Time-critical services served up!Improving accuracy and stock rotation

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Westler Foods has installed ATMS’ StockTrackPLUS warehouse management system with RF terminals for production receipt and finished goods control. The development follows the decision to take its distribution and warehousing in-house following a major review that involved advice from a specialist transport and warehousing consultant.

Charlie Breese, warehouse and distribution manager for North Yorkshire-based Westler, explains: “We had previously been using a third-party distribution company to handle our warehousing and deliveries but the high costs and inadequate service levels forced us to rethink our operations.”

Westler had been trunking food products to the third-party warehouse and maintaining control on a simple, paper-based system. The WMS needed to cater for the product range, and there was also the requirement for the system to provide quality control and ‘positive release’ on food batches after the production phase.

The ATMS system is designed to meet the needs of companies who want to improve stock accuracy, stock control and stock rotation. It enables users to reduce stock levels, reduce waste and reduce damage and obsolescence.

Other key features of the ATMS WMS are two-way traceability and improved stock recall capability, improved efficiency of operatives and machines, improved costing of jobs and yield control, reduced clerical work and associated errors. The system also incorporates a variety of features including physical pallet identification to provide the pallet with a unique birth certificate against which it can be tracked and recorded and against which an audit can be held.

ATMS is one of several inventory management technology specialists exhibiting at Logistics Link 2005, being held at Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey on February 1 and 2. For further information contact Richard Milbourn on 020 8661 1160 or visit www.logisticslink.co.ukAlpha Flight Services (AFS) and Christian Salvesen have agreed a five-year contract for the third-party logistics company to provide warehouse and distribution services of time critical multi-temperature meals and associated airline in-cabin products. The agreement signals a further expansion into the foodservice market for Salvesen.

Part of Alpha Airports Group, one of the largest UK suppliers of retailing and catering services for airports and airlines, AFS provides more than 50 million meals a year to 100-plus airlines from 59 airports on four continents. The division includes Alpha In-Flight Retail, offering full concession, pre-order, and wholesaling and bonded stores services to airlines.

AFS is opening a dedicated production and consolidated distribution centre, with Salvesen providing general warehousing, stock management and distribution functions UK-wide with the potential for expansion in mainland Europe. Salvesen started an initial transport activity from November 2004.

Ken Adamson, managing director of AFS, UK & Ireland, comments: “Following an 18-month relationship, assisting Alpha Flight Services to develop this major business change, Christian Salvesen has been selected as our preferred partner due to its nationwide, time-critical distribution service.”

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