09 March 2022
"King in Quality, King in Taste", P&B (Foods)
Ltd are a well-established food distribution company. Starting out in 1970, the
family run company has gone from strength to strength and is now
firmly positioned as one of the largest importers and wholesale distributors
operating within the ethnic and oriental markets of the UK and Europe.
P&B manufactures, processes, packs
and distributes a wide range of food products from their purpose-built facility
based in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Their customers range from retailers,
wholesalers, food service suppliers and the large multiples.
COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABLE GROWTH
In 2016 P&B moved to a
custom built 200,000 sq
ft, state of the art
facility comprising of a roasting plant, two
spice mills, a blending plant and high-speed packing lines. The new premises represented a
doubling in size of the company’s potential operations.
Indie Bhatoa, Owner at P&B Foods
comments, “Having made the jump from 80,000 sq ft facilities to a 200,000 sq ft
state of the art facility, we knew we had to make the investment in the IT
infrastructure that would help sustainably manage our growth. Ensuring that we
have an efficient and streamlined supply chain in place is fundamental, we
needed to ensure that we continued to provide a reliable and cost-effective
service to all our UK and European based customers. We knew that real time data
capture would offer the solution “.
Facing continued growth in capacity and throughput, the
business turned to TouchStar Rugged Mobile Computers to facilitate real time
benefits within their Bradford based Headquarters.
As a business, P&B recognised the
value that data capture could bring to their expanded operations. Previously a
paper-based system, the business was looking to achieve several things from the
roll out of such a system, from real time visibility of pallet and stock
movements, through to increasing the efficiency of their picking operations and
ensuring better management of operations such as stock rotation.
Integrating rugged data capture hardware
alongside a new warehouse management system was to play a key role in refining
several processes within their newly developed operations. To fulfil the
hardware requirement, P&B selected local
rugged mobile computer and scanning specialists, TouchStar, selecting their fit for purpose TS8000 handhelds and TS7000
truck mount devices for the system. Rugged and reliable, both devices fulfilled
P&B’s requirements for high-speed scanning and data capture.
system needed to be both future proof and scalable, with the rugged devices
seamlessly integrating with their core warehouse management system (WMS) to
scan, track and manage goods throughout the various warehouse and production
processes, predominantly the goods in, picking and despatch functions. To
facilitate the real time data capture, TouchStar needed to ensure full
connectivity with P&B’s newly installed Wi-Fi network.
Indie adds, “TouchStar provided a competitively priced and
fully supported solution. In selecting TouchStar, we were able to ensure we had
access to both local and flexible support so that we can operate efficiently
and with minimal downtime”.
IMPLEMENTATION AND GO LIVE
phase took 6 weeks from start to finish, with TouchStar engineers on hand to
check device compatibility with the new WMS and connectivity to the new WiFi
“We did experience a few challenges during the implementation phase, however
TouchStar were on hand throughout, providing their experience and solutions to
ensure we overcame our connectivity issues. We were really impressed with their positive “can do” attitude which was
invaluable as we moved towards the go live of our new system”.
SYSTEM BENEFITS AND OUTCOME
the go live, P&B Foods has become a clear success story of how
organisations in the food manufacture and distribution sector continue to
benefit from the support of advanced warehouse scanning solutions.
continues, “We have no doubt of the benefits brought about since the
implementation of TouchStar’s scanners, the system has literally revolutionised
our operation. From an efficiency perspective, we have increased productivity
threefold, particularly within our picking function. The real time element has
also enabled us to optimise our operations from an efficiency, accuracy and
cost perspective. Investing in UK manufactured, and locally supported devices
has ensured that we maintain high service levels and we have huge confidence in
TouchStar and the support they have given us. The investment has 100% paid for
itself and we would highly recommend TouchStar to anyone looking to invest in
data capture technology”.
implementation, P&B continue to grow their operations. Boosting their
manufacturing operations is key to the growth and futureproofing of their
operations, more recently with the construction of a 75,000 sq ft extension to
their Bradford site. The addition of a new 100,000 sq ft site in Ireland will
also be adding additional support for their European operations.
the growth, additional investment in TouchStar and its mobile computing
technology has now been put in place with P&B upgrading their existing
windows scanners to TouchStar’s latest TS8200 android handheld with additional
plans in place to upgrade to TouchStar’s latest android truck mount devices
the new directions the business is taking, P&B continue to evolve and
develop their operations having confidence that the technology they have
invested in will continue to meet the business’s needs both now and into the