Mobile computing equipment furnishes real-time data

City Furniture installs forklift-mounted computers to track inventory in real time and honor its promise of same-day, seven-day-a-week delivery to customers.
By Lorie King Rogers, Associate Editor
July 01, 2012 - MMH Editorial

City Furniture is one of Florida’s fastest growing furniture retailers. Headquartered in Tamarac, Fla., the company currently has 15 stores and nine Ashley Home Store showrooms that sell quality home furnishings in a fun environment.

But it wasn’t fun for the staff in its one-million-square-foot warehouse when the aging data collection hardware mounted to the fleet of lift trucks needed repairs. The trucks operate 23 out of 24 hours every day, and “users aren’t always gentle in a rugged industrial environment,” explains Ricky Maharaj, network administrator at City Furniture. 

Unreliable equipment posed a risk of downtime in the warehouse. Since City Furniture promises its customers same-day delivery seven days a week, the company couldn’t take that risk. It uses a Web-based warehouse management system (WMS) to maintain real-time inventory and keep the flow of merchandise moving smoothly. And, associates use the computers to access the system as they are directed to specific aisles to put away new inventory or pull it for delivery. 

City Furniture’s evaluation team chose a new supplier (Glacier Computer, glaciercomputer.com), and since implementing the new units, they have seen a lot of improvement. Maharaj reports the new units have faster boot times and include built-in smart battery technology that allows the system to operate while employees perform battery changes.

“The improvements allow us to focus on other aspects of the company, as well as increased warehouse productivity with increased equipment uptime,” says Maharaj. “In our fast-paced, rugged environment we depend on equipment that is durable, can sustain rough usage and still maintain great uptime. The new system has delivered for City Furniture.”



About the Author

image
Lorie King Rogers
Associate Editor

Lorie King Rogers, associate editor, joined Modern in 2009 after working as a freelance writer for the Casebook issue and show daily at tradeshows. A graduate of Emerson College, she has also worked as an editor on Stock Car Racing Magazine.


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