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Matthews iDSnet barcoding delivers 30% increased output

Supplier: Matthews Australasia
26 May, 2010

Parragon, the world's leading publisher of illustrated non-fiction books, chose Matthews Intelligent Identification to provide a turnkey barcode labelling solution to its Australian warehouse.

Key facts:

  • Parragon were experiencing an average of 10 sorting issues a day.
  • Parragon chose Matthews as turnkey solution provider.
  • Integration of automatic print and application of shipping labels.
  • Supply and installation of material handling, conveying and diverting.
  • iDSnet provides one single source of control for Parragon.
  • Matthews delivers 30% increase in output.

Using its award-winning iDSnet technology, Matthews has used a single software application to control Parragon's labelling and sorting equipment at its "pick-and-pack" greenfield site in Derrimut, Victoria.

"The challenge is to pick and pack thousands of orders each week as per our customers' unique requirements and deliver these orders using a variety of carriers into stores and distribution channels; all as efficiently and cheaply as possible," says Parragon Australia's finance and operations director, Mark Camiller.

"With large customers such as Kmart, Target, Angus & Robertson and Woolworths it's important to us that we achieve 100% accuracy day in, day out at the warehouse," he says

By centralising control, iDSnet ensures that the correct serial shipper container code (SSCC) label is always placed on the correct carton at the correct time; at rates of up to 15 cartons a minute.

Matthews has installed a FOX IV 3010 label printer applicator and Dexion conveying system at Parragon’s warehouse, which began operating last August. One of the newest applicators on the market, the FOX IV 3010 is a fully programmable label printer with in-built smarts suitable for the FMCG industry. It features USB host ports, flash memory slots and Windows drivers, and supports a wide variety of barcode formats, fonts and graphic forms.

The Matthews turnkey package has increased efficiency and decreased the possibility of human error at the Australian warehouse, which is the only site where the international publisher picks and packs its customer orders by the book at store level.

"It is terrific doing something cheaply, but if you put the wrong label on a carton or the wrong book in a carton, yes you might have put all that together cheaply, but it is going to come straight back so you are operating with a false economy."

"We chose Matthews because we needed significant technological input into the total pick-and-pack process in the warehouse to both improve our labour efficiencies and to minimise errors. Matthews could not only deliver the labelling hardware and the conveyors but the iDSnet software to bring it all together and give us the efficiencies we were looking for," Camiller says.
Parragon's business manager for logistics, Paul Dutton, says before the Matthews system was installed, 1,500 cartons went down the line each day, with an average of 10 sorting problems — usually either the customer receiving incorrect stock or the wrong invoice.

"And it was a major concern," Dutton says.

"But after installing the Matthews system, we are now pushing through 2,300 cartons on an average working day. So that's a 30% increase in output, yet we've gone from two-plus people in dispatch down to needing just one."

Parragon has been able to use that second person elsewhere in the warehouse, allowing more efficient use of labour.

Parragon operates in more than 35 markets globally, publishing some 2,000 titles a year covering 18 languages; which works out to about 50 million books.

Originally published on the Matthews blog