18 June 2012
Digital pen and paper solution saves nearly 1m euros for container specialist
Envirotainer, a global supplier of temperature-controlled aircraft containers for sensitive and perishable products, reports that since implementing a digital pen and paper solution from Destiny Wireless and a container barcode scanning system from M Solutions, it has achieved a remarkable 20 per cent expansion of its business without needing to increase its resources. It is projecting savings of 910,000 euros over three years.
The company operates 4,000 containers from 45 bases, serving more than 200 airports in over 100 countries. They need checking and recording before and after each movement, and in the past this was done with normal pen and paper.
The information was transferred to a spreadsheet and faxed or scanned and emailed to one of Envirotainer’s three logistics offices (in Sydney, Frankfurt and Dallas).
Apart from the risk of human error, this process also held containers back from re-entering service, sometimes for up to three days. That in turn meant a container for the next job might have to be brought in unnecessarily from a distant location, when an appropriate one was actually on the spot already.
Destiny digitised and redesigned the booking-in and inspection forms, making them more intuitive and using tick boxes for key data fields to limit freehand text. Following a three-month pilot exercise at Frankfurt and Dallas, the new system was then rolled out on a global scale.
A hundred of the pens are now in use in 25 countries across Europe, Asia, Australia and the US. Service providers use these to record all required container information, including damage, which is photographed digitally, and data is transmitted via Bluetooth to the operative’s mobile phone.
According to quality assurance engineer Thomas Westerholm, the service providers have taken to the new process enthusiastically because it makes life easier. Turnround time has been reduced to a maximum of 48 hours, and the human error rate has been cut to under 1 per cent.© Ivory Square Publications Ltd