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Bulgaria: Trading logistics

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CABLE Trading Logistics Pilot for CABLECOM by Balkan Services

END USER

Cablecommerce is the leading cable trading and cable producing company in Bulgaria. There are 6 trading bases of the company across Bulgaria.

SOLUTION PROVIDER

Balkan Services is among the leader IT consulting companies in Bulgaria. We provide solutions in the area of RFID, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), BI (Business Intelligence) and CRM (Customer’s Relations Management) systems. Balkan Services is among the few Bulgarian companies that offer RFID solutions on the Bulgarian market.

PURPOSE OF THE PILOT

The pilot addresses the following problem: Large drums of cable rolls and smaller inventory are not adequately accountable of. Due to lack of information about quantities, often large coils of cables are not used efficiently.

Objectives of the pilot are to improve the storage management system of Cablecommerce and to improve the logistics of the company.

The reasons for choosing RFID solution are:

  • resistance to hostile environment;
  • possible storage of large amounts of information;
  • long life of the tags and possible multiple use;
  • reading without visual contact; and
  • reduction of human errors.

Expected benefits of using the RFID application:

  • Optimized usage of the cable rolls;
  • Tracking of the location of the cable rolls;
  • Optimized usage of the leftovers from cables;
  • Informed decision on which roll to use/cut;
  • Independency form weather conditions;
  • Better planning;
  • Better tracking of the orders; and
  • Automation of hand-written identification forms.

The Bulgarian Association of Software Companies (BASSCOM) is involved in the project. The main goal of the Association is to establish the software industry as an essential part of the Bulgarian economy. Its mission is to promote competitive advantages and long-term traditions in software development and to encourage acquisition of best practices to raise company excellence.

END USER APPLICATION

This pilot will be implemented in a cable trading company. RFID will be deployed at the warehouse of the company (CABLECOM) with the following advantages: independency of the weather conditions and accessibility of the cable rolls. RFID-ROI-SME will endeavour to implement a mobile solution for tracking the rolls of cable and control over the logistics, together with optimizing the software application for warehouse management, based on the ERP system Atlantis, which is currently used by the SME.

TECHNOLOGY

On the basis of the tests carried out, the most suitable solution was chosen:

  • RFID tags with the following features: passive tag, HF (13.56 MHz) technology, Read only, ISO 14443, Mifare, ISO 15693;
  • Integrated reader (antenna, reader and software) HF-AM1-G2 or HF-T2-G2 for hand held (mobile) computer Workabout pro (PSION TEKLOGIX);
  • Printer Zebra;
  • Wireless gateway and access points, antenna, accessories and fittings will be used to provide wireless communications coverage of the work zones on site. At the test stage, industrial design equipment was applied to explore radio propagation, data rates, time delay around outdoor and indoor environment full of cable coils and rolls.

The Integration Architecture is comprised of three components, which provide the following functionalities:

  • Communications server, corresponding with the comms drivers running on the mobile devices, performs data interchange via WLAN and USB. This component can operate as a stand-alone software to provide communications with the mobile fleet for Cablecommerce applications;
  • Data Bridge is a set of filters to import/export data from/to different data bases. The basic interchange formats are: text, csv, html, XML and ODBC. Each data transfer is logged and date/time stamped in order to make easy system integration and debugging;
  • Data Viewer allows the user to view data units before transfer them to the application or to the mobile computers. It operates over a local data base that can be set up to match the application.

The subsystems to be integrated are: Atlantis ERP, FASTY Server, FASTY Mobile (mobile application and integrated RFID readers) and wireless communication infrastructure.

The processes that are going to be affected and transformed into the ERP system are the following:

  • Deliveries;
  • Sales;
  • Stock availabilities;
  • Transfers (receiving and dispatching); and
  • Returns (clients and suppliers).