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Dixons Carphone Group Simplifies Tracking of Phone, Tablet Repairs
Europe's largest mobile phone retailer and services company is using an RFID solution from TrackerPoint to manage work-in-process as it repairs thousands of devices and shares that data with customers.
Dec 16, 2014—
Dixons Carphone Group, said to be the largest mobile phone retailer and services company in Europe, is employing radio frequency identification technology at its logistics center in the West Midlands, England, to manage repairs of its customers' smartphones.
The company's CPW Logistics Centre processes thousands of mobile phones and tablets daily, moving them through all types of repairs, including screen replacements and other maintenance issues that users experience. Tracking those devices is a mammoth job, but that task became much easier three months ago, thanks to an RFID system provided by U.K. RFID technology firm TrackerPoint. The solution includes passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags affixed to bins in which malfunctioning phones are stored until repairs are completed. RFID readers are installed throughout the facility to track work-in-progress and ensure that no handset ever ends up missing. TrackerPoint's software collects and interprets read data, and Dixons Carphone is then able to share that information not only among its own staff, but also with customers.Dixons Retail (which operated a number of electronics retail stores, including the PC World and Currys chains) with Carphone Warehouse Group (which operated the Carphone Warehouse stores, as well as the CPW Logistics Centre). When customers experience problems with their phones or tablets purchased at any of Dixons Carphone's stores, they typically go to the stores where those items were purchased, or to any of 800 Carphone Warehouse outlets, which forward any devices they are unable to fix in-house to the CPW Logistics Centre for repair.
Dixons Carphone recently introduced a new service to its customers that offers a guaranteed return date for each repair job, says Parmjit Kumar, the CPW Logistics Centre's quality-assurance manager. "RFID has helped us ensure we achieve this by automatically tracking each job throughout our facility," he states.
Prior to adopting the TrackerPoint solution he says, Carphone Warehouse had investigated a variety of automated tracking systems from several companies. The firm chose a solution from TrackerPoint, he adds, "due to their independence, high level of RFID project experience and flexibility when discussing our requirements."
The company needed a solution that could track thousands of bins as they, and the devices stored within, move through a complex system in which a variety of services can be provided. According to Kumar, it required "automatic and real-time tracking of our repair jobs to ensure they can be dispatched back to their owner at the time promised."
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