How Cameron's Coffee Tracks Their Products from Bean to Carton with a WMS
Published on 30 June 2021
Cameron’s Specialty Coffee and their Mission:
A smooth cup: Part of Cameron’s mission is to provide a smooth cup of coffee by hand picking the best beans in the world. However, their mission goes beyond that.
All around the world: Cameron’s Specialty Coffee is directly involved with the farmers supplying them with their coffee beans. Members of their team go around the world to meet farmers and their families to build a relationship based on social responsibility. Cameron’s is therefore dedicated to help their farmers grow in a healthy environment.
A Green Company: Cameron’s feels responsible not only for its partners but for the environment. Therefore, they strive for eco-friendly processes. They are dedicated to minimizing their footprint through big and small actions such as minimizing water consumption and using recyclable materials.
Cameron’s Specialty Coffee’s Supply Chain Needs
To accomplish their goals, Cameron’s Coffee had to overcome three challenges, all of which required a change to their inventory management.
- Responding to growing eCommerce demand
- Responding to growing expectations for traceability in the Food and Beverage industry
- Replacing their paper-based processes
By first replacing their paper- based process to an electronic one, we can simultaneously resolve their other challenges. Adapting inventory processes enables employees to be more efficient, and the reduction in error would equip Cameron’s Specialty Coffee with the right strategy to satisfy their online customers. The same goes for satisfying visibility standards by tracing all ingredients, where use of real-time data instead of paper processes would yield greater inventory visibility and traceability.
Sustaining growth: Cameron’s saw much growth in the last few years. eCommerce grew particularly fast during the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, Cameron’s was purchased by a larger Colombian company, which also increased the scale of their operations.
Using a WMS
Cameron’s Coffee turned to Generix to automate their processes and implemented WMS Solochain.
Managing growth: As a result of a 50% growth in demand, they had to enlarge their warehouse space by more than 25% between 2018 and 2020. Switching from paper-based processes to a WMS and automation made sure that Cameron’s could absorb all this growth without being overwhelmed by it. The implementation of the WMS also enabled them to do more with less: they did not have to increase the headcount of their finance department. They simply made it more efficient.
Attracting the New Generation of Warehouse Employees
Opting for the WMS solution also allowed a smooth integration of the new processes with the warehouse employees as well as with those from finance. Employees prefer using tablets and computers to stacks of paper because they are polyvalent and interactive. It also relieves them from having to carry around a lot of material such as pens, notepads, and clipboards and all while operating warehouse equipment such as forklifts. The tablet replaces all those objects and are easy to carry.
To maximize efficiency, the system also needs to be user-friendly. The employees from Cameron’s Specialty Coffee reported that they adjusted quickly and easily to their new tool. Learning the ways of the warehouse was also made easier on new employees since processes are clearer in the WMS display than learning every corner of the warehouse by heart.
Warehouse automation also made work easier for people in the finance team since they could easily understand all the warehouse workflows and processes. Gone are the times of having to read people’s handwriting on sheets of paper.
In the end, automating the processes by making everyone’s job easier, eliminated most errors, whether they be found in the production chain, inventory count, or in shipping.
Thanks to the visibility offered by the WMS, Cameron’s Coffee is now able to reduce waste in their production chain by repurposing coffee beans. For example, if by mistake a batch is over roasted, it can be easily re-routed to be utilized in the production of a darker roast. The WMS helps ensure that the correct type of bean and roasting degree is respected.
Amy Fitzgerald spoke to us about the implementation process and how enthusiastic the end-users were about switching to a more automated process: “Everyone likes to use electronics, it’s just exciting”, she said. The switch to high tech was also welcomed by end-users since it provided more accuracy for their tasks, leading them directly to locations and preventing errors. This made everyone’s day brighter.
Cameron’s Specialty Coffee had goal-specific challenges which were solved by streamlining processes and optimizing their warehousing operations and production by implementing the WMS and MES.
Generix Group North America provides a series of solutions within our Supply Chain Hub product suite to create efficiencies across an entire supply chain. From Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), Transportation Management Systems (TMS) to Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), such platforms can deliver a wide range of benefits that ultimately flow to the warehouse operator’s bottom line. Our solutions are in use around the world and our experience is second-to-none. We invite you to contact us to learn more.