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Apr 22, 2010

Toll Global Logistics Expects RFID to Provide Significant Savings
Source: By Claire Swedberg

The company is using EPC tags and S3Edge software to automate the tracking of products at its Singapore facility.Toll Global Logistics, one of Asia's largest logistics providers, is using a radio frequency identification at its Singapore facility to track goods received, stored and shipped from there, with the goal of providing an accurate view into the location of their products via Internet-based S3Edge software . Although the system has only been in place for three months, based on studies done before the installation, the system has the potential to save significant manpower, says James Chan Chok Kiong, Toll Global Logistics' general manager of innovation, technology and operations development. 
The company ships and stores its customers products in a number of countries, including Thailand, Korea, China and Australia. 
The key goals for the company were to reduce labor hours by phasing out manual methods of tracking shipments, gaining visibility; and sharing that visibility with its customers. 
The company wanted an automated software solution that would work on the Microsoft platform, and so selected S3Edge's Spotlight solution, which uses Microsoft BizTalk RFID. The result is what Toll Global calls the RFID Enterprise Applications Platform (REAP). 
For the first phase, all of the location's 150,000 pallets were tagged with Gen 2 UHF passive RFID tags with a unique ID number. When the products arrived, the staff use a Motorola MC9090-G RFID handheld device to scan the bar code on the boxes, then read the RFID tag on the pallet on which they were loaded. The bar-code and RFID data are then linked and sent to the back-end BizTalk server via a Wi-Fi connection, where S3edge software stores the data and makes it available to users. 
The staff brings the pallets through a fixed RFID reader portal, which sends data to the back-end system indicating that the products have been received into the warehouse. Forklifts themselves are equipped with RFID interrogators that read the pallet tags as well as tags that were embedded at the entrance to several zones within the warehouse. The forklift interrogators send data to the back-end system via a Wi-Fi connection, indicating which specific forklift has now taken the pallets to a specific zone of the warehouse. RFID tags are also attached to warehouse shelves. When the forklift reader puts the pallet away, it reads not only of the tag of the pallet tag but also of the shelf on which it is being loaded so that the location of the pallet and its load can be updated to the system, explains Anush Kumar, S3Edge's CTO and VP business development. 
One of the benefits of the system thus far is improved accuracy, says Kiong. Although the company used a paper-based and bar-coding solution, it was still prone to human error. Those problems are being eliminated with the S3Edge system, says Kelvin Tan, Toll Global Logistic's technology development manager for innovation, technology and operations development. In addition, says Tan, the system provides automated data that eliminates a gap that had plagued the company in the past-a gap in visibility between the time the items were received or put away and the time when the data was input into the system. "So the most powerful thing for us now is with true real time, the system allows us to breakdown our processes and see the performance of each," he says. 
Although the system currently is accessed only by Toll Global staff, the company intends to make it available to customers for a fee, as an added service that their competitors do not provide.
It is still too early to measure the benefits of the system, Tan says. However, prior to implementation, the company completed a value study of labor hours spent using RFID-tagged pallets as opposed to tradition method with bar codes or manual recording of IDs. It determined that the system, by eliminating the need for manually writing serial number or scanning bar codes, could save about six minutes per pallet, resulting in a total of 625 man-days saved annually. 
"When we look back in about one year, we will do a review," Tan says.     

 
 

To get more information about how the S3 RTVS portfolio of solutions enable significant improvements to your business processes in a rapid manner without having to invest heavily upfront, please e-mail us at info@s3edge.com.

 
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Transition

S3 Edge’s unique capabilities and deep understanding of Microsoft’s Mobile RFID platform was crucial in deploying a turnkey solution at RiteCare pharmacy for warehouse visibility – their ability to go from design to fully operational in 60-90 days at the customer site is a testament of their abilities to show demonstrable ROI and lower the barrier to rapid solution deployment.

Judy Huang
Product Manager RFID
Unitech Electronics Co., LTD

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S3 Edge is our most preferred RFID technical partner

Kian NG
SOA, Process Platform & RFID Solutions Sales - ASIA Lead
Microsoft Asia Pacific

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The S3Edge's RTVS based WiP (work in process) solution delivered on the promise of real visibility, real time in record time to enable GKB (Carl Zeiss Vision JV partner) to continue to raise the bar in the level of service .The WIP solution was delivered at ZEISS Brand Lab at Goa (a Carl Zeiss "Star One" accredited lab). In addition to enabling fewer delayed orders, and a multi-fold increase in customer satisfaction with a RFID based solution on the manufacturing floor, S3 is also closely working with us on designing innovative solution for our retail stores in India to further increase our customer value.

Manish Soni
General Manager
GKB Hi-Tech Lenses Pvt. Ltd.

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S3Edge's packaged asset tracking software has enabled us to go from assessing technical feasibility to building out a set of applications that address the operational needs of blood centers and hospitals in a relatively short period of time. Their technical abilities and experience in deploying enterprise-ready applications has helped the consortium deliver on the promise of a packaged mission critical solution to improve the safety and efficiency of our nation's blood supply


Tina Chang
CEO, SysLogic Inc.

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"S3Edge is a key partner in developing packaged solutions that fully utilize the capabilities of the Microsoft BizTalk RFID platforms to address real-world customer need. Their Spotlight product is a good example of how partners are innovating to deliver complete end-to-end solutions for customers on the Microsoft Application Platform, across the globe"

Sudhir Hasbe

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"We selected S3Edge after evaluating solution providers based on their experience, and ability to deliver a mission-critical, large-scale enterprise application focused on the operator and the flow of work in our existing processes. Thanks to this approach and S3Edge's focus on delivering to commitments, the project benefits were realized within three months of launch with little to no re-engineering required. The system has been running live in a high velocity, dynamic manufacturing environment for over a year with no issues"

Balaji Suresh
Materials Manager, and project sponsor
United Technologies

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Thanks to the outstanding work of the entire consortium team, we have successfully piloted the new system to track blood products as they move from fixed and mobile donation sites, through the blood center and to distribution. After 24 weeks of running the system in a pilot mode here at the BloodCenter of Wisconsin, we have seen process efficiency and traceability gains, as well as marked improvements in reconciliation

Lynne Briggs
Vice President and
Chief Information Officer,
Blood Center of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

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"The expertise and credibility of the S3Edge team made it an easy choice for us to engage with them to build out our device provider capabilities for the BizTalk RFID platform. In addition, their ability to deliver ‘80% done, 20% customizable’ software solutions via their rich RTVS solution framework is a much needed piece of the puzzle in enabling our integrators to deliver high-value, complex solutions in a repeatable cookie-cutter manner, with lesser custom code"

Sal Scafidi
Strategic Business Manager
Omron RFID Division
United Technologies

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S3Edge has helped Motorola take our partnership with Microsoft BizTalk RFID to the next level.

Matt Eschbach
Global Strategic Alliance Manager
Motorola Enterprise Mobility Business

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"S3Edge's commitment to quality, flexibility, and RFID domain expertise in deploying enterprise-ready software in an operationally challenging environment using a variety of devices, is second to none. Their approach to deploying a scalable Real-Time Visibility & Control System has allowed us to take a complex, emerging technology and convert it into a competitive advantage for our business and customers"

James Chan
General Manager

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Our strategic partnership with S3Edge allows Microsoft BizTalk RFID users to exploit the Speedway® reader’s advanced capabilities and performance. I highly recommend S3Edge as a partner to work with in building end-to-end solutions on the Microsoft RFID platform.

Daniel Bowman
Sr. Marketing Manager, Impinj, Inc

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S3 Edge's RTVS capabilities enabled RiteCare Pharmacy to envision, design and implement game-changing business processes. The S3 Edge RTVS software built on Microsoft BizTalk platform has enabled us to cut down our cycle times to ship by 50%, eliminate errors due to mis-ships, and double our throughput times. This innovative real-time visibility platform for warehouse ensures RiteCare can now scale rapidly in the future to fulfill our promise of a quality pharmacy in every neighborhood with wide variety of medicines.

Seshu Guddanti
Managing Director of RiteCare

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We are extremely pleased to team up with S3Edge to design, and develop this innovative application for the transfusion medicine industry. Our collaborative, best-of-breed approach, which brings together the domain expertise in Transfusion Medicine practices and S3Edge's software strength, will deliver unparalleled levels of efficiencies for blood centers and hospitals across their supply chain operations


Rodeina Davis
Vice-President & CIO, BloodCenter of Wisconsin

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The RFID system provided equivalent capabilities to those of IPR in terms of detecting and resolving process errors. It additionally provided the blood bank staff real-time visibility for blood products in transit from the hospital blood bank to the point-of-care and in remote storage in our emergency department.

Dr. Thomas J. Raife,
MD, Clinical Professor & Medical Director,
UIHC DeGowin Blood Center

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We are extremely pleased to team up with S3Edge to put this exciting system development into the hands of our clients. Our unified, best-of-breed approach, which brings together Access Solutions’ deep domain expertise in the FME industry and S3Edge’s Spotlight technology for RFID-based asset tracking, as well as their systems integration bench strength and expertise, will deliver unparalleled levels of efficiencies across the enterprise

Kelvin Mann,
President  & CEO, Access Solutions

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S3Edge continues to raise the bar in the area of software innovation to address customer needs. The support for Android-based devices for our transfusion medicine RFID applications will give healthcare professionals in our field an easy, well-understand interface to quickly adopt a new set of auto-ID applications aimed at cutting costs and eliminating errors in the blood supply chain. This new-paradigm is going to be the game-changer in the adoption of RFID based applications in Healthcare.

Clive Hohberger
RFID Systems Architect,
Blood Center of Wisconsin

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  Spotlight based RFID Software provides an automated method of identifying the movement of assets across various locations by deploying a packaged inventory-tracking solution across various devices, that can then be customized for specific business-process workflows.