The upgrading of data capture solutions can make a significant difference to the efficiency and effectiveness of an organisation's supply chain. A key aspect is often the warehousing operations. For instance, Ginsters, the leading savoury pastry manufacturer, recently undertook a review of its warehouse devices with the help of Spirit Data Capture Limited. The Honeywell CK3X offered an attractive solution to optimise warehouse operations.
Ginsters, based in Callington, Cornwall, is the Number 1 savoury pastry brand and the leading sandwich brand in the UK and employs over 800 people in the UK. Ginsters' products include the Original Cornish Pasty, sausage rolls and slices. The company produces over three million units per week and over the past 20 years has sold some 450 million pasties.
Ginsters' Supply Chain department is responsible for a range of planning, forecasting and capacity management tasks, as well as finished goods despatch for three bakeries.
Gavin Mitchell, Head of Supply Chain for Ginsters, explains: "Our number one priority is to ensure that we deliver a high level of service to all our customers. Data capture devices are an essential tool for processing our stock through intake, put-away, replenishment, pick and then finally despatch."
Accuracy and reliability
Ginsters needed devices that would be easy to use and would interface with its existing system. The company wanted units that would provide accurate barcode scanning capability over a wider range of distances. Ginsters was also looking for a company with which it could form a close working relationship.
Gavin Mitchell continues: "Spirit Data Capture's proactivity and approach impressed me, so I contacted them when we started to review our warehouse management systems."
Spirit Data Capture is an independent consultancy based in Sutton Weaver, Cheshire, and specialising in mobile enterprise systems. Spirit recommended the Honeywell (formerly Intermec) CK3X. This is a very versatile device, as it offers omnidirectional scanning of 1D and 2D barcodes and has a comprehensive set of features.
The CK3X is also rugged (it has an IP rating of 54) and reliable, with an industry-leading battery life performance. Most importantly, it has an EX25 near/far imager that can scan bar codes whether they are close or several metres away – which is ideal for warehouse use.
Spirit provided Ginsters with evaluation units, remote technical assistance and configuration support, as well as industrial printers and third party software. It also provisioned the devices and ensured that they worked properly. Spirit continues to supply technical support and a fully comprehensive servicing programme.
Gavin remarks: "The CK3X's functionality was already familiar to our staff, so little or no training was required. The devices represent good value for money and have been performing very well: the improved scanning distance is ideal. Meanwhile, Spirit have been proactive in providing on-going advice and support throughout the implementation phase."