Author Archives: Lewis Kilby

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eChain USB Desktop RFID Reader

Desktop RFID With Cloud Connectivity

Category:eChain News,RF Asset Management,RF Hardware & Tags Tags : 
eChain USB Desktop RFID Reader

eChain USB Desktop RFID Reader

eChain Technology adds an inexpensive Plug and Play Desktop RFID Reader to our comprehensive RFAST Cloud Asset Management solution. Our eChain USB Desktop RFID Reader connects to computer USB port for instant RFID tag reads. Experiment and test reading various RFID tags to understand the capabilities and limitations of this fascinating technology. This is one of the highest power USB desktop readers available, with max power output of 26 dBm and ability to read UHF EPC Gen2 tags up to 3 meters (9 ft). Adjustable frequency means you can legally use this reader in most countries in the world.

Do Something With Your Data

eChain Connect

eChain Connect

For most RFID experiments, this is there the fun ends. You realize that the tag data is displayed on your computer and goes no further. You can’t map the data to an actual asset or location. You can’t even get the data into another system. It simply displays on your computer in its own proprietary application.

So eChain Technology has created a communication app that installs onto your computer and interfaces with the desktop reader. eChain Connect takes the tag data streaming from the reader and securely transmits it using HTTP Post method to the internet where it is loaded into our RFAST application. Now, those seemingly random RFID tag reads become a real-time sensor feed to an enterprise asset management application tracking location and location history of your key assets up to the second.

RFID is Really Fun

eChain is well established in the global technology scene and member of associations like GS1, Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC). We have been in business since 2001, and have seen RFID capabilities and technologies explode in the last two years, partly due to the focus brought by the Internet of Things (IoT).

RFID Scan Items In BoxRFID is no longer a glorified barcode scanner, but is a true game-changing technology! Low cost tags and antenna technology for long-range reading means that you can literally tag and track anything and everything of value or importance. Read hundreds of item tags at 35 – 50 ft. (instead of 1-5 inches) Count items inside boxes and boxes on pallets automatically. There are literally hundreds of uses for RFID technology.

With UHF RFID, you can see tags inside boxes or drawers. Notice that some tags can be read much further than others. Play with signal strength (RSSI) and frequency bandwidth. How do these settings affect read range? Notice the number of tag reads per second/minute. Can you hide a tag from RFID? Is there anything in your wallet that RFID can scan? How about your toll sticker in your car? Do the tags work on metal, people or liquid? It is really fun to test all these capabilities to fully understand the power and limitations of RFID.

Arduino Linksprite RFID AS3992

Arduino Linksprite RFID AS3992

A significant contributor to RFID visibility and adoption has been the low cost AS3992 UHF RFID Passive Reader Module Kit by Arduino and Cottonwood/Linksprite. At around $220 on eBay, an aspiring engineer can purchase this kit and experiment with UHF RFID. Many emerging tech companies are developing custom applications using the AS3992 for RFID tracking, access control and sensor-based applications.

However, because the AS3992 is actually a science project (circuit board/development kit), moving your work into a real-life production environment requires significant effort including manufacturing enclosures, finalizing software and applications, upgrading power and interface and many other challenges. This is where the eChain USB Desktop RFID Reader proves superior. In addition to being a complete, production-ready RFID reader and solution, the eChain USB Desktop RFID Reader is more powerful and flexible than AS3992.

Production Ready ROI

eChain USB Desktop RFID Reader

eChain USB Desktop RFID Reader

eChain RFAST is designed to work quickly in your environment so that ROI can be generated immediately. No development required! Use the eChain USB Desktop RFID Reader reader to familiarize yourself with RFID technology and capabilities while configuring the RFAST Cloud application to monitor real asset and workflow movements. Test from the hundreds of RFID UHF tag options to find the best tags for your particular environment.

UHF RFID and eChain RFAST Asset Management supports Unique Device Identifier (UDI) regulations, eliminates expired goods and lost inventory, enforces FIFO stocking policies, identifies specific stolen goods and returns, and provides to-the-second tracaebility across the globe and in different languages. Customers use RFAST to help anti-counterfeiting, ensure critical stock is always available, track chain of custody, and to quickly identify, locate and remove recalled products. Perform mobile inventory count sweeps simply by walking through a truck or stock room. The uses for this technology are absolutely countless.

How Does RFID-Automation Help Your Business?

Get started today learning how this disruptive technology can work for your business. The eChain USB Desktop RFID Reader is a great way to better understand RFID, and it comes with an easy upgrade path to a production RFID solution for your business. Contact us today. Our RFID Experts are glad to work with you on your specific business challenges and show you what is possible with RFID automation.


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Healthcare Inventory

RFID drives $68 Million Expected Savings at Hospital

Category:eChain News,RF Healthcare,RF ROI Tags : 

BJC HealthCare has achieved incredible results during the first year pilot of BJC SuppyPlus End-to-End Supply Chain Visibility (E2ESCV) project, partnering with Cook Medical and Cardinal Health,

Read More

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eChainRF Automated Asset Management

eChainRF Automated Asset Management

Category:eChainRF-Asset Mgt Tags : 

eChain Technology is pleased to present our comprehensive asset management solution,  the eChainRF Advanced Asset Management solution (eChainRF AAM).  eChainRF AAM is an integrated hardware/software solution that incorporates long-range RFID technology with an advanced Asset Management platform to automatically track assets and inventory in real time, triggering reorders, expired stock notifications and alerts as needed.  eChainRF AAM allows multiple groups to effectively manage and track assets, asset interactions, and asset workflows from multiple locations across the planet.

The eChainRF AAM solution is a cloud-based asset management application, automated by RFID technology installed at the client’s location.  Asset location and movement data is captured by the RFID infrastructure and communicated to the external cloud-based application servers and storage via an Internet connection.  Local users interface with and retrieve information from the cloud-based application using standard PC computers via a secure Internet URL.

Our system supports role-based access with granular user and group item level permissions. It has the flexibility for multiple, customized classifications and groups of assets such as fixed assets, computers, documents, equipment, people, etc.

About eChainRF AAM

Automated Item Management

Automated Item Management

The eChainRF AAM system is a modern asset management solution that utilizes RFID technologies to provide and automate total item visibility and control.  Our open framework and template-based approach allows rapid implementation and customization to meet many organizations’ asset tracking and management needs.

The eChainRF AAM system architecture allows for superior scalability, allowing the solution to extend asset tracking to multiple existing locations and adapt to add/incorporate future locations.  The system is hosted in a secure, managed, cloud-based site.

eChainRF Mobile

eChainRF Mobile

eChainRF AAM is a true solution for your asset management needs, built onto high-performance cloud-based servers and designed from the beginning to work with massive streaming data generated by RFID tag reads.

eChainRF was created to be infinitely flexible and rapidly implemented, supporting multiple business and asset management scenarios, with the ability to add/customize fields and to track assets based on those fields, and in multiple languages. eChainRF AAM captures, reports and archives the full asset history of events such as item location, transfers, custodial stewardship changes, audit events, and final disposition.

This solution has the added capability of configuring alert conditions and automatically generating notifications when these alert conditions have been met.  Examples of common alerts configured for previous customers include assets moving into restricted areas, monitors to inform administrators of expired and expiring assets, and notification alerts related to required maintenance schedules.

eChain BYOD iPhone

eChain BYOD iPhone

We also understand the value of mobile tracking, and have integrated executive mobile devices for RFID and Barcode scanning integrated into our solution.  We support Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and have an integrated asset scanning application that works on smart devices using the camera and GPS with barcode and location.

Our solution supports multiple inventory and asset-related activities (Procurement, Receiving, Work-in-Process, Service/Maintenance, Damaged Goods Management, Quality Hold, Repository Storage, Leasing, and Loaning.

Our Role-based security allows access and visibility to specific roles (i.e., Service/Maintenance, or Locations (Stock Room A,).

Solution – Application

eChainRF Reports Dashboard

eChainRF Reports Dashboard

eChainRF AAM provides advanced asset management for real-time asset visibility utilizing RFID technologies for automated transactions and interactions.  eChainRF AAM captures, reports and archives the full asset history of events such as item location, transfers, custodial stewardship changes, audit events, and final disposition.

eChainRF AAM is traditionally an integrated hardware/software solution that incorporates RFID technology with an Asset Management platform that automatically tracks assets and reorders inventory as needed from multiple warehouses or stock locations.  eChainRF AAM currently interfaces with Impinj Passive UHF reader infrastructures, and provides support for handheld RFID readers

eChainRF AAM employs a centralized, cloud-based architecture, connected to RFID and barcode infrastructures via the web.  Transactions can be automated with RFID/Barcode, or manually input.  It utilizes a relational database, which allows isolation of asset data to a group of users via such methods as multiple databases, separate tables, flags in the records, or other, as required by client.

eChainRF Drill-down Charts

eChainRF Drill-down Charts Display Assets by Location

Features include:

  • Responsive UI – The screen adjusts to fit your device. Works with desktop, notebook, mobile.
  • International – Cloud-based solution is accessible anywhere in the world via internet connection. Multiple language support for use in native language.
  • RFID Integration – Seamlessly integrated to eChain RFID Portal for automated transaction updates.
  • Barcode Support – This is a full featured inventory and asset management solution.  Out of the box support for barcode scans, and manual entry in addition to RFID integration.
  • Mobile Solutions – Integrated executive RFID scanner and BYOD Mobile phone scanning app
  • Location History – Automated transfer transactions generated and archived on item movements
  • Multiple Locations – Know where items are at all times, whether inside a stock room, or in different countries.
  • Sales Support – Quotes/ Sales/ Returns/ Invoice Processing/ Customer Mgt (in different currency)
  • Procurement – Manage Suppliers/ Purchasing/ Transfers/ Shipping/ Freight /Handling charges
  • Role-based access– Multiple User Roles, control access by function (sales) or location (UAE Distribution Center)
  • Rich Reporting – Multiple Built-In Metrics Reports with visual drill-down, real-time profit/loss, sales reports, item location reports, item history reports, etc.
  • Make to Order – Supports linking and consuming materials and equipment used to manufacture “Make to Order” sales.  Track net cost per order, and link specific equipment, materials or employees to sales order.

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John Hawkins, Partner Asia

Category:Uncategorized
John_A_HawkinsJohn Hawkins is a partner at eChain Technology with a focus on delivering global professional and RFID services for our Asia division.  John is formerly the founder and CEO of JDS Professional Services, a solutions provider focused on delivering high quality, cost-effective RFID solutions to the transportation and small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) markets. Projects under Mr Hawkins’ direction have been the recipients of several international awards including the Computerworld Best Practices for Mobile and Wireless Award 2005 and the Information Management Supply Chain Award 2004.

With over fifteen years’ experience in the enterprise technology sector, Mr. Hawkins is a seasoned global executive with a unique combination of entrepreneurial success and technical expertise. He has led the formation of several consulting groups for systems integrators and vendors serving a wide range of industry sectors. In addition, Mr. Hawkins has operated an independent consulting operation serving clients including JP MorganChase, Univision, OpenMarket, Telstra, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, AMP, The New South Wales Department of Land and Water Conservation. Mr. Hawkins has a successful track record serving both hardware and software markets, with a strong focus on delivering complex integration solutions in legacy environments and GIS systems. Since 2003, Mr. Hawkins has focused on the application of RFID, and more recently, has played a role in developing the Chinese agricultural market by consulting to the Chinese government and selling commodity high-end (RFID-tagged) Australian beef to China.

Mr. Hawkins holds a B.S. (Honors) in Microbiology from the University of Queensland and an MBA (Finance) from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management. His leadership has been acknowledged with industry awards, a NASA scholarship in 1989, published papers on molecular phylogenetics, presentations to Australian and International Symposia on Microbiology and lectures on technology for business.


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eChain Executive RF Device

eChain Executive Mobile RF Scanner

Category:eChain News,eChainRF-Asset Mgt,RF Asset Management,RF Hardware & Tags,RF Healthcare Tags : 

eChain Executive Mobile Device Slideshow

http://echaintechnology.com/solutions/mobilerf/

The eChain MobileRF solution is a phone-based Android Application Platform with integrated UHF RFID and Barcode Scanner.

This is not your typical ruggedized warehouse scanner.  This is an elegant smart device platform for executive and in-office use, integrated into the eChain RFID Portal platform.   Our mobile solution completes your eChain Technology Automated Asset Management needs for Critical Asset, Item and Parts Visibility.  Use to scan, interrogate, inspect and add/update your UHF RFID-tagged assets, or use the on-board industrial Honeywell bar-code scanner for barcode tags.

Our advanced solutions allow your business systems to automatically maintain visibility and control of thousands of critical parts, individually, across their entire operation or supply chain without human intervention or input.


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eChain Technology Advanced Solutions that Automate Global Commerce

Automated Asset Management with Extreme RFID

Category:Uncategorized Tags : 

eChain RFID Portal: RFID CUSTOMER GATEWAY TO THE FUTURE OF INTEGRATED COMMERCE

Visit at http://echainrfid.com

eChain Technology Advanced Solutions that Automate Global Commerce

eChain Technology Advanced Solutions that Automate Global Commerce

No more lost sales due to misplaced items. Stock automatically reordered as soon as it leaves the stock room. Receiving is automatic as items are unloaded from the truck.  WIP is dynamically tracked.  Financial systems continuously updated and accurate. Real-time consumption triggers optimal reorders.  Workflow and employee tracking.

For Healthcare, real-time hospital inventory visibility in every stock room in the entire hospital system. Automated safeguards to ensure patients are not exposed to expired or non-sterile items. Par order levels continuously optimized.  System identifies older items for FIFO picking ensures expired stock is dramatically reduced.

Complete asset management solutions using long-range Passive UHF RFID technology in a seamless and integrated cloud-based, mobile and responsive format. We are an expert RFID, Asset Management, Supply Chain and Advanced Analytics System Integrator who configures and implements comprehensive solutions that meet your goals and objectives. The eChain RFID Portal accelerates adoption of total item visibility, control, tracability and touch-free transactions.


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SAP to pay $83.3 million to settle i2 patent suit

Category:eChain Customers

i2 Technologies

i2 Technologies

Patent research and analysis by echain Technology creates compelling case that SAP infringed on a number of its patents.  eChain Technology supply-chain experts provided patent background research and analysis for ThinkFire for i2 patent infringement case against SAP. Patent research and analysis by eChain’s i2 solution experts creates a compelling case that SAP and other supply chain solution companies infringed on a number of i2 patents enabling i2 to claim $83.3 million from SAP to settle patent suit in 2008. ThinkFire is a full service intellectual property advisory, brokerage and licensing services firm that helps global technology companies and other intellectual property owners develop and execute IP strategies that maximize the return on their investment in IP. Since its founding in 2001, ThinkFire has helped its clients realize over $1 billion of value from their IP assets. Forward by eChain editor.

Article By Chris Kanaracus, IDG News Service June 26, 2008; http://www.infoworld.com/

SAP has agreed to pay i2 Technologies, maker of SCM (supply chain management) software, $83.3 million to settle a patent claim i2 brought against the enterprise software maker.

The Dallas company had sued SAP in 2006, claiming that it had infringed on a number of its patents. The settlement was reached on June 23, according to an SEC filing by i2.

The brief filing states that SAP and i2 will license each other certain patents, on condition of the payment to i2, and dismisses the existing legal proceedings between the companies with prejudice, meaning another suit cannot be brought on the same matter.

An SAP spokesman confirmed the settlement but did not provide additional commentary or information beyond that contained in the filing.

About eChain Technology

eChain Technology (http://www.echaintechnology.com) enables companies to achieve world class performance through best practice business strategy hands-on expertise and technology solutions. We provide leadership and execution in many areas of the corporate enterprise that remove all excess waste and cost from your operations leaving you with seamless solutions providing flawless execution that provide a significant cost savings to you.  Contact Lewis Kilby for more information.  Mr. Lewis Kilby is a 20+ year business and solutions consultant and Managing Partner of echain Technology.


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Transportation team races to record savings

Category:Uncategorized
Kimberly Clark

Kimberly Clark

eChain is integral to Kimberly Clark i2 Transportation and SAP Order-to-Cash roll-out success.  eChain Technology joins Kimberly-Clark i2 TM and SAP R/3 Transportation Management Project lending business and solution leadership that helps drive significant transportation savings.  eChain supported design and development of required functionality and customized touchpoint integrations to SAP R/3, legacy systems, and external EDI clients and carriers. eChain owns the Track and Trace, EDI, and Performance Metrics solution development for KCC Transportation with successful completion at global rollout in August 2009.

Article By Barbara Kieker, Kimberly-Clark Contributing Writer

By the end of March, the rollout of the new Transportation Management System (TMS) in North America was complete. Two months later, at the end of May, savings on freight costs to get K-C finished products out the door had reached US$6.3 million, more than the $6 million in full-year savings forecasted for North America in 2008.

“Thanks to lots of hard work by the Transportation team, we’ve been able to deliver terrific savings with the new system,” says Amy Bare, TMS project manager. “Thanks to the commitment of the user community to the new Transportation Management System, we are on track to deliver twice the expected 2008 savings for North America,” says Amy Bare.

People make it work

The new Web-based TMS enables better optimization of carrier selection and load configurations for outbound freight. While the system provides the functionality, it’s the people on the Transportation teams that make it work. *The TMS project team – which included members from the K-C Transportation business team, K-C IT Services business partner team and Cognizant – worked to constantly improve supporting processes as the system was being implemented at different sites. This upfront work enabled the team to realize savings from improved performance more quickly once the rollout was complete.

Mary Robinson, director of Transportation Rates and Analysis, has been a part of new transportation system implementations in several other companies including Nestle USA and Clorox. She believes the upfront investment made before the system went live resulted in the successful implementation. “The TMS project team made the effort to understand how the system worked and what that would mean for the businesses,” she says. “They put metrics in place to ensure we followed the optimizations. As a result, there have been fewer surprises and less pain than I’ve experienced in other implementations.”

In addition, the system’s users within Transportation committed to learning the new system and creating processes as needed to resolve issues. After the rollout was complete, users were forced to solve many issues on their own as the TMS project team was reassigned to support work on the Order to Cash and inbound freight project. “It’s really the user community that has made the system successful,” Bare says. “They have done an outstanding job in a far from ideal situation.” “The TMS project team invested the time upfront to understand how the system would impact the businesses,” says Mary Robinson, director of Transportation Rates and Analysis.

Cognizant: A partnership that works

As K-C’s external partner for IT Applications Development, Cognizant did the development work on the new TMS. K-C IT business partners worked closely with Cognizant resources to communicate and manage business requirements. They used an onshore/offshore model, with resources located in Knoxville, Tennessee, and India.

“We have a fantastic relationship with the Cognizant team,” Bare says. “They took great ownership in delivering the project and it shows in the results.” Cognizant will continue to be involved with TMS going forward. They are responsible for ongoing system support. “Originally we were not overly excited at the prospect of working with an outsourcing partner as part of the BSD effort,” Bare says. “Now I have to say I can’t imagine doing the project without Cognizant.”

Inbound is next

Thanks to the effort of everyone involved, Transportation is on pace to deliver $15 million in 2008 savings in North America, which is more than double the original expectation. In Europe where the system was launched last year, savings for 2008 are on target. The next priority in the area of transportation savings is inbound freight – the expense associated with shipping to our plants the materials that go into K-C products. Inbound freight will be addressed as part of the larger IT project focused on K-C’s Order to Cash process.

Implementation of the new Order to Cash and inbound freight systems is currently scheduled for May 2009. “We expect our learnings from the implementation of the outbound freight system and processes will be a tremendous help with the inbound freight work next year,” Bare says.

About eChain Technology

eChain Technology (http://www.echaintechnology.com) enables companies to achieve world class performance through best practice business strategy hands-on expertise and technology solutions. We provide leadership and execution in many areas of the corporate enterprise that remove all excess waste and cost from your operations leaving businesses with seamless solutions providing flawless execution that provide a significant cost savings.  Contact Lewis Kilby:lkilby@echaintechnology.com.  Mr. Lewis Kilby is a 20+ year business and solutions consultant and Managing Partner of eChain Technology.


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Blue Bird Continues Waste-Elimination and Inventory Renovations

Category:Uncategorized
BlueBird Bus Company

BlueBird Bus Company

July 2009 – forward by eChain Technology
eChain Technology is engaged in Spring 2009 to continue the improvement efforts of Blue Bird and North American Bus Industries (NABI) to reduce inventory, improve service levels and increase working capital.

Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation

School-bus builder Blue Bird Corp. expects to complete a $12.6 million renovation of its three North America facilities next month. Work began last fall to standardize production at its facilities in Fort Valley and LaFayette, GA, and Brantford, Ontario, Canada. Renovations include just-in-time inventory, point-of-use storage, new paint booths and waste-elimination processes.

eChain Technology was engaged by Blue Bird Service Parts Division to perform a Supply Chain and Operational performance assessment and operations improvement initiative.  echain identified several areas of immediate inventory improvement and procurement cost reduction for both BB and NABI (North American Bus Industries).  echain consultants analyzed all business operations, prioritized the immediate and profitable opportunities, and drive initiatives that improved stock/service levels for core SKU’s, reduced inventory for slow-moving items, and improved inventory and planning policies in BB/NABI ERP and Planning systems.

eChain also provided strategic input toward strengthening the BB/NABI operations, and provided service parts pricing analysis and guidance for 2009/2010 parts pricing that enabled Blue Bird to improve margins while discounting a significant percentage of overstock parts.

eChain Technology (http://www.echaintechnology.com) enables companies to achieve world class performance through best practice business strategy hands-on expertise and technology solutions. We provide leadership and execution in many areas of the corporate enterprise that remove all excess waste and cost from business operations leaving you with seamless solutions providing flawless execution that provide a significant cost savings.  Contact Lewis Kilby at:lkilby@echaintechnology.com.  Mr. Lewis Kilby is a 20+ year business and solutions consultant and Managing Partner of echain Technology.


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Dynamics AX EDI Made Simple

Category:Uncategorized

eChain Technology provides on-demand AX development, customization and even implementation services and support for 3rd party Microsoft solution providers who provide add-on solutions to Dynamics AX. Data Masons is an echain customer where we provide rapid troubleshooting and integration support for Data Masons EDI solutions when integrated to customers’ Dynamics AX solutions. Jan 2009

Data Masons provides advanced EDI solutions that are very easy to use and implement. Data Masons solutions help companies operate more efficiently by enabling one-click integration of trading partner EDI to back-office accounting systems. Their flagship product, Vantage Point EDI, provides everything needed for EDI compliance, including: trading partner maps, business application connector, ASN processing and compliance labeling. Vantage Point EDI is perfect for busy companies that need affordable, in-house EDI compliance software without the worries of complex mapping and label formatting tasks.