Sokołów meat processing plant have existed in 1991 and are one of the biggest representatives of meat industry in Poland. In 2000, the company joined with another large company from this sector – Farm Food Group. A deep restructuring was then performed, which included introducing product specialization in different Group plants and consistent development of original livestock program. As a result, Sokołów Inc. become one of the precursors of changes in meat industry, but, at the same time, the need for advanced IT infrastructure has increased.
“Presently, Sokołów Group consists of seven big, modern production plants: in Sokołów Podlaski, Czyżewo, Koło, Jarosław, Tarnów, Dębica and Robakowo near Poznań. It also includes subsidiaries: Agro-Sokołów Ltd with three large farms, Sokołów-Export Ltd – dealing with foreign trade of the Group, Sokołów-Service Ltd – providing technical service an Sokołów-Logistics Ltd – responsible for transport and logistics.” – says Paweł Ciuba from IT in Jarosław.
Systematic development requires investment in IT system
Sokołów Group owns great production potential enabling daily production of about 1200 tons of high quality products. Such high production abilities require perfect organization of all its stages: from raw material entry, through its processing to finished product shipment. In order to control such complex processes while keeping the highest quality standards, it is necessary to have advanced IT infrastructure.
Management of Sokołów Inc. in Jarosław decided to take advantage of potential in already functioning IT structure through enhancing and facilitating the existing ERP system. It task was to decrease costs, improve and automate production processes in the company. “Such facilitation was needed for a few reasons. One of the most essential ones were our contractors’ guidelines. Large commercial chains required introducing unified rules and procedures into distribution processes, ones that could be implemented with specialized IT systems.” – claimed Paweł Ciuba. When the expectations were clearly defined, the company focused on choice of the contractor who would fulfill them. A few offers of mobile solution providers using automatic identification systems were considered, finally IBCS Poland was chosen. “Our choice was influenced by a few elements, the most important of which were IBCS Poland’s great experience, references as well as advantageous offer.” – adds Paweł Ciuba.
Complexity of the implementation did not interfere daily work
Analyzing needs and expectations of Sokołów Inc., specialists from IBCS Poland worked out solution concept. It was decided that the most appropriate solution will be a system based on mobile terminals working in radio network. This would allow to automate processes and identify products in production and warehouse processes.
Data gathered through use of mobile radio terminals are transferred to ERP database, thanks to which the management can monitor production and processes stages and warehouse stock level in real time. In this conception, mobile terminals are used in warehouse and production area.
The first stage was a test of sound wave propagation in all areas that were to be covered in radio network. As a result of this work, technical documentation in form of reports was created and became the base of network construction. In the next stage, after previous warehouse preparation (where cable installations were performed) was equipment delivery, installation and configuration of the network and staff training. When constructing the network, Motorola radio switch was chosen (Wireless Switch 5100), with overcurrent switch protecting the network and controlling it in case of main device breakdown. The network also includes 10 Access Port 300 ports. “Although the implementation was a complex and complicated process, the co-operation was very good. IBCS Poland specialists worked non-invasively, so that implementation procedures did not collide with daily tasks in the warehouse. It allowed to keep continuous production.” – says Paweł Ciuba from IT department.
Less errors, better access to data
“We did not wait long for the effects of the implementation. Even though it’s too soon to estimate real savings and income increase, our workers and the management experience the benefits of the system.” – says Paweł Ciuba. Thanks to use of mobile devices – terminals working in radio network range, work of operators and warehouse workers was significantly facilitated. Data registered by mobile devices are available in real time for the management. It allows for quick decision making and increasing efficiency. “The system made batching and goods flow much easier. It allowed to save time and eliminate errors.” – he adds. The equipment, as expected, develops the possibility of ERP used in the company.
From the moment of user reception, the system works flawlessly. The company has a signed contract with IBCS Poland for service and device maintenance. In case of any problems or questions, Jarosław plant can take advantage of 24/7 Helpdesk. “Of course, we provide 24 hours help for our customers. In case of any problems connected with our system or devices, we are available 24/7.” – says Robert Chajdaś, Account Manager from IBCS Poland. “In case of implementation such help has not been needed yet – the system works flawlessly.” – adds Robert Chajdaś.
In the future, there are plans to extend the system with new areas, hence, also extension of radio network and number of terminals is also needed. The management of Jarosław branch of Sokołów stipulates that these works will again be performed by IBCS Poland specialists.