An Israeli inventory and shipment tracking system could make the difference between your company’s profit and loss, and even closure and survival.

When you lose something around the house, it’s annoying, but in business, losses can be fatal – especially with the razor thin profit margins many companies earn today.

With Israeli company “ImageID “ of Hod Hasharon, lost shipments are a thing of the past. The company claims its super-accurate Visidot verification and traceability system grants a new level of cargo control to international commerce, and does away with the need to spend money tracking down shipments that have gone astray.

ImageID’s inventory and shipment tracking system ensures near-complete traceability of cartons, boxes, crates and palettes, and enables companies to save money that could make the difference between profit and loss – or, in some cases, between closure and survival.

Trade is the lifeblood of business today, and making sure that goods get from point A to point B is essential. With business relationships so complex, products may be shipped, transshipped and reshipped by ship, plane and truck en route to their destinations.

But once a shipment leaves a factory or warehouse, its manufacturer or distributor has little control over what happens to it; the cargo is at the mercy of the shipping companies that are responsible for moving the world’s merchandise.

When shipments get lost

To protect their interests, companies do their best to track the shipments. When things go missing – when a customer fails to receive what was supposed to have been shipped – the customer files a complaint with the distributor or manufacturer, sometimes “fining” them by deducting an agreed-upon percentage of the cost of the order, as compensation.

Thus, distributors and manufacturers take whatever steps they can to record information about the shipment – the bar code numbers and other information on the shipping labels, for example – so that if anything gets lost, they’ll have the information the shipping company needs to track it down.

There are several ways to keep track of cargo, the most popular being to scan product tags or barcodes, and record the information in a computerized inventory system. But scanning barcodes is difficult and time consuming, and companies that ship high volumes of products often find that errors creep into their inventory tracking system because the scanning was done incorrectly or in an incomplete manner.

Another way to keep track of inventory is with RFID (Radio-frequency identification) tags, which allows distributors to use radio waves to record information into a computerized inventory system.

RFID systems are far less labor intensive – the tags can be read and recorded automatically – but RFID tags are expensive, and for companies shipping large volumes of cheap or perishable items, for example, it’s just not worth the expense.

Assets tracked with 100% accuracy

Enter ImageID’s Visidot system, which provides supply chain control via high-powered cameras and lighting that scan tags and barcodes much more quickly and efficiently than hand-held scanning systems do – with near perfect results – and at a much lower price than RFID systems, according to the company.

Using very high-resolution cameras and scanning equipment, Visidot Reader captures the information on shipping labels accurately.

The information is then recorded into a database for tracking. Visidot thus “enables users in a broad range of industries to track and trace hundreds of thousands of assets a day – with 100% accuracy – maintaining lean logistics and complete supply chain control,” ImageID marketing director Ayelet Avriel tells ISRAEL21c.”Visidot can provide company management and authorized external handlers with a comprehensive view of the entire supply chain.”

He adds that “Visidot Reader’s highly durable hardware allows it to perform reliably even in the harshest of environments. A wide selection of specially adapted cameras and lenses enables detection of items regardless of their location and orientation, including tags affixed to distant assets or items in motion. Industry standard power and network interfaces ensure fast and simple system installation.”

Getting fish to Tesco’s on time

ImageID’s solution is unique, and it’s being used by businesses all over the world. The company has dozens of success stories, like the one in Britain, where Seachill, one of the UK’s leading fresh fish processors, was seeing its bottom line decimated by fines it was paying on late-delivered merchandise to retail giant Tesco.

“Tesco’s short lead times were proving to be a great challenge,” says Steve Wallace, Seachill’s IT Manager. “We’d get orders late in the day, leaving a very small window to get products scanned and out the door.”

The company used hand-held scanners to process shipments, but mistakes and date entry bottlenecks were losing business for Seachill. RFID chips were too expensive, considering the low markup and profit margin on the product they were shipping, but thanks to ImageID, the company has an inexpensive, super-effective solution.

Now, says Wallace, Seachill delivers to Tesco what it promised to – on time, without delays or missing products, and most importantly, without paying fines.

It’s rare that one innovation has such wide reach and impact. Billions of products are shipped around the world every day; keeping track of them is a multi-billion dollar issue, and Israel’s ImageID is helping these companies save millions of dollars a year.