Wireless Applications

European Third-Party Logistics Provider Deploys WhereNet's RTLS

October 24, 2006

The active RFID-based system helps cut costs, automate workflow, increase throughput, and reduce inventory.


SANTA CLARA, CA /PRNewswire/ -- WhereNet Corp., a leader of wireless solutions for tracking and managing enterprise assets, announced that Jobstl Warehousing & Fashion GmbH, a European-based third-party logistics company, has implemented the standards-based WhereNet locatable active RFID, real-time locating system (RTLS) technology to automate yard management processes associated with Jobstl's retail distribution business. By enabling complete closed-loop supply chain visibility, the WhereNet system optimizes the flow of containers between Jobstl warehouses and customer sites across central Europe, resulting in increased throughput, reduced inventory, enhanced customer service, and shorter order-to-cash cycle times.

"WhereNet has allowed us to transform our yard operations by transitioning from manual, paper-based, error-prone data collection processes to a completely automated system," said Erwin Gabardi, managing director for Jobstl. "WhereNet's locatable active RFID technology, which provides nearly 100% accurate data capture, is the foundation of our integrated fleet management system. That system provides complete visibility to every trailer in our fleet—whether at our warehouses or on-site at a customer location—completely eliminating search times and any potential for lost containers."

High-End System for High-End Fashion
Jobstl distributes fashion merchandise for the Charles Vogele Group (Vogele), which operates more than 750 clothing stores in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

After initially considering global positioning satellite (GPS) solutions, Jobstl determined that technology was too expensive and not practical enough to address the dynamic nature of its distribution business. With assistance from system integrator Comtrix, which evaluated competitive RTLS solution providers, Jobstl chose a hybrid solution that uses the WhereNet automated RTLS system to provide real-time data in local areas, such as warehouses and customer sites, and semiautomatic wide area "on the road" event notification to ensure complete, closed-loop supply chain visibility.

The WhereNet solution at Jobstl consists of active-RFID WhereTag transmitters attached to every container in the fleet; WherePort magnetic "exciters" positioned at Vogele's dock doors; and a local infrastructure of wireless WhereLAN location sensors covering more than 20,000 square meters at the Jobstl and Vogele facilities.

Among the benefits Jobstl has enjoyed from its WhereNet installation to date are:

  • Elimination of time-intensive manual data collection processes and lost containers, as the system provides 100% container tracking, location, and status information

     

  • Real-time updates of asset locations throughout the yard, which helps automate the workflow for yard drivers for both Jobstl and its customers

     

  • A 20% cost savings resulting from increased container utilization

     

  • Improved order-to-cash cycle times as a result of reducing the billing process from one week to a half day

     

  • A significant reduction in dock door and yard turn times, resulting in increased throughput

     

  • Improved customer and employee satisfaction as both parties can now focus on managing by exception and more value-added tasks, rather than manual-intensive processes

"In today's world, where retail giants call most of the shots in the logistics game, service providers are looking to us to help them meet or exceed customer requirements, maintain premier-service levels, and retain and grow their business," said Florian Erber, director of sales and business development for WhereNet, Europe. "The Jobstl implementation provides another proof point of how locatable active RFID, combined with supply chain systems, can transform manual-intensive business processes by automating workflow and increasing capacity and throughput. With the success that Jobstl is realizing, we expect to expand our solution at multiple locations across Europe."

About WhereNet Corp.
WhereNet is the "first" company to deliver a single wireless location and communication infrastructure that reliably and cost-effectively manages valuable mobile resources and delivers a complete return on investment within 6–12 months. Based on patented, standards-compliant technology resulting from a collective 100+ years of development, the WhereNet active RFID, RTLS solutions enable companies such as APL, BMW, Ford Motor Company, and NYK Logistics and facilities like Tobyhanna Army Depot to reduce inventory, lower operating costs, and improve operations. The company has received the Henry Ford Technology Award; was recognized for strong ROI by Computerworld; was ranked among the top 10 in the InfoWorld 100; and has been recognized as a wireless innovator by Forrester Research, Global Logistics & Supply Chain Strategies, Plant Engineering, and Supply & Demand Chain Executive magazines. WhereNet is headquartered in Santa Clara, CA, and has offices throughout the U.S. and Europe. For more information, visit the WhereNet Web site or call 408-845-8500 (in the U.S.) or +49 89 65309894.

WhereNet is a registered trademark, and WhereTag, WherePort, and WhereLAN are trademarks of WhereNet Corp. All other brands, products, or service names are or may be trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.


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