xkzero Technical Services featured client solution:
Infinite Peripherals provides mobile point of sale (POS) devices to 30% of the top 20 U.S. retailers. As the premier manufacturer of mobile scanning, printing and payment swipe devices for Apple, Infinite Peripherals once had slow, paper-based manual warehouse processes that didn’t integrate with their Sage 100 ERP. As the products began to proliferate in the marketplace, the management team knew that to keep up with the continued demand, they needed better solutions.
Here is the story of why the company decided to hire xkzero to create customized software to meet the challenge, and also add some of its existing iOS apps into the mix. In the article below, “Streamlining Warehouse Operations with Mobile Devices,” originally published in July 2014 on the web site The BarCode News, Infinite Peripherals President Andy Graham writes about the partnership’s positive impact on operations.
Please note the bold, italicized text interspersed throughout the story below, and the introductory paragraph above was not included in the original article. It represents commentary by xkzero team members, and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Infinite Peripherals.
In 2009, as Infinite Peripherals, Inc. (IPC) entered the mobile POS industry with its Linea Pro® (the first-to-market iOS peripheral), the company began experiencing significant growth and business opportunities. With increasing adoption of mPOS over the years, IPC rapidly expanded, outgrowing its warehouse and internal data systems to manage increasing inventory and order flow.
After six years in its former offices in Arlington Heights, Ill., IPC moved in December 2013 to a new corporate headquarters in Elk Grove Village, Ill. At 25,000 square feet, the new office and warehouse are triple the company’s former space, and are located in an industrial park minutes from O’Hare International Airport, through which most of the company’s products are shipped, as well as easily accessible from downtown Chicago.
Infinite Peripherals runs Sage 100 ERP to manage the wholesale distribution part of its business from end-to-end.
Built from raw space and designed by NELSON Chicago, the new offices feature a sleek, forward-thinking look that recently earned a RED Award from the Illinois Chapter of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) for exemplary design.
Opportunity to Mobilize
The larger warehouse and corresponding surge in market demand presented an ideal opportunity for IPC to put its own devices, including the Linea Pro and Infinea Tab M™, to work to manage the business and streamline operations. The Linea Pro and Infinea Tab M, which both include a barcode scanner and magnetic stripe reader, attach to an iPod touch® and iPad® mini, respectively, and run on custom software to perform a variety of tasks.
Previously, the warehouse used a manual, paper-based system, which not only was time-consuming but also subject to occasional human error. Knowing the power and capabilities of its own products, IPC chose to eliminate this system entirely in favor of electronically gathering and recording data via the iPod touch and Linea Pro or the iPad mini and Infinea Tab M.
To make this happen, IPC partnered with xkzero, a software developer who already was using IPC devices with ERP business management software for data collection for its own customers. The software group shadowed IPC warehouse employees to experience firsthand and understand the typical work process, business needs and potential snags. xkzero then built a software framework that included the Apple® devices and IPC peripherals, incorporating a step-by-step replacement of what IPC warehouse staff formerly was doing manually.
With the paper-based system, employees facing special cases communicated via written notes, which were shared back and forth to keep operations moving. xkzero had to determine a way to incorporate this communications tool within the software to facilitate efficient workflow. Now, the notes are electronic and stay with the product throughout the entire process so that they are easily and quickly found, read and managed.
Due to the intuitive, user-friendly nature of the iPod touch and the iPad, along with the step-by-step software, training on the new system was remarkably rapid, only taking about two hours to familiarize the six-person IPC team with the automated, electronic process.
xkzero fully automates the Pick, Pack and Ship processes for Infinite Peripherals, and also completes small parcel shipping by passing along the shipment information, including dimensions and weights, to Starship by V-Technologies.
From start to deployment, it took xkzero approximately seven months to build the software infrastructure to communicate with the iOS device; and once the framework was set, the implementation process only lasted about two months.
Today, IPC handles inventory receipt, organization and picking; labeling (using the company’s DPP-450 mobile printer) and shipping; serial number tracking; and quality control with its new mobile platform. Currently, five IPC devices are used in the warehouse, including a new IPC product that is undergoing testing prior to launch.
Upon eliminating paper in the warehouse, the company had to determine a new way to identify boxes and shipping containers before they were labeled. In the past, staff would attach a picking list to boxes so that they knew their location. The team now uses its own mobile printer to create labels with a barcode; these labels are affixed to the boxes and can be easily scanned to identify contents and order details.
Infinite Peripherals Sage 100 ERP system users don’t waste unnecessary time navigating menus or failing to find what they are looking for fast enough because they use GetX-Universal Search for Sage 100 ERP by xkzero.
The mobile solution in the IPC warehouse enables the company to ship between 2,000 to 5,000 devices each week. Currently, there are approximately 400,000 IPC devices on the market, primarily in the retail, restaurant and hospitality sectors.
Using its own devices, IPC has benefitted from a 25 percent increase in productivity in the warehouse, along with reduced employee errors and significant time and cost savings.
With the advancement in technology and the rapid pace of business, opportunities for mobility have never been greater. It’s important to prioritize projects like this and develop a smart system now to be best prepared to be competitive in the future.
Infinite Peripherals equips their sales reps with iSales 100, the native sales app xkzero built exclusively for Sage 100 ERP. When IPC’s sales team members meet with major retailer customers, they now have easy access to the answers to all the important questions about information housed in their ERP. And they are ready to take an order or leave a quote any time, anywhere.
Article written by Andrew Graham, President & Co-Founder, Infinite Peripherals, Inc.
Graham, Andrew. “Streamlining Warehouse Operations with Mobile Devices.” BarCode.com The BarCode News, Web. July 2014.
About Infinite Peripherals, Inc.
Since 1993, Infinite Peripherals, Inc. (IPC) has been fueling mobility with cutting-edge mobile peripheral devices, receipt printers, mechanisms and receipt printer-related components. Numerous major retailers in the United States are moving to mobile POS with IPC’s Linea Pro® and Infinea Tab®, helping to transform shopping, drive traffic and increase customer conversion rates. Anticipating trends and pre-empting solutions for a constantly evolving business landscape, IPC enhances operations in retail and other industries, including healthcare, hospitality, transportation, warehouse and logistics, entertainment and security. For more information, please visit www.ipcprint.com.