This article is a translation based on this Norwegian article: http://www.rfidlab.no/nyheter/publisering/bilglassgruppen-ser-stort-potensial-i-RFID/
“RFID did not only solve the logistical problems we had, but also opened new possibilities we had not seen before. This is very exciting to take further”, says Managing Director Rune Sandve and Chief Logistics Officer Ken Andrè Mikkelborg in Bilglassgruppen AS.
Bilglassgruppen is the larges distributor of car glass. The company has 40 empliyees and a turnaround this year of 170 million NOK. BGG is doing paralell import directly from producers which gives advatageous prices. Paralellimport of car glass has about 80% of the norwegian market. Bilglassgruppen is largest in Norway with 42% market share and 60 000 windows a year. The company is owned by A.L. RIIS, who also owns Riis Bilgalss, the largest chain for car window repairs in norway.
We have a tradition of beeing in front of development. This is also true for logistics and computer systems. We believe in RFID technology and are now looking at the possibilities that opens up with this technology. It is inspiring to be a pioneèr and we see it as a great advantage for us when it comes to competency and for our customers to be a step in front of the rest with the solutions of tomorrow, Sandve says.
In te pilot that is executed in cooperation with HRAFN, RFID-tagging of windshields and equipment for mounting this (rubber seals, glue, etc.) has been tagged. HRAFN has been in charge of the execution of this pilot by delivery of the RFID infrastructure as a managed service, the user interfaces needed and the competency required for prooving the abilitys of this technology.
“Labels are printed with RFID embedded at goods receival. Labels are attached to the windshields as they enters their location in the storage shelves”, says advisor of GS1 Consulting, Petter Thune-Larsen
We will increase efficiency and quality on inventory, observe errors in the picking process before shipping and get better control of the goods on the outbound shipping area with this new technology”, says Mikkelborg. “Also we will get more control of the shipping process and with returns.”
RFID is beeing implmented in a clear future strategy where RFID will be part of the agreements with the producers of Bilglassgruppen’s items. The producers will be encouraged to tag at their end of the supply chain, so that the tag can really be utilized throughout the whole supply chain all the way towards the end users of the windshields and windows.
Sandve also says:
”We can put a RFID tag on the car glass that follows the window at all it’s lifetime. At returns by the consumer, one can inspect the process the window has gone through like the glue that has been used, and see if there is something that can explain why the window did not perform as expected.”
In the period of testing, there is established label printers, handheld scanners and portals for reading the RFID tags. The windows are followd all the way from good receiving via storing, picking and packaging, all the way to the shipping of customer packaged units of windows, glue, rubber sealings and plastic clips.
“The system reads up to 35 windows at a time and secures that the shipment is 100% correct when it leaves Bilglassgruppen’s storage facility”, Mikkelborg says.
“We do now get the results on analysis and test that we need, and will do a cost/benefit analysis to see if we can get the increase in efficiency that we expect. We also are looking at adjustments to our ERP system and other IT-systems. If there are more uncertanties after the pilot, we will find the necessary answers to get the “tags in place”. We will eventually make this happen”, says Managing Director Rune Sandve.
On the picture from the left: Rune Sandve (BGG), Geir Vevle (HRAFN), Petter Thune-Larsen (GS1) and Ken Andrè Mikkelborg (BGG)