RES’ 3-in-1 solution for Bereket Doner
With RFID Technology, You’ll Never Have to Ask, “Where’s The Meat?
Originally the first gyro meat processing and distribution company in Turkey, Bereket Doner is still one of the largest frozen and ready-to-cook gyro producers in the country.
Before working with RES, Bereket Doner had a less than accurate system in place to process their goods and orders. Previously, the steps to prepare product for shipment began with shrink wrapping their meat and shock freezing it at -40 degrees Celsius. Next, they would package the meat in boxes, weigh the packages, and assign each box a barcode that included its SKU, production date, and weight. Finally, the packages were stored in freezers at -18 degrees Celsius until they were pulled for orders.
Once an order came in, product was pulled from the freezers and arranged on pallets by employees, who would then individually scan each box’s barcode before shipping the order. Scanning took about three minutes per pallet to complete unless a barcode was accidentally placed inside of a package; when this occurred, pallets had to be disassembled, a process that took on average thirty minutes.
Order processing and assembly could take a great deal of time, especially during peak delivery hours. There was a concern that pallets were sitting out too long prior to loading, resulting in product loss or, even worse, the shipment of compromised product
There was no system in place to safe guard against internal theft due to the lack of tagging on the finished goods themselves (barcodes were only placed on the boxes) and the 24 hour production schedule
Human error in product tagging, assembly, and scanning led to the possibility of inaccurate or incomplete orders being shipped
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This project offered a unique opportunity for RES. Although never before done, RES wanted to introduce RFID technology at the first step of Bereket’s meat processing system by applying the RFID tags directly to the meat.
RES’s pioneering system began by placing RFID tags onto the raw meat before it was wrapped and frozen. Then, the meat is sent to a commissioning station, where it is weighed, packaged, and its RFID tag is read and linked to a barcode in the system before being sent to the storage freezers. Both the RFID tag and barcode then contain the product’s individual SKU, production date, and weight information.
RES’s AIMS software was implemented and linked to Bereket’s product database, allowing communication between both systems without any changes to Bereket’s applications. All information, including purchase orders, product information, etc., would be shared by and documented on both systems.
RES then built a scanning “tunnel” with state-of-the-art RFID reading antennas to aid in order processing. Once an employee assembles a purchase order pallet, it is wheeled into the tunnel where, in only thirty seconds, its contents and weight are verified against the purchase order. RFID tags are read with 100% accuracy due to a rotating antenna. The use of the tunnel eliminates human error; no longer is it necessary to hand scan every box or disassemble a pallet due to a misplaced barcode. If the tunnel verifies the order as correct, the items within it are marked as sold and are allowed to leave the building. If the order is incorrect, it alerts the employee to missing, extra, or incorrect items. This saves the company both time and money, as well as eliminates product quality concerns.
Additionally, once a pallet leaves the tunnel, any missing or added items to the order before loading are caught by RFID readers placed at every exit point of the distribution center. An alarm sounds if an unauthorized unit (one not marked as “sold” in the system) is removed from the DC.
To say that RES’s solution was extraordinary is an understatement; because, until this project, RFID technology had never before been used in a moist and frozen environment with 100% accuracy. Benefits of the new system include:
- Order processing, which before took anywhere from three to thirty minutes, now is finished, weight verified, and 100% accurate in only 30 seconds. Even at peak delivery hours, the efficiency of the tunnel ensures that processing is never backed up; thus, pallets will never sit out too long before loading
- RFID readers placed at all facility exit points ensure that every single order goes out completely accurate, 100% of the time. Furthermore, it makes internal theft a nonissue
- RFID tagging allows company knows where its product is at all times, something that previously was impossible
- Issues experienced before with inconsistent physical inventory and systemic inventory numbers are done away through RFID reading and database linkages