Exclusive manufacturer of California rice products, Farmers’ Rice Cooperative (FRC), produce on average 750,000 packs of rice per month in 26 different variations, 51 different packaging options and 43 different size options. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the potential to make mistakes with regard to date coding, labelling and packaging is high.
With so many different variants come a multitude of different date formats and labelling requirements. Add to this a legal obligation to add special markings and/or foreign language markings to products, Farmers’ Rice Cooperative was faced with a challenge to mitigate risks of coding and labelling errors by streamlining processes, removing human intervention as much as possible.
Farmers’ Rice Cooperative set out to find a supplier to assist them in automating their coding and labelling processes. They were looking for a solution that would comply with their operational goals and suit their needs. They specifically didn’t want to be bound to one brand of hardware, and they needed to find a partner that would be willing to work on unique customisations, as well as a solution that would integrate into their ERP. AutoCoding Systems’ coding and packaging verification solution ticked all the boxes.
Brad Lint, of Farmers’ Rice Cooperative said, “We found AutoCoding Systems’ product to be exactly what we were looking for; it met all our operational requirements and gave us flexibility on our hardware choices. Ultimately, however, our final decision was based on the people; their knowledge, service and willingness to understand our issues and work with us to solve these issues made AutoCoding Systems our preferred supplier.”
Obviously, other competitive solutions were considered but these were proprietary solutions, working with a single brand of printer and, therefore, didn’t offer Farmers’ Rice Cooperative the flexibility they needed.
Since implementation of the AutoCoding solution, Farmers’ Rice Cooperative has seen a significant improvement with coding accuracy. Previously, Supervisors or Maintenance Staff were required to set-up the printing equipment, but now line operators are self-sufficient. They have been trained to use the AutoCoding system which automatically sets-up and controls the printers, leaving Supervisors and Maintenance staff to continue with other tasks. Additionally, due to the integration of AutoCoding into their ERP System, QA personnel can more easily confirm the accuracy of the markings during the compliance inspection process.
When asked if they were happy with the service received from AutoCoding Systems, Brad Lint commented, “Absolutely – without question! The AutoCoding team was very knowledgeable and attentive to our requirements. We have been so impressed with both the service and software, we intend to roll the solution out across our other lines.”