Automating the labelling process using Sato technology enables Fatherson Bakery to save time and costs

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Fatherson Bakery, one of the largest hand-made cake companies in the UK which supplies leading supermarkets, garden centres, independent retailers and food service groups, has streamlined its labelling processes and improved operating efficiencies significantly since installing a new printer and labelling system from Sato UK.

The Warwickshire-based family-owned bakery was looking to increase its productiveness and identified printing and labelling as a key area.  To increase efficiencies of its labelling process, the bakery turned to SATO, the global leader in barcode printing, labelling and EPC/RFID solutions for the food industry, for support in implementing a new system.

Three types of labels are typically required to be displayed on the products supplied by Fatherson Bakery.  These include Product labels, Tray End labels which show the content of a smaller delivery unit, and "Drop" or Delivery labels.  In many organisations these labels are produced by the manual preparation and input of variable data which may include, product name, ingredients and best before or other compliance details.

Sato has a reputation for delivering high performance labelling solutions and works closely with its customers to fully understand their requirements. In this case it recommended its renowned CL printer together with its LabelGallery Truepro software.  Sato's label design software brings process automation benefits to companies, reducing time and labour factors and therefore business cost.  Powerful additional features enable the labelling process to interface with company production or ERP systems to collect the necessary print data automatically and trigger label production.

LabelGallery is able to interface smoothly with the Sage Business Software operated by Fatherson Bakery, thus automating a number of processes.  For standard product labelling, LabelGallery watches for the production run file which is output by the Sage system.  The label print data is extracted and the label run is instigated on the Sato's CL thermal barcode printer.  It features a simple and clear operator screen which enables the user to select and enter additional label information if required, while preventing the opportunities for errors to be introduced into the system.

Where one of Fatherson Bakery's customers has a requirement for additional labelling, such as a Tray content label, the intelligence within LabelGallery is able to analyse a particular customer order received and construct the label to a pre-determined specification.  Customer delivery information is also monitored by LabelGallery which then prints labels suitable for adhesion to deliveries or inclusion into document wallets.

Sato's CL printers offer high speed data transmission, unparalleled processing speed and large amounts of on-board memory to quickly and easily manage any label printing requirement.  In addition, compliance with any applicable food regulations is assured.

"We are delighted with Sato's solution, and since installing the LabelGallery software we have been able to improve our processes considerably and realise real cost and time efficiencies," says David Geary, director at Fatherson Bakery.  "The software is simple and intuitive to use, and through automating our labelling process, we can continue to deliver high quality cakes and service that our customers have come to expect."

"Not only has this solution helped to increase the efficiency of Fatherson Bakery's processes and productivity through removing the manual label creation process, it has also helped the bakery to improve its traceability management – something which is critical in the food industry," says Neil Batchelor, managing director at Sato UK.  "LabelGallery not only produces clear barcoded labels which achieve all standards, but also enhances business efficiency."

Sato offers complete, integrated solutions to the food industry, and in addition to the CL printer and LabelGallery software, it is also supplying the labels and handheld labellers to Fatherson Bakery.

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