Webcast: Optimizing GPS technology for manufacturing organization

In part three of a three-part series of automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) technology, expert Dylan Persaud covers the various ways that global positioning satellite (GPS) technology can be used in manufacturing. Viewers will find how GPS technology can be used on the manufacturing shop floor, in logistics and shipping and throughout the entire supply chain.

SearchManufacturingERP: Hello, and welcome to the SearchManufacturingERP.com webcast. I'm Brenda Cole, site editor. In part three of a three-part series on AIDC [automatic identification and data capture] technology, we'll be discussing how GPS [Global Positioning System] can improve logistics. Our expert speaker today is Dylan Persaud, managing director at Eval-Source. Welcome, Dylan.

Dylan Persaud: Hello, Brenda. Thanks for having us today. Today's media stream will be tips for using GPS within logistics. The agenda for today's media stream will include tips for using GPS in logistics and the supply chain. The examples provided are actually industry applications of how companies are using GPS today.

GPS has become very economical recently and has lowered the point of entry for many companies, increased supply chain and logistical capability. The second portion of the Web stream today will be how-to ... tips on selecting ... . Today's agenda for the media stream will include tips for using GPS in logistics [and] in [the] supply chain. The examples provided are actually industry applications of how companies are using GPS in logistics today. GPS has become very economical recently, and has lowered the point of entry for many companies to increase supply chain and logistical capability.

The second part of today's media stream will discuss selection tips for GPS systems. These systems are also called GIS systems. This slide represents GPS tips and how they're used in logistics today. GPS is used with asset management, container tracking, asset utilization and order reconciliation. Most people are familiar with GPS either from their vehicles, cell phones or other portable devices. These are some of the most common consumer applications. Today, we provide a few examples of how GPS [is] used within industries for business-to-business applications.

For asset management, there are many ways GPS can be used. Asset management can refer to resources of people and/or equipment. An example of GPS being used within logistics is the use of GPS for rental cars. The GPS here is used to track the status of the vehicle and in combination with RFID [radio frequency identification] and bar code or inventory tracking and asset maintenance. An example of how the people side of asset management is being used in GPS is to track the vicinity of resources. When a resource is located, they can quickly be dispatched to the next closest vicinity to reduce travel time, which increases customer satisfaction and saves the company by maximizing employee effectiveness.

Container tracking can be used with GPS for items such as in-transit and shipping information. The containers are equipped with GPS devices so that they may be tracked on the water or in a truck on the way to another warehouse. These are used for shipping containers from abroad, are especially useful there. The GPS makes it easy for companies to track container content, and is often used in port availability and port management software when receiving containers. Having this information available for companies assists them in predicting delivery times and lead times for fulfillment of orders.

Asset utilization for GPS can be used for machinery and heavy equipment, such as earth movers, dump trucks and things of that nature. These resources can be deployed to neighboring sites or the information can be used to schedule how effectively to use that piece of machinery or asset, thereby maximizing their full utility. For order reconciliation, GPS is used for real-time data and location tracking. When an asset is identified, easier forecasting and scheduling can occur, which reduces the overall carrying cost of capital expenditure, due to more lean practices.

This slide actually refers to re-tracking, reverse logistics, supply chain visibility and field service applications. These are more applications of how GPS are actually used within the field in logistics today.

For fleet tracking, GPS is used here in conjunction with other technologies, such as barcode. This supplies a complete maintenance solution that proactively alerts for upcoming service, or for machines or access. In the case for reverse logistics, GPS is used by tracking containers and items down to its specific location. This is useful for situations where a recall may be in order.

Certain sensitive or security control parts may have GPS embedded in them. Such as aerospace parts, which are used in conjunction with other technologies to facilitate the reverse logistics work. Supply chain visibility is used in GPS, in supply chain which provides real-time data access to where inventory is being located. This also becomes useful for supply chains when information is shared between suppliers, so that they may predict better availability or scheduling and make changes to accommodate late shipments.

Field service applications is another use for GPS. Companies use GPS to better dispatch employees to closer proximities. Another example of companies using GPS for field service is for engineers or mobile units, engineers in remote places such as jungles or mining locations where communications can be limited. GPS is a way of providing that communication bridge and providing staff with valuable information.

This part of the webcast actually speaks to software selection tips on how to select a GPS system. It is key to identify which business problems here you are trying to solve. Then list the complementary technologies that are included within the systems you are comparing. Assess if those technologies accomplish the GPS requirements or the supply chain capabilities. BI [business intelligence] capabilities with instant graphic abilities and the ability to map resources, show a visual [inaudible] of assets, and compare them to the proximities and expected destination. What has happened here with GPS systems is it has combined GPS, RFID, mobile, bar code, and BI, which can actually cloud the use of GPS itself, so be very careful as to the type of system you're looking for and know the definitive objective you're trying to achieve.

For auxiliary technologies, compare feature by feature and workflow to workflow using the same criteria to assess all vendors, and follow the same scoring system for all vendors. That way, you are assured of an apples-to-apples comparison. A system of scoring more points for features and functions that are most important to you, and then use a lower corresponding score for less-important criteria. Do not lose sight that the main objective is to select a system that uses GPS for either logistics or supply chain visibility and tracking.

Thank you for attending the media stream of tips in using GPS for logistics. Covered today were industry examples of how GPS [is] used in logistics, and tips for selecting GPS systems.

SearchManufacturignERP: Thank you, Dylan, and thank you all for joining us today. For more on GPS, please visit SearchManufacturingERP.com.

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