ASICS Europe BV is the European subsidiary of ASICS Corporation, a leading designer and manufacturer of running shoes as well as other athletic and lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories.
Having recently launched an updated, coordinated Warehouse Management System, ASICS was also looking to replace the Zebra Workabout Pros it had been using at its European warehouse. ASICS approached a partner, with whom it had already established a long-term partnership, to research the best device for its needs. With offices in the Netherlands and Belgium and over 40 years of experience, the partner offers turnkey solutions and total packages of mobile solutions including mobile devices, wireless, native apps and services. It is a Zebra Technologies Premier Solution Partner.
The plan was to adopt a future-proof device working on an Android platform which would increase efficiencies at its centres. Moreover, ASICS wanted a single device to manage all its warehouse tasks: a truly comprehensive upgrade. Having tested various devices with the partner, it rapidly became clear that Zebra’s TC8000 Touch Mobile Computers were the only devices that could meet all ASICS’ needs. The partner organised a successful pilot phase at the warehouses prior to full deployment.
ASICS warehouse teams now use Zebra’s TC8000 for all warehouse processes, including goods inbound, stock movements, stock counts, replenishments, picking, goods outbound and returns processing. The TC8000s will also be deployed at ASICS’ new distribution centre in France, which is due to open at the end of next year. The long range scanners are used on forklift trucks; the short range scanners are use by pickers on foot. Both versions also offer hands-free proximity scanning. The SimulScan software running on the TC8000s means workers can capture multiple barcodes simultaneously with a single scan.
The TC8000s are wirelessly connected to ASICS’ WMS via Velocity software, so all warehouse activities can be immediately logged and information exchanged in real time whilst workers are on the warehouse floor. The all-touch terminal emulation client running on the devices are powered by Wavelike translates the green screen interface to an intuitive all-touch interface without ASICS having to modify the back end of the system. ASICS have customised the 4-inch touchscreen with a Lock Screen and just four buttons: one to connect to WMS, one for a calculator, one for an hour registration tool and the final one for systems administration (rarely used by warehouse staff).
Warehouse staff used to carry extra batteries with them but this is no longer necessary. The TC8000 has a very powerful ‘triple-shift’ battery housed in its handle for easy replacement, which has reduced device downtime and ensures workers can continue to operate efficiently during their 5-8 hour shifts. The TC8000s even remain operational and connected to Wi-Fi during a battery change.
ASICS uses the enterprise mobility management solution SOTI MobiControl® Cloud to configure, update (for example, the data wedge settings for scanning) and manage the TC8000s remotely and out of warehouse working hours, to minimise device downtime. This saves time and ensures staff keep working efficiently. Moreover, the TC8000s are protected by a three-year Zebra OneCare Select Support Packaging for repairs and replacements, in care of any faults or damages.
The TC8000s have improved the comfort and efficiency of ASICS’ warehouse workers, who have been quick to adopt the new devices. The clever, ergonomic design of the TC8000, with its front-facing, easy-to-see screen, has eliminated the need to ’tilt and verify’ after every scan and the proximity scanning also makes it easy for operators to work hands free. The tactile keyboard takes up less space than a traditional keyboard; this contributes to the TC8000 being 33% lighter than standard mobile computers, especially appreciated during long shifts. However the devices remain exceptionally rugged and robust. Teams also praise the crossed laser feature, which means they can scan in different ways, the fast scanning and processing speeds and the long battery life. The TC8000 has improved sound to confirm the scan and the possibility to switch to a vibrate mode, in case of exceptionally high background noise levels in the warehouse. Workers who pick, on average 800 SKUs during a shift and scan the location, item and trolley for each SKY –in total, circa 2400 scans – are saving up to an hour per shift, equating to a 10% uplift in productivity.
The solution has also increase operational visibility. In the German warehouse, workers used paper-based processes for picking. However, equipped with the TC8000, they are now moving to an automated scanning picking process, which is saving time and costs and increasing the availability of real-time information. Staff can now also change the cost centre they are working on – from picking to inbound goods, for example – directly on-screen, without having to return the office.
Finally, looking forward, the Android operating system and feature-rich TC8000 will allow ASICS to explore a wider range of functions in the future; these may include voice picking, connecting to interactive warehouse glasses and using the camera for pictorial tracking.
Article Credit: https://www.zebra.com/content/dam/zebra_new_ia/en-us/solutions-verticals/vertical-solutions/warehouse-management/success-stories/warehouse-management-success-story-asics-en-gb.pdf