Maintaining the integrity and quality of medical supplies is vital for pharmaceutical companies and this demands a reliable cold chain transportation and logistics service. Envirotainer, a specialist in dry ice and temperature-controlled containers for transporting sensitive products, turned to Destiny Wireless for a digital pen solution to speed up processes and boost efficiency. This solution is being used by Envirotainer across Ireland.
Before it started using digital pen technology, the service providers contracted to Envirotainer were using pen and paper to record the arrival of the container, report its condition and advise on any repairs that were needed. Information from these paper reports was then transferred to a spreadsheet to be either faxed or scanned and emailed to one of Envirotainer’s three logistics offices with the risk of human error creeping into the reporting. Administrators would then interpret the data. Photographs of damaged containers would be taken by a normal camera and sent separately. The net effect of this long-winded process was a time delay of up to three days between the return of a container and a system confirmation that it was available again for rental. This could result in critical deadlines being missed.
An early step for the destiny team was to digitise and redesign the booking-in and inspection forms to be more intuitive, with tick boxes for key data fields to limit freehand text. After a three-month pilot, the new system was rolled out on a global scale to Envirotainer’s operations around the world.
Now, as each container is returned, service providers use digital pen and paper to book it in, record its unique ID number and complete the appropriate inspection report after checking for any damage. Date, time and location are automatically captured. Then, simply by ticking a box on the digital form, the pen strokes that have been automatically recorded by a tiny camera in the nib of the pen are instantly transmitted via Bluetooth to the service provider’s mobile phone. A further check is made here on the screen to validate the container ID before the data is transmitted on as a pdf conversion of the original handwritten form and an xml data file. Although the majority of containers are returned in fully serviceable and reusable condition, digital inspection forms are used to record the degree of any damage. Photographs can also be taken by mobile phone and sent as an attachment to the data so that administrators can assess the damage and initiate action as necessary. The Destiny solution contributed to a dramatic improvement in business. With no significant increase in the container fleet, the company has been able to grow rental volumes by 20 per cent more than the same time the previous year.
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