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Barcode technology, the future for crate rental?

Jul 29, 2015
In a recent interview with The Mover, Gordon Philip, Managing Director of PHS Teacrate explained that his company’s recently introduced bar code technology is set to change the face of crate rental in the future.
The system, introduced by PHS Teacrate in January has already been successful in reducing crate losses and virtually eliminating unexpected costs for customers.

Gordon said that the idea came from a discussion with the BAR’s Commercial Moving Group (CMG) some time ago.  The service was optional for his commercial moving company customers and costs just an additional 1p per crate on delivery and collection, a small fraction of the total rental cost. 

On request, PHS Teacrate will tag every crate with a 2D barcode.  Each bar code is scanned as it is delivered to site and allocated to the moving company and the individual end user.  They can even be split to identify individual departments, floors or even individuals.  On delivery the barcodes are scanned by the driver using a handheld device.  This automatically logs the delivery and provides a spread sheet of every crate delivered allowing the user to record the department they go to or the inventory.

When the crates are collected the barcodes are scanned again by the driver and deducted from the specific order.  “So if two moving companies are working on the same site it doesn’t really matter if the crates get mixed up,” said Gordon.  “When the eventually make their way back to us they will show as a return from the correct order.”

Gordon was careful to explain that the barcode would not stop people taking crates home or hiding them under the desk.  “But it does mean that they are no longer anonymous, they can be traced to a department or individual, so they are much more likely to be returned.”

Since the beginning of January Gordon said that his company had issued 13,388 barcoded items. “Of those only five have yet to be returned.”  Of course, some losses are inevitable.  If written off crates are eventually returned the barcode allows the company to identify the original order and make a refund accordingly.  

“We believe that this will allow us to provide a better service for our customers and their customers,” said Gordon.  “There has always been a fear with facilities managers that crate losses caused unexpected and uncontrollable costs.  We hope that they will not be confident to rent more crates now that the uncertainty has been removed.”  Gordon said that the system also allowed his company to alert users if crates risked incurring additional charges adding transparency to the entire process.

Moving companies wishing to investigate the use of barcoded crates should contact PHS Teacrate for more details.

Photo: Gordon Phillip and PHS Teacrate barcoded crates.

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