Category: Case Study


Case Study: Shipping Validation

By Tate Grossmann,

CLIENT PROFILE AND ISSUE

A large mid-west manufacturer of commercial and residential building products wanted to better validate whether the client order was complete and the product shipped to the right customer. Pallets were incorrectly identified and were shipped with other orders, or they were miscounted thus causing an incomplete shipment. Incomplete orders caused errors in the movement of other goods. Add in a reduction in the work force, human errors, and shipping validation became crucial.

DISCOVERY PROCESS

In the middle of the chaos caused by human errors and misplaced products, this company sought CDO for support. To better support them, CDO’s team first learned about the production workflow, from the raw material to the final product. CDO examined product staging and the shipping processes in order to  identify critical finished goods staging locations and shipping and receiving dock locations. From there CDO defined  the critical data that would be communicated between CDO’s Critical Asset Tracking Solution (CATS) software and the customer’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. After careful examination of the entire process, CDO outlined the issues and began to draft a solution.

SOLUTION

CDO designed a solution that utilized Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). RFID was able to assist this manufacturer with scanning items quickly and accurately. Multiple RFID automatic scan portals were located at various staging areas to provide visibility to those orders that were being prepared to ship. This allowed for increased visibility and provided information on the last known locations of goods at these checkpoints. Finally, CATS communicated with the ERP system to confirm  that the staging team has built a pallet with the right finished goods and the order is complete

RESULTS

Using RFID validation improved accuracy for multi-pallet orders. When a human error did occur, it was quickly detected and resolved. For example: when a client order was placed in the wrong staging location, it was quickly removed and transferred to the correct staging location. The percentage of completed orders rose, as did complete orders being sent on time. Search times for the missing products of incomplete orders  declined, raising efficiency of the staging area. CDO’s CATS shipping validation tool decreased human errors by up to 15%. And perhaps most importantly, the staging and shipping teams were able  to do more with less.

If you have questions or would like to further discuss your unique asset tracking challenges, please email or call Scott Daniel.

Email: scott.daniel@cdotech.com
Phone: 937-476-2278

Case Study: Locating Case Files

By Sara Bortz,

CLIENT PROFILE AND ISSUE

One of the oldest and most respected law firms in Ohio wanted to find a better way of tracking their case files. With tens of thousands of client files being tracked manually, employees spent an increasing amount of time trying to find misplaced files. This extra time not only added up in labor costs, but also cut into the case managers’ ability to serve customers.

DISCOVERY PROCESS

The law firm came to CDO for help in developing the best solution for their issues. CDO worked with the law firm to learn their workflow, determine the best way to track their critical assets, and set up the solution based on their specific processes. CDO discovered that the main cause of the law firm’s tracking issues was not having a reliable last known location of the file. Multiple attorneys work with the same case file and case files frequently move from one attorney’s office to another. File location tracking was done manually for decades. The case managers had difficulty tracking and keeping the file locations up to date. They would look up the file number in their legacy system to determine who had it last, only to find that it was no longer in that location. 

SOLUTION

CDO recommended a combination of Barcodes and RFID to section off the files and allow the case managers to quickly and easily find any and all files. The law firm divided the building into sections and uses CDO’s Critical Asset Tracking Solutions (CATS) to inventory each section every week, which captures the last known location for each case file or critical document. The CATS software provides a history for each case file including when it was created and a time stamp for each location the file visited.

RESULTS

Using CATS has significantly reduced the case managers’ search time for their critical assets. When trying to locate a file, the case manager simply calls up the file in the CATS software, checks the location history for the last known location, and then uses the Geiger counter feature on their handheld RFID scanner to search that area. They now have quick and easy visibility to any file in their office, whether it is a case file, a minute book, or another important document.

If you have questions or would like to further discuss your unique asset tracking challenges,
please email or call Scott Daniel.

Email: scott.daniel@cdotech.com
Phone: 937-476-2278

Application Case Study: Validating Production Line Materials

By Sara Bortz,

CLIENT PROFILE AND ISSUE

A global manufacturer specializing in natural ingredients and recipes contacted CDO Technologies requesting help with their initiative to track their raw materials and validate the use of the right production line. With multiple production lines for different recipes, they faced a challenge in validating the raw material type and batch number. The manufacturer’s fast-paced facilities also encountered inaccurate inventory counts on their shelves, and they were looking for help tracking their assets.

DISCOVERY PROCESS

The CDO team sought to understand the pacing, environment, and workflow at the client’s facilities. A single type of raw material was placed on a pallet and identified with a barcode label. With hundreds of raw materials that could have multiple batch numbers, they were scanning each raw material bag/box individually to validate it was correct for the recipe that was running on that production line. The limitations of the global manufacturer’s current barcode system left their process open to delays and human errors, and CDO helped identify how to eliminate those issues.

SOLUTION

CDO recommended implementing the Critical Asset Tracking Solution (CATS) software and using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to identify their materials. This technology would solve both challenges the global manufacturer is facing. When they need information about what raw material was on each production line, employees could use an RFID handheld reader to quickly inventory the area. The reader picks up signals from all tags on the production line to quickly locate the material type and batch number, notifying of any incorrect materials on that line. They can also use RFID to record, track, and find the inventory on their shelves, and identify any inaccuracies needing corrected.

RESULTS

By using the RFID tags and the CATS solution, the global manufacturer will improve inventory accuracy by auto-filling the materials used in each recipe, saving time, and eliminating human error from the process. With an RFID system, it would no longer be necessary to hand scan every box or disassemble a pallet due to a misplaced barcode, thus reducing their incidence of loss. The CDO solution provides greater visibility to assets in real time, dramatically reducing search time for misplaced inventory. Better ability to track inventory leads to significantly enhanced workflow, reduced production time, and ultimately cost savings.

If you have questions or would like to further discuss your unique asset tracking challenges, please email or call Scott Daniel.

Email: scott.daniel@cdotech.com 
Phone: 937-476-2278

Application Case Study: Tracking Reusable Carts

By Katrina.Smiley@cdotech.com,

CLIENT PROFILE AND ISSUE

A large manufacturer of commercial and residential building products contacted CDO Technologies requesting help tracking their critical assets, typically reusable carts, when shipping to their customers and between their two manufacturing facilities. The manufacturer’s fast-paced facilities create an issue where carts often become lost and forgotten, causing a shortage of carts between the two facilities. This is costly for the manufacturer and requires them to purchase hundreds of new replacement carts each year.

DISCOVERY PROCESS

To address the client’s issues, the CDO team sought to understand the pacing, environment, and workflow at the client’s facilities, as well as the assets’ point of entry and exit from each building. CDO identified the client’s “Black Hole” locations, which are any location where carts disappear or are forgotten.

SOLUTION

CDO recommended implementing the Critical Asset Tracking Solution (CATS) software and installing multiple automatic Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) scan portals in critical areas at both facilities’ shipping and receiving docks. CDO’s solution also involved placing RFID portals in “Back Hole” locations to track if an asset enters an area with a high risk for loss. The implementation of the CDO CATS software allows workers at both facilities to identify the last known location of a cart and its movement between facilities. Additionally, CATS software communicates to the client’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to identify if a customer’s cart was shipped.

RESULTS

The CDO solution provides greater visibility to assets in both storage and “Black Hole” locations, dramatically reducing search time for carts. The added visibility of carts at customer sites improves their return rate. Tracking assets between both facilities enables each facility to have a more balanced allocation of carts. Better visibility, tracking and allocation leads to reduced purchases of replacement carts and cost savings.

Production workflow is significantly enhanced. Delays caused by searching for carts or waiting to transfer carts from storage, to production, and finally, to shipping is reduced.

If you have questions or would like to further discuss your unique asset tracking challenges, please email or call Scott Daniel.

Email: scott.daniel@cdotech.com 
Phone: 937-476-2278

Case Study: Optimizing Smart Manufacturing

By Katrina.Smiley@cdotech.com,

CLIENT PROFILE AND ISSUE

A global manufacturing leader with increasing demand for their products wanted to streamline their processes, increase traceability, and ensure accurate and on-time product delivery. Under their former method of Labor Reporting, when the product was moving through each assembly station an employee had to stop what they were doing and report the quantity in a computer. With manual reporting, this took around 10 minutes per product, per assembly line, and was possible to report the product in a wrong operation or incorrect job, report an operation twice, or skip reporting an operation completely. These issues impacted the inventory quantities and transactions, leading to shortages and inaccurate inventory levels reported.

DISCOVERY PROCESS

The global leader decided to adopt Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) into its work-in process procedures. They reached out to Metalcraft, an industry leader in RFID tag manufacturing, who helped guide them in selecting the proper tag for their processes. Metalcraft ensured the tag construction and RFID components would work in their environment and deliver all necessary information. CDO Technologies maintains an excellent reputation with Metalcraft and was first on their short-list of companies that could help the company reach their goals. CDO worked with the global leader to install, implement, and integrate our Critical Asset Tracking System (CATS) with the already-existing system.

SOLUTION

CDO designed the workflow process, helped the global leader develop the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system integration, and validated the transactions. They simulated the workflow by moving an RFID tag in front of the readers and performing the integration and labor reporting for normal transactions. Once tested and validated, the team was ready to implement the solution in an assembly line, while monitoring the processes closely to detect errors. CDO worked with them to smooth over any kinks in the system, ensuring the new custom system ran at the highest efficiency. After one month of testing in production, the team deployed the solution to all assembly lines.

RESULTS

By using the RFID tags and the CATS solution, the global leader improved inventory transaction accuracy by auto-filling the materials used on each piece, eliminating human error from the invoicing process. They also saved 10 minutes of manual worktime per product, translating into eight to nine work hours saved daily.

The source of many issues the global leader had previously experienced was in forgetting to report the labor at a station, which was generating “Late Operations.” Late Operations is a Key Performance Indicator which corrects labor time reporting on a task. The global leader had previously needed to track Late Operations daily to ascertain their reports matched the work completed. Implementation of the RFID system eliminated the need for Late Operations by auto-filling parts and labor for the tasks at each station.  

RFID implementation with the CDO Critical Asset Tracking System also helped the global leader eliminate another KPI they previously encountered, “Shortages.” Shortages resulted from a failure to accurately report the operations. Specifically, a labor reporting error meant the system was not depleting the inventory for the components physically used in the workflow, hence creating a false positive and not triggering accurate replenishment actions. As Shortages were discovered, rushed orders for inventory increased along with other unnecessary complications. Utilizing the power of an RFID enabled system eliminated such shortages.

Streamlining the work-in-processes through asset tracking was just the beginning. CDO also evaluated their production flow from a fresh perspective and identified opportunities to further increase workflow efficiencies using asset identification and management software. The collaboration of Metalcraft and CDO Technologies resulted in saved time and money, as well as the confidence that the global leader’s continued success will be supported by their custom-built RFID solution.

If you have questions or would like to further discuss your unique asset tracking challenges, please email or call Scott Daniel.

Email: scott.daniel@cdotech.com 
Phone: 937-476-2278

Case Study: Dayton Adopts RFID-Based Security Gate

By Nova Editor,

CLIENT PROFILE AND ISSUE

As the City of Dayton analyzed operations, they recognized city vehicles, waste collection trucks, maintenance crews, and roadway service teams were unable to quickly enter and exit city-lots. Maintaining a guard at the gate during business hours, and trying to respond to after-hour needs, was not economically feasible. Manually checking credentials was inefficient and often caused traffic back-ups. This issue was exacerbated during peak traffic times, after-hour operations, or in emergency situations.

DISCOVERY PROCESS

Designing an automated gate system began with defining a means to automatically identify each vehicle. The City of Dayton worked with CDO Technologies to identify, design, and test an automobile tag containing passive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). Tags either hung in the vehicle’s windshield or were placed on the front-face of the vehicle. RFID tag selection was customized to accommodate vehicles ranging in size from waste collection trucks to riding lawn-mowers and guard against inclement weather conditions impacting RFID effectiveness range.

SOLUTION

With a more efficient gateway, the City of Dayton sought to decrease response time, eliminate vehicles blocking the main thoroughfare while waiting to enter the lot, and ensure roadways would be more efficiently cared for during weather emergencies. Applying an automated solution would eliminate the financial responsibility of a full-time guard and more efficiently approve entry for authorized vehicles while developing a record of activity for additional analysis.

To accommodate a greater volume of vehicles more quickly, the lot entry underwent reconfiguration to include a wider driveway onto the street, a greater distance between the street and the entry gate, and a gate system containing RFID readers which would quickly identify a vehicle. Fence posts lining the driveway were equipped with RFID readers controlled by and reporting to CDO’s High-Value Asset Tracking (HVAT) software. With passive RFID in place, gates opened automatically upon vehicle identification.

RESULTS

Implementing passive RFID into its entrance re-design significantly improved the City of Dayton vehicle-flow efficiency while reducing the expense of a full-time guard. The City also plans to use data collected by the system to identify additional ways to serve its citizens. CDO’s tailored solution helped the City of Dayton decrease response time, eliminate vehicles blocking, and ensure roadways would be more efficiently cared for during weather emergencies.

If you have questions or would like to further discuss your unique asset tracking challenges, please email or call Scott Daniel.

Email: scott.daniel@cdotech.com
Phone: 937-476-2278

Case Study: Increase Inventory Visibility with RFID

By Nova Editor,

CLIENT PROFILE AND ISSUE

Since 1983, Stoll & Co. has been a respected name in the watch repair industry. As their clientele has grown, so has the number of watches and parts Stoll & Co keep track of manually. Over the years, employees spent an increasing amount of time locating watches to be repaired or shipped. Time spent locating items would be better spent serving customers.

DISCOVERY PROCESS

With the utmost concerns of efficiency and security, Stoll & Co. partnered with CDO Technologies, to create a solution to their tracking issues. They sought a tracking system that could locate each watch quickly, and after reviewing their processes, CDO recommended using a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag-based solution.

SOLUTION

CDO worked with Stoll & Co. to place a passive RFID tag on each watch carrier bag. When a watch was needed, employees could use an RFID handheld reader to scan the area. The reader picks up the signal from the requisite tag to quickly locate the watch.

RESULTS

Prior to implementing CDO’s RFID based solution, Stoll & Co. staff spent nearly seven hours each day locating inventory items. After implementing CDO’s tracking solution, that time dropped to less than fifteen minutes each day. Because of this remarkable improvement, Stoll & Co. plans on implementing other visibility-based projects such as automated shipment validation and workflow efficiency monitoring.

If you have questions or would like to further discuss your unique asset tracking challenges, please email or call Scott Daniel.

Email: scott.daniel@cdotech.com
Phone: 937-476-2278

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