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 companies.  


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 platform.  

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 Barcode Scanning  

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.  

The decision 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 minimal downtime”.  

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  

Fragrance Oils 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.”  

Since the 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 process.  

Since the 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.