Davigel, a major supplier of frozen foods to the French catering industry, has implemented the DLx Dispatcher warehouse management system (WMS) from RedPrairie. Davigel, part of the Nestl group, stores approximately 150,000 tons of goods per year and has 80,000 customers in France. Since implementing DLx Dispatcher inventory accuracy and picking efficiency has improved dramatically.
Meeting European traceability norms
Europes General Food Law enforces strict traceability in the food sector from January 2005. New bar coding is needed, such as the EAN128 symbology that defines many critical pieces of information. It identifies, among others, the site where a pallet was loaded, the means of transport, and the total number of items on a pallet. These elements are combined with others to create a comprehensive system that is able to trace food items to their source.
With less than two months left before the deadline, a large portion of the food distribution industry has yet to respond to Europes call for traceability. RedPrairie helped Davigel to be among the first companies to meet the new traceability regulations. Davigel equipped their frozen food warehouse in Dieppe with DLx Dispatcher, the warehouse management solution from RedPrairie. This system already uses the unique characteristics of EAN128 bar coding for inventory logging purposes.
Improved inventory accuracy
Davigel is introducing DLx Dispatcher in a number of phases. The first phase increased the traceability and accuracy of stored food items. DLx Dispatcher closely monitors the expiry dates and batch numbers of each of our pallets for tracing purposes, says Bernard Blaizel, Logistics Director of Davigel. The system tracks our entire inventory, keeps a full history of the movements of each product, and directs goods in the warehouse with respect to their expiry date and batch numbers. Davigel now achieves near perfect accuracy in its stock.
Voice picking to further increase productivity
Paper-based picking was introduced in the second phase of the project and voice picking is currently being tested. The host system generates picking orders, these orders are downloaded to DLx Dispatcher and picking assignments are created. The accuracy of the picking process has increased. This means reduced numbers of returns, lower costs, and higher customer satisfaction. Through the calculation of the optimal pick route, DLx Dispatcher increases the productivity of our pickers. RF enables direct confirmation of orders and real-time adaptation of stock levels. We think the voice system will further boost picking efficiency confirms Bernard Blaizel.
Davigel implemented the system at their frozen food warehouses in Dieppe (headquarters) and Lagny-Paris last year, and expanded this technology to five more sites across France this year. This will give Davigel accurate, countrywide stock descriptions at all their warehouse sites. The simplicity of the system means that Davigel can customise the solution to suit their particular needs. In addition, they can roll out the WMS at other sites without having to call in RedPrairie.