Office technology manufacturer Brother has won a major contract to provide 500 of its M-Print MW-140BT mobile printers to the UK's largest vehicle carrier - Walon UK.
Walon, which is the leading supplier of finished vehicle logistics to the UK automotive industry, turned to Brother when it decided to move away from the traditional paper-based method of recording proof-of-delivery to customers.
Rather than sign a three-part proof of delivery paper document, customers now sign on an XDA PDA* screen - and Brother's MPrint MW-140BT provides a printed confirmation receipt for those customers who request one.
During the course of a two-year partnership with Brother, Walon customized the MPrint solution - devising a protective case and an in-vehicle carrying case for the product. An in-truck cradle was also developed to keep the device charged and connected to the O2 network.
Five hundred of the Brother printers are now out on the road with Walon's drivers - and they've proved to be a huge success.
Colin Williams, IT Manager at Walon, said: "With the MPrint, drivers can now give customers the receipt they want with the minimum of hassle - while still retaining the convenience of the PDA solution."
"So far this has been a major success story and we've been delighted with the support and service we have received from Brother, both throughout the procurement process and since we purchased the machines. Our customers are very excited about the use of such systems."
He added: "A major factor in choosing the MW-140BT was its Bluetooth capability. It's also very convenient in that it is very easy to replace paper cartridges. "
Walon is now considering expanding use of the MPrint to cover inspections when collecting used cars - where it checks vehicles' condition before returning them to a technical centre for refurbishment.
Colin added: "We think the MPrint would be ideal for recording what's been done in the inspection process - replacing the current, paper-based system."
Terry Caulfield, General Manager Corporate Sales, said: "This is another great example of a successful roll-out of the MPrint mobile printer, and we are delighted that it is proving so popular with Walon.
"As businesses become ever more mobile, we believe that demand for this type of printing solution will rise and we have developed a new version of the machine for launch later in 2007."
* The O2 XDAIIi PDA device (XDA is a trademark of O2)
Walon UK, a division of AutoLogic Holdings plc, is the leading supplier of finished vehicle logistics services to the UK automotive industry, With 500 car transporters and 25 operating centres nationwide, Walon is responsible for the preparation, enhancement, storage and distribution of over 1.2 million vehicle movements each year on behalf of vehicle manufacturers, fleet operators and dealerships.
About Brother Mprint
The Brother MPrint MW-140BT offers a lightweight, portable solution to printing on the move. Using Bluetooth technology, the tiny machine offers wireless printing from laptops, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and tablet PCs.
The MPrint MW-140BT measures 10cm wide by 15.8cm long by 1.75cm deep and weighs just 300g. It prints onto A7 paper and three sizes of labels; an A6 version will be launched in the UK later in 2007.