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Founded in 1929 in Murfreesboro, Tenn., the Murfreesboro Pure Milk Co. is a distributor of Purity Dairy products, including milk, ice cream and cultured dairy products. Murfreesboro Pure Milk delivers its products to groceries, markets and schools in 10 counties across Tennessee and distributes several brands such as Edy’s, Häagen Dazs and Klondike.
Murfreesboro Pure Milk employs 65 employees and boasts eight satellite offices throughout southern and central Tennessee.
For years, Murfreesboro Pure Milk has used handheld computers, but the original devices acquired in 1995 sported small, non-touch screen displays and small processors. Additionally, the devices did not have the more up-to-date mobile computer technologies, which were needed to optimize delivery times.
In 2008, the company invested in a new generation of handheld computers. They wanted a low-maintenance, modular solution that was more durable and rugged and could:
• Be equipped with WIFI 802.11
• Connect and log in to local network
• Enter, record and print orders and invoices
• Synchronize the data from the handheld to the host
• Synchronize the clock time on all devices to ensure reliable delivery times
After considering several options, Murfreesboro Pure Milk deployed the Psion Workabout Pro, equipped with eRoute software developed by Route Advantage Systems, Coral Springs, Fla. The Psion Workabout Pro is a rugged handheld computer built on a modular platform, allowing Murfreesboro Pure Milk to customize the features on its devices. For example, some of Murfreesboro’s 40 Workabout Pros are equipped with an end cap barcode scanner. These handhelds are used on the delivery trucks, which stock approximately 900 different items for deliveries to stores throughout the region. The scanner allows employees to enter the orders faster and easier, therefore shortening delivery times.
Additionally, the Workabout Pro devices can perform in the extremely cold temperatures of the ice cream trucks and store freezers as well as other extreme temperature. Besides the temperature changes, these handhelds stand up to the wear and tear of the road and weather conditions and still function after being dropped to the ground and bounced around inside the delivery trucks.
With eight satellite locations, Murfreesboro Pure Milk needed the ability to quickly and reliably synchronize the data from the Workabout Pro to its host system. The Workabout Pro runs eRoute software, an easy-to-use mobile computer solution for route sales applications. The system is designed to streamline direct-store-delivery (DSD), pre-sales and other route accounting operations.
Route Advantage Systems also offered Murfreesboro Pure Milk a level of IT support it hadn’t experienced before, including on-site assistance, a 24-hour support hotline and the ability for Murfreesboro Pure Milk to manage its own source code.
“Since implementing Psion’s Workabout Pro and Route Advantage’s eRoute, we’ve seen our bottom line increase due to more accurate record keeping and the amount of miscommunications, such as illegible handwriting, plummet,” says Davis Young, vice president of Murfreesboro Pure Milk. “This solution is flexible, adapting to our business’ changing needs. We plan on using the Workabout Pro and eRoute well into the future, because of the time and money the solution has helped us to save.”
Murfreesboro Pure Milk is already thinking about its future needs. The company is considering voice-enabling its Workabout Pros and adding such functionalities as GPS and WWAN technology, which the flexible eRoute software can easily handle. And Psion is enabling partners like Route Advantage Systems to co-create new solutions through its open innovation community website, www.ingenuityworking.com. This site creates an open forum for companies like Psion to create solutions that solve business problems. On the site, Psion employees and partners share insights and expertise on everything from hardware and software to innovative technologies and best practices.