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Agility strikes supply chain alliance with eastern data group

Darlington-based Agility Systems has formed a strategic alliance partnership with Eastern Data Group, one of the UK and Ireland’s top suppliers of mobile solutions for home and direct store delivery of FMCG product.

Agility’s solution, powered by Agility’s iLink middleware software, provides manufacturers of food and drink with the ability to accurately identify and locate stock at any point in the supply chain process, including manufacturing, warehousing and distribution. Eastern Data’s systems, automating field sales and delivery workers with mobile computers, will then seamlessly track stock to its final retail or consumer location.

Eastern Data has been supplying mobile solutions to a wide range of businesses since 1988 and has over 10,000 mobile workers automated with its solutions in the field today. The company works with a wide range of industry sectors but has a strong market share in the food and drink sector, especially in the dairy sector where some 6,000 home delivery and van sales field staff are automated.

RFID (Radio Frequency Interactive Device) technology is required by major supermarket chains of its keys suppliers. Many of the UK and Irish food and drink manufacturers are examining the automatic identification of re-usable pallets, trolleys, plastic trays and totes. The alliance of Agility and Eastern Data will benefit these manufacturers by providing RFID solutions on the trolleys, totes, trays and pallets to cover the complete supply chain process.

RFID reader-generated data can be converted into valuable, actionable information that could deliver a significant return on investment by capturing and analysing huge volumes of data. This data can improve product availability, highlight problem areas in the supply chain, reduce theft and counterfeiting, streamline logistics efficiency, and increase the accuracy of inventory and business forecasting.

Agility Systems, which has been investigating the benefits of RFID for a number of years, specialises in ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems integration and has extensive knowledge of warehouse efficiency, logistics and information management. Established in 1995, the firm implements these solutions to a wide range of clients all over the world. It also supplies warehouse optimisation solutions, efficiency monitoring and full transaction controls. Agility also specialises in supply chain execution over multiple ERP systems including GEAC, JD Edwards and BPCS.

Simon Storey, business development director at Agility, says: “The food and drink industries’ supply chain processes are moving with increasing speed and companies involved in the chain need to extract accurate data very quickly. Our partnership with Eastern Data will provide an all-in-one, lean supply chain solution that will help to manage the whole process from manufacturing to direct store delivery as well as asset tracking of the reusable containers”.

Reg Koster, sales and marketing director at Eastern Data, adds: “We are delighted to form a strategic alliance with complementary solution provider, Agility Systems. Agility’s considerable investment and expertise in bar coding and RFID will give our current and future customers the security to work with a team able to track products from field to fork. Agility can embed the RFID tags in containers, trolleys, and pallets and track these from manufacturing to the distribution centre, linking to any host ERP system. Eastern Data’s mobile solutions will then capture the Agility RFID tags from vehicle loading to their final destination of delivery.”

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