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Splashworks, a leader in the wholesale distribution of plumbing and sanitary-ware in South Africa, is faced with the daily challenge of traceability within their product distribution. The ability to track multiple items against purchase orders ensures that distribution is accurate and efficient. For this reason, Splashworks employed TransLution™ Software to advance the checking process and ultimately improve traceability in the distribution process.

How TransLution™ Works

TransLution™ is a warehouse management tool that uses barcode labels, hand-held radio-frequency scanners and
touchscreen terminals to record and track the movement of every product in a factory or warehouse environment.
Data is captured through simple interface scanners and relayed directly to the company’s SYSPRO ERP software in real time.

Improving the checking process

The distribution of high volume products requires a high level of accuracy at the packing stage. TransLution™ Software was implemented on EazyTouch terminals using wedge scanners, prompting users to scan each item as it is packed into a box and checking it against the sales order. For items with an order quantity under 100, each item must be scanned, ensuring that the item is correctly counted during the checking process.

Where quantities over 100 are encountered, the quantity can be inputted manually by the user to avoid scanning every single item. Multiple items in packets are scanned several times according to the number of items in a bulk pack.

To improve accuracy, TransLution™ validates the scanning against the sales order. If an item that is not on the order is scanned, the operator is immediately informed. If too many of an item are scanned, the operator is informed that he is adding too many to a box, preventing extra items that may have been picked by the picker from simply being added to a box and shipped.

At each stage of the processes the operator is able to check the scan history log on-screen to see what has already been scanned.

Once the packing process is complete, the user reviews the sales order against an order validation process to confirm that all items on the order have been packed and the entire order has been fulfilled. This is done through a variance report which can printed if necessary prior to closing out an order. An order cannot be closed until all items have been validated.

The Rollout

The TransLution™ implementation was rolled out in phases to ensure a smooth transition and minimise downtime. The system was initially tested on just one checking station in Johannesburg and then rolled out to 15. By taking a phased approach, challenges were identified early and the system was adjusted to address these issues. In this way, Splashworks has ensured a system that is intergrated fully into their existing workflow and that they can trust completely.

“We have learned a number of things as the rollout happened and have evolved the system to work around us.” – Mignonne Smith, Financial Manager, Splashworks (PTY) Ltd.