White Paper | June 25, 2009

US Cold Storage Case Study

Source: Business Solutions Magazine

By Psion Teklogix

Background
Leading national public refrigerated warehouse operator, United States Cold Storage, Inc., has been providing refrigerated storage services to the food industry since 1889. The company serves a customer base with requirements ranging from primary storage to fully integrated third party logistic solutions for a complete range of perishable food products.

As a reliable provider to thousands of customers with a variety of refrigerated warehouse, transportation and logistics services, US Cold Storage supports over 30 sites conducting 1-3 shifts, 7 days a week. To track and maintain its goods, US Cold Storage decided they needed highly ruggedized mobile devices for use in freezers in order to keep the business efficient and ensure accuracy.

The Problem
US Cold Storage first implemented radio frequency equipment from Psion Teklogix in 1997. Although these devices are still working extremely well in their facilities, US Cold Storage was in need of a hardware upgrade and a greater emphasis on the following functionality:
  • Ease of use
  • Full functional in temperatures from -5 to -15 degrees Fahrenheit/Celsius
  • Sustainable battery life throughout the entire work day
  • Delivery of real-time data
  • Integration with a remote software maintenance and distribution system
  • Brighter touch screens for better viewing in freezer environments
The Solution
Based on past performance with Psion Teklogix devices, US Cold Storage chose to do an upgrade with the company, deploying over 1,000 new mobile devices including Psion Teklogix' 8525 G2 rugged vehicle mount terminals (VMT) and Psion Teklogix' 7530 G2, a rugged handheld built for harsh cold chain environments. The devices are in the field from receiving to picking and stacking to shipping, and are tasked with managing inventory and orders wirelessly in real-time. With the new Psion Teklogix devices, US Cold Storage is able to keep the supply chain moving, improving productivity throughout the warehouse.

US Cold Storage has been impressed with the functionality, durability and reliability of Psion Teklogix' rugged mobile devices for over a decade. Time and again, the company has counted on Psion Teklogix devices to withstand extreme environments as 95% of its business resides in the freezer space.

"Psion Teklogix devices are built like tanks," said Terry Groff, IT RF tech specialist at USCS. "Many of the units initially deployed in the 1990s are still working extremely well today. As we phase out the older narrowband units and convert to the 802.11 technology standard with Psion Teklogix' 7530 G2 flexible, rugged handheld and the 8525 G2 wireless vehicle mount computer, we look forward to getting the same type of exceptional results and reliability delivered by the older models."

Psion Teklogix devices possessed the qualities that US Cold Storage required: they are rugged, maintain all functionalities in extreme conditions and have the battery life to last an entire work day. Additionally, US Cold Storage was impressed by the VMT and handhelds' user-friendly interface, ease-of-use, and ergonomics. Psion Teklogix mobile devices further distinguished themselves by being able to withstand flash freezing environments without clouding the screens.

In addition to new ruggedized devices, US Cold Storage needed software to maintain its mobile devices. As a result, US Cold Storage began rolling out Psion Teklogix' Mobile Control Center (MCC) software on all devices in each of its 30 sites, to remotely monitor, manage, troubleshoot and support these devices in real-time. Other MCC features include seamless software distribution and remote control and configuration. Because US Cold Storage has numerous sites and deploys over a thousand mobile devices, the ability to control each device regardless of location, not only saves time and money, but makes them more efficient.

"For companies like us who have numerous sites with thousands of units, the ability to control each device regardless of location, not only saves time and money, but makes us more efficient as a company," said Terry Groff IT/RF Tech Specialist at United States Cold Storage. "Psion Teklogix's MCC software provides our employees with user-friendly, powerful and reliable software that stands heads and shoulders above competitive offerings."

With new ruggedized mobile devices that can withstand harsh environments and remote software that control these units in any location, US Cold Storage has had significant reductions in operation and support costs as well as improved operational efficiency and ROI.
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