Magazine Article | August 24, 2006

Bar Code Recognition Speeds Delivery Document Processing

Source: Field Technologies Magazine
Integrated Solutions, September 2006

Dayton Freight Lines (DFL) is a leading LTL (less than truckload) freight carrier servicing the central region of the United States, from Pennsylvania to Kansas and from Kentucky to Minnesota. With 822 tractors, 1,786 trailers, and 1,950 employees, it is easy to imagine the challenges involved in handling and tracking thousands of documents associated with these shipments.

DFL’s existing off-the-shelf product required that documents from customer service centers be sent to the corporate office to be imaged. DFL not only wanted to post proof-of-delivery documents faster, but also wanted to speed up its ability to send out invoices and reduce data entry costs. It realized it could do this by moving from the centralized imaging/decentralized data entry process it currently had to a decentralized imaging/centralized data entry process.

The company installed document scanners in all of its 38 customer service centers. Because it needed a very customized document scanning application that couldn’t easily be found in the marketplace, DFL wrote the software itself to interface with the company’s existing document image repository.

One of the key things components needed from the document management system was bar code recognition, since each document processed has a shipment tracking number on it in the form of a bar code. Employees would still need to manually key in and identify each page before scanning, preventing DFL from reducing manual data entry as hoped. The company had integrated a third party bar code engine with its document imaging application, but DFL found it to be too slow and unable to recognize as many of the bar codes as DFL thought it should. So DFL tested several other bar code recognition engines and chose Inlite ClearImage SDK (software developer’s kit). “We sent images with bar codes that could not be read with the other system to Inlite, which gave us the help and tips we needed to make to changes to our code so that we could get everything read,” says Joe Schuh, IT manager at DFL. “We currently support 38 locations and scan in around 18,000 documents per day. Without the high bar code recognition rate of the ClearImage product, we would have a lot of man hours and a horrible ‘human’ error problem with keying in the numbers.”