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Customer Case Studies

 

1Profit from our experience. Read and watch success stories from our customers and how they met their business needs with our solutions.

 

Case Study: Arawak Port Limited, Nassau Container Port

Keeping ships moving through the Nassau Container Port. Zebra’s powerful outdoor WLAN Infrastructure, supported by MultiSystems, eliminated dead spots at the port so that workers can safely and efficiently manage port terminal traffic.

Selecting Zebra’s AP 7161 outdoor access points ensured that the network would be reliable in the challenging environment of a port. The rugged equipment is designed to withstand the harsh weather that hits a port like Nassau’s. Plus, the tri-radio design combined with the WiNG 5 operating system enables uninterrupted coverage. Ports present a daunting setting for wireless communications networks because they include constantly shifting stacks of 20 ft. long steel containers plus mobile semi-trailer trucks, cranes and forklifts. The Port of Nassau’s WLAN system was optimized to work around and with these many obstacles. The port also uses AirDefense, Zebara’s WLAN management and security software. When the new network was first built, AirDefense helped administrators discover access points located outside their network that were interfering with the new equipment.

The Results:  With the new equipment in place, the Nassau Container Port has been able to carry out its mission of fast, safe turnaround of ships. Administrators have received no complaints from port workers who depend on the WLAN in the field. Because it now has a reliable network, the Port of Nassau is developing new uses for the network, including plans to offer access to incoming ships and invite customs officials to start using it as well.

Read all the details of this implementation here. 

 

Video Case Study: Jamaica Broilers

Jamaica Broilers enhances efficiency with MultiSystems Catch-Weight Warehouse Management System

 

MultiSystems provides all the programming and implementation, configuration, documentation and training to ensure your new solutions success.

Contact us and learn how we can integrate today’s technologies with your existing process.

 

Case Study: Toyota of Puerto Rico

The Toyota Corporation set its sixth straight U.S. annual sales record for 2001. With December sales at 144,202 vehicles, 2001 sales finished up 8 percent with a total of 1.7 million vehicles. With the constant flow of new vehicles and parts from around the world, Toyota must have inventory management systems, assembly lines and shipping and receiving docks that are efficient and flawless.

Toyota de Puerto Rico receives and ships 26,000 vehicles a year. With so many cars to turn around in a short time frame, the company had to find a way to shorten processing time without sacrificing data accuracy. Previously using a cumbersome manual tracking process, Toyota de Puerto Rico needed a new solution that would lower costs and improve inventory management. Like many of its competitors, Toyota turned to an automatic data capture (ADC) system using a variety of Zebra Technologies, the worldwide leader in bar code printers, top quality products.

Prior to the ADC system, Toyota had a manual process that required a full-time staff to input and update data into the network. Aside from the system and labor being expensive and slow, the resulting data was extremely vulnerable to human errors. As sales grew and the number of cars they were required to manage increased, Toyota needed a new system that would curb these issues and accelerate data entry.

Once Toyota started looking into systems, other benefits to implementing an ADC system uncovered. “Besides our inventory, there is a lot of office stock here such as computers, software and furniture,” said John Monge, administration manager for Toyota de Puerto Rico. “We didn’t know what equipment we had and we had no effective way to find out.”

Toyota contracted MultiSystems, Inc. , one of Latin America’s largest ADC system integrators, to design a system specific to Toyota’s needs. After a careful evaluation of Toyota’s operations, MultiSystems implemented a wireless network with desktop and mobile bar code printers from Zebra Technologies and handheld scanners to provide an accurate, efficient means of tracking both internal assets and automobile inventory processing.

Toyota’s current workflow system relies on bar code label printing and a wireless radio frequency (RF) network. Inside the office sits a ZebraÒ StripeÒ printer to generate bar code labels for asset tracking purposes. Handheld scanners and Zebra mobile printers enable employees to identify, label and track Toyota’s entire inventory from anywhere on the lot or in the office. Government forms processing, quality control and asset management are all handled automatically, and the system data is updated in real-time.

Toyota tags each item with either a Zebra 5095 ribbon or with a Zebra PolyTrans 3000 silver label, printed with a unique bar code for efficient location determination. Connected to the company’s AS/400 invoicing and inventory system via remote communications through hand held computers, the portable printers output these durable bar code labels while providing Toyota with real-time status information, simplifying the entire process of receiving, storing and shipping Toyota vehicles.

Putting Bar Codes to Work
Toyota de Puerto Rico receives vehicles from assembly plants in Japan. Once notice of a shipment is received, Toyota alerts the local government for tax purposes and to process all government paperwork before offloading can take place. Once the government grants clearance, Toyota is free to accept the shipment and unload the vehicles from the barge.

From here, a Toyota employee scans the vehicle identification number (VIN) so the automobile can be tracked. A Zebra mobile printer generates a three-by-four-inch Zebra PolyPro 2000 label using the Zebra 5555 wax/ resin ribbon formulation on the spot, and the employee affixes it to the windshield. Using portable data terminals, employees can customize information to the label instantly, including vehicle color, options and any visible damage. These labels carry a bar code that when scanned, enters data into Toyota’s inventory system. The label also carries descriptive (human-readable) text for future visual identification. After receiving is completed, all data is uploaded into Toyota’s system. At this point, any damage claims can be made.

More detailed than the manufacturer’s VIN tag, Toyota’s label contains information including vehicle make, model, color, inspection and TDPR number (a five-digit number used within Toyota’s system for tracking and paperwork purposes). With this new bar code information, the car is registered within Toyota’s system, and loan and inventory information is updated automatically.

“Mobile bar code printing saves us so much time and money in inventory, invoicing and loan updating,” notes Monge. “What used to take multiple days to complete manually can now be automatically updated daily in about 15 minutes¾essentially unmonitored and without human error.”

The bar code labels that Toyota uses are a vital tool for its vehicle distribution system. When considering label options, MultiSystems, Inc. recognized that if the labels were unreadable or suffered from the assembly plant’s environment, it would severely cripple the system and undermine all of Toyota’s efforts.

“Toyota needed labels that would endure the extreme high heat and intense humidity that is common in Puerto Rico,” said Mabel Rodrigues of MultiSystems, Inc. “We specified Zebra PolyPro 2000 labels because they stand up to moisture and heat from the beating sun, even for extended periods of time. Since Toyota needs bar code labels that can be scanned repeatedly for months, the labels must consist of superior quality material that won’t fade or wear. In our experience, only Zebra labels meet such high requirements.”

Transition and Storage
Most warehousing operations are in a hurry to move inventory so they can minimize the space and costs required to manage the stock. In Toyota’s business, speed is also critical because the Puerto Rican government charges a property tax if it fails to move the cars to a dealer within 90 days.

Once the vehicles have been received and tagged into Toyota’s system, the stock is moved onto carriers that transport them to Toyota’s facility. The bar code labels are scanned again, automatically updating the system with the vehicles’ locations and alerting the staff to the cars’ pending arrival.

When Toyota unloads the cars from the carrier, the Zebra bar codes are scanned again to alert the system that the vehicles have arrived. They are then placed in the lot, where they await shipment to dealers. The system is updated again and the new inventory is cross-referenced with the needs of the dealers. The system lets Toyota know in real-time if they have the exact color, make, model, etc., and if the specific vehicle can be shipped to the requesting dealer.

From the Floor, Out the Door
When the vehicles are ready to ship out to a dealer, a pre-delivery inspection (PDI) is performed and the bar code label is scanned again. The chosen vehicles are loaded onto carriers, then the bar codes are scanned one last time to notify the system that they are leaving inventory. The system is updated and Toyota de Puerto Rico is ready to place a new order to replenish its stock.

This real-time data collection system enables Toyota to deliver every car within the 90-day tax-free window. Monge recognizes the vital role that the equipment plays in this task.

“I chose Zebra printers because of their reputation for durability and longevity and my experience in using them,” said Monge. “Zebra printers were installed at my former place of employment, and during my six years there, these printers never required any maintenance. That really is a testament to the design and ruggedness of Zebra’s products,” he added. “At Toyota, we have witnessed the same high-quality performance daily in extreme conditions of heat, rain, sun and humidity from both the labels and printers. They just keep going.

“We are now able to track inventory in cycles and produce detailed reports by department, area and section,” notes Monge. “It is impossible for a car to leave here without knowing to whom it was sent and when. This just adds to the ease and accuracy of our entire system. The up-to-date information we provide to our dealers is a critical asset in maintaining our status as the leading distributor in Puerto Rico.

“With such success under our belts,” adds Monge, “we will rely even more on RF scanning and Zebra products in the future. Our next step is to add a space location tracking system,” he explained, “so we also know precisely where each vehicle is located on the lot.” No matter how busy the traffic or how high the temperature gets at Toyota de Puerto Rico, Zebra printers and labels are certain to keep the operation running smoothly.

MultiSystems provides all the programming and implementation, configuration, documentation and training to ensure your new solutions success.

Contact us and learn how we can integrate today’s technologies with your existing process.

Published: http://www.fieldtechnologiesonline.com/doc/toyota-de-puerto-rico-0001

 
 

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