CSSI Solves Dutch Valley Foods Warehouse Picking Challenges and Dramatically Improves Device Uptime
For over 100 years and through multiple generations of family ownership, Dutch Valley Food Distributors has distributed a broad range of foods (candy, chocolates, baking supplies, and more) from Myerstown, PA. Today, from its 200,000 square-foot warehouse space, Dutch Valley delivers to 29 states with a fleet of local and long-distance trucks.
Having long prided itself on high-quality products and service, Dutch Valley was concerned when when aging legacy handheld computers proved incapable of supporting the warehouse operation in meeting a surge in demand. Warehouse problems included:
- Handheld devices frequently dropped connections with the wireless network in the warehouse space. This disrupted order picking and interrupted warehouse activities
- Mis-ships had to be retrieved from stores, and in some cases, destroyed.
- Devices would sometimes freeze during the order picking process, causing productivity losses and frustrations for both warehouse worker and the IT team
- Devices ran on the Windows Mobile operating system, which had reached the end of its life for support.
To solve the barcode scanning challenges of its warehouse operators, Dutch Valley turned to CSSI Technologies, a specialist in attaining warehouse productivity through the integration of rugged mobile computers and barcode scanners.
Highlights of CSSI’s Warehouse Picking Solution:
- Adoption of Zebra’s MC3300X rugged handheld computer as a standard order fulfillment device
- Upgrade of Dutch Valley handhelds from outdated Windows Mobile to the Android operating system
- CSSI built a customized device interface to create a familiar screen for end-users, reducing user change resistance and training time
- Utilized CSSI Device Lifecycle Management to reduce IT team burden of supporting handhelds in configuring, provisioning, trouble-shooting, and updating.
I could show you about two thousand trouble tickets we had for our old devices dropping connectivity. Since deploying the Zebra devices, we haven’t had a single ticket.Ben Shirk, IT specialist, Dutch Valley Food Distributors
CSSI Consulting Process at Dutch Valley Foods
CSSI performed several on-site walkthroughs and consulting sessions to acquire a thorough understanding of Dutch Valley’s warehouse processes, the warehouse layout, and the challenges and opportunities within its warehouse operation. In the course of these sessions, it became apparent that productivity losses due to frozen devices and dropped wifi connections were a major issue which needed to be overcome. CSSI introduced several potential replacement devices in order to show the Dutch Valley team the variety of features and form factors available to them. As Dutch Valley narrowed down to a preferred device, the Zebra MC3300, CSSI arranged for an on-site trial period during which a sample device could be trialed by the warehouse worker team, whose feedback was solicited. After several iterations, the Dutch Valley team was satisfied both with device form factor and features as well as configuration and screen layouts.
Upgrading to Zebra’s MC3300X Mobile Computer
As an experienced distributor for Zebra Technologies, CSSI was pleased to provide the MC3300X , a rugged and extremely versatile handheld computer. Some of the features appreciated by Dutch Valley included the MC3300X ‘s broad barcode scanning range, an exceptional ability to maintain wifi connections, and long battery life (sufficient to power 3 shifts!). Coupled with Zebra’s Mobility DNA and LifeGuard for Android, the MC3300X will comfortably meet Dutch Valley’s needs for years to come.
Reducing IT Workload With CSSI Device Lifecycle Management
CSSI recognized that Dutch Valley’s small IT team was currently overwhelmed by the volume of service tickets caused by its aging device fleet. As a result, CSSI recommended its Device Lifecycle Management program , through which CSSI handles almost all mobile device issues, from configuration to provisioning, to future updates. With CSSI managing the mobile device fleet, the Dutch Valley IT team was freed up to pursue higher-value projects.
Device Lifecycle Management Benefits:
- Easy device provisioning
- Configuration consulting
- Regular Android updates and emergency patches
- Technical support
Warehouse Efficiency Impact of the CSSI Solution at Dutch Valley Foods
- Delivering ‘five-nines’ reliability for mobile device connectivity throughout the warehouse operation
- Drastically reduced mispicks, increasing order and inventory accuracy, and reducing costly returns
- CSSI-customized device interface eases new device adoption by end-users and enables faster execution of warehouse tasks.
- Dramatic reduction in trouble tickets freed up IT staff to focus on higher value projects.