Nor-Sea Foods supplies processed fish to the retail sector in the UK. Nor-Sea Foods, Aberdeen, produces cold smoked products for a variety of customers, while Nor-Sea Foods, Fraserburgh, is a dedicated, high care factory producing hot smoked ready-to-eat products.
At Nor-Sea Foods, the company prides itself in being able to offer a comprehensive range of smoked fish products, from kippers to smoked salmon. While the product range is extensive and varied, they are all produced to the exacting standard demanded by today's consumer.
The company is closely located to the Aberdeen fish market and is on the road to Peterhead and Fraserburgh markets where the majority of its raw materials come from. Turnover at Nor-Sea Foods is in the region of 30 million.
Because the company has a wide variety of customers local supermarkets, UK supermarkets (Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose and Netto among others) as well as customers worldwide, exporting to Canada, America, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand and South America it must have flexible, accurate labelling systems and processes.
Stuart Alexander, Factory Manager, Nor-Sea Foods, says, We have to be very precise with the wording of labels as it can often change from one customer to the next, while the positioning of labels can also change. Likewise barcoding standards differ from one country to the next. Its important that we have quality control checks and production checks to ensure that labels are kept separate for our different customers. The biggest challenge is to make sure the detail for each customer is followed precisely.
The business has a huge database of different templates for customers and it needed a solution that could cope with the growing demands of the business.
The companys relationship with Episys began when Nor-Sea Foods took over a business that used Episys within its business and it imported the system into Nor-Sea Foods labelling.
Alexander adds, We label huge amounts of vacuum packs at Nor-Sea with Episys and outer case labels to go with these packs. Episys is mainly used for set weight products where we can print vast amount of labels ahead of time to use during a production run. But Episys also makes the labels that go directly onto the packs which customers buy, which provide the details of the content and cooking instructions. We produce labels under the Nor-Sea banner and also under customer own labels. In total, we could be using anywhere between 25,000 and 30,000 labels every single day.
The company took the decision to upgrade to Episys Ultimate system. Alexander said, Since we have upgraded to the Ultimate solution it has exceeded our expectations and it gives us greater flexibility to be able to produce labels.
The Episys system has brought a range of advantages to the business. Alexander said, The software is a very user friendly system compared to the system we had before. The Episys system is easy to edit and its simple to create new labels.
Nor-Sea Foods provides different languages for different countries. Alexander added, We will have a label produced, translated and make sure it is acceptable and we will produce whatever label is required. Episys has given us the ability to produce a variety of labels in different languages which is a huge benefit for the business.
The company has one Episys system linked to two separate printers which gives us flexibility in printing. In the past the company has used a variety of suppliers for ribbons, labels etc. Alexander commented, We are now buying the ribbons through Episys so they are specific for our machines. This has been beneficial as were seeing a better quality of print. We also have fewer checks coming through with poor grade print, so the quality of the actual print has improved since weve gone to Episys.
The flexibility of the technology paints a positive picture for the future. Alexander said, If the needs of the business change we have more opportunity with the Episys system to keep up with the demands. Also, the relationship between the two companies has been fantastic, while the service has been first class. I would certainly recommend the technology to our sister company who currently do not have the system in place. The decision to have Episys software on site was the right one for our business.