RFID Talk Blog

H&M Bay deploys RFID solution at cross-docking distribution center

H&M Bay, a third-party transporter of temperature-controlled freight, has deployed RFID technology at its cross-docking distribution center in Federalsburg, Md. H&M says the install has resulted in a 25 percent reduction in cross-docking labor, allowing workers to concentrate on fulfilling customer orders instead of repetitive warehouse tasks.

H&M has realized faster truck loads and re-loads, leading to increased efficiencies. The company is utilizing a system from supply chain solutions integrator Franwell, and technology from Motorola.

“H&M Bay prides itself on its ability to deliver efficient and quality service to customers,” John Walker, software development manager for H&M Bay, said in a press release. “In order to speed up freight transfers, guarantee product freshness and reduce labor costs, we have joined forces with Motorola and Franwell to improve our delivery and inventory processes to help us meet our overall business objectives – to deliver quality and timely delivery service.”

H&M Bay moves freight in the less-than-truckload (LTL) frozen and refrigerated commodities market. Cold storage freight transfers must be stored and shipped in environments that meet stringent industry guidelines and government mandates. H&M relies on the RFID system to locate and record pallet information in real time, providing the firm with real-time visibility of inventory as it flows through the DC.

“H&M Bay approached us with a desire to develop a solution that would allow it to track inventory movement throughout its facility without impeding the flow of its workforce,” said Terri-Anne Crawford, vice president and chief operating officer at Franwell. “By deploying an RFID solution that tracks freight at the pallet level and identifies each warehouse storage location, together with the right mix of mobile devices, we were able to deliver to this objective.”

At the DC, RFID tags are placed at each storage location along with each pallet to facilitate product control and automate the tracking of inventory in the cooler and freezer storage rooms. Motorola RD 5000 mobile RFID readers detect tagged pallets and tagged storage locations, triggering H&M Bay’s automated inventory system to record when a pallet has been removed from its location and where it has been placed.

H&M Bay also turned to Motorola MC9090-G RFID handheld mobile computers to commission location tags and make initial assignments to storage locations. IN addition, forklift trucks are outfitted with RD5000 mobile RFID readers and a Motorola VC5090 vehicle-mounted mobile computer for greater ease-of-use while on the forklift, on the ground or anywhere in the DC. Motorola’s RFID industrial-class XR series readers are employed on cooler and freezer doors to detect pallet tags as they enter and exit cold storage facilities.

“We believe in combining best practices to help our customers achieve their goals and improve business productivity with our cold chain solutions,” said Mike Maris, senior director of transportation, distribution and logistics, Motorola Enterprise Mobility Solutions. “Motorola works to ensure each solution is tailored to meet everyday business objectives, helping LTL customers streamline supply chain efficiencies and improve employee effectiveness, productivity and customer service.”

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