Friday 28th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Moving in real-time

Hazlewood Cakes & Desserts is part of the Convenience Food Division of Greencore Group, a Euro 1.3Bn food processor supplying the majority of UK retailers with own-brand convenience foods such as sauces, ready meals, sandwiches, cakes, desserts and other food products.

With a constant focus on reducing costs and improving customer service Hazlewood Cakes & Desserts wanted to develop the knowledge it had about the finished products within its production facility at Hull. It wanted to be able to quickly and accurately record finished product manufacture information, best before and rotation dates and finished product stock locations but its existing manual processes were prone to error.

Operatives were manually filling in pallet tickets, taking them to an office 50 yards away and then passing them to another colleague to enter the information into the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.

In order to improve this process and reduce the amount of human and keyboard-based errors that were arising, Hazlewood contacted Indigo Software about its Syncro data capture solution. Indigo proposed a solution that would use barcodes and data collection hardware to capture the key information and then integrate with its Geac System 21 ERP system enabling real-time transfer of data.

The benefits

Graham Manning, IT project manager for Greencore Convenience Foods, says: “Indigo understands the food industry and has excellent solutions for all areas of the supply chain. Its Syncro solution was already being used at our Hazlewood Sandwiches sites at Worksop and Park Royal for a slightly different application and we felt it would also be well suited to solve the challenges we were facing at our Hull site.”

The Syncro solution uses Intermec industrial barcode printers to produce barcoded pallet labels which contain the works order number and product code which are then scanned using Intermec hand-held computers ensuring the right combination is achieved every time.

Additionally, scanning the finished product as it comes off the line has enabled the real-time data transfer to the ERP system that the Hull site was looking to achieve.

The resulting benefits have been the elimination of the old paper-based pallet ticket system, a reduction in the amount of manual checking that is needed and the provision of up-to-the-minute data on stock.

Manning continues: “We now have highly accurate, up to date information which has enabled us to make product to a sales order rather than for stock, resulting in far less wastage and a reduction in the amount of materials that we need to store. Additionally we have decided to adopt Indigo’s Syncro solution as the System of Choice for our business, and will be rolling it out to all remaining UK sites with additional modules for ASNs and Pallet Manifests.” n