PPC increases productivity and ease of work with new Zebra scanners
Skirting boards, profiles and edge trim, wood, laminate and PVC flooring. Everything you need for flooring can be found at Plinths and Profiles Central (PPC). The head office is located in Wijk bij Duurstede. In addition, the wholesaler has five branches throughout the country. With the rapid growth the company is experiencing, it is especially important to be efficient and productive. To optimize the logistics process, PPC uses brand new Zebra hardware, implemented by CaptureTech.
A unique advantage for the customers, which consist of flooring specialists, home furnishers and flooring installers, is that PPC always delivers free of charge. Regardless of the size of the order. In addition, PCC keeps stock for them and they get favorable return policy. “The combination of these USPs has allowed us to grow strongly in recent years,” says ICT manager Harold de Graaf. “We started in 1999 and now have 200 people working for us. We have 23 buses and nine trucks running throughout the Netherlands. Because of the rapid growth we are experiencing, it is very important that our logistics process is optimized. The new hardware we recently purchased contributes greatly to that.”
Order Picking & Inbound
For a long time, PPC used Telnet barcode scanners for order picking and the inbound process. These were recently replaced by state-of-the-art Zebra TC8300 barcode scanners. “From old-fashioned black screens with green letters we suddenly went to modern barcode scanners with a fancy look and touch screen. Many times more ergonomic and productive than we were used to. The ‘old guard’ could handle our old barcode scanners just fine, but the Zebras appeal much more to the new employees in particular. They are very intuitive to use, making the training time for new employees considerably shorter than before. In addition, they work faster and are more stable.”
Improved safety and interactivity
The immediate reason for replacing the Telnet barcode scanners was the outdated operating system. “Windows CE was no longer supported by Microsoft and so we did have to look for something new,” Harold said. “Our current barcode scanners run on Android, which has a positive effect on security and continuity. The user interface on the terminals is also much more interactive. For example, we now have an on-screen color keyboard that shows exactly what the user needs at that moment. Nothing more and nothing less.”
New barcode scanners, new lockers
To store the new barcode scanners in a safe place, CaptureTech has designed special lockers for PPC. “We had a homemade cabinet where the barcode scanners were stored. The only problem was that the barcode scanners were not always used sparingly and there was less and less visibility of the barcode scanners due to the growth in the number of barcode scanners and employees. They broke down or got lost without being reported. From our new lockers, you can only retrieve a mobile barcode scanner if you hold your tag in front of it. When your shift is over, you place the tag back in front of the locker and hand in your mobile barcode scanner. This allows us to see exactly who has used and returned which barcode scanner. And our colleagues can report any defect immediately.”
TC26 mobile computers on the go
In addition to the barcode scanners used in the warehouse, PPC also purchased new mobile computers for the drivers. They previously used Samsung phones. “Together with CaptureTech, we looked into managing these phones using a Mobile Device Management system. But eventually we decided to replace the phones with new equipment for the scanning process. The returns brought back by our drivers can now be scanned and processed very easily using our new Zebra TC26 barcode scanners. That way we know exactly who brought what from which customer and we keep track of returns in the warehouse. Our entire return process has improved significantly as a result.”
PPC builds own shell around barcode scanners
Another advantage of the new barcode scanners is the larger screen, making them finer to use. In addition, PPC can manage both TC26 and TC8300 barcode scanners from a single Mobile Device Management system. “Although the equipment is used in two different places and for different purposes, they can be managed in one system.” Finally, Harold cites as the single biggest advantage of the new barcode scanners that “it’s ideal that you can build your own shell around them. You can have them do exactly what is needed for your work. You can display your required data better and adjust your texts where necessary. So much smarter than before.”
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