Wincanton introduced a mobile system for identifying consignments. This not only made it the company's first central European branch to do so, but also one of the first Polish logistics companies to deploy such a system. Equipment from leading manufacturers was used to implement the system, with an in-house IT team modifying the existing warehouse system and writing new programs. Once implemented, the new system enabled warehouse staff to use mobile terminals along with barcode scanners and Zebra QL 420 mobile printers.
These printers have been adapted to operate in warehouse depots where environmental conditions (such as dust, temperature variations and vibration) are too harsh for laser printers. They can also withstand being dropped onto concrete floors and due to the special wireless network these mobile devices can communicate directly with the main computer system.
"The current process for finalising orders involves the warehouse employee using the terminal to read the picking list. Using a trolley with a pallet he locates the product on the relevant shelf as indicated by the terminal. Once identified, the product's barcode is scanned and if it matches the order the system allows the user to load the required amount on the pallet. The name and storage location of the next product is then highlighted. On finalising the order, the consignment is packed and shrink-wrapped. The transport label is then immediately printed by the warehouse employee using the Zebra mobile printer which he carries," explains Patryk Pajak.
The new paperless system can not only be used to finalise individual orders, but also to process other warehouse activities ranging from goods in, to inventory, picking and finally to dispatch. All information required by the warehouse service is highlighted on the terminal screens, with required labels printed using the Zebra mobile printers.