Community Foods Ltd. has improved stock recording accuracy by 15 per cent in just six months using Balloon One's wireless warehouse management system (WMS). The new system has also reduced wastage and improved stock reconciliation for the natural and organic dried food supplier. The company selected the Accellos WMS because it integrates seamlessly with its new enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.
"It is fair to say that we've seen stock record accuracy move from the low 80 per cent to about 95 per cent in six months. In a short, we have seen significant gains since installing Accellos and we expect a lot more to come," says John Davies, Director of Operations, Community Foods.
Community Foods specialises in the procurement, sale and distribution of organic and natural dried fruits, nuts, seeds, pulses, grains and branded health foods. In 2011, the company celebrated 40 years of business success.
The company adheres to strict food standards requiring accurate traceability and record keeping. This previously entailed keeping highly detailed, time-consuming manual stock records.
"We did have a management system but it wasn't warehouse specific. It had a manual paper-based workflow, which was batch updated during the course of the day. From our order-processing perspective, we were plagued with the uncertainty of quantity and freshness of stock in the warehouse when we came to pick orders," says John Davies, Director of Operations at Community Foods. "This resulted in a high degree of stock loss and shrinkage by not being able to control our inventory movements.
"Secondly, we were experiencing a high level of picking errors. Warehouse operatives picked the wrong product because it was in the wrong location or poorly recorded. As a result of these picking errors, we had a high level of invoice errors, which consequentially resulted in a lot of customer claims and credits."
Community Food's ultimate objective for the new WMS was to gain control of inventory accuracy in the warehouse and this would drive the planning and replenishment processes. The system would also ensure that orders were fresh, provide age control for the products and batch control for traceability.
"We import products from every continent around the world. To provide the necessary due diligence we need systems that will help control our processes. The real time functionality of Accellos gives us much better information from the point of view of processing orders in real time to visibility of stock movements in real time," says John Davies.