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Freshways milks automation benefits

Freshways milks automation benefits
Tuesday September 10 2013

UK dairy products supplier rolls out mobile devices to remove human error and increase speed of payment

Freshways, an independent UK supplier of milk and cream to many wholesale, manufacturing and retail customers, has adopted the combination of the IT-9000 rugged handheld terminal from Casio, pre-loaded with Roundsman Mobile delivery software from Cobham Systems to fully automate the driver delivery process.

From the UK’s largest independent processing diary in West London and busy depots in Manchester and Coventry, drivers are now equipped to supply Freshways’ range of own label and branded food while automating back office processes at the same time.

In the past, Freshways’ delivery drivers used manual recording for delivery notes, money collection and returns, which were subsequently entered into their back office management package, Roundsman Enterprise, when back at the depot.

Automating manually intensive processes

It was decided that adopting an automated solution would ease inefficiencies, eradicate human errors and decrease driver workload, while increasing the reliability of account input. Freshways selected the Casio IT-9000 handheld terminal preloaded with Roundsman Mobile software to manage all aspects of the delivery driver’s round.

The Casio IT-9000 and Roundsman Mobile unit guides the driver through all parts of their shift; from compulsory completion of the vehicle checklist each morning; identifying what is loaded; and viewing special delivery instructions to complete the pre-round overview.

Once out on the road the system adds and amends deliveries and calculations and records returns and breakages through images captured with the built-in colour digital camera. It is also used to catalogue payments, issue easy-to-read receipts, print full delivery notes and capture signatures. The GPS function allows round progress to be mapped back at head office at any moment in time, enabling customers to see the progress of their delivery, in real time, and to allocate resources accordingly in their retail loading bay.

Driving efficiencies through supply chain

At the end of the shift, back at Freshways base, the unit continues to decrease the driver’s workload, downloading end of round reports detailing exact deliveries and collections to ensure accurate invoicing for Freshways account holders.

Ravi Nijjar, director at Freshways, commented: “Having implemented Roundsman Mobile on the Casio IT-9000, we have seen dramatic efficiency improvements throughout the business. The majority of human error in the delivery process has been removed which means we have less queries and ultimately receive payments more quickly.

"In addition, we have made cost savings on personnel and the drivers’ end-of-round procedure is far quicker. We’re so pleased that we have also rolled out to Manchester and Coventry already and plan for other depots around the country.”

Tagged as: Freshways | distribution | delivery | mobile | handheld | automation | back office | Cobham Systems | Casio