where the APs work behind  the scenes to manage the data so that the user is never disconnected.  True industrial mobile devices from companies such as Zebra and  Datalogic,also contain dual antennas, so that data is transmitted on one  antenna while the other is negotiating with the local APs to select the  best performance and range.

If you are implementing a new WLAN, the process should start with a full  wireless site survey. The design of your WiFi network will depend on  the vendor or systems integrator knowing how the warehouse is laid out,  what potential sources of interference exist, and what types of stock  will be stored there. For highly dynamic warehouses, all potential  stocking and staffing scenarios should be considered in advance to  ensure the network can perform under all circumstances.
If you are implementing a new WLAN, the process should start with a  thorough wireless site survey. The RF design of your network will depend  on the vendor or systems integrator knowing how the warehouse is laid  out, what potential sources of interference exist, and what types of  stock will be stored there. For highly dynamic warehouses, all potential  stocking and staffing scenarios should be considered in advance to  ensure the network can perform under all circumstances.

Once the network is up and running, it should be regularly audited and  tuned. This requires additional site surveys, which can uncover new  sources of interference or additional coverage problems.


Typically, these issues may include dead zones with no coverage,  competition for bandwidth, or sluggish throughput. Depending on the  nature of the problem, you may need to increase your access point  density or increase AP power. That’s because many smaller handheld  devices don’t have enough power to effectively communicate with the  access points. The wireless infrastructure should be configured to serve  the lowest-powered mobile devices that will be used in the facility.

The network should also be designed with redundancy in mind, so that if  there is a problem with a single AP, mobile devices can quickly roam to a  neighboring AP and minimize downtime. If the wireless infrastructure  will carry voice in addition to data traffic, the network should be  configured to prioritize the more latency-sensitive voice traffic.

If your warehouse WiFi is letting your Warehouse Operation down, call for a free consultation on 01200 441977 or email sales@dashcomputer.co.uk