enables primeur to operate in real-time

Radio frequency data collection and communications links seamlessly with leading soft furnishings supplier’s ERP system, delivers real-time benefits and supports excellent customer service.

primeurPrimeur is the UK’s leading manufacturer, importer and distributor of soft furnishings. Serving major and independent retailers, the company supplies such well-known names as Argos, B&Q and Wilkinson with cushions, rugs and floor mats.

The UK market for furnishings and furniture is worth in excess of £8 billion. This encourages stiff competition among suppliers. From its Bingley base Primeur operates a slick operation, enabling it to respond quickly to customer requirements and so retain a significant lead on its competitors.

At Bingley rapid and agile response is supported by a high-tech wireless system supplied and installed by, which helps the company to handle a product line of over 1126, with about 5 million individual items per year being imported.

Product throughout is subject to seasonality and so Primeur has to be flexible. The company, therefore, applies lean principles to ensure efficiency and yet Primeur must be able to handle demands effectively to maintain excellent levels of customer service. This is made possible by using the wireless real-time solution that integrates with a Strategix ERP system, which handles all the sales and purchase orders, customer and product data, etc. All operations link to this system, with barcode technology playing a lead role in enabling Primeur’s personnel to perform paperless warehousing tasks.

In brief, the standard process begins with Primeur raising purchase orders with its manufacturers in India and Europe. The products are then shipped to Bingley where they are put into stock bins within the warehouses. Accuracy is paramount with barcode labels being applied not only to individual items and to batches of the same items, but also to the stock bins.

The accuracy and efficiency of the stock movement operation is where the Barcoding wireless system comes into play. The entire Primeur site – across the three warehouses – is equipped with 20 Proxim WiFi access points, comprising an appropriate mix of AP700 and AP500 devices. These enable real-time data collection and communication using handheld computers equipped with barcode scanners. The devices run terminal emulation and talk directly to the ERP system. This enables operators to place the correct item in the correct stock bin. Then by also using the portable terminals to assist with picking, accuracy is maintained with items matching the picklists displayed on the handheld devices.

Glynn Robinson is Systems Support Manager for Primeur. He talks enthusiastically about the system saying that is of “great benefit” to the company. “We are able to run a very well-managed business using real-time data. This is the right approach for us and has eliminated vast amounts of paper, which reduces operational and environmental costs and significantly boosts accuracy,” he says.

Primeur relies on for ongoing service and maintenance and enjoys an excellent business relationship.

“Barcoding’s service is excellent, the team responds quickly to our needs and this means we in turn are able to provide the high levels of service our customers expect from us,” concludes Glynn Robinson.

Facts at a scan: Primeur wireless solution supplied by

  • 20 x Proxim WiFi access points – appropriate mix of AP700, AP600 and AP500
  • 1 x Citizen CLP desktop thermal transfer printer
  • 2 x Zebra Technologies RW220 portable direct thermal barcode printers
  • 4 x Datalogic handheld terminals
  • 10 x Datalogic Viper handheld terminals
  • 4 x Hand Held Products Dolphin handheld terminals
  • Printer consumables
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment helps Clayton Glass keep an eye on production

Specialist glass unit manufacturer Clayton Glass boosts customer service levels through barcode track and trace solution from

Building a reputation for specialist insulated glass units in today’s economy is not easy. It takes dedication to lead theClayton_2 market in product development and ensuring your customer service levels are second to none, which keeps your customers coming back for more. Clayton Glass in Stanley, County Durham, north-east England, is a company that fully understands the need to lead the market through innovation and service, demonstrating that it is committed to its customers and providing products of the highest possible quality.

Underpinning continuous improvement

The dominant theme of business at Clayton Glass is continuous improvement in ‘on-time-in-full orders’, superior product quality and exemplary customer service. Richard Teasdale, Financial Controller and Systems Administrator, is in charge of ICT. He points to the investments the company has made so far and indicates the way ahead as the company implements technology to enable it to achieve optimum performance in all areas of its operations. These include investments in people, manufacturing, logistics and now auto ID for accurate track and trace.

“Our warehouse contains vast numbers of products and we needed a simple way to ensure that when orders were put through to it we were able to pick the exact number of items,” says Richard Teasdale.

“We have over 120 major customers. All of our clients demand that we remain true to our word of providing ‘on-time-in-full orders’ and we do our uppermost to achieve these levels, hence, we are constantly investing in the company. We are eradicating mountains of paper records and missing units by putting increasing emphasis on barcodes. Our target is to be able to apply barcode reading throughout the business to underpin accuracy improvements across the board,” he continues.

Moreover, barcode-based traceability of products within the warehouse is just stage one out of the 10 step plan he has for taking forward the company’s IT infrastructure.

Integrating barcode

Clayton Glass is not an entire newcomer to barcode labelling as this technique has been used for many years to label its products with EAN 128 barcodes. Richard Teasdale had long identified that the company could utilise the barcodes as data carriers for an auto ID system. He investigated various options, eventually seeking assistance from

“The barcode reading solution had to integrate with our specialist Lisec production software, which runs on an Oracle database. The solution would have to be cost-effective and we were looking for a tangible return on investment. The team from took this on board and was able to develop and implement a system that works seamlessly. It is a slick solution and our warehouse staff find it very easy to use,” says Richard Teasdale. initially recommended Bluetooth scanners, but changing circumstances required the units to be upgraded to RF Datalogic Kyman scanners running over a wireless network utilising Proxim access points.

Gaining company-wide benefits

“Using barcodes helps us in many ways. First, we reduce the amount of reliance we have on paper records, second we achieve faster and 100% accurate track and trace of products within our warehouse, and third by deciding to use a wireless system we are able to make the most of the mobility that the technology brings to the warehouse. No area of the warehouse need be excluded from scanning and so we are able to locate products regardless of where they are stored,” he says.

Clayton_1Productivity and efficiency have risen to new levels with the speed and accuracy the barcode system brings to the business. The warehouse staff are able to work quicker as all they need to do is scan the items straight into the system. This is significant as Richard Teasdale says that the company can expect to follow through with expansion plans based on existing staff.

“We are already saving in the region of £25,000 with the implementation of the wireless barcode system. We have gained speed, accuracy and real-time information, with a further benefit of comprehensive reporting,” says Richard Teasdale.

“By using barcode technology for inventory management we have opened the door to further applications for auto ID. For example, we are developing our quality control procedure. We will be able to transfer handwritten records of failed units directly into our management system simply by scanning the label. We will also be able to generate delivery notes based on the actual delivery. This tightens up traceability outside our factory gate and reduces lost unit claims and will help us to challenge such claims,” he concludes.

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