An updated warehouse management system is helping to make Sensory FX more efficient and positioning it for expansion.
Sensory FX is a leading local developer and manufacturer of flavours and fragrances into the African market. The company exports to a number of customers across the African continent, serving a wide range of industries including food and beverage, cosmetic and personal care, chemical, pharmaceutical, and household products.
Sensory FX’s business depends on the meticulous management of a wide range of raw materials, primarily liquid and powder chemicals and oils. These raw materials are then blended according to precise formulas into products that are customised to meet clients’ specifications. Stored materials must then be picked out of the warehouse in precise proportions as determined by the formula for the specific product being manufactured. Once the final product is completed, it returns to the warehouse for eventual despatch.
Because some of the raw materials are very expensive, the need for accuracy and traceability is increased.
The process has numerous checks and balances built into it, ensuring that sampling and analysis occur at key stages to ensure that clients’ formulas are being adhered to.
Traditionally, the company had used spreadsheets and other manual tools to manage its stock and control the picking process, leading to inaccuracies and non-conformance to formulas. As the business grew, it became imperative to move to a digital system that supported better control and visibility across the entire warehouse and manufacturing process, and reduced turnaround times on fulfilling orders.
A related requirement was batch traceability, the ability to trace and control raw materials, work in progress, and finished products through all stages of the manufacturing supply chain, including planning, materials management, production and distribution.
Traceability capabilities help to achieve:
- Compliance with regulatory and quality standards
- Proactive management of product recalls with near-real-time corrective action
- Improved customer safety through better accuracy of formulas
- Improved product quality and reduced costs incurred by non-conformance with product specifications
- Performance management of compounders
A final requirement was overall visibility and proper production planning. The new system would have to support streamlined processes within the warehouse, incorporating a structured workflow from the time stock arrives at the warehouse up to the point it is despatched to the client as part of a finished product
“Sensory FX’s business is hugely dependent on the ability to manage small amounts of often expensive raw materials to a high degree of accuracy across a complex manufacturing process,” said Rina Redelinghuys, Executive Projects & Services at Cquential.
“The business case for a process-driven WMS that integrated into the manufacturing process was obvious, and the benefits have been substantial.”
Cquential implemented its Warehouse Management System (WMS) to replace the old manual system. The WMS covers the full range of warehouse functions within the new Sensory FX facility as well as integration into Sage Pastel.
These include: receiving; batch registration; quality-controlled release of approved raw materials; manufacturing; put away to identified warehouses; stock takes; replenishments from raw materials to work-in-progress area; planning and release of manufacturing batch cards; picking; completion for manufacturing instructions according to the bill of materials; quality-control sampling approval; checking and despatch.
The Cquential WMS has played a key role in helping Sensory FX exploit the potential of its warehouse facility. Some of the key benefits delivered by Cquential include:
- Full visibility and traceability of processes and stock across the entire life cycle from receiving up to despatch
- Overall better planning, manufacturing, measurement and management of the whole warehousing life cycle
- Increased productivity levels
- No limitations around operations size
- Customisation capabilities to make incremental improvements
“Cquential’s warehouse system has helped us improve our manufacturing and warehousing processes greatly,” added Francois Strydom, Operations Director of Sensory FX.
“In particular, we have reduced our stock losses by 12% over the past seven years.
“Increased efficiency not only means reduced costs but greater accuracy in compiling orders, and thus much better service to our customers.”
Cquential continues to provide hosting and support for the WMS, along with consulting help for new projects. One of the current projects involves automating the Certificate of Analysis that has to be completed for each batch of product. The team is currently also investigating better ways to provide recommendations, solutions and improvements to the WMS as the Sensory FX team identifies new requirements and refinements.