- WHY RFGEN?
CyberCore Technologies is a Maryland company specializing in IT professional services, managed services, and trusted integration for the federal government. CyberCore provides managed services including IT asset procurement, problem resolution and Tier-3 support for its customers, including defense, aerospace, and domestic security agencies. It also provides value-added services such as system configuration and software loading as part of its trusted integration business.
Employees buy, build, integrate, and deliver tens of thousands of IT hardware items for its clients every year. It is essential to collect data quickly and accurately during the receiving process and throughout the time IT equipment is in inventory and storage. “We are very materials driven,” said Jason Mulholland, CyberCore’s Director of IT. “Our customers purchase IT hardware from us, and it ships to our facility for value added service or integration work. We ship and receive hundreds—sometimes thousands—of items on any given day. Our legacy solution for barcode scanning capabilities did not meet our needs.”
Logistics Manager Frank Goodwin explained that the legacy solution did not support wireless data collection, so receiving was confined to a small area, near a computer running Deltek Costpoint connected to a USB-driven barcode scanner. “Receiving a pallet of items essentially was a two-man job,” he recalled. “One person would hold the scan gun and scan the barcodes on each box while another person sat at a computer and hit the tab button after every scan in order to get to the next field.”
“We provide the customer with between 600,000 and 1,000,000 pieces of information each month. If we lost connection in the middle of receiving a purchase order, all of the work done between saves just vanished. It would throw an error, and we would have to do it all over again. We were literally doing about 30 percent of our work twice.”
Mulholland wanted to implement a mobile automated data collection solution that integrated with Deltek Costpoint, and allowed the use of wireless barcode scanners. “We looked at smaller solutions that came as a companion product with scan guns. But RFgen came highly recommended, and it’s part of the Deltek partner ecosystem. RFgen is basically the only mobile data capture solution that has any out-of-the-box compatibility with Costpoint,” he said.
CyberCore selected RFgen Mobile Foundations for Deltek Costpoint for both inventory management and receiving. This suite of pre-written, pre-validated data collection solutions is the only Deltek recommended mobile solution for providing real-time, bi-directional information exchange between Costpoint and barcode scanners, handheld devices, RFID devices, PLCs, and scale type devices for government contractors..
RFgen has helped CyberCore apply best practices to solve real-world challenges in material management and supply chain logistics control as well as augment their secure supply chain solution with automation and future capabilities such as RFID. The freedom and automation of mobile data collection has enabled the CyberCore team to:
With RFgen, workers in Receiving are no longer tethered to a PC. Moving freely with mobile barcode scanners, productivity has improved dramatically. “Before RFgen, we’d shuttle everything into that area in small groups, then scan them, and shuttle them back out to make room to bring in new stuff,” said Mulholland. “Seven guys would scan around 1,000 serial numbers a day. Now, three guys can scan about 4,500 each day!”
Some customers require an exacting amount of information about every item received. But regardless of the amount of information scanned, it pleases Goodwin that “RFgen holds all of the information in the barcode scanner. Even if a connection fails, you can just hit resend. You do not have to do all the work again.” It’s also easy to create the reports needed for customers with the data in RFgen.
“Another advantage of RFgen is that it’s the only solution that could tie multiple barcode scanners into a single purchase order at the same time. Instead of one person working on a purchase order, with RFgen, we can have as many as we need. For a single piece of material, they usually scan four pieces of information. So even if you receive 1,000 items, you are looking at 4,000 pieces of information. One technician scanning versus four makes a big difference.”
RFgen helped CyberCore improve inventory management, including performing inventory counts. Before RFgen, they printed out inventory reports from Costpoint and then counted. Now, employees scan everything they find in each location. “I receive the exact count. There is no altering of numbers from the crew; only I can alter numbers. It’s faster because they don’t worry about how many items “should” be there,” said Goodwin.
Both Goodwin and Mulholland agree the most important benefits of RFgen are efficiency and accuracy. “If I was to send over the wrong piece of information, it could end up costing us a lot of money for a single asset tag being wrong and shut down different projects. With RFgen, nothing has been recorded or shipped wrong. Nothing has been rejected by our customers,” Goodwin explained.
“Accuracy has gone up to 99.999 percent. But RFgen also improves productivity and that drives efficiency downstream,” agreed Mulholland. “Frank’s team collects the data more efficiently, and it moves more quickly to our accounting folks. We cannot send our clients any invoices until everything is received, so RFgen makes a huge difference in how quickly CyberCore can invoice our customers and improves our cash flow. The information ultimately flows down to our program managers who then report back to their customers faster and more accurately.”