Mobile computing comes to the silver screen

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Hand held track and trace keeps films in view for National Film Transport Logistics

National Film Transport Logistics is using a Skillweb mobile computing system to provide a track and trace service for its customers.

NFT Logistics was founded in 1923 to distribute films and associated material to cinemas around the country and was acquired by its present management team in 2005. NFT Logistics is part of the courier systems group that has 250 couriers operating nationwide, providing same-day and overnight courier services. Its customers include National Screen, Carlton Film, Dolby, Cineworld, the Empire Group, Apollo and many independent, privately-owned cinemas.

The system is based on Skillweb’s 2020ePOD software that has been tailored to meet the demands of the film distribution industry and gives NFT Logistics full visibility of every film’s location throughout the NFT Logistics distribution network. The system, which enables NFT Logistics’ customers to track their films, has enabled NFT Logistics to win new business against major competitors.

From the point at which the films are receipted into the business, through the cross-shipping network and then on to cinemas, NFT Logistics can track the consignments at every stage, providing a complete audit trail of the film as it moves between cinemas. This has the added benefit of minimising the need for films to go back to the distribution centres and so maximises the availability of the films.

Each NFT Logistics courier has an Intermec CN3 mobile computer which has built-in barcode scanning, and is GPRS-enabled to pass film tracking and proof of delivery information back to head office in near real time. A GPS unit in the CN3 handheld device is used to capture movements of the courier fleet, enabling the company to optimise utilisation.

Simon Carter, national logistics development manager at NFT Logistics, says: “Skillweb was willing to listen to our requirements, and has worked with us to provide a solution that has not only helped us to win significant business, but that will also support our business as we expand in the future.”

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