Breakfast cereal and snack company Kellogg's has implemented Honeywell RF barcode scanners as part of its highly automated supply chain. Supplied and supported by Peak-Ryzex, Kellogg's uses the scanners throughout its UK distribution centres and warehouses, with locations around North West England and North Wales. Kellogg's operational processes are barcode driven and are therefore dependent on 100 per cent availability of the equipment, which Peak-Ryzex ensures with its next day exchange and repair services.
"Our warehousing and distribution processes are barcode driven so it is essential that we don't suffer scanner downtime. Without this equipment, the nation's breakfast tables would miss their favourite cereal brands. If we have an issue with any of the scanners, we place a call with Peak-Ryzex and they provide an on-site replacement device, fully configured and ready to go. It doesn't matter whether it is a brand new device or one we've had in use for several years, Peak-Ryzex is able to provide a back up," says Paul Brown, IT Senior Analyst, Kellogg's. The replacement is supplied from a Kellogg-owned buffer stock held by Peak-Ryzex and is logged via the Kellogg IT service desk.
The scanner fleet comprises handheld and in-cab devices for forklift trucks, including Honeywell Thor VM1 vehicle-mount computers and MX7 Tectons, which run terminal emulation and link wirelessly to Kellogg's Unix-based warehouse management system. The scanners provide a range of automated barcode capture tasks from receiving raw materials, including non-bulk ingredients and packaging, picking orders, to dispatching finished product. The barcode provides the essential supply chain link tracing everything that comes in and goes out from the Kellogg's sites. The Kellogg's main scanner estate consists of VX3X Truck-mounted and MX7 Handheld devices.
"The Honeywell scanners have proven to be reliable, which they have to be for an operation of our size that moves millions of cases of product each week across many sites. The terminals were selected when the wireless networks were upgraded. They were most appropriate to us at the time plus we have the assurance that if something does go wrong, Peak-Ryzex will respond within the next working day with an exchange unit delivered direct to where it needs to be," adds Paul Brown.
"We selected Peak-Ryzex following the recognition of the need to find a replacement for our existing supplier. The company has proven to be dependable and flexible and we have a great relationship with the support team. If we have any issues, we are able to discuss them directly with our Peak Ryzex Account Managers and they provide a quick solution. Availability of the barcode equipment and support is essential to our operation," he says.
Kellogg's barcode driven warehousing and distribution operations use the GS1-128 barcode standard. These are printed on (A5-size) SSCC labels attached to the shipping units. Peak-Ryzex also supplies Kellogg's with desktop barcode label printers backed by technical consultancy. Kellogg's use the printers for various printing jobs, including replacing damaged pallet labels, labelling cases of mixed products, and special customer labelling. If there is an issue with a printer, an engineer is dispatched to site next working day once a call is placed with Peak-Ryzex.