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NFT Logistics gets Harry Potter to the cinema on time with Skillweb

Track and Trace solutions from Skillweb systems provide competitive advantage in visibility and security for NFT Logistics

NFT Logistics has been distributing films and associated materials to cinemas since 1923. It is part of the courier systems group that has 250 couriers operating nationwide providing same day and overnight courier services. Its customers include National Screen, Carlton Film, Dolby, Cineworld, the Empire Group, Apollo and many independent, privately owned cinemas.

When the current management team took over the business in 2005 they wanted to build on the company's good reputation by delivering a modern, secure and highly trackable service tailored for the film distribution business. Simon Carter, National Logistics Development Manager at NFT Logistics, worked at TNT for 20 years where he introduced leading edge technology, like barcode scanning so that the company could track and trace all consignments. In the highly competitive film industry where piracy in the form of illegal copying is rife, knowing the precise location of every single film is crucial.

When Simon starting looking for a track and trace system that could be tailored for the film industry he was somewhat disappointed with the attitude of many of the traditional suppliers. He commented, “While all the suppliers we spoke to were keen to take our business, they were not so interested in helping us to develop the system so that we could provide a tailored service for our customers. Skillweb's approach, however, was very different. They were willing to listen to our requirements, and worked with us to provide a solution that has helped us to not only win more business, but will support the business as we expand.”

Skillweb provides a complete mobile computing environment as a managed service hosted at Skillweb's head quarters in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. This enables the management team at NFT Logistics to benefit from the software, without any of the technology overheads of managing and supporting the system.

Based on Skillweb's widely deployed 2020ePOD software extended to meet the demands of the film distribution industry, the system gives NFT Logistics full visibility of every film's location throughout the NFT Logistics distribution network. From the point at which the films are receipted into the business, through the cross-shipping network and then on to cinemas, NFT Logistics can track the consignments at every stage. The system shows exactly when and where films are delivered and collected from cinemas, providing a complete audit trail of the film as it moves between cinemas. This has the added benefit of minimising the need for films to go back to the distribution centres and so maximises the availability of the films.

The combination of online film specific data and tracking data, has provided NFT Logistics' customers with a unique service in an easy to use format. In just one screen they can see exactly where every film is located simply by entering the Copy Number (a number unique to each film that is digitally etched onto the film).

NFT Logistics couriers use Intermec CN3 mobile computers which have built in barcode scanners and are GPRS-enabled to pass the film tracking and proof of delivery (POD) information to the central system, where it can be accessed by customers in near real time. A GPS unit in the CN3 handheld device is used to capture the movements of the courier fleet, enabling the company to optimise fleet utilisation.

Simon Carter comments, “The Skillweb 2020ePOD solution has enabled us to provide this unique service to our customers and has enabled us to win new business. Skillweb has provided NFT Logistics with a tailored solution, that has enabled us to compete with much larger organisations. Being able to provide track and trace facilities along with our enviable track record in film distribution, has proved to be a winning combination in attracting new and larger customers, and will certainly enable NFT Logistics to expand in future.”

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