FreshCode Case Study

Varcode implemented a quality system for a large U.S. retailer with FreshCode TTI labels

The Need: The retailer’s Distribution Center ships meat, fruits and vegetables to stores throughout the region, including stores up to 7 hours away. The retailer identified a quality issue for these cold chain goods that led to significant shrinkage and potential health issues because the products were not maintained at the proper temperature. The retailer used Varcode’s comprehensive solution: FreshCode™ labels and FCMS™ system because of its relatively low cost, ease of implementation, and simplicity for users. The Implementation: At the DC, the FreshCode label is attached to each packed pallet. The labels are activated via pull tab and scanned using a standard barcode scanner (Motorola MC9090) already being used by the retailer. The scanning action links the label information to the pallet number and product. The pallet is then loaded onto the truck. Trucks loaded from 20:00 to 24:00 each night arrive at each retail store from 18:00 to 24:00 the following day. Upon arrival at the store, the pallets are unloaded from the truck and scanned. The user at the store is given immediate instruction whether to receive the pallet or reject it based on its time-temperature history since leaving the DC. No other special receiving or measurement procedure is required at the retail store. The data from each scan is sent to the solution’s server in the cloud. This allows any authorized user (such as a quality manager at company offices) to review quality reports and query the data. The Results: The use of the new control system is able to reduce shrinkage due to spoiled product and ensure damaged product does not reach the consumer. Retailer findings from the implementation are:

  1. The accuracy of Varcode’s FreshCode label is comparable to electronic temperature recorders costing as much as 5-20 times the price of the label.
  2. Using the FreshCode label eliminates the need for special equipment or dedicated hardware.
  3. The additional labor associated with reading FreshCode labels is negligible.
  4. The Varcode solution is easy and fast to implement with very minimal training.