Return to sender – A QR Code Application

Overview

QR Codes are becoming commonplace as a tool for marketing, lean manufacturing processes and even replacing RFID applications due to the large amount of data [more than 5000 characters] which can be stored in a QR code. The QR code can also be used where there are space restrictions such as in an envelope window and can be printed as small as 3 sq mm. QR Codes have been used in such applications since the early 1990’s.

ASP has taken all the benefits of QR Code and developed a very innovative solution to assist organisations such as vehicle manufacturers to automate the process of managing Recall letters.

As part of the regulatory process for Recalls, vehicle manufacturers must send their customers a letter outlining the details of the Recall. They also have to note any change in ownership details for these vehicles as well as track “return-to-sender” letters for their audit compliance purposes. The complete process for just one vehicle can take more than two minutes and as there are usually thousands if not tens of thousands of Recall letters, this can amount to a lot of administration time and potential errors.

ASP’s solution can reduce the time from minutes to only a few seconds by scanning a QR code in the window of the envelope and therefore not needing to even open the return to sender envelope.

The solution communicates with the backend system and eliminates input errors caused by manual data entry.

Outbound

The master data is normally kept in a backend database such as SAP, Oracle, etc and for each recall campaign, a CSV file is usually generated containing all the pertinent details such as VIN number, Customer name and address, Registration number, etc.

The letters are mail merged and printed for mail out.

Inbound

The information from the inbound letters are updated into the backend database usually via a CSV import file.

The returns are broadly categorised as

1. Return to Sender
2. Multiple Claims

The Multiple Claims letters have the data amendments recorded in a CSV format again and uploaded to the backend database.

The complete ASP QR Recall Application workflow can be seen in the diagram to the right.
Return to Sender Image1

Modular Mobility for MYOB

The solution is an integral part of the business and we are glad we made the choice…

“Since we have been using the ASPluris™ Solution with Casio scanners they have proven to be a great success. As the business grew, efficiency was a key factor, particularly in the warehouse picking times. The solution has helped increase efficiency, picking times and errors have been reduced dramatically and order tracking has improved. Overall we are very pleased with the solution and would recommend it to any similar business.”

Lino Scognamiglio
Managing Director
Bio Living

Extending your existing MYOB software into a complete ERP/WMS with mobility is now achievable. ASPluris provides Bio Living with productivity and efficiency gains in their warehouse operations.

Overview

In 2007, Bio Living was started by two forward thinking individuals who identified the need for organic and health food products in Australia.
Bio Living encompass a number of brands under their banner, from Organic Baby Foods, Pasta, Breakfast Cereals and Biscuits, to Gluten Free Food and a large range of Natural and Organic Skin Care and Cosmetics.
Today, Bio Living has grown to be recognised as one of the major distributors of health and wellbeing products across health and organic food stores, pharmacies, convenience stores and independent supermarkets in Australia.
For retailers they are becoming a “one stop shop” with over 2000 products in their range.

Project Objectives

To meet the evolving needs of a growing business and to have full visibility into the warehouse operations. To reduce out-of-date inventory holdings. And to protect the investment in the MYOB financial software backbone.

Solution

  • Real time [WiFi] transactional information flow
  • Multi user
  • Multitasking – for receiving and dispatch functions
  • Scalable – easily add users as the business grows
  • Modular – provides additional functionality, e.g. stocktake and field mobility, easily and cost effectively
  • Configurable – to meet business process requirements
Modular Mobility for MYOB Image1

Benefits

  • Reduced time for order picking
  • Reduction of picking errors
  • Accurate real-time inventory visibility and processing
  • Date and batch code controlled inventory rotation
  • Ability to monitor staff KPI’s such as time taken to pick
  • Ability to scan multiple pack size barcodes per product
  • Perform stock adjustments on the fly

Hardware and Software

  • ASPluris™ Mobility Software
  • Ostendo® Operations Software
  • MYOB Premier (existing)
  • Casio DT-X8 Rugged Handheld

Australian Bureau of Statistics Flow Control System for Census 2006/2011/2016

Since 2004, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has partnered with ASP Microcomputers to develop and implement a custom solution to track Census forms in real time

Overview

A seven storey building in the heart of Melbourne was the location of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Data Processing Centre (DPC) for the 2006 census. In 2011 the DPC is in the old Age building on Spencer Street in Melbourne. The task of tracking the millions of forms in the DPC for the 2011 census is again going to be deployed by ASP Microcomputers custom built solution Around 40,000 census officers are appointed to distribute and collect the forms to every household in Australia, and each is allocated a Collection District (CD). The eighteen pages which make up the census form are collected and sent back to the DPC in Melbourne for processing. Over 800 people are employed to manage and process the more than nine million completed census forms that are returned to the DPC.
That’s where ASP’s solution starts.

Project Objective

Design an effective and secure real time census form tracking and reporting system for implementation at the Data Processing Centre in Melbourne.

Solution

  • A real time barcode tracking system over a 802.11 wireless infrastructure of the DPC
  • A barcode scanner program using ASP’s middleware RFolution!™
  • Custom designed labels
  • Four custom developed PC applications – Label Printing, Configuration, Enquiry & Reporting, and Receipt & Registration
  • Data replication using Microsoft® SQL server

Benefits

  • Exceeded security requirement
  • Freedom to move across all floors to scan packs over a wireless infrastructure
  • Wide range of reporting
  • Ergonomic and light weight scanners
  • Rapid application development
  • Fast data transmission
  • Instant pack location

Hardware and Software

  • Denso BHT303BW portable barcode scanners with 802.11 radio frequency transmission
  • Industrial label printer and custom labels
  • ASP RFolution!™ middleware
  • Cisco access points

RFID Around-the-clock

Barwon Health partners with ASP Microcomputers and Maxus to deliver an around-the-clock RFID book lending service to patrons.

“The result was first-class. We could not fault ASP on this project. They have a logical, systematic approach to system development that inspires confidence. We needed software and equipment that would deliver speed and reliability, and ASP has achieved that for us. There
are particular challenges in the use of RFID in self-service installations and ASP developed a robust system precisely meeting our requirements. Their thorough practical knowledge of all components of the software and hardware meant that any problems that arose were rapidly resolved.”
Stephen Due,
Chief Librarian
Barwon Health Library Service

Overview

Barwon Health is Victoria’s largest regional health service providing care to more than 450,000 people in Geelong and South Western Victoria. Barwon Health employs over 5,000 staff and has an annual operating budget in excess of $330 million.

Barwon Health incorporates a major teaching hospital, associated with Deakin and Melbourne Universities, a major aged care and rehabilitation facility, a mental health service and community health centres.

The Barwon Health Library Service caters for the information needs of professional staff and students associated with Barwon Health. The
Library Service supports three main activities within Barwon Health, specifically clinical care, medical research and education. The library resources comprise a lending collection of 7000 books and a serials collection of 1500 titles.

Project Objectives

  • Implement an RFID self-check loans system solution to enable books to be borrowed around the clock
  • Reduce time spend handling books by staff
  • Integrate with the existing Maxus Library Management System (LMS) Inmagic® DB/Textworks®
  • Incorporate a new RFID-based book security system

Solution

  • Books are RFID tagged
  • Self-check kiosk for loan and return
  • Security alarm gates at the library door via RFID tags
  • A receipt can be printed listing the items borrowed and the due date
  • When books are returned the security tags are automatically reactivated
  • All loans data is available to library staff via the library management system

Benefits

  • Improved service levels to patrons
  • Eliminated queues and delays at the circulation desk
  • Enables patrons to borrow books around-the-clock
  • Many compliments and no complaints from library patrons
  • Simple and reliable to use
  • Patron acceptance is high
  • Fast return on investment

Hardware and Software

  • ASP RF-IDeal™ middleware
  • Maxus LMS
  • Feig RFID equipment
  • Casio touch terminal PCs
  • Star receipt printers
  • Denso hands-free desk scanners

Don’t Dread Stocktakes

ASP Microcomputers and Signature Software team up to deliver an intuitive stocktake solution for Telstra Retail Stores.

“I continue to be impressed… we have 3 locations and we have had to undertake quite a few processes to complete our monthly stock takes. Firstly we had to have all staff stay back for a minimum of 5 hours after work to run a complete store stock take. Then we were informed of a new portable barcode scanner, the Casio DT-X7. Our monthly stock takes are now completed in less than 1 hour… I couldn’t believe how efficient and quick it was to perform a stock take. I never thought it would be possible and I cannot thank you guys enough for introducing us to such a great product and offering the highest level of support.”
Sarah Wilson,
Operations Manager
TLS Malvern & Moonee Ponds

Overview

There are almost 200 Telstra Licensed Stores and Telstra Dealers Australia wide. These businesses sell mobile communication devices and service contracts under the Telstra brand name. In addition they sell home and consumer products for the fixed and data networks.

Stocktakes are usually conducted monthly, and need to be done quickly and without errors. Users need to count serialised and non-serialised inventory, as well as having a visual reference between the stock scanned and its corresponding description in the PC program.

Signature Software is an Australian-based company with over ten years experience in the support and development of business application software. Signature’s flagship product, the ICE Business System, has been developed specifically for use in the office equipment, telephone systems and mobile phone industries.

Project Objective

Develop a reliable and simple to use portable stocktake solution which integrates to the inventory management area of the ICE business system.

Solution

  • Windows® CE portable barcode scanner
  • Custom built scanner program using Windows® .NET environment
  • Scanner program fully integrated into ICE inventory management PC program

Benefits

  • Stocktake time reduced from five hours to one hour – an 80% saving
  • Search for products by description from the scanner
  • Freedom to move around the store
  • Easy to use, light, ergonomic and durable portable laser scanner
  • High clarity colour display

Hardware and Software

  • Casio DT-X7M10E Portable Barcode Reader
  • Signature Software ICE Integrated Business Software
  • ASP Stocktake Manager Scanner Software

Holmesglen Institute of TAFE goes Wireless with Converging Technology

ASP Microcomputers assists with Australian first in converging technologies for Holmesglen Institute of TAFE’s library management solution

Overview

The Institute offers a broad spectrum of educational courses, mostly at the post-secondary level, to over 50,000 students. The Information Commons is a library network of some 130,000 items into which is integrated a computer-based learning area in each of its four branches. Stocktake is an important process, to know what materials are missing and need urgent replacement, and to gauge how well the material security system is operating. It is a labour-intensive operation that is difficult to carry out quickly and safely. The solution was to replace the corded equipment with small, portable cordless devices, taking advantage of Holmesglen’s wireless computer network and Bluetooth® wireless barcode scanning technology.

Project Objective

To implement a safer and faster way of taking stock of materials in the Information Commons, and improve processes so that it’s not necessary to close the library to the public during stocktake.

Solution

  • A real time barcode stocktake system over a 802.11 wireless infrastructure
  • Portable Bluetooth barcode scanners transmitting to ‘paired’ Pocket PC’s
  • Scanner and Pocket PC integration via ASPKey+ for Pocket PC™ middleware
  • Pocket PC devices transmitting the data back to the host application in real time

Benefits

  • Equipment is light, easy and safe to use
  • Real time data transmission eliminates the need to upload the scanned data
  • Faster reading of barcodes from a greater distance
  • Time required to complete a stocktake has halved
  • Rapid ROI due to reduced staff times and safety improvements

Hardware and Software

  • ASPKey+ for Pocket PC™ middleware
  • Denso GT10 portable barcode scanners with Bluetooth wireless transmission
  • Dell Axim X50/51 PDA’s
  • Library application software

Total Real Time Stock Accuracy at Total Tools

Total Real Time Stock Accuracy at Total Tools

“We needed to maximise our processes and gain greater efficiencies within our stores through the use of rugged mobile devices which integrated with our Pronto ERP. After a rigorous selection process we partnered with ASP Microcomputers as they understood our pain points and came up with insights about how to solve them with the most intuitive and cost effective solution. The Casio DT-X30 units were the best units on the market and integrated seamlessly with Pronto XI and were very well accepted across all our stores. ASP is there whenever we need them, which isn’t often as the solution is so reliable.”

Shannon Wimhurst
IT Manager
Total Tools National Office

Total Tools partners with ASP Microcomputers and chooses rugged Casio handheld terminals to improved store efficiency

Overview

Total Tools began in 1989 as a cooperative of independent tool outlets. With stores in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland, the group has become Australia’s premier franchised tool retailer.

A separate team, the Total Tools Support Office located in Melbourne, provides central purchasing, marketing, IT, administration and new store planning support.

To support the business, Total Tools use the Pronto Xi ERP Software for their POS, purchasing, stock control and back-office processing requirements. All the stores are connected to a central server, running a C-ISAM database, via a private network.

To better utilise the Pronto system and improve operating efficiencies, Total Tools extended the current processes and deployed mobile devices within the stores to perform functions and procedures that interface with the Pronto System.

Project Objective

To utilise the full functionality of the Pronto system and improve operating efficiencies across the entire network of stores through the use of Casio mobile devices running in real time (WiFi).
Solution

A real time (WiFi) solution able to carry out a number of functions including:

  • Stocktake – location, item code and quantity
  • Inventory Inquiry – on hand, available to sell, on back order, on purchase order
  • Pricing Adjustments / Label – scan the bar code or enter an item code with the relevant validations to identify the item
  • Purchase Order Receipts – for ‘normal’ items, and for ‘special items’ which do not have an item code and thus are not on the item master file

Benefits

  • Freedom to move across the entire store
  • Download/upload of master files and transaction data between the mobile devices and the Pronto server
  • Ergonomic and rugged Windows® Mobile devices
  • Long battery life
  • Intuitive and easy to use device
  • Scalable

Hardware and Software

  • Casio DT-X30 portable barcode terminals running 802.11 WLAN and using Windows® Mobile® OS
  • Naurtech VT100 terminal emulation
  • Pronto Xi ERP Software
  • WLAN Access points