When automobile giant BMW needed to increase productivity and efficiency at its large manufacturing plant near Greer, SC, it looked to the indirect sales channel for answers. Systems integrator IndTech Inc., value-added distributor ScanSource and Intermec Technologies Corporation answered the call, and within weeks, the plant had a fully functional Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) scanning system in place.
To determine which parts needed to be installed in cars along the production line, BMW employees were forced to leave the line and query a centrally located PC. To decrease PC interface time, BMW sought a portable data collection solution that could be used to quickly retrieve valuable data from the production control system, allowing its staff to remain on the production line when determining the correct parts for installation.
IndTech developed a multi-threaded client/server application running on an Oracle Server application. The system allows RF scanners running E-Z Builder software to access an Oracle database for data queries, collection and storage. The solution allows BMW employees to simply scan the Vehicle Identification Number on the chassis and receive back needed data regarding which parts should be installed into the automobiles on the manufacturing line. Now, the staff never has to leave the line to get needed and valuable information.
ScanSource provided the integrator with Intermec's T2425 TRAKKERâ Antaresä data collection terminals and access points, allowing IndTech to customize the system specifically for BMW. Intermec's T2545 wireless scanners are small and portable, making the system easy-to-use and efficient. The product is designed for manufacturing, warehouse and distribution environments.
"This process exemplified how the channel can come together quickly to find solutions for customers with diverse needs," said Mike Baur, President of ScanSource. "The combination of value-added services are designed to provide VARs with a support system they can rely on to help them build solutions for their customers. Regardless of the challenge, the indirect sales channel is the most efficient and effective way to meet the needs of a changing marketplace."