Yard Management System utilizes user-defined rules.

Press Release Summary:



Able to integrate with warehouse and transportation management systems, WhereSoft(TM) Yard v5.0 takes advantage of user-defined business rules to automate workflow in medium (200-500 spots/doors) to large (more than 500 spots/doors) yards. Planning and execution system can be used with or without real-time locating system, and features Easy Dock module that allows dock operators to view doors and update trailer statuses from forklifts or stationary workstations.



Original Press Release:



WhereNet Expands Yard Management System Features; User-Defined Rules Enable Customers to Automate Processes and Increase Throughput for Medium-to-Large Yards



Shaw Industries, the World's Largest Carpet Manufacturer, Among First to Benefit from WhereSoft Yard 5.0; Advanced Planning and Execution System Easily Integrates with Warehouse and Transportation Management Systems

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 7 -- WhereNet Corp., a Zebra Technologies company (NASDAQ:ZBRA) and the leader in wireless solutions for tracking and managing enterprise assets, announced today general availability of WhereSoft(TM) Yard version 5.0. Featuring user-defined business rules to automate workflow in medium-to-large yards, this latest release of the WhereNet(R) yard management system (YMS) software serves as an advanced planning and execution system. Depending on the volume and velocity of the yard operation, WhereSoft Yard can be used with or without the benefit of WhereNet's international standards-based real-time locating system (RTLS) technology.

Shaw Industries Inc., the world's largest carpet manufacturer and a leading floor covering provider with more than $5 billion in annual sales, has deployed the WhereNet YMS solution at its main 79-acre distribution campus in Dalton, Georgia, as well as at two supporting distribution centers in the area. Managing the flow of more than 500,000 shipments from these facilities each year, WhereSoft Yard improves yard throughput, asset and labor utilization, and on-time deliveries in support of Shaw's national distribution network. The system has enabled Shaw to achieve a new level of efficiency for moving trailers and product within and between these distribution hubs; the WhereSoft system also reduces outbound transportation costs by picking the most appropriate trailers for selected routes servicing Shaw's national distribution network.

"Most of our yard operations are now on 'auto pilot' thanks to WhereNet," said Jim Gordon, director of industrial engineering and systems, distribution division, for Shaw Industries. "The company listened to our needs and delivered the most advanced YMS features available today, including configurable execution rules to ensure that the right trailers are brought to the right dock doors at the right time. By automating business processes and increasing throughput, we have already realized a complete return on our WhereNet investment in less than one year, and we're looking forward to implementing WhereSoft Yard in at least three more distribution facilities this year."

Shaw Industries and similar customers realize a host of benefits from WhereSoft Yard, including:

-- Increased productivity for equipment control personnel, yard drivers, and warehouse personnel
-- Increased yard velocity and capacity
-- Improved equipment utilization and door turns
-- Reduced transportation expenses (by selecting the right trailers for outbound routes based on negotiated carrier rates)
-- Decreased manual yard checks
-- Automatic email notification to carriers, resulting in more effective onsite equipment management
-- Better customer satisfaction through more timely deliveries

The WhereNet YMS can run with or without RTLS (as is the case with Shaw) and is appropriate for both large (more than 500 spots/doors) and medium-sized yards (200-500 spots/doors). When used as a stand-alone system, WhereSoft Yard can go live in as few as two weeks from project initiation.

Setting the Standard for "Intelligent" Yard Management Systems

Leveraging its strong domain expertise in transportation, distribution, and logistics, WhereNet continues to demonstrate its industry leadership by delivering unique functionality in this latest release. WhereSoft Yard 5.0 features the following new capabilities:

-- Directed Task Assignment: Customers may now choose between one of two modes when communicating trailer move requests to yard tractor drivers. The original "job list" mode allows drivers to select moves from lists displayed on computers within their tractors. In contrast, with the new "directed assignment" mode, the WhereNet system automatically assigns moves to specific drivers based on move priority, driver status, and driver location relative to the trailer that needs to be moved. This intelligent task assignment increases driver productivity while minimizing travel distance and increasing dock door turns, thereby increasing the overall yard capacity.

-- Fast Gate: This new module uses WherePort(TM) devices (short-range magnetic exciters) within gate lanes to detect permanently tagged trailers as they approach the yard gate. The system automatically matches trailers with inbound schedules and populates the check-in form with related information, such as trailer number, carrier, route, trip, load status, priority, trailer type, trailer length, and driver identification. Customers can use the WhereSoft Yard application programming interface (API) to control electronic message boards that instruct drivers where to park inbound trailers as they pull through the gate.

-- Easy Dock: This new module was designed specifically for warehouse personnel who are responsible for loading and unloading trailers at dock doors. Easy Dock has large touch-screen buttons and displays that allow dock operators to quickly view doors and update trailer statuses from forklifts or stationary workstations. An optional Easy Dock plug-in allows forklift operators to wirelessly create shippers while loading empty container racks onto outbound trailers.

Further extending the value of WhereSoft Yard, this advanced planning and execution system is designed to interface with third-party control systems, such as warehouse management and transportation management systems, as part of an integrated supply chain solution. For example, transportation systems can feed inbound and outbound scheduling information into WhereSoft Yard, which uses this information to expedite check-in and check-out processes while minimizing data entry errors. WhereSoft Yard also informs carriers via email alerts when their inventory goes above or below established pool thresholds and when trailers are available to be picked up.

"As a solutions-focused company, we are passionate about delivering the right combination of technologies -- whether RTLS hardware, application software, or both -- to solve our customers' business problems," said Steve Raymond, vice president of consulting services for WhereNet. "The beauty of WhereSoft Yard, as well as many of our other applications, is that they are designed to provide tremendous value -- even without an RTLS infrastructure. However, when the environment dictates precise asset location as a requirement for delivering the optimal solution, we can provide a solution architecture that combines WhereSoft Yard and RTLS to get the job done -- particularly for large yards."

Pricing and Availability

Pricing for WhereSoft Yard version 5.0 depends on the configuration requirements of the customer's system and the size of the installation; a small WhereNet system (supporting a yard with 200-250 spots/doors) begins at approximately $50,000. WhereSoft Yard 5.0 is available immediately from WhereNet.

About Shaw Industries, Inc.

Shaw Industries, Inc., a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., is the world's largest carpet manufacturer and a leading floor-covering provider, with more than $5 billion in annual sales and approximately 31,000 associates. Headquartered in Dalton, Georgia, the company manufactures and distributes carpeting, rugs, hardwood, laminate, and ceramic tile for residential and commercial applications worldwide. A recognized leader in environmental stewardship, Shaw has implemented hundreds of sustainability initiatives and cradle-to-cradle design solutions, collectively termed the Shaw Green Edge. For more information, visit http://shawfloors.com/.

About WhereNet Corp.

A Zebra Technologies company, WhereNet is the first company to deliver a single wireless location and communication infrastructure that reliably and cost-effectively manages valuable mobile resources and can deliver a complete return on investment within 6-12 months. Based on patented, standards-compliant technology resulting from a collective 100+ years of development, the WhereNet active RFID, real-time locating system solutions enable companies such as APL, BMW, Ford Motor Company, and NYK Logistics and facilities like Tobyhanna Army Depot to reduce inventory, lower operating costs, and improve operations. The company has received the Henry Ford Technology Award; was recognized for strong ROI by Computerworld; was ranked among the top 10 in the InfoWorld 100; and has been recognized as a wireless innovator by Forrester Research, Global Logistics & Supply Chain Strategies, Plant Engineering, and Supply & Demand Chain Executive magazines. Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, WhereNet has offices throughout the United States, as well as in Europe and Asia. For more information, visit the WhereNet Web site at www.wherenet.com/ or call 408-845-8500 (in the U.S.), +32 3 286 84 50 (in Europe), or +86 21 51758558 (in Asia). Information about Zebra bar code, card and RFID products can be found at http://www.zebra.com/.

WhereNet is a registered trademark and WherePort and WhereSoft are trademarks of WhereNet Corp. All other brands, products, or service names are or may be trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.

CONTACT: Ross Perich of Trainer Communications, +1-925-556-5463, wn@trainercomm.com, for WhereNet Corp.; or Sally Kenvin of WhereNet Corp., skenvin@wherenet.com

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