Zero defects – this term refers to a zero-defect strategy that is used in the automotive industry and that Gediflora wants to implement in their own production process too. "This means that we want to eliminate any defects which may occur in our production chain. With this ambitious goal in mind, Gediflora introduced a “Track & Trace” system a few years ago. But how does such a Track & Trace system work in practice and what advantages does it bring for the customer? In the following sections below, we will explain this to you step by step," they say.
In the first phase, the incoming cuttings are allocated a specific place within the cooling unit, where they are scanned and checked. Any deficiencies or shortcomings can already be intercepted here for the first time. The scanning system also informs the person responsible which varieties need to be made available for planting each day. Furthermore, the system is linked to the production site from where the cuttings originate. This is important in the case of anomalies so as to be able to communicate as efficiently as possible and to take remedial action if necessary.
Placing in the greenhouse
After the clearance and cooling phase, the second phase is to place the cuttings in their designated greenhouse. During this process, each tray is assigned a specific location. Both the table number and the label of the tray are scanned. "In this way we know not only where the cuttings come from, but also when they were planted and where they are located within the greenhouse. The various pieces of the complex production puzzle are now gradually coming together. The Belgian Mums now get a few weeks to grow undisturbed," they explain.
Quality control is one of the most important links in the production chain. Any cuttings that do not meet the strict standards during scanning are removed. This means that they are not included in the picking process and as a result do not reach the customers. The quality control managers then communicate again to the production sites any errors and defects that have occurred so that any possible problems can be prevented in future deliveries.
Order picking is a job for specialists, but fortunately, the Track & Trace system gives them a helping hand. For each tray that is prepared for dispatch, the system checks whether it is the right variety and the right quantity. In this way, the error rate in the packaging process can be reduced to zero. Any defects are corrected here so that the customer receives the correct quantities and the correct variety.
In the final phase, the cuttings are loaded and undergo a final check. They are scanned one more time before being dispatched, the correct order will be delivered to the correct customer. After a final visual inspection by the packaging controllers, the cuttings are given the green light. By the time the Belgian Mums are finally loaded onto the truck, they have been checked no less than five times with the help of the Track & Trace system.
B-8840 Oostnieuwkerke, Belgium
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