JBT Corporation manufactures equipment that powers the food processing industry. The company has several operating units that focus on different types of food production, from individual pieces of equipment like industrial ovens to entire processing lines that produce processed foods such as chicken nuggets.
In the Lakeland, Florida plant, the focus is on juice processing equipment. Global IT Analyst, Joel Sena, explained, "Our Citrus Juice Extractor is the heart of any citrus processing operation, and we are the world leader in citrus processing technology. If you drink orange juice, it was most likely produced using our equipment."
Business has been building for the citrus group, which operates facilities in Florida, California, Brazil, Mexico and Italy. As things got busier, it was difficult to keep up with the manual processes and paperwork in the warehouse. In Lakeland, for example, JBT employs six warehouse professionals, and the company wanted to focus on improving efficiency, rather than hiring more workers.
"We had to do more and more activities in the warehouse. We were increasing our warehouse operations, but you can't keep hiring more people," recalled Sena. "So we needed to optimize to make our warehouse more efficient."
JBT uses Oracle's JD Edwards EnterpriseOne as an ERP system. But in the warehouse, most processes, such as picking orders and receiving, were still done using paper print outs. "Before RFgen, we were doing warehouse activities straight on our ERP. There were a lot of screens and a lot of fields to fill in. Our users got lost in those screens. We needed a solution that would make warehouse operations easier," Sena said.
"Sometimes the users were far away from the computer, so they had to take notes on paper and then go back to the computer and process the transaction. For example, when doing transfers, they would have to take notes about what they transferred from location A to location B and note the part numbers and quantity. Then they would have to go back to the computer and input the transaction."
JBT automated their data collection processes using the RFgen Mobile Foundations for Oracle's JD Edwards solution. "We evaluated other software, but in our opinion, RFgen was the best solution we saw according to the features and price. We saw systems that were much too simple and others that were too big for us. RFgen is the right size, and it does everything that we need," Sena said.
RFgen facilitates Purchase Order Receiving by Line directly to the bin location where each line item will be stored until it is consumed or transferred, with a barcode label printed as each receipt is executed. PO Receipt Routing allows the movement and disposition of items that have been received into a warehouse, so items can be transferred prior to updating stock.
JBT uses RFgen for most inventory transactions, including Transfer, Cycle Count, Item Inquiry, and Location Inquiry. "We are using RFgen for almost all transactions in the warehouse. We are not a big organization, and that means we really need a solution like RFgen to make things easier for us."
RFgen is used to perform picking and shipping of Sales Orders. Pick Confirm and Ship Confirm identifies the items on Sales Orders at pick status and displays them for workers to pull inventory. Then, it updates the status of the items so that ship confirmation transactions can occur in JD Edwards.
Development, training and implementation went very quickly. "RFgen was very easy and very quick to learn. We did all of the development and implementation in just one month," Sena noted. "Everything went fine. The RFgen team gave me all the information and research I needed. They are always very professional. They accomplished everything that we agreed to."
By implementing RFgen for mobile data collection, JBT has been able to enhance process flow, inventory accuracy and visibility. Instead of making notes on paper in the warehouse, workers quickly scan barcodes.
"Using barcodes simplifies warehouse activities by reducing typing and reducing mistakes," said Sena. "We definitely have seen improvements because RFgen minimized the keying of part numbers, locations and quantities in the JD Edwards screens. We used to make mistakes in that process and automating it improves accuracy."
Direct connection between RFgen in the warehouse and their ERP system provides real-time data collection with instantaneous results in JD Edwards. RFgen features certified integration with JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, and it's also flexible, so companies can set up warehouse transactions to reflect their own operations.
"We changed our workflows a little bit with RFgen. Before RFgen, when a worker went to pick parts for a sales order, he took a printed pick slip that guided him. He'd go to the first location, pick the part from the shelf, check it off on the list, and take notes about the location he picked and the quantity. Now, he picks everything by scanning the barcodes, so all of the information is already processed in JD Edwards."
Using RFgen in its operations has enabled the Lakeland facility of JBT to:
After using RFgen for only a few months, JBT saw enough value that they decided to extend its use across the entire juice business internationally. "We have already started the process of implementing RFgen in our facility in Brazil. The next step will be implementing other locations in the U.S., including California. Then we have plans to expand to our our facility in Italy and on to Mexico."
"RFgen is easy to use, easy to implement and the cost is reasonable. I think those are the three most important things to know about RFgen," concluded Sena.