Nikon Looks for Shipping Efficiency

Finds solution from PEAK Technologies that aids in finding products, reduces paperwork

Finds solution from PEAK Technologies that aids in finding products, reduces paperwork

Columbia, MD — April 18, 2005 — PEAK Technologies, an RR Donnelley company, has delivered a radio frequency (RF) system to Nikon Corp., a manufacturer of opto-electronics and precision core technologies. According to Nikon, the implementation made it possible to ship product efficiently on the very first day its SAP implementation was operational.

Nikon contracted with PEAK Technologies to develop custom SAP transactions for use on data collection terminals, which eliminated manual data entry and updated the SAP database in real time.

The RF system has made it possible for Nikon personnel to find products and eliminated the need to fill out forms as product is picked or put away. As a result, the first day that SAP came on-line, Nikon said it was able to receive and ship products and has experienced improvements in productivity and customer service from the go-live date onward.

Initially Nikon focused on improving its paper-based processes in its repair facilities. The company collaborated with PEAK to develop RF transactions integrated into its AS400 system. In addition, the system was modified to print a bar code on each repair-sales order that was scanned at each step in the process, allowing management and the customer to monitor the progress of the repair through a Web interface. The functionality increased the productivity by eliminating paperwork, and improved customer service by providing Nikon with the visibility necessary to track the repaired items.

The larger-scale RF implementation in the company's warehouses was driven by Nikon's decision to adopt SAP on an enterprise-wide basis. Arnold Kamen, vice president of Operations and Customer Services for Nikon, Melville, N.Y., said that when studying the standard SAP transactions, Nikon felt that the amount of paperwork involved was even greater than what it been accustomed to with its legacy system.

"It would have been intolerable to spend the money to implement a new technology and end up with more paperwork," Kamen explained. "PEAK helped us to formulate and implement an RF strategy that was instrumental in our successful SAP implementation. They developed 12 custom transactions that handled all of the every-day tasks in the distribution centers without any paperwork. They also helped to design and install the RF infrastructure and provided training and support for the entire project. Finally, they developed a new interface for our existing RF system in the repair centers to enable it to coexist with SAP."

The PEAK team had the challenge of delivering 12 custom transactions and the RF infrastructure in a six-month time period while Nikon was still trying to determine what functionality they were going to implement within SAP. To accomplish the task, PEAK developed a three-phased project plan that allowed the Nikon users to test transactions as soon as they were completed, while development continued on the others.

PEAK designed the transactions based on an RF blueprint they developed in conjunction with Nikon managers and users responsible for each transaction. PEAK developed the transactions based on user prompts, what information needed to be provided to the user, what data needed to be captured from the user, and what information needed to be sent back to SAP.

"Our PEAK consultants were instrumental in the success of the project by developing user friendly transactions. We were very impressed with the performance of the consultants from PEAK who delivered better than expected results. We consider them strategically integral to our business," Kamen concluded.