Datalogic Mobile Computers Help Furniture Store Manage Its Inventory

Challenge: Improve labeling operations in order to concentrate on customer relations

Combining the concepts of travel and decoration, Maisons du Monde is a retailer specializing in furniture and interior decoration with 200 shops. A true success story, the retailer has been able to rise to prominence in a booming market and expand to several European countries in less than 15 years.

Maisons du Monde’s original positioning and its collections that are renewed continuously to adapt to current trends are the retailer’s winning qualities. In this logistical environment where the management of stock and collections is essential, the French brand has decided to turn to various technology partners who can introduce an innovative marking and identification system.

In order to enable its shop assistants to concentrate on the customers rather than on restrictive and particularly time-consuming labeling operations, the retailer wanted to introduce modern and progressive mobile technologies for item labeling and in-store inventory management of different collections.

Maisons du Monde turned to industrial partners specializing in marking and printing who were capable of implementing a universal solution very quickly in all shops in France.

A few essential requirements were established in order to deal with the enormity of the project and the extremely short deadline:

  • “PDA/mobile printers” materials must ensure that items are handled rapidly while making employees fully mobile
  • Predominantly centralized technical support management must enable each shop to be run remotely without requiring a technician to work on-site

“In contrast to large-scale food retail, specialist retailers, such as Maisons du Monde do not have a digital price display system using electronic labels, enabling prices to be modified remotely. In-store relabeling and stocktaking are carried out manually and require significant attention; a pricing error has irreparable negative consequences on customers”, explains Guillaume Cesbron, chief information officer at Maisons du Monde. ” Faced with this problem, we therefore looked for a fully mobile, non-cumbersome, highly reliable material and software solution, that used portable PDA mobile devices linked to wireless printers“, he adds.

A technological project carried out in record time

Maisons du Monde started the rollout stage for all of its 200 shops in France. In barely three months, the shops changed to the new system without the smallest delay or technical problem to the planned schedule.

The technical challenge, however, was especially difficult because, alongside such a large rollout process, the implementation of the project depended on Datalogic producing a significant quantity of Elf PDAs, the latest mobile computers coming straight from the manufacturer’s factories.

An implementation managed remotely by Maisons du Monde for a perfectly controlled familiarization process

Maisons du Monde has chosen a software solution of its own accord, which can be controlled remotely and implemented in each shop without being physically worked on by technicians. The retailer delivered a full equipment package to each shop accompanied by a procedure for the software implementation process. The launch was also conceived and determined with a rapid and simple familiarization process with the equipment in mind, thanks to a computerized support function.

With the aim of determining the ideal mobile equipment for this project, they opted for Elf PDAs by Datalogic, which combine the essential functions in order to provide maximum mobility to employees. The version chosen by Maisons du Monde is equipped with Wi-Fi radio and Bluetooth, enabling direct communication with B-EP portable printers from Toshiba Tec, as well as a 2D imager.

The latter function has been selected in view of future applications. In fact, this multi-usage mobile device also shows great prospects for the development of additional applications.

The Wavelink Avalanche software solution is also intended to support the whole system, providing centralized management of the 200 shops and a rollout managed directly by the headquarters of Maisons du Monde. It enables mobile computers to be managed from a central computer, via two elements: the software application installed on the Datalogic mobile PDA and on the host system.

100% performance and mobility

Following a data update, which is performed nightly, the Datalogic Mobile Elf PDAs are subsequently charged every morning before the shops open. They read the barcodes of products and automatically transmit information concerning a change in price to the Toshiba Tec printers in order to produce new barcode labels.

A dynamic and responsive team

After several months of use in the shop, Maisons du Monde makes a very positive assessment of the projects, for the purchase of high-performance and aesthetically pleasing equipment as well as for the implementation of the development.

Mr. Cesbron states: “This global solution, including the Datalogic Mobile PDA Elf, displayed technical and ergonomic advantages that corresponded perfectly to our current needs and development prospects. At the same time, we were also impressed by the dynamism and efficiency of the teams due to the speed of the rollout in all of our shops”.