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How the Apex dispensing system saves time and money

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Distribution centres (DCs) need to run like well-oiled machines if they are to reach their maximum potential. Many challenges occur throughout the day, with a main problem area being the management of handheld devices.


Most DCs will have more handheld devices than they need. Some devices can cost in the thousands of dollars, which means they are a costly capital expense. The main reason a company carries too much stock is because some DCs can lose up to 20 per cent of their handhelds due to devices being misplaced, broken, hidden by users, or employees forgetting to sign them back in when their shift has ended.

No matter how many processes are put in place – whether it be signing out of a device, using an excel spreadsheet to track its whereabouts, or an employee signing a piece of paper stating they will take responsibility – it doesn’t make up for the inconvenience of a handheld going missing.

Labour Costs

Labour is one of the major costs of running a DC. If you have a hundred warehouse staff and even 10 per cent of them spend 20 minutes every morning looking for a handheld device, the downtime adds up over a 12-month period.

Apex Dispensing System

Supply chain integration expert Dematic, and supply chain specialist Apex, have collaborated to offer a much-needed solution. The Apex Dispensing System not only streamlines the use of handheld devices in warehouse and DC environments, it also holds users accountable.

The Apex Dispensing System is easy to set up, use and can save a company hundreds of thousands of dollars. The system’s locker-type set up allows employees to access a handheld device by inputting their own personal code, which opens the door. Because it is connected to a central database, a supervisor can log in and see who has the device. If it hasn’t been returned at the end of a shift, an alarm can be sent out to remind the employee to return the device – there is visible, concrete evidence that the person has possession of the unit.

Device StorageMost DCs are huge. This means that devices can be stored in various places around the warehouse. An Apex Dispensing System is usually placed near where most of the picking occurs. The locker compartments themselves come in several configurations – anywhere from six stacks high to 32. They are robust and are made of pressed steel with plexi-glass doors, which is virtually smash-proof according to Apex.

Asset ManagementPart of the Apex system is Trajectory Cloud, which gives real-time visibility of who signed out a device, its location and when it was signed back in. It also offers an array of reports on the device designed to show that it is being used to its maximum benefit.

The Dematic Challenge

How much belief does Dematic have in the benefits of the Apex system? The company is prepared to give new clients a free trial with pre-set ROI and KPI parameters. Dematic is confident that over the trial period, users will be able to see cost savings in its DC operations, and understand why the Apex Dispensing System is a worthwhile investment.

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