Mobitex Technology - Solutions - Case study

Bilspedition and Scania, Sweden

The first applications of electronic business communications involving the use of Mobitex to transmit business and transport related information between purchasers, sales personnel and carriers are now making their appearance. Bilspedition and Scania were the first companies to apply the new technology in order to increase the efficiency of their logistical functions.

EDI opens new applications

In the business and transport areas, it has become increasingly common to use EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) to automate the flow of information between business partners. Since EDI is based on an International standard, the information systems of the companies involved can use their integral translation programs to interpret the sender's message regardless of which computer system or software is in use.

Increasingly broad concept
The EDI concept has been in use for about a decade, initially in the UK business sector and the German automotive industry. Most of the pioneers were large companies, but the technology is increasingly being used by small and medium sized companies. Almost half of the 70 000 companies now using EDI are located in the US and slightly more than 10 000 of them in the UK. However, the most rapid increase is occurring elsewhere in Western Europe and in the Far East.

Administrative information systems that transfer information automatically as soon as a transaction occurs do more than merely speed up the flow of information; they are a prerequisite for shortening lead times and reducing or eliminating inventories. One example is the automotive industry's transition from inventory-based production based on customer orders. EDI has been a key factor in this transition.

As use of the new technology has expanded and its advantages have become increasingly apparent, companies have sought to broaden the range of applications where EDI technology can be used. Wherever structured information is transferred, EDI can be used to create open interfaces to optimize the efficiency of information transfer. The same principle also applies to communication via local networks between systems located in the same building, such as an order system that forwards incoming information directly to a production system.

Mobitex and EDI open up new possibilities
Mobitex works hand-in-glove with EDI. While the EDI concept is not restricted to any one particular communication method, the use of Mobitex opens up new EDI applications. More value is added when mobile units can also be integrated into the system.

Mobitex users can explore the benefits of EDI by sending new types of information to and from the mobile units, permitting better planning, follow-up and customer service. The broader range of applications and the resulting scope for increased profitability make Mobitex an even more attractive concept to potential users

AMTrix is the tool
Included in the EU's DRIVE program is a project known as IFMS, Integrated Fleet and Vehicle Management Systems. This in turn is subdivided into a number of pilot projects to discover and test more efficient methods for planning and controlling vehicle fleets and their loads. The Mobitex/EDI combination forms the basis of one of these pilot projects, for which a number of Bilspedition's trucks have been equipped with a 486 PC from Hogia, a Mobitex radio modem and Frontec's AMTrix EDI software.

Most of the EDI packages on the market are designed solely to convert data from the format used by a given information system into EDIFACT, the international EDI standard format, and send the message via X.25.

The AMTrix EDI system, on the other hand, can be regarded as a tool for transferring information without regard to its format or the method of communication. The product is based on a programming language that incorporates semantics from EDI standards, as well as file management and data communication systems. It permits the user to define the relevant data in every instance.

Bilspedition and Scania take the initiative
The application used by Bilspedition and Scania starts with a transport booking sent via EDI from Scania's subcontractor HV AB to Bilspedition's central planning system. The booking is updated with additional information, then forwarded via Mobitex to the vehicle that will handle the delivery. The booking is displayed on-screen to the vehicle's driver in the shape of a query. If he is able to handle the assignment, he confirms this by sending an acknowledgement to the central system via Mobitex, with an additional acknowledgement to the customer - in this case Scania.

During loading, a barcode scanner registers all the package numbers, which are sent as an EDI message via the Mobitex network, together with other transport information, to both Bilspedition and Scania. When the load is delivered, the package numbers are again registered and reported to the central systems in both Bilspedition and Scania so that any discrepancies can be discovered.

The fact that every single package is registered both at the time of booking and during loading permits follow-up at any point in the logistical chain. This is virtually indispensable for "just-in-time" deliveries. It also enables the purchaser of transport services both to follow up individual deliveries and to evaluate the quality of the carrier, while giving the transport company a method of continuously monitoring its efficiency.

Frontec AMT
Frontec AMT is a Frontec Group subsidiary operating in the IT sector. It has slightly more than 600 employees. The business concept is to supply technical platforms for more efficient business processes. Frontec AMT markets its products through its own sales companies in the US and the UK and through associated companies in other countries.

Featured solutions
NetworkFleet by Networkcar MARCUS® by Discrete Wireless INCA® by APD Track & Trace® by RAM MobiWin® by B&M Systemutveckling
Additional solutions

Search the Mobitex Association web site for solutions tailored for Mobitex technology


Fedex Ground, USA
Success story 

Success story 

Case studies
FedEx, USA Bilspedition and Scania, Sweden ASG, Sweden The Toronto Sun, Canada