Light bulb moment! Customer realises the ease of optimising deployment of VNA forklift trucks, Padraig Regan, Chief Product Officer, StayLinked, reports: The perception that it is ‘too difficult’ to fully optimise existing technology or adopt the new technologies necessary to improve warehouse operations and ultimately the bottom line, was again highlighted during a recent visit to a wine retailer customer.

Padraig Regan, Chief Product Officer, StayLinked

Why does this perception exist? Because adoption and optimisation of technology means enabling your warehouse management system (WMS) to ‘talk’ to the technology!

The perceived view around achieving this is the need to make changes to the WMS or carry out some complex integration. That is seen as being fraught with risk, highly complex, requiring expert resources, and even the need to rip out and replace the WMS.

The wine retailer customer provides an example of the non-optimisation of existing technology because it is just too difficult.

The customer deploys VNA forklift trucks with drivers receiving instructions from its WMS to vehicle-mounted devices detailing the location where pallets of wine are to be put or picked.

Drivers need to know the layout of the warehouse as on receipt of their instructions they must manually drive the VNA forklift to the correct location.

However, if the customer’s WMS could ‘talk’ directly to the VNA forklift the same location instructions would enable the forklift to automatically take the driver to the correct location.

Although aware of this capability and despite the additional benefits that would be delivered (increased accuracy of warehouse inventory, temporary or new drivers able to easily navigate to warehouse locations, and increased productivity) the perception that the challenges associated with enabling its WMS to communicate with the VNA forklift were ‘just too much’.

Having explained that this was a common view amongst warehouse operators and that StayLinked had proven experience in overcoming this barrier to change, the customer had what can only be described as a ‘light bulb’ moment.

The light bulb shone brighter as the customer understood that today’s low-risk, no-code platforms such as StayLinked Evolve (supported by StayLinked’s advanced terminal emulation {TE} software), now provide the glue to quickly and easily connect the WMS with whatever technology is needed, because they can now ‘talk the same language’.

Working with technology partners, including VNA forklift truck manufacturers, companies like StayLinked, provide the translation capabilities enabling their customers’ WMS to seamlessly talk to the technology they need to. No need for code to be written, scripting to take place, or to touch the WMS and certainly no need for a rip and replace!

For the wine retailer all that is required to connect its WMS to the VNA forklifts is a RS232/serial connecting the vehicle mount display to the forklift’s serial port and some simple configuration.

Just about as close to ‘plug and play’ as you can get.

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