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December 2015 newsletter


ALTITUDE 500 : the right count for Christmas Trees !

The Belgian company Altitude 500 is active on the Christmas tree market for over 30 years. As major player in the sector with 800,000 trees sold each year, it is now part of European top five. Its production covers over 500 hectares in the heart of the Ardennes. Despite its significant growth, Altitude 500 wishes to remain at human scale and cares constantly for customer satisfaction. Quality, efficiency, service customization and integration of logistics in its global offering are the major pillars of its success.

Given these commitments and to ensure optimal management of the seasonal peaks it faces, Altitude 500 has contacted UP trace to implement a data acquisition solution for Christmas trees loading docks.

Brieuc Toussaint, Human Resources Manager, explains:
"Every year, between October and December, the company passes a dozen employees to over 150. Then 20-30 trucks become loaded every day with 5 varieties of trees of different formats and sizes: a work density which became difficult to manage in 2013 on our packaging and shipping sites in Neufchâteau and Ochamps, given the expansion of the company ... ". Establishing a rapid data exchange  between the field and the company's computer system for a real-time order expeditions management became essential. This required that portable terminals could be used by operators in any part of the large outdoor storage and boarding sites while staying in constant communication with the management system.

The UP trace team has recommended the installation of a Wi-Fi network that could allow these exchanges without constraints while ensuring optimum safety and reliability. After a site survey, as essential to ensure the feasibility of the request for optimum wireless coverage and in order to determine the type and location of antennas, UP trace has proposed a complete Wi-Fi solution for network data acquisition, in line with the company's physical settings:

  • Of access points, antennas and wireless controllers from Cisco brand chosen for their flexibility and unmatched scalability. These products are designed to meet the interoperability, administration, performance, security and reliability requirements. Their precise positions and orientations have been determined so as to ensure complete coverage of loading areas.
  • Of Psion Omnii XT15 portable terminals  selected for their robustness in all conditions of use (indoor / outdoor) and their autonomy. 
  • Of a support contract that guarantees rapid intervention if necessary, extended to 06h to 21h and 6J / 7 critical period coverage.

Today and for the second consecutive year, the two major sites of Altitude500 are running in high performance reliably. Operators with daily orders scan the barcode identifying the content of the corresponding pallets using the Psion devices. By doing so, they real time update  the stock avoiding encoding errors. If the correspondence between an order and its shipping is not complete, the system is instantly notified and adjusts.

Louis Brasseur, Managing Director of Altitude 500, confirms his satisfaction for this investment made early 2014:
"From now on, data recovery allows visualization of real-time inventory and optimal responsiveness on international markets, with best stocks availability."