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Tracking Down to the Inch: We Want to Find Things Quickly and Accurately

Posted by Dick Sorenson on Sep 22, 2015 12:30:00 AM

Do you remember the childhood game I like to call Hot/Cold? There's an object you needed to find, but you didn't know where it was. Your playmate would guide you with directions, trying to guide you orientated towards that prized item. You're getting warmer, warmer, warmer, hot, hot! Oh no, now you're getting colder, colder, cold, freezing! This could go on for some time, especially if the item was deftly hidden. 

Now imagine that you're heading to an important business meeting in a city you don't know well. You've rented a car with a “positioning” system, but this system will only get you as close as few a blocks away-- in the near vicinity-- but not to the exact location. The system doesn't have the capability to get you to where you need to be. So you wonder the streets, stop and ask directions, start to feel stressed, worry you won't make it in time. The ripple effect is huge. This doesn't seem possible in this day and age, right? You're probably thinking: I'd just take out my cell phone, pull up an app and it'll get me directly to the door. It makes sense in this modern age most things are able to be located quickly and directly. 

We already know that people are becoming more impatient due to the speed of technology. Because we experience, at some point or another, computers moving at a rate so much faster than we humans can, we come to expect that things can and will be found immediately. Take the search for online videos, for example. According to the Boston Globe article on instant gratification and impatience, “Ramesh Sitaraman, a computer science professor at UMass Amherst, examined the viewing habits of 6.7 million internet users in a study released last fall. How long were subjects willing to be patient? Two seconds. ‘After that they started abandoning,’ Sitaraman said. ‘After five seconds, the abandonment rate is 25 percent. When you get to 10 seconds, half are gone.’”

How does this all relate to manufacturing and material handling equipment? How does it relate to TotalTrax? Our suite of Sky-Trax Solutions features comes closer than anything to meeting clients’ needs and expectations of instant gratification. The products allow vehicles “to be tracked in real time with accuracy to the square inch.” This is the difference between playing Hot/Cold for an hour, or a minute; the difference between making the meeting, or being late to the meeting; the difference between watching the video, or abandoning the search.

According to TotalTrax Director of Client Services, Brian Quigley, Sky-Trax products also provide the most sophisticated inventory tracking system out there. “The product allows for scanning of the barcode on the inventory. You can track all materials moving through the warehouse. You know exactly where the truck is and you can feed that into WMS and track information throughout the building. It takes a warehouse and turns it into a hard drive. Instead of having boxes of stuff, you now have a digital representation and it's all in your software. There's no guessing. It should give you 100% accuracy and prevent any shrinkage. Without this system we offer, three people could roam around with a clipboard looking for material locations all day long, searching for pallets, spending a ton of money.”

Topics: Sky-Trax, forklift tracking