As the UK’s leading supplier of speciality drinks, ICB supply most of the country’s leading supermarkets and wholesalers with value alternatives to the more expensive, better-known brands you may see on the shelves. With products such as pre-mixed drinks, cider, perry and wine, ICB produces c.25 million bottles of alcoholic drinks per annum. Their production facility employs approximately 90 staff and has invested heavily in its capability and packaging operations.
ICB had a scanning solution within their legacy system where barcoded pallets and materials were already in store, with suppliers delivering adequately labelled goods. ICB pick both full and mixed pallets, as a result, we utilised a process where the scanner creates a reservation, rather than a pick. This enables the user to scan or enter a customer order number to display all the open order line details, then go to an easy-to-reach pallet label, scan the location and enter the quantity. This creates manual reservations incrementally until the order line quantity is satisfied: any remaining open order lines are then displayed for the user to select and continue scanning. Once all the order lines are processed, the user then confirms that all pallets have been reserved and the order is ready to be delivered.
ICB created a unique lot/batch number for each pallet of materials received via the Cedar Bay PO arrival/label print transaction. The lot/batch number was printed on the pallet label. Users then simply scanned this same barcode for all subsequent inventory transactions. We then derived the necessary information to complete each transaction. Our move inventory transaction simplified the movement of stock. As ICB has a mixture of palletised and non-palletised inventory, it was hard for a user to determine if a standard-move or execution-task was required. The logic built into this transaction determines if the stock is palletised or not and performs the required process to automatically create and execute a transport-task for palletised parts, or to simply move the lot/batch quantity if not. We worked closely with the ICB team to create labels for the goods from manufacturing. In addition to this, ICB required more handheld devices, we recommended and sourced the latest model of the Motorola MC9100’s for them.
We supported ICB during the piloting phase and made small changes to the software to incorporate additional requirements. The complete design, with all the module configurations and setups, was fully documented by our team, becoming the blueprint for the system used at ICB. Once the pilot environment had been created, ICB ran their own pilot processes and provided its staff with end-user training on devices and software.
Within just five weeks of the implementation, ICB’s Project Manager Matt Brown was delighted with the way our solution was used by production and warehousing operators, how the handheld devices are used in combination with our barcoding solution to simplify various processes. In the production area, the materials are issued and unissued to the shop orders before finished shop orders are reported, received and put away using the Cedar Bay solution. ICB has subsequently implemented the RF solution across the whole facility.
“The solution is extremely easy to operate and our warehouse operators make fewer mistakes and work more effectively now, having supporting mobile technology. The advice and support received from the Cedar Bay consulting and technical teams was excellent.”
Matt Brown, ICB Project Manager