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European IT distributor improves logistics operations, saves money with IP cameras

San Juan Capistrano, CA, December 04, 2013—IQinVision, market leader in high-performance HD megapixel IP cameras, today announced that EET Europarts relies on a combined IQinVision-Milestone advanced IP video surveillance solution to document all transactions, improve customer service, and enhance overall productivity.

With annual sales topping $250 million, EET Europarts is one of the largest distributors of IT products and parts to more than 24 countries in Europe. The 113,000 square foot (10,500 square meter) Logistics Center is located in Ballerup, Denmark, where the vast majority of shipments originate, and ships an average of 3,000 packages daily.

A few years ago, EET’s management sought to improve operations by more effectively documenting for their customers that the correct products had been accurately packaged and sent. This would help reduce employee errors and provide an audit trail to more efficiently solve any packaging mistakes. Timely, accurate documentation of all shipments would also improve customer service and customer relationships, and cut costs that EET normally had to cover in the event of shipping error claims.

The solution to EET Europarts’ challenges proved to be right under their noses, sitting on the shelves of the warehouse:  since 2009, the company had been a distributor of IQinVision HD megapixel network cameras. The company chose to optimize their logistics processes with IQeye network cameras because they are well known for their excellent image quality and high reliability. Further, IQeye cameras are quite easy to set up and operate. To view, record and export the video from the cameras, EET Europarts chose XProtect from Milestone Systems, the global industry leader in open platform IP video management software.

To date, more than 110 cameras are installed and managed by Milestone XProtect at the Logistics Center, with plans for approximately 200 total cameras to be deployed. The IQeye cameras are mounted primarily over tables in the packing and shipping areas. They are also installed in the receiving area to record if packages are damaged on arrival. This way EET can contact freight forwarders and suppliers if something is wrong with a shipment and provide video footage to back up any damage claims.

When warehouse managers need to investigate a particular shipment, stored video can be accessed and viewed from remote desktops or handheld devices with the Milestone Mobile client. Very little live monitoring is needed. Video is recorded at 5-8 fps on four servers with a total of 48 TB of capacity.

“We are very satisfied with our IP video surveillance system,” commented EET Europarts Group Logistics Director, Tom Kjærulf. “We would not be able to run our Logistics Center without this kind of video surveillance system. The picture quality is crucial as we use this for evidence with our partners and customers. We could have spent less on cameras but then the lack of consistent high-quality images would seriously limit our ability to have solid, provable documentation. The IQeye cameras deliver a very sharp, crisp image even in our difficult lighting conditions—reflections from the floor and from headlights, and a lot of movement.”

The IQeye­-Milestone solution has proven very effective in giving EET the solid documentation they need to speak confidently to customers and suppliers, reduce shipping errors, and correct errors quickly should they occur. Previously, management could only speculate on what might have happened to a shipment, now they can easily review what really happened.

“The IQeye cameras have proven their effectiveness many, many times when customers claim that they did not receive the goods ordered. We can prove the opposite with video very easily,” explained Kjærulf. “Our investment in this video surveillance system and the high-quality cameras has been a profitable one, which has been paid back several times.”

At the end of the day, EET Europarts management believes that their level of shipment documentation has significantly improved their customers’ confidence in EET’s abilities as a distributor, and this gives them an important competitive advantage. Another interesting by-product of the video surveillance program is that the company’s employees have a positive attitude toward the cameras because they feel a sense of security knowing the truth about deliveries is always available, should there be any doubt.

 

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