Cameron’s Specialty Coffee

Tracking coffee from bean to carton for freshest coffee each and every time

Coffee_Products
Sectors
Logistics & Supply Chain

Context

Company Overview

Cameron's Coffee is a coffee roasting, packaging, and distribution company, effectively roasting and distributing premium, specialty-grade coffee. They are headquartered in Shakopee, Minnesota and operate since 1978. The company is leading provider of both branded and private label coffee products in the U.S. Cameron’s Coffee offerings include single serve coffee pods, bagged whole bean and ground coffee, and bulk whole bean coffee as well as select tea products. The roaster predominantly serves the grocery sector but also uses an eCommerce platform to sell directly to customers. Cameron's operates from a state-of-the-art production and distribution facility in Shakopee, MN where it employs best-in-class practices to ensure quality and sustainable coffee. Their HQ and Production facility are in the same building, while the finished good warehouse is around the corner. The company employees travel the world to source high-quality arabica beans.

Challenges:

  • Having only paper-based processes at the warehouse operations, employees manually check and encode items
  • Growing eCommerce demand from individual customers and business growth
  • Food and beverage companies are strengthening efforts around food traceability having to comply with new government regulations in this area.  
  • Green beans are shipped from overseas (South America), stored in the U.S. and delivered to hundreds of stores in the USA.
  • Therefore, inventory accuracy and live reporting capabilities are paramount
     
Solution
  • Every step of the transformation process is managed in the WMS+MES: roasting, flavoring, grinding, and packaging which ties into the ERP
  • The solution tracks how much coffee is roasted as well as which and how many ingredients are required for the product
  • Customization includes tracking the output quantity, as well as time and date for each batch of coffee, allowing Cameron’s coffee to see how many coffee bags are produced during each roasted batch, and measure raw materials needed to produce a set amount of every type and format of their coffee products
  • Streamlines existing processes to create mobility in the warehouse while helping employees be more efficient and accurate thus enhancing quality control
  • Ensures no waste of coffee beans takes place, if excess quantity is produced or over roasting happens, coffee can then be redirected to a relevant batch to be utilized correctly 
  • Assist with Customer compliance requirements (i.e., Walmart, Target, Menards, etc.)
Results
  • The WMS + MES solutions have brought critical efficiencies that have allowed Cameron’s Coffee company to grow with minimal additional to the head count
  • New hires have been easier and faster to train at the warehouse in general as well as on Solochain specifically and the solution has empowered employees to confidently complete their jobs
  • Cameron’s Coffee experienced an increase of about 50% in total sales, and an increase of around 200% in eCommerce sales since the WMS implementation, with minimal labor cost increase
  • Order fulfillment went up to 99.3%
  • Cycle counts show 99.5% inventory accuracy
  • Cycle count down time has decreased significantly, eliminating completely the weekly shutdown period (several hours) for selected warehouse areas. The company is currently working on eliminating the cycle count day occurring on an annual basis.
  • Considerably faster reporting and month end close processing due to real-time data transmission to the ERP.
  • Barcode utilization improved warehouse maintenance and increased warehouse efficiency
  • A dedicated implementation and support team easy to work with and attentive to ongoing needs (from Capterra review)
  • User-friendly reporting, intuitive interface, customizable pages with data that can be exported from any page
  • Cameron’ coffee uses iPads and tablets for production in combination with handheld devices. This allows to be more mobile and run more production lines, enabling users to log into multiple productions line such as for packaging which includes production lines for different sized bags, Keurig’s, or bulk production. This also avoids the need to have a computer at every station, therefore, allowing cost efficiencies.
  • The warehouse has grown over 25% since between 2018 and 2020, the space was optimized and organized with the help of the WMS, which also supported the eCommerce growth experienced due to Covid
  • The end-users of the system were thrilled with the change, enjoying working with electronics, being more independent, accurate, and able to execute their tasks with ease
  • The multi-stage production data was being inputted into the CRM allowing for operations particularities to be considered. 
  • For e.g., when roasting raw beans, beans lose weight and raw SKU needs to be reinterpreted because of the weighted change; new real-time data collected with every step of the transformation process was correctly interpreted and pushed into the CRM
  • If the beans are slightly over roasted, they are immediately redirected to a batch with a higher roasting degree necessary to produce a desired type of coffee, thus avoiding wastage

 

download_pdf

amy_fitzgerald
Amy Fitzgerald
System Administrator
Cameron’s Specialty Coffee
“The WMS and MES systems through Solochain are user-friendly and very customizable. In a dynamically changing company, the system has been able to change and grow with our needs. We have found efficiencies that have allowed us to grow with minimal additional head count. And when we do have new hires, the system is easy to train and empowers employees to confidently complete their jobs."
Amy Fitzgerald
System Administrator
Cameron’s Specialty Coffee