A-Z publishes over 300 titles covering street maps and atlases. Its comprehensive range is distributed throughout the UK via its field sales operation to over 15,000 customers.
Having successfully helped A-Z reduce order processing from 5 days to 1 hour back in 2004 by specifying and deploying a rugged mobile computing and printing solution for its Field Sales operations and reducing customer claims by 83% with a new mobile warehouse solution in 2008, Sandpiper was A-Z’s natural choice to propose a migration plan for its next generation hardware requirements.
Having enjoyed over 6 years of reliable service from the previous generation of Intermec rugged handheld computers and in vehicle document printers, A-Z found that changes to its business necessitated a review of the installed system. New fulfilment contracts that A-Z has recently won meant that data volumes have increased significantly.
The in vehicle printing requirements have not changed significantly so it was desirable to retain the purpose designed rugged vehicle mounted printers that continue to reliably produce multipart, multipage delivery documentation in support of the field sales operation.
Understanding the changing business requirements was key to Sandpiper working with A-Z and ultimately recommending a migratory solution to the Intermec CN4. The unit provided the increased memory, faster wireless communications and longevity; all key to A-Z’s ongoing requirements for a long term scalable business solution.
Fundamentally the application software functionality has not changed, however it was necessary to port the handheld component to the newer Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system. Sandpiper was able to assist in this by providing the Wireless Wide Area Network software toolkit that provides A-Z’s application developer with an extensive library of tools aimed at minimising development effort while optimising the efficiency and performance of a mobile application.