Innovation in the container industry, the old school containers:
Our legacy way of doing business would be to send officers out to containers, container ships and they would go along with printed sheets and check lists, and they would look at manifests and they’d write the numbers down and count what’s in the actual containers themselves, and they’d make all their notes and they would do that all day long. Then they would go into the office at the end of the day and log in to an application and start entering all that data. When all of that was done, they’d click a release button to release a container and then move onto the next container. When you deal in a world of just-in-time delivery, that can be really problematic to our partners, because Dell is looking for those parts that just came in on that container ship from Europe; they can’t wait for us to clear it two or three days later.
So what we did is, our targeting analytical systems program office worked with our cargo program office to create a mobile app that would actually allow an officer to go out and data-enter that stuff in the field on the mobile device and then click the release button while still on the ship. So, a couple of things: They can use barcode scanners to get a lot of that information so it reduces the data entry, increasing the officers’ efficiency while also increasing their ability to live release cargo containers as they walk down from container to container on the ship. So that is transformative. Just a completely different way of doing business — far more accurate, far more efficient for the officers and a far better use of their time than having them sit at a terminal typing all that data in when they are tired at end of their shift.