Baird Foods in Crewe is a pork butchery site producing some 300–to–400 tonnes of boned pork a week. The company puts its pork product in Dolav Ace boxes, which are reusable, returnable and stackable, giving Baird Foods good transport efficiency. Baird Foods now sends all pork product and by-product in Trackable Dolavs to customers in the UK and Europe.
Kevin Horner explained, “The Dolavs are made trackable by Sirius Asset Solutions which customised our 200 Dolav Ace boxes. Sirius provides us with its immediately ready–to–use system for any Windows desktop or laptop. The system automatically locates every Trackable Dolav. User training took 15 minutes and there is no data entry and no maintenance because the Sirius system does everything. That is why we like it. It is fully automatic and tracks everything by itself. We don’t have to do anything.”
At Baird Foods, the Sirius screen display shows each Trackable Dolav by its unique identification number. A green highlight shows ‘at a customer site’ and a red highlight shows ‘not at customer site’. Each has an on-screen click link to display a satellite image showing the exact position of the Trackable Dolav being checked.
Automatic: Every Trackable Dolav box has a unique identification number. Each box automatically finds its location by cellular network or GPS and, once a day, transmits its position and time to the Sirius computer servers. So each Trackable Dolav automatically tells the system where it is anywhere in Europe. That is without any action by anyone.
Easy & Simple: Baird Foods staff easily completed a simple one-off setup task using a spreadsheet screen to enter the addresses of their customers’ sites and the area around them. This is how Trackable Dolavs are shown as ‘at a customer site’ or ‘not at customer site’ on the desktop display. The system also holds and can display the entire location history of every box, where it was each day, for all Trackable Dolavs.
Helping Customers: If a customer does not return a Dolav box to Baird Foods, it is the customer’s responsibility to find, recover and return it or pay for its replacement. Helpfully for Baird Foods customers, every Dolav box and every Trackable Dolav box has Baird Foods details printed on it to stop them going adrift. If they do, with its new system, Baird Foods can help customers to find the boxes they have mislaid.
Cutting costs: For Baird Foods, having Trackable Dolavs reduces the staff time and cost needed to recover lost or stolen Dolavs. It prevents customers or suppliers keeping the newer Dolavs of Baird Foods and returning older, more worn, plastic pallet boxes of someone else. It helps identify routes suffering box loss or damage and makes logistical administration easier. It identifies customers responsible for loss and damage. That alone reduces loss. Baird Foods has found that not having to record and chase lost or unreturned boxes has hugely reduced the demand on organisational time and cost. “Now our Dolavs self-track and are returned. That cuts costs,” said Kevin Horner.
A Sirius engineer said, “Each Trackable Dolav ‘reports in’ once a day with its location to our server. It will do so for more than four years without any maintenance or recharging by Dolav owners. Baird Foods chose to have our Sirius solution retrofitted to their existing stock of Dolav Ace plastic pallet boxes. It can also be supplied direct on newly manufactured Dolav plastic pallet boxes.”
In conclusion, Barry Baird, a director of Baird Foods, said, “The system is simplicity itself. We had our staff up and running on it in 15 minutes and immediately started to save money. We know where our Dolavs are, we can schedule them more efficiently and we can easily recover lost and stolen Dolavs. It’s win-win all around.”