Wednesday, September 27, 2017

If you need better efficiencies in a cold storage application - Read this!

A 300%+ increase in tonnage handled, stored, and shipped with no extra staff 

Orchard View Inc. is a 4th generation family owned and operated fresh cherry grower-shipper, based in The Dalles, Oregon. Walter Bailey and Mabel Bailey established Orchard View in 1923. 


Today Orchard View manages approximately 2500 acres of fresh cherries, using sustainable farming methods on growing sites around the Columbia River Gorge. They harvest blush and dark sweet cherries from mid-June to mid-August, packing up to 15,000 tons of cherries a year. 

In 2016 Orchard View updated their racking systems and added in a new rapid cool forced-air cooler. With the change, they needed a more effective way to manage the shipping and tracking of product within their cold storage facilities. They were operating an inventory management system, but what the system showed on stock did not always match the real inventory. The other challenge they had was when it came to physically locating and managing the movement of pallets within their facility, they had to rely on placards and manual systems, which were inaccurate and inefficient, and wasted time.

Orchard View had several objectives for their new system: 


  • They wanted a digital system so they could dispense with manual product tracking
  • They wanted this system to be intuitive
  • They wanted their computer-based inventory to directly match their physical inventory in real-time
  • They wanted a system to seamlessly integrate with their Famous software system
  • The new system needed to work within their budget 
David Ortega the Director of Packing Operations at Orchard View said, “We needed better traceability of pallets, and visibility of their locations, for tracking, picking, and shipping.” 

The Orchard View team searched for alternative solutions that could address their needs. They initially found some suitable options, but these started at $200K, without deployment services. These systems also had too many functions that overcomplicated the operation, without adding direct benefits.


Orchard View selected RedLine Solutions Cooler™ system because it is written exclusively for grower-shippers operating cooler facilities, and included tight integration with their grower-accounting system from Famous Software. Mr Ortega explained, “RedLine Cooler™ fits our needs perfectly, as we just wanted the backend stuff like shipping, put away and pallet moves.” 

Orchard View installed RedLine Cooler™ in May 2016. Later that year due to weather and growing conditions, Orchard View saw a 300% plus increase in cherry tonnage versus the prior year. Even with this significant increase Orchard View managed the handling, storage, and shipping without the need for extra staff. 



Mr. Ortega stated, “It is great that we now have the ability to keep our inventory clean, so our sales team have real-time, accurate product information. We have also benefited from the automatic management of stock rotation, and the shipping validation process, that makes sure we have the correct product for each order, before we ship. I don’t know how we would have been able to ship this year without RedLine’s Cooler™ Software.” 


Mr. Ortega concluded “If you want to manage your pallets through cold storage, and ship more efficiently, then RedLine Cooler™ is the system to use. It is easy to use, and the guys in our shipping love it.”

If you want more information about this system please feel free to contact RedLine Solutions on +1408-562-1700 or sales@redlineforproduce.com. 



© RedLine Solutions Inc. 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to RedLine Solutions and there is the inclusion of a link to www.traceabilitynerd.com. All rights reserved. RedLine Solutions & RedLine Cooler names and logos, referred to in this document, are trademarks of RedLine Solutions Inc. Orchard View Inc. Unitec and Famous Software names and logos, referred to in this document, are trademarks of Orchard Farms Inc. and Famous Software LLC respectively. The images used in this document are provided courtesy of Orchard View Farms Inc. RedLine disclaims any and all rights in these marks.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Paperless Picking Boosts Fork Lift Driver Productivity!

Paperless Picking Boosts Productivity For Forklift Drivers

Your fresh produce operation is really busy getting a great product to your customers, so why have your forklift drivers walking to the office to receive their new orders to pick. Why have your drivers walking around rather than picking, and why have your driver tied to one order when you need more flexibility?

Having a paperless picking system can provide many benefits: 
  • Your drivers stay on the forklifts rather than walking around, saving time
  • Your drivers do not have to wait for the next order to be printed, avoiding frustration 
  • Drivers confirm each line item picked is accurate by scanning pallet tag. Scanning can be enforced.
  • Automated systems can assure FIFO stock rotation to avoid wastage
  • Orders are updated in real time. Multiple drivers can work on one order without over-shipping.
  • If an order cannot be finished because of a shortage, a driver can move to another order, and the unfinished order can be picked up by them or another driver later from the system
  • The office achieves better visibility of orders processed
  • The office can easily manage the order that each new pick list is worked on
  • The office can push an order to a particular driver if preferred
  • The office gets visibility of driver activity and productivity levels
Ideally, any paperless picking system for the fresh produce industry would completely eliminate the need for a printed pick list, saving forklift drivers time going to the office to collect their next job. The system would operate on rugged mobile computers, increasing picking speed and accuracy, while optimizing stock rotation, and eliminating shipping errors by validating each picked product against its associated order. 

The office should be able to assign and push an order directly to a particular driver’s mobile computer, enabling the driver to accept the work when they are next free. The system should also be able to queue available orders and notify all drivers when new orders are waiting. Then any driver could accept the new order on their mobile computer, and start working without the need for a printed pick list.

The paperless picking system should be able to provide the driver with a list of the most suitable product for each order, saving time and assuring optimum stock rotation. Once the driver scans the selected pallet, the system should be able to checks that product matches the order requirement, ensuring shipment accuracy. 


If you are looking for such a system RedLine Solutions have a new option, called "dispatch loader" in their RedLine Cooler solution that enables Paperless Picking for Forklift drivers. Read the press release or you can call the RedLine Team for more information at 408-562-1700 or email sales@redlinesolutions.com

© RedLine Solutions Inc. 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to RedLine Solutions and there is the inclusion of a link to www.traceabilitynerd.com



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

FSMA roll out is making automated inventory systems essential

FSMA roll out is making Automated Inventory Systems Essential

With FSMA and Safe Food for Canadians rollouts in progress, many produce companies are getting your facilities in order. This includes analyzing potential hazards, creating food safety plans that detail how you will mitigate those hazards, and getting your traceability systems aligned with industry standards.
One of the key reporting requirements in common to both is the need to provide lot shipment and traceability data within 24 hrs of the request by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). This is virtually impossible in manual systems, which is stirring interest in automated inventory systems. Case labeling with GS1 Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN) and Lot Number is a required to support visibility throughout the entire supply chain. To learn more about GS1 case labeling see the following links (http://www.producetraceability.org/ & https://www.gs1us.org ).
Tracking shipments are manageable when shipping full pallets, but can be a big challenge for less than pallet or mixed pallet shipments.  When you add the requirement to record Critical Tracking Events such as, receipts, packing, processing, and repacking you quickly realize the manual systems you have used for years can’t get you where you need to be.

The software is the key.

You need software to help you track of all this information.  Some of the key functions of this software are:
  1. Manage Inventory and provide visibility to sales and operations
  2. Record key transactions of critical events(CTE’s) such as product receipt, transformation (packing/repacking/value-add processes), and shipping
  3. Print bar code labels for case and pallet
  4. Provide date in support electronic transactions
  5. Provide traceability information from receipt to shipment
  6. Provide recall tools to assist 
    • In mock recalls
    • Actual recalls

 As you start looking at options there are a few things to consider:
  1. Is the system easy enough for workers to reliably and consistently enter data?
  2. What types of internal resources are needed?  IT Staff? Servers? Training staff? Help Desk?
  3. Does the system track lots to cases and pallets using  mobile computers to capture real-time of data at the point of activity, or require operators  to  key in after the fact
  4. Does it support produce industry specific needs?
  5. Is it available on demand from mobile devices as well as PC’s?


If you don’t have an in-house IT staff, you may want to consider advantages of cloud-based solutions. For one,
you don’t have to buy, maintain and support an in-house server.  A second is most cloud software is subscription based, moving your costs from a depreciable asset to an operating cost. Talk to your accountant to better understand the implications for your company. A third advantage is the software provider maintains the training and support staff so you don’t have to; when you get new staff you can point them to the training materials or arrange personalized pieces of training.
If you have in-house IT staff, who can provide and support the network hardware and services listed above an on- premise solutions can be considered. Either way, finding the system that best fits your staffing and business needs is the first step to successfully meeting both your internal and regulatory needs.

© RedLine Solutions Inc. 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to RedLine Solutions and there is the inclusion of a link to www.traceabilitynerd.com

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Checklist For Selecting The Right Mobile Device

Enterprise Mobility: You Want A Checklist For Selecting The Right Mobile Device? YOU GOT IT!

From faster barcode scanning to easier collaboration, mobility is having a huge impact on enterprise operations. But choosing the right devices for your specific circumstances is not always easy.

Knowing precisely what you need upfront will ensure your organization doesn’t commit investment to devices that simply aren’t up to the task in hand.

Before choosing a new device, here is a checklist of 10 key considerations to help ensure you get everything you need.

1. Security
Not all devices come with operating systems (OS) that can cope with enterprise security demands. For example, consumer-grade operating systems may have features such as voice and cloud software that undermine corporate privacy and security policies.

2. Training
Will your workers adopt their new technology or use workarounds because it is difficult to use? OS familiarity can play a big role. As can training. But if your devices have to be replaced regularly then training costs can soar. The time it takes to create new training, time to complete the course and hours away from the job all mean extra expense.

3. Battery
Multiple shifts or days spent offsite require devices that can go the distance. Battery power is important. So is the ability to easily swap out batteries with fully charged replacements to prevent any significant downtime.

4. Accessories
Being able to charge a series of devices or batteries together, rather that individually, could reduce the number of power outlets you use. Also, if your devices need to be replaced regularly, remember you will probably need to purchase new cradles and chargers too.

5. WLAN
A strong wireless connection can mean the difference between frustrated workers and faster workflows. Aim for devices that can offer enterprise grade 5 GHz Wi-Fi without having to invest in extra access points.

6. Scanning
Holdups in simple processes such as bar code scanning can undermine your whole operations. Capturing data quickly is one thing. You may also need devices that can deal with damaged or poorly printed barcodes.

7. Durability
Drops, spills, dust, bad weather—they can all affect your devices. Durable designs that can withstand these adverse conditions will prevent the cost of failed devices and downtime. Check the drop specifications, tumble specifications and IP sealing rating on the devices you review.

8. Voice
Keeping your people connected is just as much about voice contact as it is about data transfer. Devices that can combine both will cut the need to invest in other comms devices, like walkie-talkies. If you can integrate PBX telephony with Wi-Fi then you can also reduce call charges.

9. Lifecycle
Choosing a device that has to be upgraded too often can result in a fleet of mixed generation devices. This leads to significant training and support complexities, as well as extra capital outlay. In addition, you may find the accessories and chargers for new models are not always backwards compatible.

10. Support
Keeping a spares pool can be costly. So check whether there are support plans that can provide you with quick replacements when devices do break or fail. These can cover everything from normal wear and tear through to accidental breakage and should be customizable to suit your operations.


Get the full details before making your choice. Use our guide to Selecting the Right Device >>


We hope that it is helpful and if you have any questions on anything in the blog or want more information please feel free to call the RedLine Solutions team at 408-562-1700 or email us at sales@redlinesolutions.com. Information provided here by courtesy of our partner Zebra Technologies.

© RedLine Solutions Inc. 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to RedLine Solutions and there is the inclusion of a link to www.traceabilitynerd.com

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Why track product locations?

Why track product locations?

Knowing your product locations pays big dividends for most companies shipping perishable goods. After all, with perishable goods product rotation is key to managing quality and minimizing waste or donation due to product aging.  There are other benefits of knowing you product locations that impact the rest of the organization:
  1. Sales- Your sales team needs to know what is in stock and available to sell.  In food products retail and food service companies orders are often restocking stores or restaurants. When you short ship they can't fulfill their orders, which means their stores or restaurants may run out of product. This creates unhappy customers who have alternate options. At a minimum short ships damage the goodwill of your customers; repeated occurrences will often cost you their business.
  2. Finance- When your staff can’t find the ordered products they may need to substitute another product.  If the customer has not pre-authorized the substitution, you could be facing product rejections or chargebacks. In addition to issuing credits, your people are spending time/money on resolving the issues.

 How you track product locations will vary by the size of your facility and nature of your business. For instance if you pack and ship everything you receive each day, your bulk product is probably all in one or two rooms and your packed product has shipped or is staged for shipment the next day so product locations are easy to see. As the size of the facility and amount of product you store grows, so goes the level of the systems needed to keep track of your inventory and locations. All systems are as good as their last update, having a fast electronic way to record inventory updates is ideal.
That is not to say a manual system can’t work, it just means the level of effort to maintain accurate inventory is high. I once visited a table grape facility a few years ago that had inventory workers stationed in the hallway and when one or more pallets or grapes were brought into or removed from the room the worker grabbed the clipboard hanging outside the door and wrote down the pallet number and quantity stored or removed.  
At the end of the day someone would key this into their inventory system.  The customer did have accurate inventory at least once per day, but the amount of time spent managing the system was higher than the value derived.

By moving to an electronic inventory system that updates inventory in real-time, you position your company for higher accuracy, less donation or waste, and ultimately higher customer satisfaction.  What does system that look like? It starts by having inventory software that can be updated in real-time, providing access to that system to those whose jobs are affected:
  • Sales needs to know what can be sold and shipped today
  • Operations needs to know where product is for fulfillment
  • Quality needs to know the again history to ensure the product matches the customers’ expectations
How can you achieve this type of solution? RedLine Solutions have several different solutions that can enable product location and real-time stock accuracy. Why not look at RedLine Cooler system or MyProduce.com

© RedLine Solutions Inc. 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to RedLine Solutions and there is the inclusion of a link to www.traceabilitynerd.com


RedLine Donate to Local School

RedLine Solutions Greatly Benefits Local Students with Cash Donation

Recently RedLine Solutions donated $7500 to the Santa Clara High School science department. RedLine Solutions’ CEO @toddbaggett feels it is important to give back to the community and has supported many good causes over the years. Todd also recently gave his time to present job options to students, during the 8th grade career day, at the local Buchser Middle School in Santa Clara, CA.
Todd had heard that SCHS had a need for some vital physics supplies to enable the advanced placement (AP) physics curriculum and was moved to action. The majority of the SCHS donation went towards physics supplies including such items as a sonic flame tube, rotational turntable, variable inertia kit, rotational inertia set and others. The RedLine team got the opportunity to catch up with Chris Gallick, a math and physics teacher at SCHS, and asked him about how some of this equipment was being used, as well as its benefits to the students and staff alike.
Chris explained, “the AP class needs to cover an extensive curriculum in quite a short period and to have the aid of props, like the sonic flame tube, really help the students get a faster grasp of main concepts than they would otherwise. It is often the case that though we show images and diagrams of a topic, the students do not make an instant connection between these. When we have interactive props, we enable what I call “physics in action” as in the case of the sonic flame tube. I adjust a standing wave going into the tube the students see the impact right in front of their eyes. Ultimately the students get a clearer and faster understanding of the topics, and this helps us more effectively address the curriculum requirements.”
We also asked Chris which piece of equipment, supported by the donation, do the students think is the coolest. He stated, “Actually the students liked the Sonic Flame Tube the best, as do I. In fact, when I first set this up it was so compelling that some of the students took their phones out, to take pictures, and share with their friends, which is great!”
Lastly, we asked Chris if other classes also benefited from having the equipment on hand. Chris concluded, “Of course any level physics class can benefit from having access to these props. We also just built a STEM (Science, Technology Engineering, and Math) lab on the campus, putting an emphasis on scientific inquiry based investigation and exploration. Lots of times when a student has to explore and investigate a phenomenon, with no experience, it is tough for them. So this type of prop helps students comprehend and solidify their understanding, no matter what level they are being taught.”

© RedLine Solutions Inc. 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to RedLine Solutions and there is the inclusion of a link to www.traceabilitynerd.com

RedLine Solutions, working with grower shippers for 20 years

RedLine Solutions Celebrate 20 Years of Customer Solutions

RedLine Solutions, was excited to move to a new facility, which coincides with the company celebrating 20 years of serving its customers. RedLine continues its focus on developing exception value for its customers, as it looks into the next 20 year with cutting edge new products like their new MyProduce.com solution, a Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA) compliant, web-based, warehouse management system for the fresh produce segment.
In 1997 Todd Baggett, the CEO of RedLine Solutions, founded the company with a goal to provide exceptional customer service, with integrity and dependability. Since then RedLine has grown an extensive client base, across the USA and Canada. Today, RedLine Solutions continues to build strong long-term relationships, strengthening its portfolio of inventory and productivity software solutions, through close collaboration with its customers and extensive investment in its in-house development team. They also partner with leading hardware manufacturers, enabling comprehensive solution offerings for their clients.
“When I started RedLine Solutions, my goal was to bring together the best software, hardware, and professional service team to create complete solutions that deliver unparalleled value for our customers. Twenty years later this is our reality. The cornerstone or our success is our amazing staff who really care about our customer’s success,” said Todd Baggett CEO.






© RedLine Solutions Inc. 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to RedLine Solutions and there is the inclusion of a link to www.traceabilitynerd.com

If you need better efficiencies in a cold storage application - Read this!

A 300%+ increase in tonnage handled, stored, and shipped with no extra staff   Orchard View Inc. is a 4th generation family owned and ope...