Welcome to 2015! We at Dynamic Systems Inc. are looking forward to a year with many changes on the horizon. There has been a significant consolidation in the barcode manufacturing landscape with the many acquisitions that have occurred over the past 2 to 3 years. We have made some significant changes and updates in our software design, both CheckMate and SIMBA that improve and expand the functionality of the solutions.
This January 2015 Newsletter will summarize these changes for you with a goal to help you to make good business decisions for 2015.
In the past 2 years there have been many moves to consolidate manufacturers in the mature barcode industry. The resulting landscape is 2 major players with a number of smaller manufacturers on the periphery. There were some minor acquisitions made earlier, but 2013-2014 was the year of the “big moves”.
Honeywell was the first company to act by purchasing the best-known and arguably the longest-standing company in the industry: Intermec. Honeywell stated previously that their plan was to become the “largest company in the barcode industry”, and this acquisition was a bold move to achieve their goal. It grew the Honeywell AIDC division to over $1billion and expanded Honeywell’s product line to include printers and wireless infrastructure. And then late in 2014 came the surprise announcement of Honeywell’s acquisition of Datamax, a mid-market barcode printer manufacturer.
In 2014, Zebra Technologies announced its acquisition of Motorola Solutions. This move consolidated one of the largest scanning and mobility companies with the largest independent manufacturer of barcode printers. This acquisition moved Zebra into direct competition with Honeywell and set up an interesting challenge for the end users who had purchased from any combination of these original companies.
What does this mean to you, the customer? The good news is that you have two companies who can offer the full solution for barcode projects: printer/mobility/scanning/wireless infrastructure. Also, the smaller companies in the industry may become much more price-competitive in an attempt to grow rapidly. If history repeats itself, there will be new, smaller companies that arrive on the horizon, who are more flexible and agile. We can help you navigate through the maze of restructured companies to find the best solution for your application.
SIMBA 2015 – Touch-screens, Printers, and Yield Calculations
In 2014, we successfully expanded our market to include along with many Alaska Seafood Processors, the addition of Hawaiian Tuna Processors, Produce Packer/Shippers and a Meat (Beef) Processor.
We’ve been told our real-time user interface (the touch-screen) is the best on the market – easiest to use, resulting in the fastest data entry and fewest errors. One important improvement to the touchscreen view is displaying of the label prior to printing; this shows the user the final formal and helps catch errors. There are more improvements on the horizon in 2016.
SIMBA 2015 has a redesigned printer interface, which now allows us to implement any barcode printer model. If you are an existing SIMBA user and want to add printers, please give us a call to discuss the implementation process. There is a new report writer that will allow you, the user, with some training, to design your own reports. It also makes it faster and easier to design labels.
The biggest news for our SIMBA Production and Traceability Software is the improved ability to track lots and calculate yields. We know that even a small reduction in yield directly affects the bottom line for any Processor or Packer. SIMBA 2015 tracks multiple lots within the same carton and calculates a yield, assuming there is a defined “input and output” process. To better understand our Yield Calculation capabilities, call our Support Team – they will want to understand your process to determine the best way for SIMBA to be configured for your company to get the most accurate yield data.
CheckMate moved to SQL in 2014
In 2014, we made the greatest change to our easy-to-use CheckMate tracking software since we acquired it in 2008. The database was upgraded to SQL, and a new report writer was implemented. These changes have allowed us to:
- Structure the database into Departments and Divisions. Users can see only their location’s equipment, tools or documents, or can see all items, depending on their log-in rights.
- Improve the speed of data transfer over a VPN for companies with remote locations.
- Improve the design and content of reports.
- Give the customer the ability (with training) to design their own reports.
We have also added the ability to calculate the length of time a piece of equipment has been checked out. This is a feature many Contractors have been asking for, and we now provide the ability to calculate charges for the time equipment is on a job.
Upgrading your CheckMate system:
We are now on Version 5.7. To take advantage of these new features, you will need to upgrade your software.
If you are on Version 4.0 or earlier, your version is no longer supported. You will need to call our support department to determine what the steps would be to upgrade your system to the current version. If you are on Version 5.5 or newer and have a current support contract, you can upgrade at no charge (barring any custom modifications.) If you are on Version 5.5 or newer without a current support contract, contact your Account Manager for a quote to upgrade.