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Case Studies

The introduction of Freshtrack SoftwareTM, a supply chain management and traceability system has assisted a Victorian citrus packing house to increase production by 20% and to significantly reduce administration time and costs.

 

Case Studies

Freshtrack SoftwareTM Case Study: Border Packers

The introduction of Freshtrack SoftwareTM, a supply chain management and traceability system has assisted a Victorian citrus packing house to increase production by 20% and to significantly reduce administration time and costs. The company Directors are also impressed with the improved stock control and ability to monitor staff performance.

Freshtrack SoftwareTM recently installed Freshtrack GatewayTM, the packhouse management software, for Border Packers in the Murray Valley and Director, Mr. Mick Hollingworth, is delighted with the results. Mr Hollingworth says that the improvements in stock control have been especially useful. Simply by looking on the office PC he can tell “exactly how much has been packed at any point in time.” As a contract packing house, growers contact Border packers regularly to find out their pack out rates and rather than sending the administration staff down to count cartons, the information is available at the touch of a button.

In the past, one of the office staff spent four hours a day counting cartons to reconcile the pack out. Now the data is readily available on the computer and the job has been cut to one hour.

Prior to the implementation of Freshtrack GatewayTM at least four stamps were used on each carton, now a single label contains all the information required. This simple change from stamping to affixing a label has freed packing staff to pack 20% more cartons. In a 400,000 carton per year operation, this equates to 80,000 cartons and a much more efficient use of resources.

Delivery dockets are printed for anticipated grower deliveries. These are scanned on arrival and fruit is graded and packed. At each packing station, the packer waves a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) wrist tag over a reader and a label will print including an EAN compliant barcode. All details previously stamped including account, shed registration, export numbers, count and date appear on the label. Variety, grade, grower, consignee and marketer details can also be included.

Labels can be created for various batch types to accommodate the requirements of the supermarket chains or export authorities.

Mr. Hollingworth finds the RFID system useful for staff performance monitoring. This can be used simply to highlight and address poor performance and reward high performers or pack houses can use this to pay packing staff piece rates. The RFID system also allows traceability of the carton back to the staff member who packed it.

Once packed and labelled, cartons are scanned using an inline scanner beside a conveyor belt leading to the palletising area. This automatically allocates each carton to a pallet and closes the pallet when sufficient cartons have been allocated to it. When a pallet has been closed a pallet manifest is automatically printed. No additional stamping, counting or marking off are required which can save significant time and money.

Freshtrack GatewayTM is compliant with supermarket and export requirements. Labels can be affixed to any type of packaging, for example they can be placed in the slot in RPCs or they can be stuck onto a cardboard carton. Produce is then traceable from orchard lot to the carton on the supermarket shelf and back. Traceability will continue to become more onerous when selling to supermarkets in Australia and overseas. Freshtrack will satisfy these demands as they develop and will also comply with EurepGap and HACCP certification requirements. Day to day however the real wins come from increased production and simplified administration.

Freshtrack GatewayTM is currently used by over fifty major packing houses in Australia and overseas. For more information about Freshtrack SoftwareTM contact info@freshtracksoftware.com or go to www.freshtracksoftware.com

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