Macfarlane Packaging and O2 work together to streamline Just-In-Time delivery

In the UK Macfarlane Packaging is using the handsets to wirelessly transmit packaging stock information from its customers’ sites via O2’s GPRS network to its packaging distribution depots.  Customer packaging levels are then checked in the morning with stock delivery occurring in the afternoon giving Macfarlane’s a just-in-time delivery model that is second to none.   Macfarlane employees monitor for stock gaps in customer warehouses, logging them on to the Xdas. The data is then transmitted via GPRS and automatically triggers re-ordering at the Macfarlane depot. This has enabled Macfarlane to synchronise its stock levels far more closely with its customers, allowing them to reduce time wastage and unnecessary early production of packaging products.   O2 and Macfarlane Packaging have been able to collaborate extensively. As a customer of Macfarlane, O2 allowed the company to pilot the mobile solution with its own packaging requirements.  Macfarlane Packaging was able to ensure consistent stocking, catering for peaks and troughs in O2’s distribution cycle, reducing the pallett space needed for its packaging stock by up to 70%.  As a result, O2 was able to hold more handset stock and make additional cost savings.      Macfarlane Packaging is now in a position to offer this stock management solution to both existing and prospective customers from its 15 Regional Distribution Centres across the UK.   Macfarlane is also harnessing the Xda’s for building relationships with both existing and prospective customers through an automated quote system that allows quotes for stock items to be ready in 30 minutes.  Previously the paper intensive process for quotes took up to a week.  The new mobile solution uses software on the Xda integrated into its back office systems via the O2 Network.  A new quoting system for bespoke products is currently under development that again will improve response times to customers and overall customer service.    Donna Lynch, New Business Development Director, Macfarlane Packaging comments: “Just-in-time delivery systems need to operate with precision if they are to be successful and O2’s Xda’s have given us instant mobile access to data whilst we are out on site. We have managed to deliver up to a 70% space saving for our customer by using O2’s experience in mobile data solutions. Not only have we saved time and money, we have also increased the number of quotations we can process significantly, which has made a big impact on the business.”   Ben Dowd, General Manager Business Sales at O2, adds: “The deployment of Xda’s across Macfarlane’s ground team is a great example of how mobile technology can improve this process, not just by reducing the time taken by information to reach a certain point, but also be physically reducing the amount of paperwork to be processed. Our collaborative approach has clearly paid dividends; by enabling our supplier to operate more efficiently we have benefited through a better service.”