With over 7000 despatches each consisting of dozens of reels of product per annum, the despatch department at Batten&Allen is a fast moving environment with no room for error. Each batch being despatched needs to be labelled appropriately, as well the outer boxes within which they are packed. Finally, a packing list which lists the batches in the shipment needs to be created and applied to each box. To add further complication, several major customers require unique label information and layouts to work with their goods-in workflows. These specific labelling and printing requirements simply weren’t supported by Batten&Allen’s MRP vendor when they wanted to make the switch. The lack of solution was set to delay a system migration that was needed fast.
Operational Software’s solution was a fully automated customer label printing system. The solution utilised our proprietary SQLAction automation infrastructure to passively trigger automatic label printing based on information that was already being captured in the ERP system during the despatch workflow. Transactions that represented stock being moved from stores to ship locations are monitored through polling of the SQL table in which they are stored. When new transactions are detected, custom business logic determines what kinds of labels are required, how many are required, what template should used (standard, or customised/customer specific) and where they should be printed from.
Annual Return on Investment
The most viable alternative to operational software’s solution was to use a general label printing software with templates loaded for each type of label. Information would be loaded into the labels through an error-prone copy-paste workflow from the main ERP system into the label software. It is estimated that removing the need for this kind of workflow is saving over £45,000 per annum in time savings alone.
Other benefits include:
Elimination of operator errors in label printing.
Additional important information added to batch label with no operator input required.
Barcodes added to label for fast data entry at customer sites and conformance to customer specific workflows. This ease of receipt of Batten&Allen goods is anticipated to increase customer loyalty.
Increased availability of operator time to focus on more important tasks, such as delivering samples to inspection.
Opportunity to execute additional logic such as printing specific labels on different colour label paper for special types of shipment.