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Cadre Adds RFID Middleware
The logistics software system provider integrates GlobeRanger's iMotion Edgeware with its own voice-enabled warehouse management system.
Sep 03, 2004—Moving to add support for RFID to its own voice-enabled warehouse management system, Cadre Technologies is integrating GlobeRanger's RFID middleware with its own Cadence Fulfillment suite of supply chain applications.
Cadence Fulfillment is a logistics software system that brings together warehouse management (WMS), order management, Web-based order entry, transportation management and activity billing. Cadre’s customers include a number of third-party logistics providers as well as to manufacturers such as Proctor and Gamble, and Cadre says there is growing interest among those companies for RFID capabilities.
"Our customers want to know that we will support RFID networks in future," says Ivan Perez-Mendez, vice president of engineering at Cadre, which is based in Denver.
To address that concern, Cadre will include GlobeRanger's iMotion Edgeware RFID, bar code and sensor reader connectivity software with its Cadence Fulfillment suite. GlobeRanger is selling Edgeware to Cadre as an OEM offering, but GlobeRanger has also trained Cadre staff on its software.
"Using GlobeRanger's software, we are able to hide all the complexity of the RFID network from our WMS applications so that we can connect to a wide range of readers without having to change our application at all," says Perez-Mendez.
Already included in the Cadence Fulfillment suite is Cadre's Cadence Mobile Logistics technology, which enables two-way voice-enabled interaction between the WMS and employees.
According to the company, the combination provides a way to speed and simplify the inevitable interaction between an RFID system and the employees working with it. "There are always going to be exceptions in an automated systems—what to do with a shipment, where to put it—and RFID is no different. Voice recognition means that this can all be done with a handheld communicating by voice with the operator, eliminating the need for the distraction of a screen," says Perez-Mendez.
Working with PocketPC PDA's fitted with an earphone and microphone headset, warehouse staff can use the speech-recognition feature to acknowledge completed tasks or deal with exceptions and problems by speaking to the WMS system via the PDA
With the RFID-enabled Cadence Fulfillment offering, the system can verbally instruct warehouse staff to initiate the unloading of a shipment at an RFID-enabled station or dock door. Staff can speak commands into the microphone to direct readers to identify tagged inventory and to reconcile RFID data against advance shipping notices, and the Cadence Fulfillment applications can instruct them on where to place the pallets or cases. Using the interactive voice interface, workers no longer have to manually look up the location of where to place the shipment. If pallets are incomplete, the system can verbally notify the worker, who can immediately deal with exceptions, according to Cadre. In systems that are not speech-enabled, these events would have to be indicated on a screen or by lights at the portal.
Cadre's Cadence Fulfillment system combined with GlobeRanger's iMotion Edgeware is set for release in the fourth quarter of this year, but Cadre will be demonstrating the combination of its speech-enabled software and GlobeRanger's RFID middleware at the IWLA's Information Technology Conference in Chicago on Sept. 9.
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