Based near the town of Citrusdal (Western Cape), Mouton Citrus is one of South Africa’s leading growers and exporters of quality citrus fruit and Rooibos tea.
Mouton Citrus’ core business is the production, packing and exporting of a full basket of citrus varieties. Mouton Citrus aim to position themselves as a direct supplier to leading global retailers and selected target markets in the Americas, Europe and Asia. They predominantly export their own produce, complimented by the fruit of carefully selected grower partners.
What started as a family business 35 years ago has grown into a formidable company. This business has been thriving through successful partnerships with key international and empowerment stakeholders, farms, development of new generation orchards and the application of cutting edge, best-of-breed, technology.
PALPACK is a comprehensive software solution developed for the fresh produce packhouse environment. It provides clients with full management, visibility and traceability of product from bulk receiving at the packhouse throughout the packing process up to finished goods warehousing and shipping.
The most beneficial functional areas implemented at Mouton Citrus are:
1) Orchard dispatches
A mobile application that allows the user to do a pre-intake of bulk bins in the orchard and link it to a load. Notification of the load is sent to the packhouse via the cloud. The packhouse then has visibility of what is en-route.
2) RF Scanning at bulk deliveries
When the truck arrives at the packhouse, a bulk delivery is created based on the orchard dispatch. The user is then able to verify the bins on the delivery using an RF scanner. The verification can either be a full verification or a spot check on some of the bins. If there are multiple varieties, orchards, or farms on the load, multiple deliveries will be created for each unique farm, orchard and variety combination on the load. This functionality with the orchard dispatch information uploaded, allows for faster receipt of bins at the packhouses.
3) Auto-bin tipping
Fixed line scanners were placed (up to 3) on the entrance to the tipper. The bin tickets are then scanned automatically as they enter the tipper. The contents of the bin are validated against the currently-active-for-tipping production run. For bins that pass validation, a green light is illuminated. Any red lights indicate to the forklift driver which bin(s) have failed validation and those bins need to be replaced. Once all the bins have passed validation, there is integration with the in-line scale to record the actual weight of the bin(s) tipped. This flow support automation of the bin tipping process while ensuring real-time visibility and tipping accuracy.
4) Pre-Sorter Integration
PALPACK integrates with the Greefa pre-sorter at one of packhouses (now disabled). The integration was customized according to Mouton Citrus’ process flows and requirements. This compliments the accuracy of their pack-out results and contributes to better management information and traceability.
5) Carton Management
The PALPACK Carton Management Module offers Mouton Citrus on-demand carton and pallet label printing, with RF and in-line carton scanning.
- Labels can be printed on demand at the packing stations by selecting the packer and carton type on a tablet. Printers located at the packing stations print the labels immediately upon selection. Label waste is minimised, thereby costs are reduced.
- RF Carton Scanning functionality allows the users to scan carton labels while palletising. The system keeps track of exactly what has gone onto the pallet and automatically generate the pallet label when full. The main benefits of RF Carton scanning for Mouton Citrus are:
- Improved pallet label accuracy
- Speeding up of the intake process
- Real-time intake information
6) Extensive packer transaction management
Mouton Citrus has real-time information related to packer transactions and therefore improved performance management is possible. The information recorded is used for packer remuneration purposes, as well as providing real-time on-floor stock visibility for product that has not been finalised. Packer performance is measured earlier than pallet intake and can also be used to track progress against packing programs or orders.
7) RF Dispatch Scanning
RF Dispatch Scanning improves load rates and leads to greater accuracy. Not only is the dispatch recorded in real-time, the user is also warned of any issues while loading.
8) Extensive dashboarding that display real-time information related to various critical aspects of their business process. The mobile dashboards provide management with the ability to track operations, even though they are not physically at the packhouses.
Joseph Raspel, Packhouse Manager for Mouton Citrus, says the following: “As Mouton Citrus grew in volumes, we outgrew basic PALPACK functionality. Mouton Citrus and Paltrack are strategic partners and both parties grew with the progression to PALPACK PRO as the next step in terms of solution.
The conversion and implementation to PALPACK PRO was almost seamless. One of the biggest advantages of the system was that it allowed us to make the changes required to suite our style of working and the way we do business. Another plus for us, is that Paltrack understands the fruit business and has the best functionality rich solution that fits our citrus packhouses.
Other big advantages are the flexibility and ease of use and that the system provide us with more real-time information to make better business decisions. The addition of orchard dispatches on truck drivers’ mobile phones gives us the advantage to see what is on route from the orchards to the packhouses, allowing for better planning. We are now able to see where our supply chain and FIFO rules failed, giving us the advantage to manage exceptions in real-time and improve our end-product.
Dashboards on the production floor coupled with the real-time tip, weight and in-line carton scanners give live feedback to all staff on their performance in all areas, from tipping, packing and dispatch right down to average carton weights.
The user-friendliness of all parts of the system empowers all managers and supervisors to manage their relevant departments with high accuracy.
Our biggest time saver is the ease of getting information out of the system. Staff no longer need to run around and count bin or pallet stock. The automated reports in the system gives great info to marketing and support teams off-site.
Reporting on run, mass balance and all other related reports are done with ease and in a very understandable layout. The support we receive from Paltrack is invaluable to my staff. We can pick up a phone at any time of the day or night and we will get our problems resolved with ease.
In short, we see Paltrack as a vital part of Mouton Citrus operations and one of our most valuable business partners. Paltrack is living up to their promise of REDEFINING VISIBILITY for our business.”
For more information, please contact Jeanette Jenkins on 021 818 4200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.