20 January 2021

From palletised and international distribution, through to contract logistics and warehousing, Expect Distribution have built long term partnerships with their clients, delivering real competitive advantage through the provision of reliable, flexible and profitable logistics operations.    

A multi award winning company, Expect are widely acknowledged as market leaders, adapting and investing in their operations to meet the needs of the logistics industry all over the UK. 

With over 250,000 sq ft of warehouse space across the North of England, Expect provide both shared user or fully managed 3PL solutions, offering specialist and bespoke services that deliver real cost benefits to their end users.

Challenges

Expect are continually investing in their IT infrastructure. A planned growth within their Bradford operations resulted in a decision to review additional RF scanning requirements. RF scanning plays a key role in supporting Expect’s IT infrastructure, providing real-time stock level updates in addition to supporting pick accuracy and operational efficiencies.

Expect were looking to implement a future proof and scalable system to support their goods in and picking operations. Expect turned to UK based rugged mobile computer and scanning specialists, TouchStar Technologies, to manage the process from specification through to testing, go live and ongoing support.

The rugged devices would need to use information from Expect’s core warehouse management system (WMS) to confirm receipt of palletised goods and what stock items to pick for goods out. To facilitate the real time data capture, TouchStar needed to ensure full connectivity with Expect’s new Wi-Fi network.

Solution

At the core of the system is TouchStar’s TS8000 series handheld rugged mobile computer. The TS8000 offered several advantages for the users on site.  With its optimally positioned hard capped keys, the TS8000 was the perfect device for Expect’s scan intensive warehouse operation. Not only that, the availability of a hot swappable battery, guaranteed continuous operation and reduced downtime, maximising output, and increasing workload efficiency.

Implementation

The go live of the RF system was to coincide with a new contract that had been awarded to their new Bradford warehouse operation. Expect undertook a thorough five week testing period, checking compatibility with their core warehouse management system and connectivity with the Wi-Fi network. TouchStar engineers were on hand throughout, ensuring the correct configuration and set up of the new scanning devices.

Outcome

The support of TouchStar prior to the system going live resulted in a smooth deployment. Benefiting from a UK supported solution, Expect have experienced minimal downtime. The devices have met the scope for the project, providing advanced scanning capability and real time visibility.

Chris Ramsden,  Warehouse Operations and Systems Manager, comments, “The implementation was very successful, TouchStar had a wide range of technical knowledge and experience and have been invaluable in their support during the testing phase and go live. The user feedback on the devices has been great, they are both ergonomic and easy to use, perfect for our scan intensive environments.”

Since the initial deployment, the devices have been rolled out across two of their North West sites. As a scalable and proven solution, Expect are now looking at additional scanning options to support their peak period. TouchStar has continued to provide guidance to help Expect define the requirements.  

Chris continues, “Since we went live TouchStar has always been there to assist with any questions or changes we have had to the systems we have put in place. We look forward to working closely with TouchStar on our future planned projects.”


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