"We used the process to develop a target for where we wanted our operations to be," Kearney said. "What we found was that the wireless system, particularly for issuing goods, was - an enhancement to our SAP software," Kearney said.

As with all networks, the ability to centrally manage the system is a key factor in its success. A software module residing on a local networked computer handles system administration for DWR's remote sites. A point-and-click GUI allows the administrator to add or delete hand-held scanners or change their functionality. These changes are communicated to the main DWR database via the department's WAN.

Flushed with the success of the first 12 wireless sites, DWR is moving ahead with a phase two deployment that will place similar systems in smaller, remote warehouses whose distance from the larger division yards can pose logistical problems. Eventually, department officials hope to expand the system to track parts issued at mobile maintenance shops, where large stores of vehicle and equipment replacement parts are kept.