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Powers Fasteners Case Study

Warehouse upgrade

Powers Fasteners - CK31Powers Fasteners is a global company specializing in manufacturing and marketing quality anchoring and fastening products for concrete, masonry, and steel. Powers, formerly known as Rawl, has been providing innovative fastening solutions for more than 75 years.

The Background

Powers Fasteners was using Norand 2435 terminals with an Intermec controller to provide wireless access to their IBM AS400 host backbone system. They were looking to fully automate their receiving, shipping, and inventory management of goods throughout their warehouse as their existing system resulted in inventory being one to two days behind with many inaccuracies.

How Barcoding Inc. helped Powers Fasteners

Barcoding Inc. performed a site-survey of Powers Fasteners’ 140,000 square foot facility and installed a Cisco backbone with 18 access points. Powers now uses 35 Intermec CK31 rugged handheld devices running in three-shifts at their main warehouse and five CK31’s being used at a remote facility which connect through a VPN.

Intermec CK31At the receiving door, goods are scanned in using the CK31 and a barcoded pallet tag is printed using a Zebra QL420 portable printer. These items are then put-away and scanned along with their row and bin number to properly place them into inventory. Cycle counting is also performed at their facility using the Intermec CK31 along with picking and other inventory management functions.

Stay-Linked thin-client terminal emulation/session management software is now used to provide high speed, secure and persistent access to host systems. This eliminates controller hardware and takes advantage of the reliability of the IBM AS400 to centrally manage and maintain sessions. Help desk staff can now see and interact with wireless host user sessions at all times – even when connectivity is lost (out of range, dead battery, network issues, etc.). With Stay-Linked, once host access is restored, workers are automatically returned to the same screen and cursor position where they were prior to the loss of connectivity.

The Results

Powers Fasteners inventory is now live, much more accurate, and more easily accessible. Barcoding Inc. helped Powers to:

  • reduce data inventory errors by 50% or more,
  • increase inventory accuracy by over 80%, and
  • bring inventory from 1 to 2 days behind to a live inventory that is updated instantly through a Cisco wireless backbone.

“This system has increased our inventory accuracy level and helped our warehouse become live. Now spending time looking for products is a thing of the past as row and bin numbers are associated with each pallet as they are put-away. One added advantage to this system was creating a wireless network for the entire office. Now our workers are able to wirelessly connect their laptops to the internet with the proper WEP keys and log-in information.”

Stephen Powers
Vice President, Management Information Systems
Powers Fasteners

To learn more about route accounting applications, please contact Barcoding Inc.