Technology business iLockerz has transformed the capabilities of a leading logistics operator with an intelligent electronic locker and asset management system to track its warehouse scanners. The system has significantly improved security, reduced loss and damage and secured a return on investment in less than three months.
iLockerz’ expertise in asset management has enabled their customer to manage the use and storage of its costly scanners, delivering a double-digit improvement in operational efficiencies and productivity.
iLockerz was approached by the prospect in 2016 to assist in making its scanners work more effectively for the business. It needed an electronic locker system that would securely store the scanners, with an innovative way of tracking scanners to keep tabs on the whereabouts of each individual unit. As a result the business has implemented an innovative iLockerz solution that incorporates 280 intelligent locker doors with RFID tracking to verify each transaction of a scanner moving in and out.
The logistics provider offers logistics and supply chain services to the largest automotive manufacturer in the area from its 1.5m sq ft warehouse in Leicestershire. Automotive parts from filters to engines are packed within the warehouse before being shipped across the world. The five main teams of workers rely on hand-held scanners to ensure they send the right parts to the right locations in the right timeframe.
The logistics provider was previously spending significant time and money managing its pool of scanners. Many were getting damaged or lost, putting a significant strain on operational efficiency. In the three months leading up to the installation of iLockerz new system, the customer had spent £50,000 on replacement scanners. Managers were wasting a lot of time and effort trying to track scanners down and make them available for operatives, rather than getting on with their important work tasks.
iLockerz helped to solve the problem by installing 10 separate banks of lockers across the Desford site, each with 28 electronic locker doors to allow up to 10 operatives to be removing or returning scanners at any one time, ensuring that shift handovers are fast and without unnecessary queuing at locker systems. When warehouse employees arrive for their shift, they simply present their ID badge to a card reader and the locker system will provide them with the scanner which has had the least use so that all devices get equal usage and wear.
iLockerz has attached an RFID tag to each of the £2,000 scanners to ensure managers know which scanner is being used by which individual and when. The technology also allows managers to track scanners throughout the warehouse if needed. If a scanner is misplaced or accidently packed, the RFID technology used by iLockerz allows a manager to identify its exact location, meaning the operative does not have to unpack every pallet they have worked on during that shift.
Thanks to innovative integration with the warehouse’s turnstile system by Keri Systems there is also plans moving forward that will ensure that traceability goes right to the warehouse exit and entry points. iLockerz has worked with provider Kerisys to integrate its technology so that if a member of staff has not returned their scanner to the locker system, they will be re-checked at the exit turnstiles and if necessary asked to return a scanner that they have checked out before leaving site.
The intelligent locker system is user-friendly and makes the transition between shifts far smoother. Queues for scanners have now been reduced and staff can return their used devices or remove a new device in around five seconds. If there has been a problem with the scanner, operatives can also report the issue to the locker system, providing managers with real time information that they can respond to accordingly, allocating resources more efficiently and ensuring that faulty scanners are taken out of service, repaired and returned to action in rapid time.
iLockerz is also in the process of providing the customer with a small training locker system that will help employees and agency staff learn how to use the locker system effectively before they begin work proper on the warehouse floor.
The smart locker system guarantees secure storage, easy access and traceability which has delivered significant cost savings for the 3PL. At a cost of less than £200,000, the solution provided a return on investment in less than three months. That only takes into account the cost of the scanners. When you factor in time saving, the innovation is shown to have a significant impact on the customer’s bottom line. It is little wonder that following installation, Neovia Logistics has reported a double-digit efficiency boost.
iLockerz’s Business Development Manager, Ryan Slaney, says: “our customer is an innovative fast-growing business and we are proud to have helped improve their operations. The logistics sector is embracing new exciting technology such as scanners, voice picking systems, tablet computers, 4G connectivity and much more at an astonishing rate. Yet this adoption presents its own challenges and securing and managing asset use is where we can really add value. We understand asset management and our solutions allow customers to focus on doing what they are good at instead of worrying about looking after kit.”
For the latest and greatest product demonstrations the iLockerz team will be on hand at IMHX (stand 6D259) with a full range of intelligent lockers, asset management software and key control solutions.
iLockerz Ltd, Station Road Industrial Estate, Birmingham, B65 0JY
Tel: 0121 270 6153