Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Food supplier automates inventory tracking

New real-time manufacturing inventory and pallet tracking solution helps improve efficiency and customer service.
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
August 01, 2012

Rich’s Products, a global food supplier and solutions provider to foodservice and retail marketplaces, has 33 manufacturing locations on six continents. When the supplier of Rich’s logistical and material requirements planning (MRP) technology in its North American plants went out of business, the company was forced to seek out alternatives.

Working with a new supplier (PEAK Technologies, peaktech.com), Rich’s developed an RF solution that integrated with SAP and real-time inventory and pallet tracking in all of its facilities. The company needed a quick solution for automated inventory tracking to ensure the oldest pallet of raw materials was always used first. The solution: a unique identifier for each pallet of inventory.

“We were able to roll the system out without much effort, and we haven’t had any downtime or any big issues,” said Mark Draksic, Rich’s manager of ERP systems and applications support. “We have improved inventory and cycle counting processes, put-away processing, inventory management, PO receipts handling. The list goes on.”

Rich implemented wireless hardware that provided fully integrated, real-time updates to the plant. New pallet labels contained the real-time data and could be scanned more easily. Finally, the company purchased bar code label printers that linked to the system.

Before the go-live, the warehouse staff reorganized 3,000 pallets of raw materials in a span of 16 hours, over two days. Then, they labeled all the pallets and used the mobile RF devices to scan the information into the system. The entire take-on process was completed ahead of schedule, during the warehouse’s busiest season, without missing a customer order.

After implementation, the receiving process has been a lot faster. Once the materials arrive, a label is immediately created for the inventory pallet. Rich’s associates can now track raw material by vendor, product and lot code.

“There are so many improvements to technology and user interface that morale and productivity are both way up,” says Draksic. “Moving away from a paper-based system has been well worth it.”

About the Author

image
Josh Bond
Associate Editor

Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce.


Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Process improvement leads the way for understanding how automation can reduce human effort and intervention. Yet 39% of companies have not performed process reengineering in the last year.

New division to provide turnkey material handling systems for warehousing and distribution, post and parcel, and industrial markets.

The year 2015 marks a major milestone for the industry, MHI is celebrating its 70th anniversary at ProMat 2015, held March 23-26, 2015.

Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation's monthly confidence index at 66.3 in February, up from 66.1 in January.

Actuators and mechanical systems had a strong year, increasing 12% to $467 million.



© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA