Surgere always knows the location of everything in your warehouse
Across countless markets, modern supply chains use barcodes to track products throughout the shipping process, with more than 10 trillion barcodes printed annually. Increasingly, the use of radio-frequency identification tags has slowly made technology more prevalent in supply chain management, providing real-time, automated tracking of individual products and containers. But the adoption of that technology has been slower than anticipated due to the low returns on investment on RFID initiatives. Akron startup Surgere, however, is closing that gap. Their processes create 99.9 percent data accuracy for supply chain product tracking, fulfilling RFID’s potential and providing huge benefits to their clients.
“Some companies can track products using electronic barcodes, where products individually move under a scanner, but we can read up to a thousand different containers in a matter of a second using RFID,” said Surgere President Charles Dressler. “Our ability to aid tracking parts and containers in the automotive sector has saved millions of dollars to our OEM clients by reducing time, effort and expendables. When we present to a potential client the return that we can give, it is much higher than what they see from competitors, which sets us apart and allows our product to get adopted very quickly.”
RFID uses radio waves to automatically identify objects while collecting data and entering it directly into a computer system in real time. For clients who need to track thousands of items of different size and shape all at once, Surgere uses RFID to track containers moving in and out of a factory or warehouse along with the movement of parts and containers within a warehouse. The accuracy of Surgere’s tracking allows them and their clients to know exactly where products are throughout the entire supply chain process, which leads to a greater return and reduced costs for the client.
“What sets us apart is the antenna technology that we use for sensing; the tags we use are very sensitive and inexpensive,” said Dressler. “We also consider the environment through which the containers or products are moving, like the type of warehouse, the layout of the warehouse, the type of dock doors and the presence of metal in the warehouse. Finally, we consider the goal of the client and what they want to accomplish with their containers while in the warehouse.”
Surgere was founded in 2004 by William Wappller, who originally started in consulting for supply chain and packaging management. Having experienced the pain points and challenges of the industry, his focus shifted to the RFID space and electronic tracking. Over the last 5 years, Surgere’s proven process has attracted major OEM clients like Honda, Toyota and Mazda. But partnerships with those big names are just the beginning. The company has mastered tracking in the automotive industry and is setting its sights on improving supply chain accuracy in markets like food and beverage, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, aerospace and retail. Surgere also is expanding globally in Europe, Japan and South America by utilizing Microsoft Azure’s data centers, spread over 60 regions globally, to read their data.
“We’ve perfected our craft in the auto industry, but everybody has to track parts coming and going, and our ability to track assets goes across multiple sectors,” said Dressler. “We have some contracts already in the food and beverage industry, which is an industry that has more shipping constraints than others. Cold chain tracking is an example, where people want to know if their food was frozen from its inception and throughout its time in transit. We can make sure that’s a reality and that there is no error. As we expand, we are increasing our ability to track more parts and continuing to develop products that will automate supply chains.”
With their sights set on a worldwide market, Surgere knows it can continue to grow and evolve right here in Ohio. From their headquarters in Green, a suburb of Akron, the company has everything they need to succeed. With access to Ohio’s top talent and the perfect geographical location for logistics, along with affordability unheard of on the coasts, Surgere is making a global impact from their northeast Ohio home.
“All of our intellectual property and our software development efforts are done right here in Green,” said Dressler. “There is a lot of talent in Ohio, and the state has a lot of great resources. We have a good pool for our software developments and engineers, and we’ve found that having our engineering talent close by allows us to respond and satisfy our customers’ needs more rapidly. If a client is experiencing a problem, we can find the solution, and we can do it very quickly, because we have the people here.”