PFD Foods

“RTS differentiate themselves from their competitors because they understand the warehousing space, and cold stores in particular.”

Richard Cohen, Group IT Manager, PFD Foods Services.

PFD is the major food service distributor in Melbourne with a base of approximately 3,500 customers, serviced by their own fleet of delivery vehicles. The Melbourne warehouse has approximately 6,000 pallet spaces storing a complete range of frozen, chilled and grocery products.

Requirement

RTS began working with PFD’s cold store division, initially providing them with RTS barcode scanners. PFD decided to more efficiently automate the management of stock in their main cold store warehouse, where over 1 million Patties pies are despatched weekly. They wanted to implement RF terminals to work with their new MFGPro ERP system. They had already customized the warehousing component of the system to suit their business.

Due to the nature of PFD’s business, and the way they store stock within their freezers, a specially designed handheld terminal was required to accurately scan products in and out of the warehouse, maintain/improve service levels and operate reliably at -30oC for extended periods of time.

Solution

RTS and PFD conducted trials with various so called freezer graded terminals manufactured from a range of RF providers. Deficiencies were identified in various areas, either rendering the product totally useless or only usable for a limited amount of time.

Together, PFD and RTS determined the best solution would be to design a cost effective freezer grade handheld terminal. As a result, RTS developed the RTS Tracer 4 freezer grade handheld terminal.

The product was designed to include additional features suitable for a cold store environment such as a heater unit, auto demister, fog proof lenses, continuous use at -30oC, and a useable battery life of 3hrs.

RTS also provided Tracker 4 freezer graded forklift mounted terminals with freezer graded rugged scanners, to work with their Crown reach trucks at -30oC. Both their handheld and vehicle mounted terminals communicated via a CISCO wireless LAN that was also provided by RTS.

Outcomes

The solution provided PFD with the ability to cycle count and stocktake, which they could not do with any other system previously available on the market. This reduced the amount of staff required for manual stock checks which were being conducted on a fortnightly basis. Stock checks were required to ensure use by dates of stored product were within accurate date ranges.

The RTS RF terminals have proven to be highly suitable, facilitating accurate information to be collected on use by dates.

Products implemented:

RTS Tracker 4 freezer grade, RTS rugged scanner freezer grade, RTS Tracer 4 freezer grade and RTS/CISCO LAN

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