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

© 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

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 ( & ).
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

FSMA 204: Receiving CTE and KDE’s

By Todd Baggett                                                                                                                         11/1...