Castaño Bakery

"The reliability and stability is great"

By digitizing the order picking process, bakery Castaño has considerably increased both productivity and ac- curacy. The Chilean company has installed Pick to Light for order picking of packaged, long-life bread products and Put to Light for the distribution of daily fresh pastry products and other food products. Co-owner Cristobal Castaño: “We now have much more control over the process.”

The shops of Castaño form an inseparable part of the street scene in Santiago. People constantly walk in for a sweet pastry, fresh salad or hearty empanada. Because the products of Castaño are appreciated, the number of stores in the Chilean capital and surroundings is growing. The hundredth store was opened last summer. “But we also supply fresh products and pastry to other retail stores, plus we produce various packaged bread products that we sell through supermarket chains in Chile, including those of Walmart, ” says Cristobal Castaño, who manages the company together with his brothers. The production for the Castaño and other stores shows major differences with the production for the supermarket chains. In the first case it concerns 150 plus locations and an extensive range of more than 200 daily fresh items with a shelf life of one or two days. On the contrary, the company supplies supermarkets – 600 plus locations throughout the country – with a range of up to 80 longer-lasting, packaged items. Think sandwich bread, pita bread, hamburger bread and ready-made pizza crusts. “Around fifty percent of the products we make in Santiago go to the supermarket chains. The rest to our own branches and other customers like Starbucks,” explains Castaño.

Not complete

For many years preparing the orders was a manual, labor-intensive process. The management was vocal and was in the hands of the team leader. Castaño smiles, not Pick to Voice but Pick to Shout. “The accuracy left a lot to be desired. It often happened that products were exchanged or orders were partly delivered. In addition, productivity was largely dependent on the team leader. If he was missing due to illness, it was immediately visible in the speed of work. ” In 2016, there was a growing awareness that the management of the order processing process had to be improved. The top management came into contact with Pcdata at a trade fair. They immediately had a connection with this supplier of Pick to Light and Put to Light technology. “We needed both technologies for the two different operations. We still had contact with another internationally picking supplier, but they had less experience in Pick to Light. Local suppliers dropped out because we were definitely looking for a partner with proven solutions in the bakery sector. Pcdata has that to a large extent. ”


Reliable and stable

At Pick to Light, the operators take an order around the locations where the various products are in stock. Digital displays below the locations indicate how much of each product must be picked.
Put to Light works the other way around: now the operators run the product along the locations that are all assigned to a store. The displays show the numbers that each store has ordered. The advantage of Put to Light is that the operators can already start distributing the first products before the last ones come out of the oven. Pick to Light has the advantage that every order can be sent immediately. Trucks do not have to wait until all orders and products have been processed.
In March 2018 Castaño installed Pick to Light for the packaged bread products. A year later the installation of Put to Light for the daily fresh products followed. “Given the range and the customer base, that was the best choice for both operations,” explains Castaño, who is satisfied with both systems. “The reliability and stability is great”.


Higher productivity, fewer errors

The most important advantage of Pick to Light is the increased order processing capacity. Previously, 8 operators were busy picking orders for the supermarkets for 18 hours. Now 6 operators do not need more than 12 hours. “That means that our people have time for other activities. Moreover, we can now start order picking later, while finish earlier. Even before the first trucks leave the warehouse. Another advantage is the improved ergonomics, so that “operators have fewer physical complaints” says project leader Ronald Aguirre.

At Put to Light, the increased accuracy is striking. The number of picking errors has decreased considerably, so that the Castaño stores hardly complain about missing products. Castaño mainly dedicates this to an extra step in the process: the pre-distribution. “That means an extra check, which reduces the risk of errors.” Aguirre adds. “The capacity has also increased thanks to Put to Light. This does not mean that we have time left over when distributing fresh products, but that we have more time after each wave to prepare for the next wave. As a result, we now have more control over the process. “