02 December 2022
Fragrance Oils (International) Limited
(FOIL) are specialists in the creation of perfumery essences and natural herbal
extracts for use in the fine fragrance, personal care, air care and household
cleaning sectors. Headquartered in Manchester and with a global presence that
spans Europe, Russia, Asia Pacific, America’s plus the Middle East and Africa,
Fragrance Oils has become one of the industry’s most dynamic and influential
To provide additional support for their growing
operations, Fragrance Oils were looking to upgrade their IT infrastructure
within their Manchester based Headquarters. As a business, they had many disparate
systems in place to manage existing core processes. To support sustainable growth, the business realised
that they needed to unify all of these onto a single, scalable, and futureproof
Speaking of the
upgrade, Ian Ashton, Operations Manager for Fragrance Oil’s comments, “We
were operating on old legacy systems, in some cases these were now over 20
years old. Whilst the systems had served us well in the past, they were now
essentially unsupported, so we knew we had to upgrade. As a business we were
looking for a solution that would span all our operational processes, from
manufacturing and sales, through to HR and Warehouse Management, we needed it
to provide additional functionality plus have the scalability to allow for
future growth and enhancements”.
The Need for
As a business, Fragrance Oil’s
recognised the value that data capture could bring to their operation.
Previously a paper-based system, accuracy was a key factor for the introduction
of real time scanning into their production process. Ian continues, “Managing efficient and accurate
operations was a key objective for us when looking at introducing handheld scanning
into our manufacturing operation. Dosing accuracy was one of the main areas we
were looking to focus on, we knew that if we could manage this process more effectively,
we would be able to reduce the amount of rework required in our production
processes, therefore maintaining efficient and reliable operations.”
Integrating rugged data capture
hardware alongside the new system was to play a key role in within the newly upgraded
IT operations. Fragrance Oil’s selected local rugged mobile computer
specialists TouchStar to fulfil their hardware requirements.
to select TouchStar for the supply of the rugged mobile computers was not only based
on the technology but fundamentally the support offering. Ian adds, “What was important to us was the support factor, and
the fact that we were dealing with a UK based local business, not only that,
but we were also dealing with the manufacturer. In selecting TouchStar, we knew
we were investing in futureproof technology and that we had access to both
local and flexible support that would allow us to operate efficiently and with
Ian continues, “From a device selection perspective, TouchStar were really
supportive. We knew the devices would need to operate on Android to ensure
compatibility with our new IT systems, however, we were unsure as to whether
rugged handhelds or tablets would be better suited to our operation. TouchStar
recommended a couple of devices, however it soon became apparent throughout the
testing process that handheld scanning would provide us with the best user
experience and allow us to benefit from more process efficiencies”.
Following a period of successful
testing, the business selected TouchStar’s fit for purpose TS8200 handhelds.
Rugged and reliable, the device fulfilled the businesses requirements for
high-speed scanning and reliable data capture.
The hardware implementation phase
took 6 months from start to finish. TouchStar were highly commended for their support in this time, checking
device compatibility and connectivity with the newly developed IT system, all
of which contributed to a smooth deployment of the final scanning solution.
The new TS8200 handhelds
now play a fundamental role within the newly upgraded manufacturing process.
From receipt of order, the TS8200 provides detailed dosing information on the
devices robust and high-resolution display.
All of the raw
materials going into the production process are now also barcoded, not only
does this enable real time location visibility and traceability, but from an
accuracy perspective, the system ensures that the right product is scanned before
it enters in the production process, resulting in reduced errors and an
increase in right first-time manufacturing.
Furthermore, the system has also been
extended to the goods out, providing additional accuracy with regards to orders
shipped and extending visibility into the transport and distribution process.
Benefits and the Future
are an excellent example of how real time scanning can benefit businesses within
the manufacturing sector. Ian concludes, “The barcode scanning process has
enabled the teams to improve dosing accuracy & to reduce the level of
rework & scrap generated in our process. This has a positive impact on our
operational costs & has helped us to improve our customer service.”
implementation, Fragrance Oil’s are continuing to look at ways to develop and
enhance the solution. Plans for a new wi-fi network will allow for greater
connectivity and will enable the business to extend the use of the technology
into other areas of the business. The potential for the use of barcode scanning
within the warehouse operation offers Fragrance Oil’s the additional benefit of
real time visibility and traceability of their of goods outside the production
installation, TouchStar’s mobile computing solution have continued to evolve,
with further growth and development of both their hardware and the portfolio of
solutions. This will ensure that Fragrance Oil’s will continue to invest in a
solution that will meet their needs both now and into the future.