Total Produce is one of Europe's largest importers of fruit and vegetables. All fruit sold by price per kilo, such as watermelons, is weighed on entry. And until recently they needed four employees to do that work...
"Total time savings with iForks is approximately 30%"
- RONALD NEDERLOF, MANAGER LOGISTICS
Weighing fruits per kilo
Total Produce is one of Europe’s largest importers of vegetables and fruits. In Rotterdam mainly fruit is imported and distributed. Fruit that is sold by the kilo, such as watermelons, is weighed at goods entry. Total Produce may also weigh incoming fruits at the customer’s request.
From cumbersome to time saving
Until recently, Total Produce used a ‘mobile’ weighing unit, which was generally parked in a fixed location in the warehouse. After the fruit had been offloaded, it was placed on the weighing unit and was weighed before storage in the warehouse. One forklift driver pulled the pallets from the container and placed them on a bridge. A second forklift then lifted the pallet from the bridge and took it to the weighing unit. It placed the pallet on the weighing unit, whereupon the driver had to drive out of the pallet to get an accurate weight. After weighing, a third employee put a weight sticker on the pallet. The forklift then lifted the pallet again and stored it in the warehouse. Since the Rotterdam warehouse floor is at street level and there’s no loading pit, offloading freight trucks was already very time consuming. The weighing made it worse.
Time saving with iForks: 30%
With iForks, Total Produce is able to eliminate at least one step in this laborious process. Incoming fruit is weighed directly on the forklift. Only two employees are needed for the offloading process. One forklift driver offloads the container and places the pallets on the bridge, a second truck picks the pallets off the bridge and stores them. If both trucks are equipped with iForks, any one of them can do the weighing.
The Bluetooth connection between weighing forks and weight display in the truck cabin is an important advantage. ‘Not only were the iForks easily installed, the lack of wiring makes the weighing system also less sensitive to damage. The reliability of the process is guaranteed’, says Ronald Nederlof. ‘I estimate our total time savings with iForks to be approximately 30%.
Weighing system eliminates errors
If it’s up to Nederlof, iForks will soon be integrated with their ERP: 'Today the weight is still written on the goods with a marker. But at shipping the weight must also be included in the shipping documents. So a warehouse employee enters the weights in the WMS. And the day after, when the bills of lading are printed, those same data need to be entered again by our administration. If we have iForks communicate directly to our software, we eliminate much unnecessary typing. That will not only save time, but also reduce the number of mistakes, since typing errors will be a thing of the past.'
iForks: prepared for integration in WMS or ERP
Today Total Produce still registers the pallet weights manually. The forklift driver reads off the weight in the cabin and notes this on the pallet with a marker. ‘Because the truck stands still, it’s easy for him to read and write the weight’, says Nederlof. Still, Nederlof wants to make weight registration more efficient. iForks offers that possibility: the mobile scale is capable of communicating the weight directly with a WMS or ERP via wireless connection. Thus Total Produce is prepared for the future.