Two leading suppliers of distribution solutions are to co-operate in a bid to supply modern industrial bakeries with optimal logistics systems. Cimcorp, the Finnish supplier of robotic picking systems, and ToolBox Bakery Solutions, the bakery distribution software specialist based in Germany, have concluded an agreement that will see them work together on project management, sales and marketing.
From pick-by-light to MultiPick
Said Markku Vesa, Managing Director of Cimcorp Oy, "Both companies have a proven track record in the bakery sector – with Cimcorp having supplied its MultiPick robotic picking solutions for industrial bakeries and ToolBox being the market leader in computer-controlled pick-by-light distribution solutions for bakeries – so our combined experience and expertise is extremely powerful."
Dirk Franke, Chief Executive Director of ToolBox Software GmbH, added, "The fact that we can combine fully automatic robotic systems with highly efficient pick-by-light technology makes our offering very interesting for bakery clients. Our products are a perfect fit and, together, we can offer customers a wider range of solutions with more added value. We see increasing demand for combined solutions that feature both automated order picking and pick-by-light, especially where fast-moving goods are concerned."
Cimcorp’s solutions for bakeries utilize MultiPick, its gantry-based robotic buffer storage and picking system, which has a proven track record in the food and beverage sector, as well as in the tire industry and in mail distribution. Any number of MultiPick robots can be used, according to the needs of the application, with the robots handling, storing and picking products in crates that are stacked directly on the floor. MultiPick brings key benefits to bakeries including 100% picking accuracy, rapid picking and dispatch, batch traceability, easier cleaning of the warehouse to maintain hygiene standards and lower labor requirements.
ToolBox is focused solely on the bakery market, providing a comprehensive range of solutions that meet the distribution needs of the modern bakery. Its key product is the market-leading dispoTool pick-by-light distribution system, which has been installed in more than 500 locations worldwide. ToolBox has found that its pick-to-light solutions can save 30 per cent in time and labor costs in bakery distribution. In 2009, dispoTool was extended to provide the functionality of a complete Warehouse Management System (WMS) by the addition of modules for goods receiving, storage, inventory control, retrieval, picking and dispatch, as well as tools for analysis and statistics. Other ToolBox solutions include cabTool ¬- the production management tool that takes care of ingredient weighing, recipe administration and quality management ¬¬- and tomTool, the GPS-based fleet management solution that optimizes transport routes, minimizes costs and ensures tracking and tracing in real time.
Improving distribution efficiency
With bakeries operating in highly competitive markets, handling high volumes of labor-intensive products with relatively low margins and short shelf lives, the only way to improve profitability is by reducing costs and improving service levels. The paperless, automated solutions offered by Cimcorp and ToolBox can make dramatic reductions in costs and significant improvements in efficiency. "Traditional distribution methods in bakeries are forming a bottleneck to increased production," explains Tero Peltomäki, Sales Director of Cimcorp Oy. "The physically demanding and repetitive nature of bakery distribution work, along with its unsocial hours, often result in difficulties in recruiting staff and unacceptably high picking errors. This is the scenario in which automated solutions and innovative software can dramatically improve distribution performance."
ToolBox’s Chief Executive Director, Dirk Franke, agrees: "The simple fact is that dispatch is the area of greatest potential for efficiency improvements and cost savings in the baking industry today. If the goods arrive one hour later on the store shelf, that’s an hour off the selling time and that may affect total sales. With many bakeries offering guaranteed sales ¬- that is, sale or return – this has a direct impact on the bottom line of the business. Bakeries know they must provide not only the highest quality products but also the fastest distribution in order gain competitive advantage. That’s where the combined expertise of Cimcorp and ToolBox will make a real difference."