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Computerized system for poultry takes the weight off their minds.

Processing more than half a million birds a week, Webb Country Foods Ltd. is one of the largest poultry companies in Britain, and to keep its operations flowing smoothly, it has to be able to track poultry weight and other data quickly and accurately

Webb produces an extensive range of products such as Chicken Tikka, spicy Chinese chicken and Thai and Indonesian chicken, primarily for the private label market. It thus has to supply detailed information to retailers on each item, and even trace each batch from the farm to the retail pack.

"We see the complete computerization of our business as the way to gain better control over our processes", said Steve Cardiff, general manager of the company's Okeford Fitzpaine plant. "It means faster and more extensive information interchange between the departments and the factories. This enables us to manage our business more closely and provide our customers with the detailed information they require.

Most of the production data comes from weighing systems in the factory and dispatch areas, and Webb has installed equipment from Scanvaegt International A/S, Denmark, to make that data collection state-of-the-art. "The high quality of their scales was obvious, but what really impressed us was the quality of their software system: data input terminals that were user-friendly, and a menu and reporting system that we could tailor to make the system look exactly as we wanted," Cardiff related. "We were also impressed by the rugged design of their peripherals, the printers and the terminals."

Another thing that impressed Webb was the speedy installation. The company couldn't afford to shut down operations to install computers, no matter how good, but Scanvaegt promised to get its system up and running at Okeford between 10-30 p.m. on a Friday and 7:30 a.m. on a Monday - and did just that. It worked so well at Okeford that a system was later installed at Webb's Lymington plant, and two more have been ordered for Corby and Sutton Benger. They are all of the same type as the Okeford system, which uses four data capture scales linked to three PC's that run the Scanvaegt Multiplex 2000 software program and are linked in turn by modem to the company's central computer. The system also uses model 1025 scale baseworks and model 8352 indicator terminals. Bar codes are used to scan and identify retail packs while removing the possibility of operator error.
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Title Annotation:computerization of Webb Country Foods Ltd. UK poultry company
Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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