Bally Technologies, an Intermec customer for more than 10 years, is a worldwide gaming company that designs, manufactures, operates and distributes slot and video machines to a global gaming industry.
It also designs, integrates and sells highly specialised computerised monitoring systems that provide casinos with networked accounting and security services for its gaming machines with more than 300,000 game monitoring units installed worldwide.
To further increase efficiency in its warehouse, Bally Technologies recently implemented a new warehouse management system (WMS) by Manhattan Associates and turned to Intermec and its partner Ryzex to upgrade its hardware to the Intermec CK31 mobile computer and PB50 mobile printer. The CK31 was selected for its rugged and reliable computing and scanning flexibility, complemented by the PB50 printer for on-the-spot printing.
"With our new warehouse management system in place, we needed the right tools to ensure that we make efficient, real-time inventory transactions," Tony Evans, director of logistics, Bally Technologies, said.
"We selected Intermec because of our longstanding, successful partnership and because of their industry-leading products. We know they will continue to provide us with the solutions and services needed to make our company function as effectively as possible."
Efficiency and accuracy continuously on the rise
Prior to upgrading its Intermec solution, Bally Technologies’ warehouse inventory accuracy was in the 24th percentile. Since upgrading, the company has experienced an increase in overall warehouse efficiency and now operates in the upper 90th percentile. As users become more proficient with the new system and solution, the company hopes to reach its ultimate goal of 99.9 per cent perfect order metrics.
By using the CK31 to track and streamline warehouse operations including picking, packing, shipping and receiving, Bally Technologies can now adjust its inventory in real-time during cycle counts, no longer having to wait until after the count to make necessary adjustments.
Additionally, the real-time inventory transactions make it easier for schedulers and buyers to make informed decisions based on the current warehouse status.
"Since upgrading our Intermec solution, we are very pleased with how our inventory accuracy rate has dramatically improved," added Evans.
"We look forward to continuously increasing the $600,000 annualised return on investment that has already been achieved."
A boost in morale and efficiency across personnel
While using the CK31 mobile computer and PB50 mobile printer, it is common to hear positive feedback from users. Since deploying the new solution, employees are enthused with the increased effectiveness and autonomy the solution brings to their jobs.
"Employees no longer have to wait around for a supervisor to provide them with tasks to handle," added Evans.
"Our solution allows daily responsibilities to be fed directly to the CK31, allowing users to complete functions both faster and more efficiently without feeling micromanaged."
There has been such an increase in productivity throughout the warehouse that Bally Technologies has reduced its headcount by 15 per cent. Using the handheld has eliminated wasted time spent standing around in the warehouse, enabling employees to complete more tasks throughout the day.
Increased mobility and reach
Bally Technologies tested the Intermec PB50 mobile printer against a competitor’s product and selected the Intermec printer for its mobile capability, battery life and wearable design. Also, the PB50 won "hands down" over the competition based on performance measures of print speed and throughput.
Now, users are able to print labels on the spot for all inventory processes including shipping, receiving and tracking shipment. Time and energy is saved because users no longer have to walk to a fixed printer station to create labels.
"The PB50 printers are convenient and allow employees to focus their time on completing tasks rather than walking back and forth to a fixed printer," Evans said.
"Also, if a pallet is missing a label, employees can print the appropriate tag on the spot, thus eliminating the additional time it takes to put aside the pallet and fix the error."
The increased scanning functionality of the CK31 with Intermec EX imaging technology was also a key factor in the upgrade. With EX near-far area imaging, workers can scan virtually any kind of bar code, in any orientation, at a range of distances. Items can now be scanned without having to climb a ladder or bring down a pallet, saving time and improving safety in the warehouse.
A continued partnership
Continuing its partnership with Intermec was an easy decision for Bally Technologies. The organisation has been pleased with the support provided by Intermec throughout its 10-year relationship and continues to hold a Bronze Medallion Depot contract service plan. The plan ensures a five day or better turnaround for any maintenance issues with the hardware that extends beyond warranty.
"The support from Intermec has always been great and timely," Evans said.
"We have a trust factor with them, and we are confident knowing that our needs will always be met."