Microsoft Revs Up Efficiency at China-Based Motor Plant
April 03, 2013
CHILO uses an automated inventory solution running Windows Embedded to deliver big gains in profitability and business agility.

SHANGHAI — April 03, 2013 — Efficiency is everything at Shanghai CHILO Press Company; the manufacturer is one of only five of its kind in the world that designs and builds custom energy-saving motor technology. So when the efficiency experts at CHILO wanted to amplify the efficiency of their own inventory management, they reached for a cutting-edge intelligent system: an automated inventory solution powered by Microsoft.

Intelligent systems allow manufacturers — and suppliers across multiple industries, including retail and healthcare — to streamline inventory control, manage information and automate processes via instant and secure data transmission. By aligning industry devices, customizable applications and the cloud, intelligent systems enable machine-to-machine communication for real-time inventory updates. The solutions reduce errors in inventory and supply-chain management, shorten ship times, streamline employee activity and produce actionable data that provides business intelligence for greater competitive advantage.

A handheld barcode reader enables instant inventory updates.
Inventory Management Solution
April 03, 2013
A handheld barcode reader enables instant inventory updates.

CHILO’s solution, developed by Microsoft partner Digital China, allows for instant inventory updates through the use of handheld barcode readers powered by Windows Embedded Handheld that connect to access sites located throughout the factory, and then on to the company’s back-end enterprise resource planning system and a Microsoft SQL Server data warehouse running on Windows Server.

Based on Microsoft’s security-enhanced and stable platforms and leadership in intelligent systems, CHILO’s solution has delivered startling results. Before implementation, inaccurate and inefficient manual data entry contributed to a loss of 50 percent of profits, according to CHILO. Just six months after automating the system, that number dropped to just 4 percent. Greater accuracy in inventory management allows CHILO to more finely target orders of raw materials and to meet inventory refreshment goals.

“With better inventory management and a ‘first in, first out’ strategy, we’ve avoided product degradation due to rust,” says Lili You, the company’s production director. “As a result, we converted a 600,000 (Chinese) yuan (US$96,000) inventory loss to 1 million yuan (US$160,000) profit in sales within the same six months.”

The company, which creates motors that power everything from home appliances to factory cranes, is also reaping benefits in terms of increased employee agility and efficiency, and in customer satisfaction, thanks to faster ship times and more accurate in-stock reporting.

The solution’s success has CHILO thinking ahead. The company says it is planning to extend the new business intelligence to find different ways of utilizing the inventory data to strengthen its competitive advantage.

For more information on intelligent systems, visit the Windows Embedded website.

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