Tablet PC deployment replaces trolley-based system to boost warehouse productivity
Poundland is in the process of updating and streamlining key quality control processes with a roll out of tablet PCs to its warehouse-based supply chain operators.
The discount retailer has gone live with a deployment of Motion F5 tablet PCs in two warehouse hubs in the Midlands. The specialised tablets replace cumbersome legacy data collection equipment and significantly improve the productivity of Poundland Quality Assurance (QA) teams in both locations and ensure the retailer’s supply chain keeps pace with demand.
Essential quality assurance
Working within the two hubs, the QA teams are responsible for ensuring correct stock availability and timely delivery to over 385 Poundland stores nationwide. Every box must be opened and samples of the goods checked. Type, quantity, colour and contents must all be cross-referenced against the database in real time.
The rapid reconciliation with expected deliveries and flagging of any discrepancies is paramount. When discrepancies are found images must be taken for documentation, and as new items are taken into stock, they must be entered into the database. This was previously done with a cumbersome trolley-based system, including a laptop, scanner, camera and mobile battery pack.
In a warehouse where space is at a premium, this legacy solution not only impeded other warehouse tasks, such as fork lift truck operations, but the poor battery life meant constant trips to recharge, reducing the amount of work that could actually be done in a given shift.
Streamlined tablet form factor
In order to boost productivity and realise substantial cost savings on both the maintenance and support of the legacy solutions, Box Technologies specified a mobile computing solution built around the Motion F5 tablet PC.
With an integrated camera, digital pen and barcode scanner, a single Motion F5 Tablet PC now does the job of the previous four separate pieces of hardware. Improved battery life has led to an increase in productivity as warehouse operatives use the tablet's hot-swap battery feature to easily replace an existing battery with a charged battery while the tablet is operating, with no need to shut down or standby, and all without having to leave the warehouse floor.
Mick Corbett, Poundland IT solutions leader, commented: “Quality Assurance is a mission-critical task. The Motion F5 Tablet PC has brought huge benefits in our abilities to check the quality of goods and the speed with which we do that. We have eliminated a bulky solution that inhibited warehouse operations with state of the art mobile technology in one lightweight and portable device.”