Magazine Article | May 11, 2006

Mobile Delivery Solution Saves Manufacturer $500,000 Per Year

Source: Field Technologies Magazine
Integrated Solutions, April 2006

One of the leading manufacturers of vinyl windows and doors in the United States, Silver Line Windows currently employs more than 7,000 people. Its customers include Home Depot, 84 Lumber, and Norandex. Strategically located facilities allow for timely delivery and first-rate customer service for the approximately 500,000 windows shipped each month.

Silver Line’s current method of tracking deliveries was not adequate; the window manufacturer needed a mobile solution to improve communication with drivers and provide customers with more accurate information on delivery times. While the overriding goal was improving customer service levels, Silver Line Windows had four specific goals in mind in implementing a mobile delivery solution, including:
• accurately invoicing customers at the time of deliveries
• recording and processing back orders at the time of deliveries
• using GPS (global positioning system) technology to track drivers
• rolling out two-way communication with drivers.

When looking for a solution, Silver Line first considered building it internally, but quickly realized the challenges of developing and maintaining a mobile application itself.

Silver Line let its frontline users test three competitive products — and the users selected a solution from AirClic for its usability in the field. “Ultimately, we chose AirClic because it met our goals, the up-front investment was low, and AirClic promised a fast turnaround of a customized solution,” says John Keller, VP of logistics at Silver Line Windows.

Silver Line rolled out AirClic MP to 225 drivers in eight different plants and cities over a span of eight weeks. AirClic helped create a training program that kept the average training time to 10 to 20 minutes per driver. “Some solutions required permanent installation in the truck cabs,” says Keller. “With this solution, the drivers don’t have to be in the cab to scan their paperwork — they can scan it in the trailer, on the dock, or wherever they need to be to do their jobs.”

Using AirClic-enabled mobile phones with an attached bar code scanner, drivers scan each window’s ship ticket as it’s unloaded at the customer site. As a result, Silver Line can invoice customers as well as record and process back orders at the time of delivery. Silver Line Windows estimates it will save $500,000 per year due to the paperless system that improves the accuracy of back order processing and inventory.