Jade helps Pallet Network mobilise forklift trucks with Panasonic TOUGHBOOK tablets
Jade Solutions has helped The Pallet Network mobilise its forklift trucks with Panasonic TOUGHBOOK Android tablets helping to improve productivity and customer service in the competitive logistics industry.
“We had ageing Windows 7 devices mounted in our forklifts that were no longer supported and getting pretty tired,” explained Robert Haigh, IT Director at TPN. “These devices are critical to our operations and used by the drivers constantly, so it was clear that they needed to be modernised. Together with taking the opportunity to upgrade the old hardware, we also knew we could make further improvements by moving to the latest Android platform and deploying new software for our forklift operators to use.”
TPN is the UK’s leading pallet freight delivery network, last year shipping 4.6m pallets via its network of 119 regional transport partners and their 130 plus depot locations. Their purpose-built main hub is in Sutton Coldfield and is Europe’s biggest cross dock, capable of unloading 57 trailers simultaneously and handling 20,000 pallets a night with workflows optimised using artificial intelligence. Its additional three regional hubs are in Preston, Coventry and Northampton.
Working with trusted IT services partner Jade Solutions, the company set about evaluating options. They looked at all the leading industry providers alongside Panasonic TOUGHBOOK and its rugged Android A3 tablet. TPN required 150 new devices, with 130 deployed on forklifts at any one time.
The critical factors in choosing the new devices were their ruggedness and reliability in the challenging working environment and the ability to run TPN’s in-house developed software application for managing and moving the pallets. In addition, ease of management and long-term support for the devices were other important considerations.
“The Panasonic device immediately stood out as different,” said Robert. “It was a much more polished and complete package in terms of design and robustness.”
The roll-out went smoothly and the new devices have been well received by the users. “The drivers immediately noticed how quickly they work and that the connectivity is much better than with the old devices. There are now practically no connectivity blackspots, which has really saved us time and increased the productivity of our drivers. Importantly, we also didn’t need to spend any time or money to train the drivers to use the devices. It is all very intuitive. They just went to the forklifts and started using the new solution straight away.”
Moving forward, TPN plans to extend the use of the devices for additional purposes at the hub, by undocking the devices from the forklifts and using them for supervisor checks, yard management and door control.
“Ultimately, we now have a solution that is ideal for our working environment and that we can rely upon to do the job, allowing us to concentrate on delivering and fast, transparent and competitive service to our customers,” concluded Robert.
For more information on The Pallet Network story, read the full case study here.