Founded in 1920 as a family business and now run by the third generation of the Riegel family, Haribo is one of the most recognised and enjoyed confectionary brands in the world.
With multiple manufacturing locations throughout Europe and employing almost 7000 people worldwide, Haribo entered the UK market in 1972 and now employs over 700 people.
Due to continuous growth, which has seen Haribo reinforce its position as the UK's leading gums and jellies brand, a new 30,700m² factory in Castleford has recently been opened by Haribo to complement the company's existing factory in Pontefract.
Haribo was previously using a paper-based system to record stock movement and stock levels, which was time consuming and difficult to manage efficiently. When it became clear that the company needed to improve upon its stock administration processes and introduce enhanced functionality such as real-time reporting, it started to look for an alternative solution.
Joe Walker, business Systems development manager at Haribo, comments: "Having worked with BEC within previous projects, I was aware of their capabilities and also what they could offer in terms of a viable solution to a business such as ours. I made contact with them as well as several other providers, however BEC proved to be the right partner for Haribo."
After performing an initial feasibility study in order to determine exactly how Haribo could benefit from automation, BEC also facilitated reference site visits for Haribo to witness first-hand what could be achieved from a fully automated warehouse management system.
Walker continues: "Having seen BEC's software solutions in operation, it quickly became clear to us that we had chosen the right partner. The solutions team whom we were dealing with from BEC was experienced, professional and keen to get involved, which convinced us to start working on fully integrating the new software into our existing Infor M3 ERP system."
After completing a thorough data capture audit of its warehousing facility, which included gaining a full understanding of all of HARIBO's operational processes, BEC deployed its eSmart Warehouse software in combination with Honeywell CK3X mobile computing devices.
Philip Jarrett, director of sales and marketing at BEC, explains: "Our eSmart Warehouse software solution offers a whole host of benefits to businesses who are looking to improve all or part of their warehousing operations. From inventory control and increased stock availability to paperwork elimination and real-time validation of all transaction data, eSmart Warehouse is designed to seamlessly integrate into any ERP system, helping businesses to manage their warehouses more effectivity.
"With additional support for performance monitoring, warehouse managers can further scrutinise efficiency, utilisation and productivity across the entire warehouse. In terms of hardware, the Honeywell CK3X device ticked all the boxes for Haribo, as it is highly robust and durable whilst offering intuitive operation and minimal training due mainly to its user-friendly screen options."
The new solution delivers put-away, stock movement, two stage picking, stock counting and QC functions to Haribo's warehouse, allowing for real-time visibility of the location of each pallet containing raw materials, as well as the full complement of packaging, including film and cartons. When pallets of product arrive at the warehouse, they are put away using the CK3X devices, making sure that they are in the correct location to make them fully available to the business.
The results of the new system have been far reaching. The amount of paper-based administration has been significantly reduced, while real-time stock visibility and reporting have now been introduced, allowing for a reduction in administration hours, faster stock counting at the end of each month and an up-to-date overview of stock levels and placement.
Walker concludes: "The new solution from BEC has been a real game changer for us. Everything is now much faster and simpler in terms of our stock operations. Our paper trail has been virtually eliminated and all stock information is now instantly available at the touch of a button.
"In terms of ease of use, the warehouse staff who are using the devices loaded with BEC's software have welcomed the change, as they were quickly comfortable and happy with using the new system and recognise its benefits.
"In terms of how BEC has performed throughout this entire process, from initial testing through to completion, we really couldn't be happier. With regard to the deployment of the new solution, eSmart Warehouse is a very adaptable platform. BEC's technical team was able to quickly customise the workflows to suit our processes and best practices, rather than insisting that Haribo needed to make changes in order to adapt to the software.
As a company, BEC has been very flexible in order to make things work for us and the team was constantly offering alternate adjustments to the solution for the benefit of the users and our business as a whole."