Alyeska Seafoods is a division of Japan-based Maruha-Nichiro Group, the largest seafood company in the world. Alyeska operates one of three large seafood processing plants in Dutch Harbor, Alaska in the Aleutian chain and processes Alaska pollock, Pacific cod, surimi, and king and snow crab. At full capacity, Alyeska can process more than a million pounds of seafood a day.
At the time Alyeska began considering materials control solutions, inventory, tracing and other factory floor data was tracked and managed on clipboards. Manual records in such a high volume, high speed operation created huge challenges including inaccurate inventory levels, shipping problems, delayed reporting, and duplicate data entry.
Real-time inventory was impossible. An interim solution failed to deliver the automated inventory control they needed as they struggled with a system not designed to meet their workflows. They found themselves adding even more labor to handle cumbersome workarounds and manage chronically inaccurate inventory levels. All areas of the operation suffered without true, real-time inventory information.
The manual labeling process was unreliable and not meeting BRC needs. Efficiency was compromised with a high proportion of bad labels–each requiring someone to key in the correct information, print a new label, and manually place the label on the box. Frequently these errors were caught during shipping, adding even more labor costs to find and correct labeling errors in a critical zone of the operation.