Bar Codes Are Right "On-Tap" to Speed Daily Shipments to Hardee's
For some companies, a record of 98 percent accuracy in performance
would be a dream come true. But for others, 98 percent is just not good enough.
Fast Food Merchandisers, with headquarters in Rocky Mount, North Carolina,
is clearly an example of the latter.
Fast Food Merchandisers (FFM) is the primary food and supply distributor
for Hardee's Food Systems, the third largest chain of fast food restaurants
in the United States. From eleven distribution centers around the country,
FFM makes daily shipments to 3100 Hardee's restaurants located in forty states.
Their recent campaign to improve on delivery performance that was already
98 percent accurate (98 percent of the products ordered were delivered on time)
led FFM to purchase bar code laser scanners and portable data collection computers
for trial use in their distribution centers. Unfortunately, the corporate VAX
computer used to produce shipping and inventory labels for the distribution
centers wasn't capable of generating scannable bar codes for inclusion on those
As it turns out, the solution to this problem was surprisingly simple. Using
ISD's On-Tap/VMS bar code software utility with their existing printers, distribution
personnel at FFM's corporate headquarters can now insert the required bar codes,
in a wide range of sizes, right where they're needed on the labels.
This provides the flexibility to easily produce new bar coded labels when
a product description or item number changes, or a new product is introduced.
On-Tap operates transparently within FFM's existing VMS applications. No programming
is required. What's more, with On-Tap they were able to create the needed bar
codes using their existing printers.
So how successful was this performance improvement campaign? With their new
scanners, portable computers, and bar coded labels, FFM has improved their
delivery accuracy rate from 98 percent, to a near-perfect 99.8 percent. What's
more, these new data collection tools help speed verification of route orders
picked from inventory by a factor of 50 percent. And the time it takes to perform
monthly inventories in the distribution center has been reduced by 67 percent.