RFID Talk Blog

Alpha Baking cooks up big savings from RFID

For years, Alpha Baking sent out thousands of reusable assets every day, not knowing how long those bakery trays would be tied up in its supply chain, or if they would even return. The trays were valued in the hundreds of thousands. It’s akin to passing out $100,000 each day, with the hope that all the money will be returned.

It sounds like a wasteful way to run a business, but before the company discovered RFID technology, even manual tracking processes were too cumbersome to track the trays. In September, Alpha Baking concluded a nine-month pilot to track about 30,000 reusable trays. The distributor of fresh and frozen breads has greatly reduced its tray losses, realizing from the data collected that 80 percent of its asset losses can be connected to 20 percent of its customer base.

With phase one of the RFID pilot complete, Bob McGuire, vice-president and director of logistics at Alpha Baking, says that the next phase will involve tagging all 350,000 of the trays the company uses to distribute product from its four plants and 17 distribution centers based in theMidwest.

“The use of RFID has quantified and defined the root of the problem and helped us take corrective action to better control and utilize our bakery trays at Alpha Baking,” says McGuire. “Asset tracking is critical because without it, our bakery would have to continue to replenish the lost trays. Not knowing where these tray losses are incurred did not allow us to ever correct the problem, and we continued to band aid it by purchasing more trays.”

McGuire says that a tremendous amount of hidden costs are associated with not having bread trays in the right place at the right time. For example, the company can incur additional handling costs, delays in production lines, and additional expenses for corrugated.

“These are all bottom line dollars that are lost because of a lack of accountability when it comes to the availability of trays,” he says.

The solution utilized bakery trays supplied by ORBIS, and the RFID system is powered by The Kennedy Group’s reusable asset tracking application called ePReusable. The Kennedy Group supplied the RFID tags, installed the portals and created the read points for a realistic end-to-end experience. ePReusable allows Alpha Baking’s logistics team to generate reports with tray destination points, trip duration time and the average turn duration per destination.

By tracking all of its returnable trays, “we could have very solid and valid conclusion in terms of where trays are going and where they are lost,” says McGuire, noting that phase three of the project would delve deeper by identifying trays assigned and allocated by each of the bakery’s 300 delivery routes. Phase four would involve identifying all trays at the customer level. However, the company may skip the final phase if it is harvesting enough data at the conclusion of phase three.

“We’ve gained a tremendous amount of information and we’re excited about phase two, which will provide us with deeper understanding about our business,” says McGuire. “The technology has [advanced] to the point where it has become affordable and there is an ROI. For anyone concerned and frustrated by annual reusable asset losses, not to mention the financial drain of constantly have to re-purchase these assets, this clearly defines where you need to put your focus.”

Click here to view a video about the solution.

EmailFacebookTwitterShare

windows 7 key generator

windows 7 key generator

windows 7 activation crack

windows7 activation crack

free winrar

free winrar

free winzip

free winzip

winzip activation code

winzip activation code

winzip freeware

winzip freeware

windows 7 product key

windows 7 product key

windows 7 ultimate product key

windows 7 ultimate product key

winrar free

winrar free

winzip free download

winzip free download

winzip free download full version

winzip free download full version

windows xp product key

windows xp product key

free winrar download

free winrar download

windows 7 crack

windows 7 crack

winzip registration code

winzip registration code

winrar free download

winrar free download

download winrar free

download winrar free

winrar download free

winrar download free