Exporters supply chain conscious

Australian exporters remain confident over the next 12 months, despite the rising Australian dollar and high fuel prices.

The 2007 DHL Export Barometer found with world economic growth at a 30 year high, 69 per cent of exporters expect as increase in orders over the next 12 months.

The Export Barometer ranked Europe as the top export market for the next 12 months, with 65 per cent of exporters expecting increased orders to the region, up from fourth place in 2006, at 54 per cent expecting increased orders.

According to Austrade chief economist Tim Harcourt Australian exporters have developed a Eurovision fascination, with China remaining an old favourite despite the high Australian dollar and fuel prices.

“Australian exporters have moved from being Europhobic to having Eurovision in last the 12 months,” he says. “China and India remain top favourites for Australian exporters, while Japan remains to rank towards the bottom on export confidence, alongside New Zealand, our Pacific neighbours and Taiwan.”

“Despite the renewed focus on Europe, China remains a driver of the global economy and from DHL’s perspective China is the fastest growing export region,” says DHL Oceania strategic development group manager Paul Bellette.

“Exporters are looking for supply chains that are flexible, variable yet offer a variety of service options. One size fits all solutions are becoming less relevant as increasingly exporters require an express solution today and an airfreight solution tomorrow.”

Paul Bellette believes supply chains are starting to offer exporters flexibility, although access to more ‘local’ market export and import information is still paramount.

“The Express Industry has been trying to break down these knowledge barriers and open up this information to all, mainly through technology, and we would like to see this move at an even greater pace of change,” he says.

While infrastructure bottlenecks are an issue for exporters, it is manufacturing and supply chain capacity that are the biggest concerns.

“Over the past three years supply chains have proved an increasing issue for exporters, up from 12 per cent as an area of concern in 2005 to 44 per cent in 2007,” says Paul Bellette.

“Consolidation of suppliers is one way exporters can reduce supply chain inefficiencies and costs.”

Tim Harcourt agrees the main supply-side influence on exporters is manufacturing capacity; a shortage of plant, skilled labour and capital. “This suggests, contrary to popular belief, that demand for Australian manufactured goods is strong,” he says.

External factors impacting negatively on Australian exporters include the ever rising Australian dollar and the high oil/fuel prices.

For agriculture, manufacturing and service exporters the dollar has had more of an adverse affect that on the mining and tourism sector, and although it has squeezed profits, it has not affected the level of investment or expansion plans.

“New markets are constantly being sourced by exporters and they are therefore looking for suppliers that can offer global on the ground coverage,” says Paul Bellette. “Exporters want a supplier that can service the US but also the Ukraine.”

“Probably the biggest change has being the impact of technology and the key here is the internet. It really has taken away the tyranny of distance factor, making global markets more accessible,” he says.

“As a result, exporters are now getting orders from countries they have never exported to and know little about. This is where a global player like DHL with offices in over 220 countries can assist.”

Transport mobility solution

Gamma Solutions and InterDev will join forces to exhibit their Transport Mobility Solution at Freight Expo 2007.

The partnership of InterDev’s extensive software knowledge with Gamma Solutions’ hardware and network expertise has produced a flexible and powerful mobile solution tailored to transport and logistics needs.

Xmotion Transporta software combined with the Intermec CN3 mobile device provides full electronic job dispatch and history, proof of delivery, real-time job status, signature capture, web-based interface, enhanced customer service and lower cost of operations.

InterDev managing director Andrew Rossington says flexibility is a key aspect of the Transport Mobility Solution.

“We provide an adaptable framework which allows the product to be deployed in a range of transport models,” he says.

With experience in both the software and hardware fields, Gamma Solutions and InterDev are able to provide the complete Transport Mobility Solution, including full service and support, at a monthly rental rate.

The Xmotion Transporta platform has already been adopted by Cootes Transport Group, the market leader in delivery of LPG and fuels to clients across Australia, including Shell, BP, Caltex, ExxonMobil, Elgas and Origin Energy.

Freight Expo 2007 runs from 19 to 21 September at Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne.

Presented jointly by the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) and the Victorian Transport Association (VTA), it is part of the Freight Week 2007 program of seminars, workshops and conference sessions from 15 to 21 September.

For details of the Freight Week program, visit www.freight2007.com.au or contact Rob Perkins by phone on 0411 402 832 or email robp@vta.com.au.

For more information on Gamma Solutions and InterDev visit www.gammasolutions.com and www.interdev.com.au

Linfox acquires Westgate Logistics

Linfox today announced that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Westgate

Logistics (Westgate) which is based in Melbourne, Victoria.

Linfox Logistics CEO, Michael Byrne says the acquisition will provide Linfox with

sizable growth.

“This acquisition cements Linfox’s position as a major operator of warehousing in

Australia and one of the leading suppliers of logistics to the retail and FMCG sectors in

the Asia Pacific region,” Byrne says.

“This is a major acquisition that increases Linfox’s annual revenue to over $2 billion by adding to Linfox’s core areas of expertise in distribution centre management and transport.”

“Westgate is a successful privately owned logistics business that predominantly provides warehousing services to a blue chip customer base. Westgate manages 11 distribution centres around Australia with a dedicated fleet and over 1,200 employees.”

“The acquisition provides a strong fit with our growth strategy of identifying strategic acquisitions in addition to driving organic growth,” Byrne says.

“Westgate provides excellent opportunities for organic business growth with existing Westgate customers, particularly in the retail sector. Its key customers are major Australian retailers that complement and expand Linfox’s existing customer base.”

“The combined Linfox Westgate business will offer customers a broad range of supply chain solutions that will accelerate Linfox’s growth prospects.”

According to Linfox founder, Lindsay Fox the acquisition is in line with Linfox Logistics’ strategic growth plan and follows the purchase of FCL in August last year and Provincial Freightlines in May this year.

“It is Linfox’s third acquisition in a year. We now have over 13,000 employees and operate in 11 countries across the Asia Pacific region,” Fox says.

Westgate founder, Sam Tarascio, welcomed the merging of the two businesses. “Both companies share a commitment to our customers and outstanding service,” he says. “We are proud of what we have achieved and look forward to the growth of our combined business.”

“Mr Tarascio will work with the Fox family to ensure the smooth integration of Westgate with Linfox,” says Michael Byrne. “Westgate Ports which will be retained by Mr Tarascio will continue to support Linfox with wharf, dockside warehousing and stevedoring services.”

In addition, the Fox and Tarascio families will explore other ways that they might work together.

Built in functionality

Infor has unveiled Infor EAM Enterprise Edition, the company’s new version of its flagship enterprise asset management (EAM) solution.

The new version includes built-in functionality specifically for the Fleet Management, Manufacturing, Facilities and Life Sciences industries. Future releases will provide business-specific functionality for additional industries.

Infor Datastream 7i will now be known as Infor EAM Enterprise Edition.

“EAM Enterprise Edition has domain expertise built-in, addressing the reality that different kinds of business have different asset management needs,” says Infor’s senior director, Enterprise Asset Management Solutions Marty Osborn. “Infor’s business-specific capabilities enable customers to quickly and efficiently manage their assets without a lot of customisation, and that leads to low cost of ownership.”

In addition, EAM Enterprise Edition’s new Configuration Manager enables customers to create and store their own configurations. The configuration store removes the administrative tasks of moving from one configuration to another and allows companies to quickly deploy settings from test to training to production systems.

“Long viewed from a horizontal perspective, Enterprise Asset Management is trending towards a vertical approach as customers seek ways to enhance operating performance and improve competitive positioning in their specific industry,” says ARC Advisory Group’s senior analyst, enterprise software Houghton LeRoy. “To successfully penetrate vertical industries, EAM providers must demonstrate deep industry expertise as well as strong technical capabilities that address the unique needs of these customers.”

Business-specific functionality is important because it allows companies to access built-in features instead of highly customising a generic software package, which is expensive and risky.

For instance, Bentley College, a Waltham, Massachusetts leader in business education, sought a solution to improve the management of campus facilities.

These improvements have elevated Bentley to the top performer in work order process among its peers, as reported in the Sightlines LLC benchmarking, a facilities asset advisory firm that ranks how colleges and universities manage physical assets against financial performance.

“Infor’s enterprise asset management solution provides us with functionality specifically for our facilities,” says Bentley College assistant director of facilities operations Tom Kane. “We’ve improved many facets of our operation including, work order productivity, manpower scheduling and preventive maintenance setting us apart and dramatically improving our facilities operation.”

Infor Enterprise Asset Management solutions allow customers to maintain, manage, and improve the performance of their capital asset infrastructure, including manufacturing equipment, fleets, and facilities.

The solution combines asset management functionality and reporting with analytics to deliver a powerful platform for optimising enterprise asset performance.

Infor’s EAM solutions go beyond traditional management of assets providing information that helps identify key trends and anomalies, forecast performance issues, and helps to make forward-looking decisions to take action.

Retailers head to head

Celebrating the spirit of innovation and recognising exceptional contribution to the Melbourne retail scene, the 2007 Innovation Award finalists must demonstrate uniqueness in business concept, customer experience and display a visible point of difference. The Awards are open to all retail companies or registered businesses with operations in the municipality of The City of Melbourne.

David Edwards, Executive Director, Australian Retailers Association (ARA)* will question the finalists before a crowd of National Retail Forum delegates during the final conference session, entitled New Generation Retailers.

Among the judging panel of industry experts is Melbourne fashion designer and last year’s winner Harry Georgiou, Designer/Director, JASONGRECH. Georgiou and business partner Jason Grech took away the prestigious award in recognition of their business’ innovative approach to delivering customers a complete, personalised styling service.

“What I’m looking for in this year’s Innovation Award winner is a clear point of difference, a company which can stand apart from the rest and clearly demonstrate a strong reputation in important areas of retailing such as customer service,” says Georgiou.

“In addition to the obvious prestige and credibility associated with the Award, recognition programs such as these provide important channels to reward retailers for the time and energy they inject into their businesses. The National Retail Forum is a great platform to showcase the finalists as it encourages delegates and fellow Melbourne retailers to consider what they can do differently to improve their own business.”

Fellow judges participating in the Q&A panel session on 16 August include Scott Chapman, Director of Marketing, City of Melbourne; Richard Vines, Membership and Marketing Manager, Australian Retailers Association; and Fiona Sneddon, Councillor, City of Melbourne.

Nominations for the 2007 ARA and City of Melbourne Lord Mayor’s Innovation Award have now closed. The judging panel will review nominees’ written submissions and announce up to five finalists on the 6th August. The 2007 Innovation Award winner will be announced at the Immerse Yourself in Retail Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner, 18 September 2007 at Crown Palladium, Melbourne.

*The National Retail Forum will take place alongside Australia’s largest retailing exhibition, 2007 Retail Expo Australasia, 14-16 August, Melbourne Exhibition Centre. The Australian Retailer’s Association (ARA) and the Australian Centre for Retail Studies (ACRS) are Conference Partners for the National Retail Forum.


National Retail Forum (Conference)

2007 Retail Expo Australasia

VENUES & DATES: Melbourne Exhibition Centre

14-16 August 2007

WEBSITE: www.retailforum.com.au


EVENT ORGANISER: Diversified Exhibitions Australia

CONTACT: Tel: + 61 3 9261 4500

Email: retail@divexhibitions.com.au

Smart charge your batteries

Keeping demanding two- and three-shift operations performing as productively as possible can be a real challenge. On the production floor, that can mean using hundreds of square metres of valuable real estate for a battery room. Internal combustion forklifts present other concerns — for some plants, excessive noise and poor air quality create environmental and OH&S issues. These and other operational matters all directly impact a company’s bottom line.

The top five U.S. automotive manufacturers, many leading North American food and beverage companies, and the five biggest U.S. airlines have addressed these concerns by converting to a more space efficient and productive solution for providing power to their forklift and ground support equipment fleets. These companies and dozens of other industry leaders have permanently replaced their battery rooms with thousands of decentralized smart chargers from industry leader PosiCharge.

Eliminating the Beast of Burden

With PosiCharge smart chargers, vehicles never stop working in order to change batteries. Companies can run trucks on one battery all day just by plugging in for a quick charge during breaks and shift changes. This has eliminated the need for battery changing and everything that goes with it: unproductive space devoted to a battery room, as many as hundreds of extra batteries, battery changing equipment, time-wasting trips to the battery room, and extra maintenance on battery inventories. Keeping vehicles operating can result in savings of up to 70 percent compared to battery changing.

Ford Implements PosiCharge Enterprisewide

Automotive manufacturers were among the first to truly embrace fast charge technology. Ford Motor Company in the U.S., with its large number of lift trucks, battery stock, and changing rooms, recognised the multiple benefits of the PosiCharge system early on.

Six years ago Ford installed the first PosiCharge production unit. This quickly led to full implementation at one plant and has culminated with both Ford Vehicle Operations (manufacturing) and Ford Customer Service (parts distribution) committing to deploying the PosiCharge system throughout all 40 facilities in North America.

“The PosiCharge technology produces enormous savings to the company’s bottom line,” says Roger Tenney, manager of Industrial Vehicle Strategy and Engineering at Ford. “Productivity has improved and operations have become more efficient.”

Tenney says battery stations have been set up in natural work areas, eliminating the need for constant trips back and forth to a battery room. On lunch breaks or when workers have a few minutes of down time during their shift, they can drive a few metres to a charging station in their immediate work cell to charge the forklift battery.

“Our employees enjoy better air quality and less noise, and we’re experiencing a 75 percent reduction in total charging time required during a typical day,” Tenney says. “During a single shift, forklift and tow motor drivers were traveling 26 miles back and forth to the battery rooms. That non-value added work is eliminated with the PosiCharge system.”

A Winning Collaboration for Australian Customers

CenturyYuasa, the company that brings you the trusted brand Century Batteries, has partnered with PosiCharge to bring this exciting technology to the Australian market. To find out if your site is suitable for fast charging please contact Century on 1300 734 580.

Look Who’s Talking

Millions of cartons and products are picked each day in order fulfilment applications using voice-directed computing.

The hands-free, eyes free approach to order picking has quickly become a preferred order fulfilment solution for distributors around the world, saving thousands of dollars through enhanced order picking productivity and in the costs associated with rectifying picking errors every day.

Voice-directed computing prompts the operator through a series of tasks with clear, verbal commands. These are transmitted in real-time by a radio frequency (RF) system that interfaces with the user’s host platform, typically a WMS or ERP system.

The operator wears a small headset and the lightweight, portable voice-computer is attached to a belt around their waist. This keeps both hands free at all times while picking and, because the operator doesn’t need to waste time looking at and reading the data on a screen or picking list, this enhances OH&S and substantially increases productivity.

At Dick Smith Electronics (DSE) national distribution centre at Chullora in Sydney, the introduction of Voice Picking has well and truly exceeded expectations, delivering a 22%+ productivity gain and rapid ROI.

Alan Hicks, National Supply Chain Manager, Dick Smith Electronics, says: “Since introducing Voice Picking we have significantly reduced the cost per pick, and actually lowered our overall labour costs despite increasing throughput. Better job satisfaction and OH&S is a real bonus too.”

Trans-Tasman fashion and home décor catalogue distributor EziBuy has also achieved phenomenal results since introducing Voice Picking in its new DC at Palmerston North, New Zealand. In the largest application of Split-Case Voice Picking technology in New Zealand, EziBuy increased picking productivity from an average of 38 lines/person/hour to 89, and up to 160 in fast pick zones.

“EziBuy’s people took to Voice Picking very quickly. The feedback is always the same. They all love the hands and eyes-free picking opportunity that Voice Picking delivers,” says NZ logistics consultant responsible for the project, Scott Kerr, Managing Director, Kerrect Logistics (NZ).

In a different application of Voice Directed Computing, Melbourne-based discount variety retailer, The Reject Shop (TRS), is using the technology to facilitate a batch picking and “Put” order picking process.

In traditional retail distribution centres, the typical practice is to assemble a complete store order at a time. The Reject Shop has turned that principle on its head and instead of carting the entire order around the DC and picking products, TRS batch picks all of a single product for all orders at the one time, and then allocates the required stock for each store in a Voice Directed “Put” process.

“Using Voice Picking as the enabler for our ‘Put’ picking process has delivered excellent productivity gains, improved accuracy, reduced costs and increased throughput,” said The Reject Shop’s Logistics Manager, Philip Beckett.

Dematic’s Nathan Taylor will present detailed case studies on Voice Picking applications in Australia and New Zealand including Dick Smith Electronics, The Reject Shop and EziBuy (see sidebar for details).

Hear the latest information on:

• How Voice Directed Computing works

• How the benefits of hands-free/eyes-free technology delivers results in Logistics and Supply Chain applications

• How new hardware, software and interfacing techniques have greatly reduced the cost and complexity of systems integration

• Live demonstrations of Voice Directed Computing.

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to find out why Voice Directed Computing offers the best business case in business, with ROIs from as little as six months.

Venue, Date & Time

Wellington: Thursday, August 23, Duxton Hotel, 170 Wakefield St, Wellington

Auckland: Friday, August 24, Langham Hotel, 83 Symonds St, Auckland

Brisbane: Monday, August 27, Queensland Cricketers Club, 411 Vulture St, East Brisbane

Melbourne: Tuesday, August 28, The Event Centre, 448 Epsom Rd, Flemington

Sydney: Wednesday, August 29, Waterview Convention Centre, Bicentennial Park, Sydney Olympic Park

Time: 7:30am for 8:00am start. Seminars conclude at 9:00am.

Further information: Dematic Pty Limited, 24 Narabang Way, Belrose, NSW 2085, Australia. Tel: +61 2 9486 5555. Fax: +61 2 9486 5511. www.dematic.com.au

Corner Wrap Label printer and applicator

Combining high quality label printing with a specially designed label applicator that affixes a single label around the corner of a carton as it travels via a conveyor line.

In addition to offering a selection of high quality label print engines that address various print speeds and resolutions, the corner wrap system is available with optional RFID print engines from Zebra Technologies that will satisfy the emerging requirements of today’s supply chain.

The Weber 5200 corner wrap printer applicator comes standard with both direct thermal and thermal transfer print engines for printing of text, barcodes and graphic images at 203 or 300dpi. The RFID models combine those capabilities with the encoding and verification of RFID tags to meet that meet the specifications of GS1 Gen2 standards.

This system works by producing labels both printed and RFID encoded, and automatically removing them from their liner and retaining them by vacuum on a swing arm mounted tamp pad. As a carton approaches, the tamp pad applies the label to its front panel, then swings around the corner and wipes the remaining portion of the label on its adjacent side.

The corner wrap system handles labels up to 101mm wide and 304mm in length, and will print and apply labels up a 15 cartons per minute. The complete unit is built to withstand the wear and tear of extended usage and harsh manufacturing environments. The sensitive electronic components are protected inside a corrosion resistant, stainless steel housing.

As standard, the applicator is equipped with label and ribbon alerts plus various outputs for easy connection to external controls and data systems. Options include a heavy duty stand and label and product sensors.

Peacock Bros. are the exclusive distributor of the Weber printer applicator range in Australia and New Zealand, and have specialized technical staff that will assist in custom installations and advice in getting the very best from automated label print and apply solutions.

For more information, go to the peacock Bros website or contact Peacock Bros. on: 1300 723 282 or email: pbsales@peacocks.com.au

Mobicon Team expands

Tom Schults, Managing Director of Mobicon Systems has promoted Roger Vale to International Sales & Marketing Manager to ensure that the Mobicon product is available in all parts of the world. “Roger will not only be responsible for the Australasian market but he will now manage the sales of the Mobicon in the United States, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Europe,” Schults says.

“We have established relationships in the United States, South Africa and Europe and more recently welcomed Bill Felton to our team to head up the United Kingdom branch of Mobicon Systems,”

In addition, Mobicon Systems has recently employed Damian Cosgriff as the National Sales Manager for the Australian market to ensure that the domestic sales continue to grow.

“Damian Cosgriff has over thirty years of experience in all modes of transport including road, rail and sea and his knowledge of the industry will be invaluable to the team. Damian’s expertise is a welcome addition and we look forward to having him on board,” he said.

To find out more about the Mobicon please contact Roger Vale, International Sales & Marketing Manager, Mobicon Systems on Mob: 0401 490 490 or roger.vale@mobiconsystems.com

Elpro Libero PDF Logger

Up till now, data loggers used for cold chain monitoring have required the use of product specific software at each location where it is desired to confirm temperature compliance, the Libero PDF Logger eliminates this by automatically producing a PDF report upon connection to a PC.

The LIBERO can be plugged into the USB interface of any PC to automatically generate a PDF file which can be read anywhere without difficulty. Additional features of the Libero include;

? Compliance with the ISO Standard 19005-1-Document Management

? Temperature logging from -35°C to +70°C with internal sensor

? Multiple use on 400 operating days within 3 years (switch on/off possible)

? 16,000 temperature data points

? Accuracy of measurement: +/- 0.2° (-10°C to 25°), -/+ 0.5° (from -35° to -10° and 25° to 70°)

? Logging modes: start/stop mode, loop mode (Ti1 only)

? 2 alarm limits or 5 alarm ranges

? Integrated PDF file generator which automatically creates an evaluation file including a chart

? Evaluation report (Adobe® PDF/A) with text and graph visualizing the temperature curve and the raw data for all transport sections

Typical applications for the Elpro Libero PDF Logger include;

? Pharmaceutical industry

? Transport of medication, vaccines, units of stored blood, ampullae, ointments as well as active pharmaceutical ingredients and basic elements

? Clinical trials (medication tests and launches)

? Shipments to uncommon delivery destinations with decent infrastructure

? Food industry

? Transport of perishable foodstuffs (fresh, refrigerated and frozen products)

? Transport of flowers and other temperature-sensitive products

For further information please contact.

ETM Pacific Pty Ltd

Level 2, 275 Alfred Street

North Sydney NSW 2060

Ph: 02 9956 7377

Fax: 02 9956 5791

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