Walnut Processor Automates to Attain Real-Time Inventory Control
GoldRiver Orchards and its sister company, Barton Ranch, have been growing walnuts in California since 1912. In 2003, GoldRiver Orchards was founded to vertically integrate the farming business to processing and marketing. In June 2013, GoldRiver moved into their HACCP-certified, 104,000 square foot facility in Escalon, California designed for maximum efficiency and quality.
The GoldRiver Orchards brand is sold in more than 25 international markets on six continents. GoldRiver sells shelled and inshell walnuts with premium quality. In 2016, GoldRiver received its seventh consecutive Pinnacle Award from the American Council for Food Safety and Quality.
GoldRiver Orchards processes a substantial flow of walnuts requiring detailed visibility through various stages of sorting and grading. Managing sales, which are mostly make-to-order, requires knowledge of what the company has in raw materials, works-in- process, and finished goods at any given time. GoldRiver’s manual
data collection and record keeping procedure was not only inefficient
and unreliable, it did not provide the real-time visibility they needed.
One of the biggest pain points for GoldRiver’s operation was the lack of reliable and automated reporting. The inventory moves so quickly from the yard into various production steps that as soon as a report was generated, it was out of date. Often times, these reports would be generated four to five times per day. In addition to the labor costs necessary to manually count, update the Excel spreadsheet, and then publish to managers, the whole process was time consuming and prone to errors.
Additionally, yield forecasts are a huge factor in the success of their business. Manually created reports with potentially inaccurate data were not acceptable. It was time to automate.
ParityFactory was integrated in all areas of production, from receiving through shipping, providing a comprehensive materials control solution. Plant operators were equipped with mobile scanners and label printers to easily record the flow of materials, increasing accuracy and speed, while reducing the work involved.
Product movement through production phases is now tracked in ParityFactory. As bins are filled, weights and quality data are recorded on a mobile handheld, eliminating pen and paper record keeping. Barcode labels are printed along the way and product details are quickly scanned for full visibility of raw materials, works-in-process, and items shipped. Real-time visibility ensures the team always has a clear view of what is available for finished case packaging.
The use of customer specific production runs and allocations ensure that as each finished pallet of goods is recorded, it includes the necessary lot, quality, and quantity information, marking it immediately associated to an order. Allocations then provide a guided pick plan to the shipping team to guarantee each customer receives the correct lot.
The Results and Benefits
After implementing ParityFactory, GoldRiver’s inventory levels are now visible in real-time. With the use of mobile scanners, essential details of the walnuts received at GoldRiver’s production facility (grower, lot code, weight, product ID, and trailer number) are now quickly entered into ParityFactory’s nut receiving app for automatic inventory visibility. This process allows the team to capture both inventory quantity and essential quality data to better manage the production schedule.