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WINNERSH, United Kingdom - Symbol Technologies Inc. announced today that Safeway U.K. is deploying 2,000 Symbol PPT 2740 rugged handheld computers and the Symbol Spectrum24 wireless local area network (WLAN) in nearly 490 stores throughout the U.K.
The Symbol handheld computers are used by in-store staff at the shelf edge for real-time stock-keeping and inventory checks, price checking and product lookup to manage in real time an average 25,000 SKUs and deliver the information to Safeway's central DB2 database. Managers soon will receive delivery arrival notification, alerts about imminent stock outs and shelf-stocking reminders via the Symbol PPT 2740. The computers later will be used for other key business applications and information.
Safeway said it has reduced many replenishment lead times from 48 hours to 24 hours. Out-of-stocks have improved generally and in some cases by as much 30 percent. Benefits to customers include better availability of on-shelf product, further guarantees on freshness of product and improved overall customer service.
"The food retailing supply chain is large and complex, and growing customer expectations for service and choice mean that making the correct decisions in optimizing the supply chain are crucial to continued profitability. Symbol is helping Safeway drive success by enabling the supermarket to access and manage information at the point of business activity," said John Coon, divisional VP and managing director at Symbol Technologies Ltd.