Distributing It Best

Do It Best Corp. deploys mobile technology to improve productivity at distribution centers

Indianapolis  September 12, 2002  Hardware buying cooperative Do it Best Corp is implementing a mobile computing system at seven distribution centers in a bid to improve productivity and reduce costs.

Based in Fort Wayne, Ind., Do it Best is the only U.S.-based, member-owned full-line hardware, lumber and building materials buying cooperative in the home improvement industry. With annual sales approaching $2.5 billion, Do it Best serves 4,300 member-retailers across the United States and in 42 foreign countries.

The company and its e-commerce site, doitbest.com, have tapped systems integrator DigiTerra's Mobile Computing Group to do system implementation and integration for the seven distribution centers (DCs). DigiTerra is implementing a new mobile solution to provide Do It Best's warehouse employees real-time access to critical supply chain information and to streamline the process of supply chain data collection, with the goals of improving productivity and lowering costs.

DigiTerra has completed the first system installation and integration at the Do it Best Corp. DC in Dixon, Ill., implementing an Intermec Automated Data Collection (ADC) system with more than 80 Antares handhelds and vehicle-mounted terminals, communicating over Intermec UAP2100-based IEEE 802.11b wireless LAN.

"DigiTerra's established project methodology provided a well-tailored, successful solution for Do it Best Corp," said John Snider, Do it Best's vice president of retail logistics. "We presented them with a short timeline for completing the first distribution center, and DigiTerra quickly evaluated the situation, developed a viable solution and demonstrated the solution to our retail logistics staff."

"The new mobile solution interfaced with the existing Do it Best Corp. warehouse management system will save thousands of dollars in time and material costs when compared to traditional infrastructure installations," said Mike Mayoras, president of DigiTerra.

Mayoras said that the wireless infrastructure, combined with the ADC system being integrated with their warehouse management solution, will reduce input errors, increase productivity and ultimately increase the efficiency and profitability of Do It Best's retail distribution centers.