Case Study: Integreater® at Seachill
Published: 02 September, 2010
Seachill are one of the UK’s leading fresh fish processors. As pioneers in the sector, they have recognised the need to make the transition from a labour intensive, paper based business, to one that records and measures data electronically, ensuring optimum accuracy, efficiency and traceability.
Integreater® has been programmed to optimise Seachill’s traceability for their purchasing, goods received and packing operations. It works by ensuring that any produce that enters the factory has a unique code called a ‘run marker’. This allows a product’s journey to be easily traced from its ocean of origin right through to the supermarket shelf, enabling potential problems to be identified and rectified at the earliest possible stage.
As Technical Systems Manager, Angela Simpson identifies: “100% traceability is essential in order to meet requirements set by retailers, the government and the best practice schemes we are affiliated to…going paperless will prove invaluable moving forwards, dramatically cutting the amount of time required to gather information and produce reports. This reduces our chance of fines, as well as our carbon footprint”.
Seachill are responsible for processing and packing thousands of product units a day, all with specific label data requirements. During development, Angela Simpson outlined the importance of each product unit being weighed and labelled in an accurate but timely manner: “Failure to do so can be devastating to a business and may ultimately lead to an emergency product recall, fines, damaged customer relationships and bad press”.
After establishing exactly what data would need to be recorded in order to meet their specific business needs, Systems Integration (SI) worked with Seachill to create a system which considerably reduces the risk of error on the factory floor by programming a series of ‘safety nets’ into their network.
Commercial Director, Martin King has been impressed with Integreater’s flexibility: “SI don’t try to sell you systems that you don’t need. If they haven’t got a programme to meet your requirements, they are enthusiastic about developing a bespoke solution. This has proved invaluable as we pioneer to meet our clients’ ever changing requirements”.
SI are sensitive to tight operating and profit margins within the industry and so worked in partnership with Engineering Director, Wayne Barton to ensure a smooth installation: “SI worked closely with our team to programme a solution that meets our needs and integrates with our existing systems to reduce installation time, cost and upheaval to the business. The team also worked well under pressure as it turned out that the system needed to be installed sooner than we anticipated”.
IT Manager, Steve Wallace added: “disruption was also minimised by the fact that Integreater’s touch screen technology is so easy to use, taking less than 10 minutes to train operating staff… I would recommend the system to other businesses in the sector because its OCMs are unique, operating in isolation. This allows individual stations to continue to function, even if there is a network problem”.
As a large business with multiple departments measuring various data, Seachill need to produce reports using information from different systems quickly and easily.
They were finding it difficult to manage data stored in various locations and formats. In particular, staff that do not specialise in IT were having difficulty learning how to operate several complicated software programmes and synthesise data from so many sources.
To solve this problem, SI installed Integreater’s Reporting Suite. It is easy to use, allowing staff across the business to produce reports quickly, even when off site. This reduces the cost of employing IT specialists and the expense of training staff to use multiple programmes.
“Integreater’s Reporting Suite allows staff from the factory floor to the board room run real time reports quickly and easily, maximising their chance of identifying and rectifying any problems as soon as they arise” Martin King, Commercial Director, Seachill
Integreater® is a complete software and hardware solution that enables food processors to maximise their unique competitive advantage.
By providing relevant, meaningful and up to the minute information, integreater® allows processors to identify trends and resolve any potential problems before they escalate. It also enables food producers to analyse profit and loss for each individual customer, brand and product, allowing effective planning to improve profitability.
As it is a modular programme, integreater® can interface with existing production systems and third party programmes to minimise business upheaval and cost. It has been designed for easy use by employees across the business, reducing the cost of staff training and employing specialists.
Integreater® ensures that food producers have the knowledge and visibility to adapt their processes to improve efficiency, accuracy and traceability. In an industry with notoriously tight operating and profit margins, this is becoming increasingly important.
Systems Integration is one of the world’s leading suppliers of software and hardware solutions for the food processing industry, working with producers in Europe, Canada and the USA.
Seachill are one of the UK’s leading fresh fish processors. Established in Grimsby in 1998, they form part of global entity, Icelandic.
Spanning 5500 square metres, their factory is believed to be one of the most advanced in Europe, processing orders for some of the UK’s largest retailers, including Tesco.