Food Industry Inventory Management Case Study
Implementation of THINK WMS in the Food Industry sector
Our client, who operate one of the largest chilled and frozen food storage centres in the UK, was undertaking a multi-million pound investment program which would result in a doubling in size of what was already a large scale facility.
As part of this process they were also reviewing their current warehouse software and processes for scalability and looking for an organisation to partner them in achieving this goal.
THINK were contacted directly by the organisation after they read an independent report from a satisfied customer in a trade magazine in which they had focussed strongly on our approach to developing a solution not just supplying software. Having reviewed the THINK solution and our approach and experience against a number of other competitors we were chosen to be their partner.
Software is only one small part of a successful implementation of any system. Equally important is process design, monitoring and adherence. This is where THINK really excel. Given our numerous years of experience in the logistics industry and our depth of skilled time served industry personnel, we were able to work with the client to not only identify and suggest processes but to combine them with balances and checks to monitor they are being adhered to. This monitoring and auditing being equally important in what is a very demanding and regulated industry such as food.
With its ability to provide detailed and effective FIFO control by a number of criteria including ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates THINK was already perfectly positioned to support customers within the food industry. In addition to this we already understood, and supported, food industry specific requirements such as the need to step out of FIFO and pick from later batches on demand where long distance shipping is required (all strictly controlled by user permissions of course).
However, for this project, our client, like many others, had some very specific needs and this is where the ‘Inventory Solutions’ in our name came to the front. First we worked with our client to provide full HAACP support and compliance within the THINK system.
In addition we developed processes and supporting code for their state of the art custom built blast freeze and tempering facilities to allow automated charging. Finally we developed brand new gun based logic to operate on their truck mounted systems that need to operate in temperatures below -20 degrees.
As with all customers we worked with them to meet each challenge as it came along. Much of the hardware and equipment they were using were being developed for them from scratch which is why they had placed such emphasis on finding a partner that would help them resolve the problems arising from breaking new ground as they surfaced.
The facility is now on line and fully operational and, with the inbuilt scalability we developed with them, they are now looking at expanding again which will effectively triple their original size.
In addition all of the newly developed equipment from the fresh food blast freezing facility through to the movable racking and low temperature fork trucks are all online and fully operational and our partnership still continues to grow as we listen to feedback and suggestions from them on how we can continually improve our food industry credentials.