Traceability and shipment verification for bakery
Groupe Jacquet, of the Limagrain group, is a major bakery with facilities throughout France and Belgium, shipping over 70,000 boxes of bread a day to hundreds of customers. The boxes are stacked on pallets and loaded onto the fleet of Groupe Jacquet trucks. Most deliveries are same-day shipments that require very fast throughput and a high degree of automation.
In 2005, the company launched an initiative called SADL (System for Acquisition of Logistic Data) to gain traceability of their fresh baked goods to comply with the European General Food Law, ensure accurate shipments to their retail customers and update inventory data in each warehouse. To achieve these goals, it was clear to the IT team at Groupe Jacquet that they needed a solution that could provide automated, accurate data of every item on each pallet.
While some pallets are homogeneous with a fixed number of the same type of product, the majority of pallets are heterogeneous, containing several different types of product. Heterogeneous pallets required multiple-asset data capture to record the unique identification of each item, while handheld scanners could be used to read a single code on a homogeneous pallet to provide enough data to learn all contents on the pallet.
To manage the overall outbound shipping process, Groupe Jacquet needed a software system that could manage data collection from handheld scanners and multiple-asset readers, associate the scanned data with a set of predefined rules, such as quantities of boxes on homogeneous pallets, assign the pallets to deliveries, compare scanned items with the specific customer orders, generate SSCC pallet labels and integrate all of this data with their ERP system.
Capturing data from the heterogeneous pallets containing different types of bread, and often varying total quantities of boxes, Groupe Jacquet required a fast, automated data capture system that would be able to read all of the items on the pallet with 100% accuracy. One of the key elements of the solution would also need to be flexibility the ability to capture accurate data even for boxes that had shifted.
When all factors were considered accuracy, speed, price and flexibility Groupe Jacquet selected Visidot Readers to scan their heterogeneous pallets and the professional services team from ImageID, providers of the Visidot solution, for the overall data management and system integration.
When preparing a customer order, the dispatch operator uses the Visidot Local Management System to retrieve the list of items that are supposed to be in the order from the Lawson/Intentia Movex ERP system. Before a pallet is loaded onto the truck, the forklift driver places the pallet in a defined area in front of the Visidot Reader, which captures all items on the pallet in a few seconds. If an item appears on the pallet that is not included in the customer order, an alarm is activated and a text notification of the wrong item on the pallet is displayed on the interface, enabling the operator to remove the item immediately and continue with the loading process.
For homogeneous pallets, where all items are the same, the operator clicks the homogeneous button on the handheld interface and scans a single label. The Visidot Local Management System automatically associates the type of item scanned with a predefined set of rules which indicates the total quantity of items on the pallet.
After each pallet has been scanned, the Visidot Local Management System automatically prints an SSCC pallet label on a printer at the reading station. The code on this pallet label references all of the specific items on the pallet from this point forward in the supply chain. After all pallets in the order have been scanned, the system generates a report that displays which items have been sent and which items in the order need to be sent at a later time. This ASN data is sent over an EDI interface to customers.
Since installation of the Visidot System, Groupe Jacquet has sent its customers fully accurate orders. Using the image produced by the Visidot Readers, the dispatch operator is able to see exactly where any item is placed on the pallet.
Beyond simply recording the outbound items, Groupe Jacquet needed to integrate the product movements with its existing Movex ERP system. For each pallet read, the Visidot system exports an XML file that includes the bar code data for every item on the pallet. The ERP system records these items in its database and returns the necessary data for printing an SSCC pallet label. The Visidot Local Management System prints the SSCC pallet label at the reading station, which can be used from that point on as the single-code identifier for all items on the pallet. This pallet code, in common EAN-128 SSCC format, can be read with any standard handheld bar code reader.
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