Bruce Foods Optimizes Operations with Integrated RFID Solution

July 27, 2004
Waukesha, Wis. - Bruce Foods, a specialty U.S. food manufacturer, will implement industry-leading RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), Transportation

Waukesha, Wis. - Bruce Foods, a specialty U.S. food manufacturer, will implement industry-leading RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), Transportation and Warehouse Management Solutions from RedPrairie Corporation, a global leader in supply chain technology solutions that drive business process transformation. As a top supplier to Wal*Mart and other major food retailers, Bruce Foods will leverage RedPrairie's RFID IgniterTM to comply with RFID shipping mandates.

The company also intends to standardize business processes and achieve operational excellence using RedPrairie's unsurpassed breadth of warehouse and transportation management functionality for the food industry.

Patrick Brown, Director of Purchasing and Logistics at Bruce Foods, says, "When we surveyed Consumer Goods Technology's Top 20 Food Companies list, RedPrairie was listed as the supply chain execution provider for nearly every company. It was a clear indicator for us that we should seriously investigate RedPrairie. Once we saw the solutions in action and compared them against other providers, it was evident RedPrairie has both the breadth of functionality we need and the type of culture and people with which we'd prefer to partner."

With the internal growth of new products and the acquisition of Cajun Injector® (a specialty Cajun foods manufacturer) last year, overall growth intensified the demand on Bruce Foods supply chain resources. The additional SKUs were difficult to manage under their existing environment. The company decided to invest in RedPrairie's WMS to automate its processes and gain new levels of inventory control.

Lot tracing is a critical capability for Bruce Foods, since the company manages date sensitive products and must comply with government and FDA food safety regulations. The food manufacturer will leverage both RedPrairie's WMS and visibility solution, LENS®, to gain network-wide visibility and inventory control at the point of sale level.

"We are extremely confident in RedPrairie's ability to handle our tracing and tracking requirements," notes Brown. "The functionality is the most extensive we've observed and will give us visibility to product expiration and individual product location throughout the supply chain."

RedPrairie's project and task management capabilities will improve productivity and order accuracy within the distribution warehouse. Bruce Foods will use radio frequency directed work and wave processing to improve efficiency. RedPrairie's automated WMS will reduce shipping errors associated with the existing system.

As Bruce Foods explored RedPrairie's functionality, the team realized they could achieve substantial savings and further standardize business processes with an integrated transportation management system (TMS). The company manages transportation through its current ERP system and spends significant time on the phones with carriers and brokers. Recent company growth, however, makes this practice impractical and emphasizes the need for automated transportation management processes.

Brown notes, "We weren't specifically shopping for a TMS, but after seeing how well it worked with RedPrairie's WMS, we could see the efficiencies we'd gain before it was even implemented."

RedPrairie's DLx® Transportation will help Bruce Foods electronically manage load tendering to minimize transportation costs across multiple carriers and lanes. The solution's carrier management capabilities will enable Bruce Foods to take advantage of best possible rates while maintaining carrier contract commitments. And the technology allows the food manufacturer to develop a centrally managed load control center to determine routing opportunities across multiple sites, reducing Bruce Foods' labor requirements for transportation planning.

Using DLx® Tracker, Bruce Foods will be able to provide better customer service with network-wide, real-time visibility. Customers will be able to track order shipment status and predict arrival times to better manage their operations.

Bruce Foods is already a member of UCCNet Global and will jumpstart its RFID compliance initiatives by implementing RFID technology early next year. RedPrairie's RFID Igniter will enable the food company to simultaneously manage data from barcodes and RFID tags, and transmit ASN's (Advance Ship Notices) electronically to leading grocery retailers and food service distributors. Bruce Foods also expects the technology to improve efficiencies in picking and inventory tracking.

Brown continues, "RedPrairie takes supply chain technology to the next level for the food and beverage sector. Through RedPrairie's integrated suite of solutions, we will be able to achieve our business objectives and support company growth. Based on RedPrairie's implementation track record, we feel confident that they will implement the solutions in a short time period to handle our peak season demand in mid-third and forth quarters"

RedPrairie Company Leader John Jazwiec says, "RedPrairie has been serving the unique requirements of the food industry for the past 28 years. Our food industry-specific functionality addresses the industry's need to comply with FDA and government regulations, and maintain product freshness and brand protection. Through our systems and services, RedPrairie helps companies like Bruce Foods attain competitive advantage, improve customer service and realize substantial savings."

Bruce Foods supports its world-wide customer base from four U.S. food processing plants, two in Louisiana, one in Texas and another in North Carolina. The company will implement WMS and TMS simultaneously at their New Iberia, LA site in mid-August. The solutions will be rolled out to the other sites in a phased approach beginning in January 2005.

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