A Simple, New Solution Tracks Shipments and Deliveries
Scannable Tape and an App Track Shipments and Help Ensure Error-free Product Delivery
By Tammy Gentry, Sr. Product Manager, Duck Pro® by Shurtape® BR Code™ Scannable Solutions, Shurtape Technologies, LLC
Faith Technologies is a national leader in electrical planning, engineering, design and installation in the field of electrical and energy services. At the company’s facility in Huntsville, Ala., Electrical Project Manager Aaron Hunsucker is responsible for managing the prefab warehouse and preparing lighting assemblies for shipping. He also tracks shipments to ensure they arrive intact at each jobsite.
Until recently, Faith Technologies did not have a foolproof method for checking shipments out of the warehouse and checking them in when they arrived on a jobsite. But Hunsucker and his team at Faith Technologies realized the high risks of not tracking their materials: If any shipment was ever lost in transit, it would mean thousands of dollars in rework and replacement costs. That’s when a sales presentation introduction to a scannable tape solution caught Hunsucker’s attention.
What is scannable tape?
Scannable tape features preprinted, dynamic codes that can be stuck on virtually any object or surface and scanned using a mobile device and an app. Once scanned, the user can use the app to upload everything from photos, text documents and PDFs to hyperlinks and voice memos with information and instructions for a project or building material—then link that information to the individual code. Each code scan also generates a timestamp and records the geolocation data.
In conjunction with a mobile app, this new type of scannable tape can help streamline workflow, communication and material tracking in warehouses and during construction projects. Distributors, construction pros and project managers can all use the scannable tape to pinpoint precise physical locations of supplies and components.
While companies can use it to create installation notes, review project documents and manage progress, Hunsucker recognized an opportunity to use the tape’s preprinted codes and app to track lighting assembly shipments to Faith Technologies’ construction partners. He said the instructional videos for using the tape were short and to the point, and his shipping, receiving and prefab teams were ready to use the tape and the app within a couple of hours.
A “golden use” case
Equipped with a roll of the scannable tape and a mobile device with the app, Hunsucker’s team started sticking a piece of scannable tape to each lighting assembly shipment when it was ready to leave the warehouse. He then used the app to scan the tape’s unique code, which automatically generates a timestamp and geolocation, and allows Hunsucker to manually add information about each shipment, including a shipping ticket and a photo of the shipment.
Once shipments arrived on jobsites, a member of the logistics team used their own mobile device and the app to scan the code to verify receipt. At each scanning event, a new timestamp was recorded, the geolocation was updated and the shipping and receiving team, prefab superintendent and other team members received notifications.
Hunsucker’s team has been using the tape for prefab warehouse shipment tracking since early 2022. They now have no worries about where shipments are, and everyone on the jobsite knows the moment their shipment arrives.
The Faith Technologies shipment tracking application is considered a “golden use case,” meaning that it is one of the most value-added uses. Specifically, Faith Technologies is able to keep a digital log of its lighting assemblies from one location to another, which helps the company avoid costly losses. But more than that, the app offers a project tool that enables users to group labels and people together for specific projects and set up notifications for the group so that all stakeholders are receiving the same verifiable information.
For Faith Technologies, the project notifications are a huge time saver because they eliminate the need for project coordinators and superintendents to have to respond to questions about where shipments are and when they will arrive. Instead, everyone in the project group is notified, and they have access to the exact time, location and everything they need to know about the shipment.
How to Use Scannable Tape in 3 Simple Steps:
1. Stick it.
Apply a piece of scannable tape to an object.
2. Scan it.
Scan the tape using a mobile device and app to record the timestamp, capture the geolocation data and begin uploading information.
3. Share information.
Create project teams, set notifications and share the information with others across your organization using nothing more than a piece of tape, a mobile device and an app.
Tracking, informing and beyond
While still enjoying the success of its first use of scannable tape, Faith Technologies is now also experimenting with using the tape to track the checking in and checking out of tools. Hunsucker said this new use of the tape will help his company keep tabs on expensive resources. It will also help ensure that users know how to use each tool properly.
The company just sticks a piece of tape to each tool and includes instructions on the app explaining how to use the tool, with notes about any special training that’s required. According to Hunsucker, the company is coming up with many ways to use scannable tape.
About the Author
As a Senior Product Manager with the Insights & Innovation Team at Shurtape Technologies, LLC, Tammy Gentry drives research, product management and marketing activities, delivering high-quality innovative solutions. Learn more at www.shurtapetech.com