Volkswagen and Carlsberg brewery firm Ringnes of Norway have signed radio frequency identification technology deals with IBM to improve their supply chains.
Volkswagen has been working with IBM and its suppliers to test the use of RFID tags on its shipping containers.
A pilot has been successful and VW plans to use the system across its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany. VW says the system will reduce manual processes at the goods receiving stage alone by 80%.
"Our long-term goal is to implement an integrated, paperless production and logistics chain throughout the whole group," said Klaus Hardy Mühleck, group CIO and head of group IT at Volkswagen. "The pilot project showed that we can reliably integrate RFID technology into our business processes at a low cost."
At Ringnes, a similar system has been deployed to boost the brewery's ability to track the movement of trucks at its Oslo shipping facility.
In doing this, Ringnes says it is able to quickly address bottlenecks in its logistics operations, and, in the process, to better serve retailers and consumers.
"Even small changes in our logistics system can have a positive effect on our bottom line," said Jan Inge Bakkane, business process manager at Ringnes. "The system we've created with IBM will allow our logistics operations to work smarter, which makes for better customer service."