Pioneering software system proves hot stuff for cold storage warehouse

February 21, 2014

Portishead-based bespoke software developer Amethyst Systems has secured a major contract that is already revolutionising the UK’s most advanced cold storage facility, enabling it to move a record number of pallets.

Amethyst has completely overhauled Freezeserve’s warehouse system in Liverpool, replacing its existing SAP-based system with state-of-the-art technology that will successfully integrate with its IT and automated cold storage structure.

The new system has already enabled Freezeserve to break its logistics records – in its first full month of operation it led to 24,000 pallet movements.

Amethyst Systems has kitted out the 20-acre cold store with the latest in pallet management systems, featuring real-time barcode scanning and the ability to oversee orders centrally. This allows easy tracking of stock movements in the warehouse, automatic importing of orders to reduce manual input and quarantine of stock.

Freezeserve operations manager Richard Pollard said: “Our overall goal was to find a system that would serve multiple clients and give them access to view information about the stock we hold on their behalf, and this system has captured that perfectly.

Pictured: Lee Dowson of Amethyst Systems, left, with Terry Haigh, managing director of Freezeserve

“When we met Amethyst and discussed its offering, we could see that the benefits clearly stacked up and that there were numerous advantages that the technology would deliver.

“Not only has the system improved efficiency in the warehouse, it also provides reports on stock-holding for invoicing purposes.”

Amethyst director Lee Dowson added: “We built upon our knowledge of warehouse systems to provide a complete package. This consisted of a web application with SQL server database backend, a full reporting suite and a separate scanning app to run on Windows CE devices.

“We built this to meet Freezeserve’s requirements for a system that would map across handheld devices such as the Boston 8550 and the truck-mounted Vienna forklift computers that were provided by TouchStar Technologies. We also tailored our software so that it could interface with the OptilogX automated cold storage facility provided by ORTEC, because the efficient movement and storage of frozen food was essential.”

TouchStar sales director Peter Marsh said: “We are delighted with the outcome of the implementation, which is testament to Amethyst’s professionalism and expertise within the logistics sector. Following a thorough testing and development process, the rugged Boston and Vienna devices have streamlined Freezeserve’s existing operational process, capturing data and executing stock movements dictated by Amethysts advanced Warehouse IT system.

"We are proud to have played a part in the development of such an impressive cold storage facility and look forward to working with both Amethyst and Freezeserve on future projects.”

Amethyst Systems was created in 2008 by a team of ambitious IT professionals to exploit their talent and experience within the IT sector, with a focus on software development and the logistics industry. It has worked with a range of businesses around the UK, developing innovative applications to tackle a range of business problems.

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