The seafood industry is very unpredictable, relying on the weather, the volume of fish running in a season, and the quality of the seafood. Fish can be plentiful one year and scarce the next. The catch can be degraded by rough handling or faulty cooling systems on the fishing vessels. These many variables require that seafood processing companies manage their production as efficiently as possible.
Before Icy Strait Seafoods installed SIMBA from Dynamic Systems they were recording plant production and inventory manually by hand. Although the system worked, it was time consuming to track down the details and the information was not real time. In addition the same information had to be manually entered numerous times for production, shipping and receiving and accounting records. Data entry was time consuming errors often happened.
In early 2014, Icy Strait Seafoods installed the SIMBA system in two processing plants: Juneau and Hoonah, Alaska. SIMBA is an automated production, traceability and inventory system that sits on their plant floor and automatically collects the information previously recorded manually. The system is barcode technology based and is easy to use for the plant workers.
Plant floor data entry is accomplished seamlessly using touch screens which can be formatted to show each user only what they will need to select. They are able to quickly enter multiple attributes per production run, such as species, grade, color, area, etc., and print unique labels for each carton.
“I like the simplicity of the SIMBA touch screen for the plant workers; the SIMBA Office is very user friendly as well,” states Icy Strait Seafoods’ Controller.
End to end traceability is a by-product of the data entry scheme used by SIMBA. The software is able to trace lots from origin through production, boxing, re-boxing, etc. Icy Strait Seafoods is now able to produce an accurate specific audit report with the push of a button. Label printing is a core feature of SIMBA. Icy Strait Seafoods needs to print various label formats, depending on which plant is packing the fish, the attributes of the fish and the customer. SIMBA is able to store and print unlimited label formats, which are also selected with the push of a button on the touch screen.
The Honeywell/Datamax M-Class printer has been extremely reliable in the messy and cold seafood processing plant.
“SIMBA has been a great tool for our company. It solved three huge problems: Production Tracking, Traceability, and Shipping Accuracy. We would like to expand the system in the near future.”