Plzeňský Prazdroj needs to deliver fresh lager to its customers as quickly and efficiently as possible. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the company has equipped its drivers with Scandit software-enabled Samsung smart devices to record deliveries and ensure its product arrives promptly at pubs and restaurants that serve it.
Since inventing pilsner-style lager beer in 1842, Czech Republic-based Plzeňský Prazdroj (familiarly known by the brand Pilsner Urquell) has been using the same method to brew beer in its original Plzen-based brewery. Plzeňský Prazdroj perfected the lager-brewing procedure of triple decoction and parallel brewing in wooden lager barrels, a time-honored process which it has maintained even as other aspects of the business have modernized and the company has joined the global Japanese beverage conglomerate Asahi Group. In addition to Pilsner Urquell, other leading international Asahi brands include Grolsch (Netherlands), Peroni (Italy), Schweppes (UK), and Tyskie (Poland).
Starting Point – Keep the lager flowing
Plzeňský Prazdroj distributes lager from its Plzen brewery to customers throughout the Czech Republic and Slovakia via two methods – mobile tanks that are filled with lager at the brewery and then emptied into containers at client locations, and full kegs which are delivered to customer sites. Delivery drivers must record the identification numbers associated with mobile tanks and the seals of the lager vats, or of numbers correlating to kegs and vat seals. This verifies when specific batches of lager leave the brewery, and when they are delivered to the correct location.
Vision – Automate Proof of Delivery with Mobile Scanning
Using the old method, Plzeňský Prazdroj delivery drivers manually entered the identification numbers of tanks, seals and kegs when they picked up deliveries from the brewery, as well as when they dropped them off at customer locations. However, this manual process was time-consuming. The company decided it needed to capture data in a more efficient manner.
The solution developers at Plzeňský Prazdroj determined that encoding identification numbers into 2D barcode symbologies would make it easy for drivers to scan these codes with a mobile device and meet proof of delivery needs. To accomplish this, Plzeňský Prazdroj partnered with smartphone provider Samsung. Plzeňský Prazdroj designed a new proof of delivery process that relied on smartphone-based scanning of QR codes and DataMatrix codes to instantly identify tanks, seals and kegs as needed throughout the delivery process.
“Samsung smartphones are intuitive, reliable and sturdy,” said David Bauer, Operations Management Manager for Czech Republic and Slovakia at Plzeňský Prazdroj. “When you add in the factor of how many of our drivers already use personal Samsung devices and have a high degree of comfort with them, as well compare them to expensive legacy handheld devices from a total cost of ownership (TCO) perspective, the decision to run our scanning app on Samsung phones became obvious.”
Plzeňský Prazdroj worked with a third-party developer to create an Android app using the Xamarin framework that could scan QR codes and DataMatrix codes to identify key items in its lager delivery chain. After testing some open source scanning options, Plzeňský Prazdroj found that open source solutions did not reliably scan in adverse environmental conditions such as low lighting or glare. In addition, open source scanning options were not able to consistently read DataMatrix codes. The company turned to Samsung to suggest a professional and enterprise-grade barcode scanning engine to integrate into this app.
Solution – Instantly scan any code in any conditions, without errors
Samsung recommended that Plzeňský Prazdroj pilot the Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK as a scanning engine for its proof of delivery app. As a longtime member of Scandit’s partner network, Samsung was familiar with the performance and versatility of the Scandit solution. “A large number of Samsung clients have successfully integrated Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK into their mobile barcode scanning apps,” said Lukáš Chochole, Key Account Manager B2B at Samsung Electronics Czech Republic and Slovakia. “Scandit’s mobile data capture engine works very well on the Samsung platform and maximizes the effectiveness of the scanning capabilities our smartphones offer.” Based on successful pilot results, Plzeňský Prazdroj initially issued Samsung devices equipped with Scandit barcode scanning functionality to 150 drivers in January 2019, with plans to extend its usage. Each driver performs an average of 120 to 150 scans per month, with higher scan rates expected during peak delivery periods such as summer, Christmas and Easter.
Results – Thirst for accurate deliveries is quenched
By integrating Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK into its mobile delivery app, Plzeňský Prazdroj has been able to ensure that the correct batches of lager are delivered to the intended clients, on time and in full. Errors have been removed from the formerly manual proof of delivery process, with a significant amount of driver effort eliminated as well, resulting in more efficient deliveries.
In addition, Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK’s ability to maintain accuracy and speed of scanning in any environmental condition is a major benefit to drivers who must capture barcode data in unpredictable locations and situations. Based on the success of initial rollout, Plzeňský Prazdroj plans to provide its Scandit-equipped mobile delivery app on Samsung XCover4 devices to 800 drivers performing deliveries in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. “We are highly impressed with the speed, accuracy and flexibility of Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK,” stated Bauer. “It captures barcode instantly, without errors, even in difficult situations such as when there is too little or too much light. And Scandit’s superior image library allows our drivers to effectively read QR codes and DataMatrix codes without issue.”