Bako North Western

Bako NW is a co-operative owed by its bakery trade members and is one of five Bako organisations. Together they constitute one of the UK’s largest nationwide food distributors. The company specialises in the supply of ingredients and other food produce to bakery operations across North West, Midlands and North Wales, using its own fleet of modern, multi-temperature vehicles to deliver chilled, ambient and frozen products in the same delivery.

The Challenge
With an ever-expanding customer base, Bako NW wanted to ensure its warehousing operation functions were as efficient as possible to offer customers optimal customer service. 

The Solution
Bako NW chose our Accord Voice WMS to interface directly with their incumbent warehouse system and replace their paper-based operations. It has been implemented in a series of phases starting with Goods Inward, followed by Picking, Put-Away and Replenishment and finally Perpetual Inventory where the use of Voice allows stock checking to be carried out in real-time without disruption to other warehouse operations. The Picking, Put-Away and Replenishment stage was itself phased in gradually, starting with the frozen goods department, then chilled and, finally, ambient, the largest of the three departments.

The Results
Accord Voice WMS is now operational across all warehouse activities, transforming Bako NW’s warehouse facility from a predominantly paper-based operation to one completely based on Voice. The company has realised major performance improvements and savings of more than £75,000 p.a. since the intial implementation. 

The use of Voice to check all relevant aspects of the delivery and update the main warehouse management system in real time has improved traceability and ensures that stock information on the system is accurate from the start. Any discrepancies are identified and addressed immediately rather than filtering into the warehouse to cause problems later.

Warehouse picking accuracy has also improved to 99.95% and order fulfilment to 99.5%, enabling the company to discontinue an expensive labour-intensive double-check system. The company conservatively estimates savings of £26,000 p.a. from reduction in mis-picks.

Sean Hobson, Bako NW Logistics Manager has said “BCP’s Voice solution has proved a superb fit to our requirements, quickly delivering the improvements we anticipated – around £50,000 p.a. in labour savings and over £26,000 p.a. from improved picking accuracy. What’s more, the workers all love it – from the supervisors to the lads on the shop floor. None would want to return to the old paper-based system.”