Windows & Doors Manufacturer Sets New Standard in Order Accuracy with Complete RFID Solution

Executive Summary
A Windows & Doors manufacturer sought to enhance order fulfillment accuracy, inventory insight, and manufacturing process visibility. However, they were met with challenges along the way. After meeting with OCR Canada, they worked with OCR Canada’s experienced team in developing a complete RFID Work in Progress system, while also utilizing the same RFID technology to automate shipping and receiving at the dock door. OCR Canada designed, built, and deployed this manufacturer’s unique RFI D Portal while incorporating software, hardware, and tags from leading manufacturers such as Zebra Technologies to boost accuracy and lower operational costs.

Business Challenge
The Windows & Doors manufacturer lacked visibility on the shop floor. The company needed to be able to find out what stage a specific work order was at within the manufacturing process. Moreover, it was crucial to verify outgoing shipments. The company relied on manual data entry, which led to various routing and stocking errors. Incorrect shipments often required another truck to be sent out, increasing operational costs and labor efforts. Since the price of missed errors escalates over time, they required a system that could verify goods as they were loaded onto the truck. Furthermore, they also faced a 3-month labour turnover rate, which limited their solution options as technology had to be both intuitive and autonomous to eliminate the need for extra training. Lastly, as an Atis Group partner, the company wished to incorporate a scalable solution that could be replicated in other sites.

The OCR Canada team of experienced solution architects recommended an RFID solution to combat the company’s challenges. OCR Canada engineered an RFID Portal system that would be fitted throughout the facility, including every loading dock door. These RFID Portals were placed at strategic choke points which ultimately created unique “manufacturing zones” that are representative of different steps in the company’s manufacturing process. The RFID Portals would autonomously track work orders being checked-in and checked-out of the “manufacturing zones”. Furthermore, the same RFID Portals were installed around each loading dock door. The RFID Portals, paired with a prompt screen, autonomously tracks items being loaded onto the truck while also comparing it to the shipping manifest. This system compares the tracked data to the manifest and will highlight any incorrect or missing items to the shipping personnel on duty.

Using enterprise-grade devices from leading brands such as Zebra Technology, OCR Canada was able to create a scalable solution that could fit in different locations. After a successful trial period, the company implemented the RFID Portal in all its facilities, bringing 99% accuracy rates. OCR Canada continues to provide on-site technical support as needed.

With complete inventory and manufacturing visibility, the company decreased shipping errors while increasing overall customer satisfaction. Moreover, production speed also increased since management can now track how long work orders take to complete. Real-time data allows employees to easily keep work orders moving throughout the supply chain with less bottlenecks.

“The RFID Portal is perfect for new users. You don’t have to train employees to scan labels. It’s automatic and lets us complete tasks faster without errors,” said Corporate Director of Information Technology. “I’ve been working with OCR Canada for over a year, and it’s been an extremely positive experience. They understood where we were trying to go with our various projects, from understanding our challenges, to advising us on software and hardware, to making needed adjustments, to our pilot for our RFID project. It was great to have the right people at the right time during the entire process”. After careful testing and deployment, RFID Portals were ready for use in less than a month, setting a brand-new standard in order accuracy.

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