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Waterman Onions digitizes its logistics operations with Zebra Technologies

Technology to process 11,000 crates and manage 150,000 tons of onions

Zebra Technologies Corporation, an innovator at the front line of business with solutions and partners that deliver a performance edge, today announced that global onion producer Waterman Onions BV has digitized its logistics operations to gain constant visibility of its fast-paced distribution of 150,000 tons of onions globally each year.

Netherlands-based Waterman Onions grows, sorts, and sells onions to customers, retailers, wholesalers, processing facilities and peeling companies, who consider them among the world’s best. The onions meet high food safety certification requirements and quality standards. The company has expanded from one production hall with 20 employees to three halls with over 100 employees.

Waterman Onions had manual processes for managing incoming loads and orders, validating product quality and onward logistics. Drivers were using paper-based instructions for unloading and on busy days, over 30 truckloads needed unpacking quickly. Onions were sorted by machine or stored as ‘stock field crop,’ but the company couldn’t accurately track if these were delivered correctly. Also, paperwork had increased due to stricter food safety regulations and quality controls.

“We realized we needed an agile, paperless, and digitized solution for its order management and logistics processes,” said Jurrien van den Berg, IT Manager, Waterman Onions. “To protect our brand, ensure consumer safety and achieve even higher customer satisfaction, we needed insight into all onions and across the entire supply chain.”

The company implemented a bespoke warehouse management system (WMS) for storage and processing, but a WMS is only as good as its data. Waterman Onions needed a complementary labelling and scanning solution for the 11,000 crates and cages used to transport and process onions across its facility. Zebra partner Actemium recommended Zebra rugged mobile computers on the Android™ platform along with barcode scanners, tablets, industrial label printers and a mobile device management solution suited to a dusty environment, regular knocks, drops and prolonged periods of usage.  

“We’ve built our long-term mobile device strategy around Android, and the warehouse team is delighted with their new devices, telling me they’re intuitive, robust and reliable,” said van den Berg. “The scanner can read faint, scratched, or compromised barcodes, and with its extended range, drivers save valuable seconds when scanning barcodes directly from their cab. The printer is robust, and the print quality ensures that the tracking labels are clear and remain fixed to crates.”

Key takeaways:

  • Waterman Onions needed to digitize its operations to gain inventory visibility and accuracy, meet customer demand, and comply with increased regulations. 
  • It chose a comprehensive warehouse solution from Zebra and Actemium to efficiently process the 11,000 crates and cages used to manage 150,000 tons of onions globally each year.
  • To learn more, read the case study.

Tracey Wong 
Zebra Technologies 
Tel.: +44 7900 933869

Waterman Onions
Hannie Schaftweg 12
8304 AR Emmeloord
+31 (0)527 617 496   

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