Case Study - Imperfect Foods
MMCI Installs Automated Technology in Challenging Environment
The Client & Objective
Imperfect Foods is helping the world fight food waste by finding a home for “ugly” produce that does not meet grocery stores’ standards for appearance. The company sources “unwanted produce” directly from farms on a weekly basis and delivers it directly to customers throughout the country through its distribution center in San Francisco.
Imperfect Foods faced a lot of challenges when evaluating options to replace its paper-based order picking and fulfillment processes. Not only did its inventory turn very quickly, but the size and weight of each product was inconsistent and hardware options were limited due to the moist environment in which the inventory of produce was stored. We needed to…
Provide a solution that could handle quick-moving inventory and weekly replenishment.
Size & Weight Variance
Account for the fact that produce comes in varying sizes, shapes and weights.
Manual Picking Process
Replace manual, paper-based systems using systems that could function in a cool, moist environment.
MMCI’s team studied the situation and recommended a Pick-to-Light solution where orders could be fulfilled on two lines using a pick-and-pass approach.
A Customized Pick-to-Light System
A hardware platform that could work in a moist and cool environment was specified and MMCI engineered and built a custom channel to protect the lights from any moisture. Based on its previous experience, MMCI engineers then designed a quick-disconnect system so the lights could be quickly removed from the shelving when a full washdown was required.
Once the hardware was in place, the DCX Software Suite required to interface with the ERP system and power the pick-to-light system was implemented.
Next, MMCI integrated DCX Software Suite's Double Check and Packout modules to help validate the picking process and print off a custom packing slips designed specifically for Imperfect Foods.
With help from MMCI Order Fulfillment, Imperfect Foods was able to replace its paper-based picking system with a more advanced pick-to-light solution that improved order accuracy, reduced the time to fulfill orders and provided valuable reporting. Utilizing warehouse automation, Imperfect Foods now has access to picking statistics, reports and dashboards that allow them to monitor results much more accurately and in real time; something that was not possible with the paper picking process.
Plus, the solution allowed Imperfect Foods to achieve significant cost savings with a very quick ROI. The modular design of the DCX Software Suite allowed MMCI to install only the necessary modules versus a complete warehouse management system (WMS) that would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
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