Masteroast Coffee Company Ltd. is an independently owned coffee importer, roaster and packer. Since implementing Orca Scan to improve the visibility of their processes and stock inventory, they have seen immeasurable improvements in their productivity; efficiency and have even increased their daily cash flow by over £100,000.
Here’s how they did it 👇
Masteroast Coffee Company Ltd. operates from Peterborough, UK and manufactures over 5000 own-label coffee products from its industry-leading range of raw coffees and packing systems. The facility houses the entire production and can be broken into five key areas…
- Raw Coffee Intake Warehouse: Where all shipments are received and stored
- Quality control: Where the coffee is sampled to confirm consistency and checked for defects. Organic, Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and other speciality certified coffees are segregated to ensure traceability and the certifications are not compromised
- Roasting: Where beans are blended and roasted to each customer’s specification
- Packaging: Where all batches are packed, sealed, and labels are checked
- Dispatch: Where the finished product is inspected and sent to the customer
Whilst Andy Fawkes, Managing Director of Masteroast, and his team had developed production software systems capable of managing the many different products going through the Roastery at any one time - tracking progress and communication of issues required a lot of supervision, manual intervention and reliance on paper movement. All of this had an impact on process flow and productivity.
They needed a solution that gave them better visibility and traceability of their inventory and was easy to implement… 🚀
A little bit of context
Masteroast Coffee Company Ltd. is one of the major innovators in the UK’s coffee industry, at the centre of the Fairtrade movement since the 1990s. Masteroast is the backstop of the UK Coffee Industry, roasting for major supermarkets, European brands, independent brands and distributors, wholesalers and more.
Established in 1981, it has over 40 years of experience in the UK’s coffee trade and is probably responsible for 1 in 7 cups drunk daily outside the home in the UK.
You might not know our name, but it would be very unlikely that you haven’t drunk coffee that has come through this facilityAndy FawkesManaging DirectorMasteroast Coffee Company Ltd
How Orca Scan provided a solution
Orca Scan is used for every stage of production. By adding simple barcode recognition to every step of the process, the team can capture and track the journey of each batch of coffee, using triggers within their Orca sheet to inform supervisors if something needs attention. Through this, production supervisors can manage workflow and enhance productivity across all areas.
The appeal of Orca Scan was its simplicityAndy FawkesManaging DirectorMasteroast Coffee Company Ltd
The warehouse 🏭
Using Orca Scan, the team can monitor inventory stock levels by identifying how quickly coffee batches are moving through production. Too rapidly and it requires re-stocking; not quickly enough, it could cause issues with quality or delayed shipments. As shipments are received, each batch of coffee is given an ‘internal stock barcode’ created within Orca Scan that holds data such as where the coffee originated and any certifications it may have.
Quality control office ☕
This stage ensures that Food Safety, Accreditation and Quality standards are met. When handling Organic, Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and other speciality certified coffee batches, Masteroast has to demonstrate complete traceability from farmer to a finished product that ends up on the supermarket shelves. With Orca Scan, any person in the business, at any time, can identify whether a batch is certified. Additionally, when they are audited annually by certifiers and supermarkets, they can offer a complete digital track record of the journey of each batch of coffee.
Orca Scan is also being used to monitor the functionality rates of production machines, including roasters. Each time the engineering support staff are called to repair an appliance, it’s recorded on a dedicated sheet to help build and understand a pattern of efficiency and reduce downtime.
Properly tracking all items in the facility means that if any packaging is damaged, missing or not working correctly, it’s recorded and dealt with quickly and efficiently using triggers. Items are scanned, the condition is recorded, and it notifies a supervisor of the issue.
Once a shipment is ready to leave the facility and be delivered to the customer, it’s scanned onto the delivery vehicle. This final scan automatically triggers an email to the customer, providing a shipping tracking number and invoice.
Has the solution been successful?
Implementing Orca Scan has dramatically improved productivity and communication by creating visibility at every stage. It has even led to customer invoices typically processing 24 hours earlier, resulting in an increased cash flow of over £100,000.
The traceability that Orca Scan has given us has enabled us to manage inventory far more effectivelyAndy FawkesManaging DirectorMasteroast Coffee Company Ltd
The data they are now collecting means they have also seen a significant decrease in the time taken to communicate detailed information to their customers, such as its place on the production line, when it will be delivered and who will deliver it. Analysis of this data also points to areas of friction that need attention.
The most significant success of its implementation is the willingness of the team to embrace the new way of working to improve efficiency and time management across the organisation.
Everybody comes to work to do a good job, but if you make it easier for them by giving them the right tools, then they will embrace it very quicklyAndy FawkesManaging DirectorMasteroast Coffee Company Ltd
The implementation of Orca Scan has been so successful that the team are constantly looking for more ways to automate their processes and increase efficiency, working closely with the Orca team to find new and innovative solutions.
Thank you 🙏
Thank you to Andy and the Masteroast Coffee team for your support and feedback on Orca Scan, helping us grow. It’s bean brilliant to share your story. We are very grateful 🙏
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