Symbol Computers, Wireless LAN Technology, On-Board McLane Co. Trucks, Streamlines Operations

Symbol Computers, Wireless LAN Technology, On-Board McLane Co. Trucks, Streamline Operations

2001-4-30 HOLTSVILLE, N.Y.

Imagine the truck as a computerized mobile information center, where its contents and exact whereabouts are instantly known, and the pickup and delivery process is streamlined and productivity maximized through an onboard computer and communications system.

Symbol Technologies announced today that McLane Company, Inc., is installing an innovative solution, based on Symbol's and technologies, in its 1050 delivery trucks nationwide and in its 17 national distribution centers. McLane provides distribution services to convenience stores and other specialty retailers.

The multi-million dollar project, developed and managed in partnership with the Symbol services integration team, along with XATA, Qualcomm and IBM, is built around the Symbol handheld computer, Symbol's (an on-board communications system) and (WLAN). Collectively, the Symbol system will provide McLane with local area and wide area capabilities to transmit and receive data from anywhere on the road.

"This project, which will migrate our operations to a paperless process, gives our customers streamlined delivery that will help them enhance productivity and customer service," said David Dillon, Manager of Transportation, McLane Company, Inc. "We'll be able to offer our customers improved services vital to their growth, such as a quicker return on credits and speedier deliveries."

"We're seeing an explosive growth trend in businesses investing in mobile computing and wireless technologies to streamline supply chain operations and gain competitive advantage," said , President and CEO, Symbol Technologies. "McLane Company, Inc., is one of the first distribution companies to transform its trucks into mobile information centers, making them a vital part of the information network."

McLane drivers will complete electronically all invoicing and delivery transactions, including electronically capturing signatures for paperless proof of delivery, with Symbol's Palm O/S®-based SPT 1740 wireless handheld mobile computers. Working in conjunction with IBM's "Track and Trace" Point of Delivery software, and Xata's driver heads, drivers will also wirelessly receive information, such as the address of their next stop, DOT (Department of Transportation) logs and productivity reports, via the Symbol SPT 1740 handheld docked in the Mobile Gateway, thus eliminating the need for paper-based documents. The Mobile Gateway also ties into the engine diagnostics system, maximizing fleet maintenance through remote operation.

When the driver goes back to the truck, the SPT1740 is placed in its on-board cradle, where the information is stored until the truck returns to the yard. Mission critical information, such as damage reports, can be sent immediately over a satellite-based wide area connection via Symbol's on-board MG+ mobile gateway, eliminating the need for telephone communications.

At McLane's seventeen distribution centers, Symbol's Spectrum24 11 Mbps High Rate WLAN's are being implemented to supply local area connectivity once the trucks return to the yard, providing drivers the ability to begin transmitting data to the host system as soon as the truck is in range of the network's access points.

"As the transportation and logistics industry moves towards paperless transactions, Symbol's offerings of products and solutions to wirelessly receive, transmit and capture data continues to grow," said , CEO of Symbol Technologies. "With our comprehensive product set, and team of experts and partners, our solutions tailored to specific vertical markets helps companies compete in today's wireless economy."