MOTOTRBO Helps Sears DDC Keep Deliveries Moving

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As part of its continuing goal to provide next day delivery on large home and garden items, Sears opened its Jacksonville, Florida direct distribution center in May of 2008. With seven day shipping, consistent, reliable communications was critical in order to coordinate the large volume of products that went through receiving and shipping on a daily basis. MOTOTRBO digital two Way Radios are used to enable the entire warehouse to talk radio to radio without a repeater; the crisp audio enables conversation even in the noisy environment; and the long lasting batteries last through multiple shifts for increased productivity.

Sears Holding Center opens 812,000 sq. ft. facility

In May 2008, Sears Holding Corp. opened its newest direct distribution center (DDC) in Jacksonville, Florida. The new 812,000-square-foot warehouse is the distribution point for home appliances, tractors, televisions and other large items to local warehouses for more than 112 Sears and Kmart stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

“This facility will allow Sears to expand our appliance distribution capabilities and moves us closer to our goal of becoming more effective and efficient,” said Jim Mixon, senior vice president of supply chain and operations for Sears Holdings, in an interview with the Jacksonville Business Journal.

The new facility, located on 130 acres in the NorthPoint Industrial Park, consolidated two smaller warehouses that Sears Holdings operated in Jacksonville. With a new facility and a larger, busier warehouse to manage, Sears DDC Facilities Manager, Mike Harbert, began looking for a communications system that would be better suited to the environment.

Looking for long battery life and better audio

Harbert found that the company’s existing radios did not provide the audio quality required in the noisy warehouse environment, or the battery life needed to last through an entire shift.

“The problem with the batteries was that we ran three shifts and we shared the radios from shift to shift,” Harbert says. “The guys knew that when
they came in, the battery would be dead in a couple of hours, so they switched out the battery at the beginning of their shift even though it had another couple of hours on it.”

Because the batteries were not completely discharged before recharging, memory effect shortened the life of the batteries even further, and eventually even the fresh batteries wouldn’t last an entire shift.

While the existing communications the Sears DDC staff had been using were sufficient in the older smaller warehouses, they were limited. Once the operations moved to the much larger warehouse, they quickly realized better communications, clearer audio, and longer lasting batteries would be required.

Harbert worked with Hasty’s Communications, a Motorola authorized dealer, to recommend a solution.

MOTOTRBO digital radios deliver the right package

Mathews recommended MOTOTRBO radios based on Sears DDC’s existing environment and loaned
Harbert some radios to try them out for himself. The digital radios’ enhanced audio, featuring background noise suppression, was especially was especially attractive to Harbert to deliver clear audio, even when standing next to the noise generated by the large diesel trucks.

“The radios worked well and the audio was so crystal clear that even though the background was noisy, it was like the person you were talking to was standing right next to you,” Harbert says.

Harbert also liked the fact that, in spite of the warehouse’s large size and structure, he would not need to purchase repeaters.

“We talk radio to radio and I haven’t found a place in the warehouse or throughout the 45 to 50 acre area where we can’t talk to each other,” he says. “I’ve actually been down the street about a half mile or so and was able to call back to the building with no problem.”

Long-lasting batteries keep communications going during Hurricane Fay

As Hurricane Fay slowly made its way through Florida toward Jacksonville in mid August, Harbert and his team began preparing the facility and grounds for a direct hit. Once again, the MOTOTRBO radios provided clear communications and,
equally important, long-lasting batteries that kept communications available.

“We lost power early on and switched to our large UPS systems in the data room to keep our crucial data equipment running,” recalls Harbert. “The nice thing about the radios was that after our cell phone batteries began dying, we were still able to keep communicating with the MOTOTRBOs due to their long-lasting batteries.”

Between the rapid IMPRES™ battery charger and the control process Harbert instituted that maintains both battery inventory and user accountability, the batteries have lasted even longer than expected. According to Harbert, he can now easily keep the radios operating through long shifts with half the spare inventory required by the old radios.

With longer talk time, clearer audio delivery, and the ruggedness that meets military standards for durability and reliability, MOTOTRBO radios offer a private, cost-effective solution that can be tailored to meet unique coverage and feature needs.

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Sepura Lifts Dividend And Provides Bullish Revenue, Earnings Guidance

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Sepura PLC upped its total dividend for the year to March 28 and announced guidance of 10% revenue growth over the next two years, as it saw pretax profit rise.
Sepura, which produces digital Walkie talkies, raised its full-year dividend to 2.00 pence from 1.68 pence the previous year. It said Tuesday it now expects revenue growth of 10% per year in the financial year 2015 and 2016, and adjusted earnings per share growth of 15% in financial 2015 and 25% in 2016.
The company posted a pretax profit of EUR14.2 million for the recently completed financial year, up from EUR7.9 million the year before, as revenue rose to EUR116.6 million from EUR104.8 million, including a EUR700,000 contribution from its acquisition Portalify.
Sepura shipped a total of 188,000 terrestrial trunked Walkie talkies during the year, up from 154,000 in the previous year, boosted by growth in Germany, the UK, Norway and Australia. The company’s infrastructure business won new public safety contracts in new markets, including Greece and Lebanon, Sepura said.
It won its first contract in North America to provide the initial phase of Toronto Transit Commission’s new network, alongside other commercial contracts in Luxemborg, Germany and Malaysia.
Sepura noted that the strengthening of sterling and the volatility of the euro-dollar exchange rate hit its results by EUR2.5 million.
It is continuing to expand its US and Canadian sales teams, and added a number of new distributors in the region, saying it is confident it can build on its early successes in the market.
It also has launched a portfolio of digital mobile radio products during the year. Although Sepura noted that its expectations for these products in the first year are modest, it believes it will add a “significant” incremental increase to revenues and earnings in the medium term.
Sepura plans to expand this product range, and said it has been bolstered by its recent acquisition of Fylde Micro Ltd in May.
Liberum Capital increased its price target on Sepura to 175 pence from 162 pence and reiterated its Buy rating, highlighting the company’s future expansion potential.
Liberum noted Sepura’s improved sales team in North America, saying that with 7 million private mobile 2 way Radio users the US represents the largest geographical opportunity for the company, and expects 25% of the growth in digital users to come from this market.
Sepura has transformed over the last three years into a geographically diverse critical communications solutions provider, with an estimated addressable market of USD2.5 billion, says Liberum analyst Ben Bourne. “It is now in a better position to capitalise on the accelerating analogue to digital migration.”

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Chris Evans enjoys record audience on BBC Radio 2

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two way radio johannesburgBBC Radio 2 breakfast presenter Chris Evans pulled in a record weekly audience over the last three months, according to new figures.

The broadcaster, who has hosted early mornings for four years, pulled in 9.85m listeners – compared to 9.35m during the previous quarter.
His Radio 1 counterpart Nick Grimshaw added 700,000 to his weekly audience, after suffering declining ratings.

Rajar’s latest research reveals radio listening is at a 15-year high.
It says that 91% of the population aged over 15 listen to the radio each week, the highest level since records began in 1999.
“At a time when we’ve just become the first radio station in the world to reach one million subscribers on YouTube, we’re delighted to be reaching 42% of all 15 to 24-year-olds,” said Ben Cooper, controller of BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra.

The BBC’s principal networks – Radios 1, 2 and 4 – all saw their audiences rise in the last three months, with Radio 2 substantially ahead with 15.5 million listeners each week.
But classical network Radio 3 saw its listenership dip to below two million.
Radio 3 controller Roger Wright said the station’s audience had remained “stable” since Rajar figures first began, adding that it was “good to see our Breakfast audience build on last quarter’s figure”.

Continue reading the main story UK’S BIGGEST BREAKFAST RADIO STATIONS 1. Radio 2 (Chris Evans) – 9.85m
2. Radio 4 (Today, pictured) – 7.1m
3. Radio 1 (Nick Grimshaw) – 6.2m
4. 5 live – 2.6m
5. Kiss UK – 1.78m
Source: Rajar (Fourth quarter of 2013)
Radio 4 extended its reach to just over 11 million weekly listeners, while Today, its flagship early morning current affairs programme, edged beyond the seven million mark.

Radio 4 controller Gwyneth Williams hailed the station’s “distinctive and rich mix of programming which appeals to our discerning listeners and attracts extraordinary talent to our airwaves”.
Digital-only broadcaster 6 Music saw its audience come close to two million listeners each week, a record high for a station that was saved from the axe in 2010.

BBC Asian Network, another digital-only offering, also attracted a high of 668,000 weekly listeners, up from 555,000 last quarter.
Bob Shennan, controller of BBC Radio 2, 6 Music and Asian Network, called the results “outstanding”.
“Congratulations to Chris Evans and his team who have built a phenomenal foundation for the rest of the Radio 2 daytime team, all of whom have broken previous best records,” said Shennan.

“Graham Norton’s reach of 4m for a single weekly programme is nothing short of astonishing and testament to his enduring appeal and personality,” he added.
In the last three months of 2013, ownership of digital radios climbed to more than 45% of all adults. A decade ago, the figure was 5.3%.
The number of listeners who tune into radio via their mobile phones has also climbed to nearly 25%, which rises to 45% for young listeners in their teens and early twenties.

“Britain’s love affair with radio shows no signs of cooling,” said Helen Boaden, the BBC’s director of radio.
“We are a nation of audiophiles and so, despite the ever-increasing competition for people’s time and the growing range of online audio providers, radio is thriving in the digital age.”
She also applauded the “enduring popularity” of the BBC’s portfolio of stations.

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