CRT Group has approximately 2,500 containers, a large fleet of dedicated unloading vehicles, transport vehicles, pressure tank trucks, forklifts and lifting vehicles, and new railway technologies. It is one of the largest professional logistics service providers in Australia.
Manual Tracking System The CRT needs to handle a large number of special raw materials, including raw materials for various products such as medical syringes and optical discs. These raw materials need to be specially treated to avoid product contamination and maintain their natural characteristics. For this reason, the company requires that the process be completed in a dust-free environment and the product be isolated according to the characteristics of the raw materials. Companies also need to track all products in batches to maintain traceability throughout the supply chain. In managing the customer's supply chain, the CRT needs to store these raw materials and change their storage locations to meet the customer's sales needs.
To meet these needs, CRT Group established container parking spaces and warehouses in six locations in Australia. CRT's warehouses and container parking spaces store a large number of customer products ranging from plastic pellets to powdered raw materials. It is important to keep track of where these products are stored and the number of products and destinations.
The CRT Group previously relied on paper-based manual systems to manage this process. Forklift drivers operate according to the goods selection and transfer orders provided to them. They need to mark each document for each item they handle, and return the document to the warehouse manager.
Mr. Sumith Perera, CRT Groupâ€™s chief information officer, said: â€œOur past work styles were so dependent on spreadsheets that there was a long delay when the system was updated, which meant that we could not achieve the efficiency we wanted. We once had Five systems for accounting and finance, container parking management, warehouse inventory management, and transportation scheduling. These systems are not integrated systems and are difficult to maintain and use.â€
Perera and his team knew that they needed to find a better solution. This solution should integrate different existing systems and reduce the difficulty of the forklift driver's work, reducing the possibility of drivers making mistakes. They need to reduce their reliance on spreadsheets and paper printouts. As a result, they sought help from Walker Datavision, a business partner of Symbol Technologies, and hoped to find and implement an ideal solution with the help of Symbol's products and Walker Datavision.
Mr Perera, a wireless solution, said: â€œOur warehouse is large, so we need a wireless solution because the wired solution is too restrictive. Our ideal solution is to use radio frequency (RF) and barcodes. Walker Datavision is We have successfully completed similar projects in the past, so we believe they can provide the solutions we need.â€
At the Melbourne warehouse, CRT Group deployed 12 Symbol wireless access points and four robust Symbol PDT 6846 wireless handheld data terminals. These terminals are not only lightweight, strong, and dustproof, but they can withstand the impact of falling from a height of 1.2 meters to the concrete floor over and over again. This system is ideal for data management. The .Net technology used by Walker Datavision for the middleware developed specifically for the CRT Group is linked to the CRT's Microsoft Navision Enterprise ERP system.
Now, CRT's efficient wireless technology solutions have replaced the original paper-based and time-consuming system, making inventory management and tracking faster, easier, and more accurate.
Support and Interoperability For Perera and his team, the most important thing is the level of support that their chosen solution can achieve. Because RF and bar code solutions are mission-critical for the company, it is important to minimize the disruption of the system's operation. For an important consideration in cost management, the team does not want to have to purchase additional equipment units in the event of a technical failure.
Mr. Perera said: â€œIf a unit of equipment stops working for some reason, we need to be able to repair or replace it quickly. This way, employees who use it can continue to work. Walker Datavision provides an excellent solution to our problems. The solution, a support program that includes 'hot plugging' of Symbolâ€™s equipment units, is very reassuring because we know that if a Symbol handheld device fails, we can get it within a few hours. Taiwan's new equipment."
Symbol Technology provides a complete solution that includes handheld devices to access points. This fact prompted the CRT Group to adopt Symbol's solution. Perera said: "We hope that this solution will come from a single supplier such as Symbol Technology, so that there will be no problems in terms of interoperability, and there will be no confusion in the arrangement of technical support."
How the solution works The CRT Group uses large transport containers to load raw materials from manufacturing companies such as plastic pellets or PVC powder and then transport them to the relevant infrastructure of the CRT Group. There, the warehouse staff used a special machine to remove it and reload it into 25 kg or 1 ton bags according to the customer's requirements. These bags are then placed on bar coded pallets and placed on the side of the warehouse.
The forklift driver uses Symbol PDT 6846 wireless handheld data terminal to scan the bar code on the pallet or package, and then find the corresponding shelf or compartment in the warehouse based on this bar code. After the product is safely placed in the designated compartment, the forklift driver registers this information on the handheld device, and this information is automatically connected to the Navision ERP system so that the system can know the quantity of the product stored. And where it is stored in the warehouse.
When needed, the CRT uses the same scanning system to load the required product from the warehouse and ship it to the customer. The customer will use these materials to make plastic products such as baby bottles, dishes and medical equipment.
As a raw material with a high degree of special properties, plastic tracking of batch and lot numbers is very important, because certain batches of raw materials are more suitable for the manufacture of certain special products. The bar code system includes this information, allowing users to easily track product batches and lot numbers at the same time.
Mr. Perera, a faster and error-free supply chain manager, said: â€œUsing this system, we will be more effective in helping our customers manage their supply chain. For example, we can now tell customers that there are 10 tons of products left, but this Orders for products are coming, so they need to build more products. This value-added service not only helps our customers stay ahead of the demand, but also enhances our competitiveness.â€
The CRT Group had found it difficult to find products already stored in warehouses in the past, and this problem has now disappeared. Mr. Perera said: â€œBecause this system no longer relies on manual data entry, we not only save the time needed to determine the location of the inventory, but also eliminate errors related to this.â€
In an industry with low profit margins, not all companies can invest in such technology. Perera believes that this integrated wireless solution will be a key factor for the CRT Group to differentiate itself from its competitors. He explained: â€œThe customerâ€™s expectations are high. This system can help us meet and exceed the customerâ€™s expectations. It is like an entry ticket to the competition.â€
The robustness of Symbol's equipment is one of the reasons why CRT Group chose its products. Mr. Perera said: "Our company uses a long-arm lift truck. This environment is a very harsh environment for sophisticated electronic equipment. In such an environment, standard handheld computers will soon be damaged. Symbol Technology PDT 6846 The performance of wireless handheld computers is excellent. Since the solution was started a year ago, no one device has failed."
Future Plans As the company successfully runs this solution in Melbourne, the CRT Group plans to extend it to other company-based infrastructure in Australia. In addition, CRT Group also plans to extend this solution to the company's container park.
By adding more Symbol wireless access points, the CRT Group will be able to promote wireless management of container parking yards and develop a system that can display each container location and load cargo. Container parks will install virtual hotspots so that forklift drivers can upload and download data through wireless laptops. The forklift of the container park will be wirelessly connected to the Navision system that manages the warehouse. The company will eventually use PDAs to replace these wireless notebooks.
Mr. Perera said: â€œOur parking lot has more than 2,500 containers at any time, and all relevant information must be 'stored' in the minds of a small number of forklift drivers. We need to reduce the workload of forklift drivers. At the same time, reducing the risk that this situation brings to our business.If we do not have our existing Symbol Wireless infrastructure, developing a new system will be complicated and expensive. By now we can manage the warehouse management system. Expand to manage these container parks.â€
Mr. Perera said: "The Symbol's solution has been warmly welcomed by our staff. It makes everyone's work easier. In addition, we can also provide better services for our customers through this solution. Ensure that both our customers and our own businesses are competitive and efficient.â€
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Introduction CRT Group is a national logistics company in Australia. It provides comprehensive logistics services to customers mainly through roads, railways and marine transportation. It specializes in handling, packaging, warehousing and distribution of raw materials such as chemical polymers and food ingredients. Founded in 1981, CRT Group is a family-owned company that has grown into a company with 250 skilled employees and contractors, and has established a nationwide distribution system operating 365 days a year.