Dairy Crest and Maginus: Digital Distribution Solutions

Dairy Crest is an award-winning British dairy company, processing and selling high volumes of branded dairy products and ingredients for the UK and global markets.

Maginus supplies IT services to retail and wholesale distribution companies, specialising in delivering complex technology projects that help retailers and distributors compete in a highly competitive industry.

At different times, both organisations have called upon Arrk’s deep knowledge and expertise in delivering highly complex and mission critical digital solutions.

KEY BENEFITS

• Container tracking
• To ensure ‘business and usual’ is fully resourced and not compromised
• Delivery planning and collection
• Stock level management
• Barcode label production and scanning
• Pallet/cage movement in and out of depots/lorries
• Server-synchronised pick and put operations
• Increased accuracy of data/reporting systems

CUSTOMER AND SITUATION

Dairy Crest approached Arrk with the requirement for a web-based integrated resource planning solution for both forecast and actual time as well as reporting tools for its in-house IT function.

The company was losing approximately 10,000 transport cages each year, as no robust tracking application was in place. This was a significant cost to the business, through replacement and repair costs as well as being an inefficient use of resources.

The task for Arrk was to develop a container tracking system for Dairy Crest’s distribution operation which would assist in planning the logistics of palette, cage and crate movement around the country.

Dairy Crest moves tens of thousands of crates each night to a range of customers and locations with the contents being of everyday high importance, such items include milk and butter. The project allowed Dairy Crest to not only track containers but to ensure there were enough at each location to meet demand. This helped in significantly reducing ‘loss’ by holding a digital inventory of what should be where and when.

A key reason why Dairy Crest opted to work with Arrk to design and deploy the digital tracking solution was the focus on the project’s objectives.

Arrk worked with Maginus on the implementation of a hand-help Windows Mobile solution that allowed warehouse staff to put away any new stock as it arrived, pick new stock for orders and perform stock taking checks. These handhelds units were essentially barcode scanners with effectively a smartphone interface so that the user could see what they needed and exactly where to locate that specific product.

With unpredictable and patchy wireless connection coverage in the warehouse, the scanners operated while offline, only synchronised when plugged into a docking station.

The core system functionality was part of Maginus’ desktop software which had been developed in-house. Maginus said that they chose to work with Arrk because of expertise in mobile development.

OUTCOMES

The inability to accurately track containers cost Dairy Crest a significant sum of money each year. Therefore, with the deployment of the tracking platform, Dairy Crest can not only track each container but allow for stock to be managed effectively, ensuring minimum profit wastage. With the digital systems implemented by Arrk, Dairy Crest can now successfully manage:

• Container tracking
• Delivery planning & collection
• Pallet / cage movement in / out of depots & lorries
• Route planning
• Management dashboard

With the help of Arrk, Maginus pride themselves on being a leading technology solution provider and now offer the warehouse hand-held app, developed by Arrk, as an ‘add-on’ to their main services. The app allowed Maginus workers to successfully manage and produce:

• Server-synchronised pick & put operations
• Stock level management
• Barcode label production & scanning

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