Seafood Producers Cooperative Success Story

The Client

Seafood Producers Cooperative (SPC), founded in 1944, is the oldest fisherman’s cooperative in North America. The 500+ fishermenowners catch salmon, halibut, and black cod in the Gulf of Alaska using traditional hook and line methods. Each fish is handled individually and cleaned immediately on board the boats to ensure the highest quality and freshness. As a cooperative, SPC is large enough to supply food service and retail establishments of all sizes, but  small enough to focus on quality and service.

SPC has a state of the art processing facility in Sitka, Alaska. The Coop’s headquarters are in Bellingham, Washington.

The Challenge

SPC had been using a legacy barcoding and inventory system for over 20 years. The system used legacy technology and was nearing the point of failure;  SPC recognized a new application was needed. In 2014, they implemented a touchscreen and barcode printing system tailored specifically for the seafood  industry. Due to lack of training and support, as well as the system’s complexity, the project proved unsuccessful and was shelved.

In January 2015, SPC contacted Parity to install a new label printing and inventory system for their Sitka facility. The facility specializes in high quality troll caught fish. Each pound is extremely valuable and needs to be tracked via random weight in serialized cases.

Ultimately, SPC needed an inventory system to manage cases within their Sitka operation that was easy to use and understand, efficient to implement, and could eventually scale to their other facilities.

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ParityFactory software automates and simplifies the unique materials lifecycle of food production, giving manufacturers precise, real-time-inventory, end-to-end traceability, and an efficient, data-driven factory floor.

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Key Points

  • Real-time reporting is always visible to the executive team at SPC’s headquarters.
  • Finished product is now serialized and tracked at the case level, including uniform and random production cases.
  • Early ROI is expected with confidence in the system’s capabilities.

Our Solution

ParityFactory was implemented in two phases to automate inventory control from finished goods production through shipment to customers and/or transfer to third party logistics providers. All of their finished production is given a serialized tracking number at the case level. This includes both uniform and random production cases. One unique feature on the case recording process that the development team added is the ability to specify a random tare on an individual box. The user can now specify a product as random weight/tare and will be presented with a screen that allows them to specify box tare then total gross weight. The system then calculates the net.

Cases are palletized via a single step in the ParityFactory system with warehouse locations tracked and stored automatically. The produce and pack processes are efficiently simplified. Items are then either shipped out in containers or fresh. ParityFactory generates the bill of lading/shipping manifest for each scenario.

Following the successful completion of Phase 1, SPC wanted to integrate ParityFactory into their receiving operation at their off-load station. This would provide visibility of raw material inventory and lot tracing that would be linked to the finished good operations already in place. Given the high quality of the product and factoring in the freshness of shipments, offloading and scaling could not be slowed during implementation of ParityFactory. By utilizing CN51 handhelds and custom software configurations, the solution was implemented at SPC’s off-load station, further streamlining the facility and improving its reporting capabilities.

Case Study Quote  Parity has helped us integrate our incoming product, production data, frozen inventory, and shipping into a singular system allowing us to better manage our operation and maintain a structured supply chain.”

—Kendall Didrickson, Seafood Producers Cooperative

Business Impact

Over the course of a few short months, SPC was able to achieve dynamic inventory reporting that updates in real-time and provides visibility to anyone in the company. The executive team in their Bellingham headquarters can see shipment reports as trucks are loaded, visibility they never had before. Previously, they had to wait for the paperwork to be faxed after one of the handful of users printed it. Automated, accurate inventory has had a widespread positive effect on the health of the operation.

  • Potential software failure is no longer an issue. SPC feels confident in the new system and its capabilities and expects to see an early ROI.
  • Executive and accounting teams can now use pivot tables for advanced analysis of inventory and production data.
  • SPC’s operation is now able to scale quickly and efficiently and is seeing improved efficiency in both labor and materials management.
  • With the addition of Phase II, SPC has complete visibility of both raw and finished product as well as control over their lot tracing.

For more information contact us at 425.408.9500 or email parityfactory@paritycorp.com.

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