Saturday, July 31, 2021

Cold storage firm digitalizes operations

BULACAN. Even with multiple docks, RCS can systematically streamline scheduled pick-ups and deliveries of goods through AEB’s warehouse management system. (Contributed)

ROYALE Cold Storage (RCS), one of the biggest cold storage facilities in the Philippines, has digitalized its operations by adopting the AEB warehouse management system (WMS).

“The shift will enable us to do real-time stock updating and ensure faster transactions in, out and within the warehouse, boosting efficiency across all our processes,” CEO Ferdinand “Joey” Tongson said.

The Cold Chain Warehouse Management System by AEB, a Germany-based cloud software specialist with 40 years of experience in global trade, logistics and IT, gives RCS visibility on shipment status, quality management, inventory, packing and dispatch of goods, making the Philippines’ leading cold chain logistics provider’s operations more seamless and less prone to errors.

Designed to improve supply chain operations in cold storage, the Cold Chain WMS by AEB helps standardize operations and other cold chain processes such as blast freezer receiving, computer-assisted replenishment control, and stock removal strategies.

Cold chain WMS facilitates data collection for efficient putaway, picking and packing of goods inside RCS’ cold storage warehouse with the help of mobile computers by Honeywell that are specifically designed for cold environments.

The system assigns a QR code for each item in the inventory with all the necessary information such as product, batch and serial number, and shelf life, all of which the Honeywell handheld scanners can read in one scan.

This process empowers warehouse managers with a more reliable network of data while simplifying complex warehouse management processes in real-time and with fewer errors.

According to Tongson, AEB’s Cold Chain WMS helps the company manage items that are not compatible and consolidate compatible items, which is vital in allergen management.

“Through the AEB WMS, we can seamlessly customize the system to manage these different types of items and with fewer errors,” he added.

The Cold Chain WMS by AEB gives RCS real-time inventory updates and clear visibility and transparency on available stocks.

Its automated slot allocation and improved storage space utilization help speed up all transactions with different clients.

The customizable WMS also cuts down time of receiving and confirming deliveries to clients through AEB’s system-assisted route and mobile applications, which Tongson said “makes our customers delighted.”

Aside from providing RCS with a cutting-edge solution for its warehouse operations, AEB also organized a series of trainings for all users before the system went live to make sure the improved processes are compatible with the WMS.

“It was a seamless transition for RCS because AEB guided us from the training, preparation of the master data, testing of the system to the final go live,” Tongson said.

AEB keeps in contact with RCS to address any existing and potential concerns and challenges that come with operating a complex cold chain. “AEB has a key coordinator constantly in touch with us whether there’s an issue or not, and they are very accessible 24/7,” he added.

Smarter cold chain

The local food industry continues to undergo changes, and the pandemic further heightened concerns about food safety and security.

For RCS, the future of better food handling starts with a stronger integration of cold storage practices now.

Changing consumer needs and market trends, including growing demand for food items without a longer shelf life for stocking up on, just-in-time food deliveries and easy-to-prepare or ready-to-eat food, means industry players must optimize operations and reinvent strategies to stay competitive.

Automating warehouse management makes operations not only more resource-optimal but also cost-efficient and more capable of following safe distancing protocols.

“The one thing the pandemic has taught us is that regardless of the industry, office work can be done almost anywhere. As the Philippines positions itself as one of the top offshore service providers in Asia embracing a 24-hour economy, we see more restaurants in the future providing 24-hour services to customers who want quality food anytime of the day. Of course, the cold storage industry is one of those key elements that will enable the food industry to provide quality service,” Frans Kok, general manager of AEB Asia Pacific, said.

RCS believes that automating operations is the first step in becoming the biggest cold storage provider in the country, which it aims to achieve in the next two years. The local cold chain logistics provider has also been receiving a lot of local and international inquiries regarding COVID-19 vaccine storage.

“Our cold storage facility can handle different sets of temperature from -20°C to +5°C. We can handle any type of vaccine, which we expect to come in the next two to three months,” Tongson said. (PR)


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