JUNE 2007


IN THIS ISSUE

Vista OS and Your Business

Customers Say Veri-Shred is "RoutePerfect"

RFID Still Struggling


The "Archive" to Arrive Monthly - Starting NOW!

There's so much happening
at ASI and in the industry, we'll be sharing the latest news with you every month starting with this issue of The ASI Archive. We also invite you to email us any information you'd like to share.


Tech Tip:
Your Backup Plan

You're in the business of helping your customers better manage and protect their information - but is your business practicing what it's preaching? No? Well, consider these statistics:

1. Simple drive recovery can cost upwards of $7,500 and success is NOT guaranteed.

2. 20MB of accounting data takes 21 days and costs $19,000 to reproduce.

And if you are backing up your data, remember to test your backups. It's estimated that 34% of companies fail to test their tape backups, and of those that do, 77% have found tape back-up failures.

So while you're busily going about the work of making sure your customers' information and data is protected and readily available, take inventory of your own data backup and recovery plan. It's an essential part of your business - and helps ensure you stay in business should the worst occur.


Are you using
ASI Mobile Yet?

Email to find out how you can implement ASI Mobile for  $100* per truck per month. 

Sales@AndrewsSoftware.com

*does not include shipping, taxes, duties, finance charges or additional supplies.


Useful Links

ASI Learning Center

Here you can view all ASI product help manuals.


24/7 Software Support

Have an issue you need assistance with? Get help today by visiting our online Support Center with FAQs and more. Don't see an answer to your problem? Create a support trouble ticket. One of our support staff will respond within 24 hours.


Upcoming Events

PRISM International & NAID Joint European Conference
September 10-12, 2007
Paris, France


THE 411 ON ASI

Please send any payments, hardware and other correspondence to:

Andrews Software, Inc.
6900 W. Snowville Road
Cleveland, OH 44141

Toll-Free: 800-807-2093
(North America)

Phone: 440-546-9771

www.AndrewsSoftware.com

www.InfoKeeper.com

Win an iPod!

The ASI Users Group Meeting has been historically held in Cleveland around the September/October time frame. Since the Users Seminar is for you, the users, we are interested in your thoughts regarding the location and time of year for the next seminar. Do you prefer the location to be in another city? If so which city? Do you prefer another time of the year? If so, which month would better fit your schedule? Give us your feedback. Tell us if there is a destination or time of year that would make it easier for you to attend the ASI Users Group Meeting and you’ll automatically qualify to win an iPod.

Winner will be announced in the July issue of The ASI Archive.

Vista OS and Your Business
By: Kevin Baird, Systems Administrator

Recently, we’ve been testing our software on the new Windows Vista Operating System from Microsoft. Like all new operating systems, it has its quirks, and a lot of behind-the-scenes changes that can impact software that was written for the previous OS. Typically, if there are any problems, they can be addressed by rewriting the application to comply with the applicable new restrictions being imposed. This can be a long process if the changes to the new operating system were significant. Sometimes your original software design was designed well enough, that no changes need to be made at all. (We are happy to say this has been the case, thus far, with ASI’s software working under Windows Vista.)

Unfortunately, hardware issues aren’t as easily corrected. If the new operating system doesn’t support your older hardware, there isn’t much you can do to fix the problem, short of not installing the new OS, or buying replacement hardware. For instance, hardware manufacturers have begun to remove 9-pin serial ports from new computers. There are now very few needs, among regular computer users, for the old serial port. USB has long since replaced it as the new serial standard, and wireless USB is soon to become another new standard. Does that mean Windows Vista no longer supports serial ports? No, Vista continues to support the serial interface, but hardware manufacturers may soon stop producing computers with the serial ports attached.

The real problem, at this point, is the dropping of support for serial port connections in software within Windows Vista. Windows Mobile Device Center is the new name of Microsoft’s ActiveSync connection software. Like ActiveSync, Windows Mobile Device Center allows Windows Mobile scanners to synchronize data between your workstation and the scanner. Unfortunately, unlike ActiveSync, Windows Mobile Device Center does not support Serial Port connections. So, even if you have a serial port and Windows Vista sees it, it won’t let you use it through Windows Mobile Device Center. In addition, the devices that you can buy that allow a serial port to connect as a USB device do not work in Windows Mobile Device Center, because they are still used as a standard serial port, and not true USB.

The solution, and it is a simple one, is to order a USB cable from ASI that supports your scanner. Not only will this work in Windows Mobile Device Center under Windows Vista, but it will also speed up your scanner synchronization process, as USB is much faster than traditional serial connections.
Now, the common line of thinking is usually, “I’ll just stick with Windows XP, thanks.” This is a temporary solution to a problem you’ll have to face eventually. By the end of 2007, Microsoft will no longer sell Windows XP so any new computers you buy will be loaded with Vista. Your ability to downgrade the operating system to XP yourself may be limited by existing driver support. The wheel of progress continues to spin, and now is the time to start thinking about your transition plans and how your company will be operating in the years ahead.

Waiting until the first service pack is released for a new operating system is always a safe bet. Most of the bugs have been worked out and ease-of-use issues have been addressed. Most folks agree that the same thing applies to Windows Vista. You’ll have a better experience once the OS has been fine-tuned and the hardware manufacturers have gotten their drivers up to speed.

If you do decide to make the jump into Windows Vista, either because you’re the type that wants to walk on the edge, or your hardware vendor no longer offers Windows XP, be sure to contact ASI and let us know your setup and plans. We’ll work with you to make sure you have everything you need to make a smooth transition forward.

Back to Top


Customers Say Veri-Shred is "RoutePerfect"

We recently returned from the PRISM International Annual Conference where there was significant interest in Veri-Shred destruction software, particularly its exceptional routing capabilities. Many of you who are already using Veri-Shred reported that you are consistently optimizing routes, making more deliveries and pickups in less time - and saving on gas. The reason? RoutePerfect from Logistics Solutions Group (LSG).

Through our exclusive partnership with LSG, RoutePerfect easily and fully integrates with Veri-Shred. Service tickets are imported directly from Veri-Shred, routed, optimized and sent back to the Andrews system for printing and billing.We could go on and on, but why not let you read for yourself how Darryl Pikoos, owner of Paper Cuts, Inc. in Los Angeles is using Veri-Shred and RoutePerfect to improve service and cut costs. Click here for the Paper Cuts case study.


Back to Top


RFID Still Struggling
By: Evan Schuman, Ziff Davis Internet

Low tag read rates are still preventing RFID from gaining momentum as of mid-2007, even though the potential benefits of the wireless technology are making it look more attractive, according to a report issued May 29 from Cambridge, England-based research company IDTechEx.

"The tagging of pallets and cases to meet retail mandates is still struggling to take off," said IDTechEx CEO Raghu Das, in the report. "This year, IDTechEx expect that only 375 million tags will be used for this sector. The main reason for this is that the read performance is still not satisfactory for most companies. For example, George Chapelle, CIO of Sara Lee, reports that on frozen and dry foods they achieve about a 70 percent read rate, and on chilled foods the read rates is about 30 percent using Gen 2 tags. With such poor read rates, they cannot realize internal benefits."

Although retail giant Wal-Mart is continuing to push its radio-frequency ID efforts, Das said, it can only force the hand of suppliers so far. "Wal-Mart's "aim is impressive," Das said. "Rollin Ford, CIO of Wal-Mart, reports that if RFID can resolve 10 percent of their out of stock problems and inventory inaccuracies, it would save the retailer and its suppliers about $250 million a year. However, with poor read rates, many suppliers have seen no ROI, let alone savings above this."
Not all suppliers are struggling with RFID, though. The report found that Kimberly Clark, maker of Kleenex and Huggies, is using RFID to good advantage to monitor out-of-stock items.

"Shelf stock information is something that consumer good suppliers did not have good visibility of before RFID. The products it supplies are mostly RF inert, being mainly paper based, so read rates are good enough for the company to obtain significant paybacks. And significant they are — the firm discovered that out-of-stocks on the supermarket shelf were about twice as bad as they had expected," Das said in the report.

Das noted that Kimberly Clark has set up an RFID stock monitoring system in 500 stores and hopes to expand it to all stores where its products are sold, even if those stores do not yet have RFID capability. "However," he said, "to date, Kimberly Clark is unfortunately the exception rather than the rule."

According to the report, Procter & Gamble told IDTechEx that it ordered "several million" tags in 2006, and $12 billion retailer Sara Lee "will use only about 50,000 RFID tags in 2007 to meet retailer mandates."

Das notes in the report that the industry has seen these concerns for a couple of years, but the fact that there seems to be little or no evidence of improvement is alarming. "The challenges faced by consumer packaged goods suppliers are not new, but as a result, they are doing little more than slap and ship," Das wrote in the report. "UHF Gen 2 tag suppliers, therefore, have found the RFID market disappointingly slow, with many looking into other applications such as asset tracking and other closed loop applications, which is still one of the biggest growth areas in RFID and usually profitable for suppliers."

Reprinted from www.eweek.com, May 30, 2007

Back to Top


If you would like to no longer receive the newsletter please click here.

 


MicrosoftCertified WindowsMobile