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Mainfreight Invests In New Mobile Communications

Holliday Group Limited

Media release -for immediate release 24 March 2000


Moving personal affects with Mainfreight Relocations is set to become radically faster and more efficient due to a pioneering investment in smart mobile solutions supplied by WAP and mobile communications experts, The Holliday Group.

Mainfreight Relocations Ltd, a subsidiary of Mainfreight Ltd, transports personal affects nationwide. Until recently representatives used to wade through paper forms to itemise objects that needed to be packaged and distributed from the customer's premises. This data was then taken back to the office and manually entered into the system to calculate a quote.

Today, thanks to an innovative mobile computer system using Palm V's and tailored software written by the Holliday Group, Mainfreight representatives have cut an hour off the cataloguing time needed with each customer. By using the Palm's touch screen representatives simply highlight which room they are in and check off items listed. The data is then integrated with Mainfreight's database system at the press of the hotsync button.

While this process is very fast and efficient development work hasn't stopped there. What this new system is now awaiting is the arrival of WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) technology in New Zealand. With this Mainfreight will aim to turnaround a quote within minutes through live database access via a WAP mobile phone.

Garry Collings, Mainfreight CIO, heads a team of 14. He explained, "By using the Palm's infra red port and a WAP phone our reps will be able to communicate directly with the database from the customer site, download data within seconds and have a quote generated and returned automatically within five minutes."

"Mainfreight likes being a company that trials new technology. We've done this before with 'Tracy', our IVR (interactive voice response) system, which was installed in 1991. And a year later we added an electronic manufacturing consignment note system called 'Freeman'. So when Holliday's demonstrated the potential of WAP we could see the business benefits immediately. I am not saying that we innovate with new technology just because it is there; you have to be good at identifying those that do well," he added.

Holliday's and Mainfreight have also installed Symbol SPT1700 PDAs and cradles in 300 Mainfreight trucks [photo is available]. These provide real time freight tracking and two-way communication via Telecom's Fleetlink wireless data service. The SPT1700 device combines miniaturised bar code scanning technology with the 3Com Palm Computing platform and is very easy to use. Drivers simply scan in barcodes of the consignment notes and data is transmitted immediately to the pick up and delivery system (PUD). Customers wanting to know the whereabouts of freight can either check Mainfreight's website or call 'Tracy'.

Teamwork Telecom Data Consultant, Steve Lloyd, promotes data transfer solutions across the Fleetlink mobile radio network. He says, "Fleetlink offers the largest coverage of any national wireless network, including cellular. Mainfreight were looking for a new advanced data transfer system to replace the less efficient voice method. By replacing talk time with data transactions you eliminate scraps of paper and mis-communications. Mainfreight are pioneers in that they are the largest fleet in New Zealand adopting this latest technology solution with the Holliday Group."

Mainfreight chose Holliday's Palm V software and hardware solution over other technologies for a number of reasons: portability, size, weight, user-friendly simplicity, database integration and cost effectiveness.

Palm and Symbol units are relatively cheap and the software is easily written. A notebook and modem alternative for example was considered too slow, complicated to use and programme, bulky to carry around and expensive to set up and replace if damaged.

About Mainfreight Mainfreight is a market leading Supply Chain provider and manager. Its activities are driven by information and technology and implemented by a team that is highly focussed on meeting the needs of customers. Mainfreight is a publicly owned company listed on the NZSE.

About Teamwork Telecom Teamwork Telecom Ltd was formed in 1992 to provide fast and efficient two-way nationwide radio communication solutions across Telecom's Fleetlink mobile radio network. Today Teamwork is Telecom Mobile Radio's front line sales and account management team. Teamwork work's with Telecom's nationwide dealer network and customer base to provide wireless technology based business solutions.

About WAP The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is an open, global specification that empowers mobile users with wireless devices to easily access and interact with information and services instantly. The purpose of WAP is to enable easy fast delivery of relevant information and services to mobile users. WAP is a communications protocol and application environment that is designed to work with most wireless networks such as CDPD, CDMA, GSM, PDC, PHS, TDMA, FLEX, ReFLEX, iDEN, TETRA, DECT, DataTAC, Mobitex. It can be built on any operating system including PalmOS, EPOC, Windows CE, FLEXOS, OS/9, JavaOS etc.

About The Holliday Group The Holliday Group is a leading New Zealand provider of innovative mobile communication solutions on the Palm computing platform. It is also one of the few companies that delivers WAP (Wireless Access Protocol) Applications in Australia and New Zealand. WAP technology enables access to the Internet on new the generation of cellular phones.

From its head-office in Christchurch, the company develops a wide range of custom software solutions that streamlines time-to-market production and minimises administrative costs. The Holliday Group's expertise spans development of custom made Microsoft OS desktop applications, Internet Web authoring, man-machine interfaces to back office systems, communications and remote control systems. Business partners include Tait Electronics, Wang, Telecom, Teamwork, Oracle Corporation and Palm Computing Inc.

The Holiday Group works closely with Advantage Portable in Auckland to promote Holliday Cradles for Symbol products in New Zealand and Australia.

For further information please contact:

Dave Ffowcs Williams Business Development Director The Holliday Group Tel: + 64 (0)3 365 4120 Email: Web:

Garry Collings CIO Mainfreight Ltd Tel: + 64 (0)9 579 2089 Email: Web:

Steve Lloyd Data Consultant Teamwork Telecom NZ Ltd Tel: + 64 (0)4 473 2660 Email: Web:

Shelley Grell PR Director Communicate IT Ltd Tel/Fax: + 64 (0)3 314 4606 Mobile: 025 260 2635 Email:

- Ends -

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