How Victoria Co-op is Setting a New Standard for the Seafood Industry
Sedna Technologies is a fisheries technology firm working with Victoria Co-op to improve inventory management and traceability. In this article we are going to discuss our work with RFID technology, our payroll and accounting ecosystem and our network of autonomous sensors.
To give you a background on the organization, Victoria Co-op is a forward-thinking co-operative that purchases locally harvested seafood from its’ members. Once processed, the products are shipped worldwide to many customers located in Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Europe and China. They also ship a significant amount of product within Canada and to the USA. Victoria Co-op Fisheries is the only active lobster processing facility on Cape Breton Island.
127 harvester members work within the co-op to supply lobsters and other seafood to the Victoria Co-op ecosystem. Using Sedna’s RFID inventory management and automated payroll system, Victoria Co-op is setting a new standard for the Seafood Industry.
What is RFID technology and how is it being used to track Iive lobster?
An RFID tag is used to replace barcodes and automate inventory management. This is accomplished through the magic of radio frequency signals, which allow items to be scanned in bulk rather than each barcode individually. Think about a group of marathon runners all passing the finish line at the same time – the gateway can scan all of the runners at once, and link each runner with their individual time and information.
In the case of Victoria Co-op, RFID tags are uniquely identified and placed on lobster crates at the dock. Rather than manually recording data on paper, the information is entered through a handheld device.
This step adds value to their process in two really important ways:
Firstly, It eliminates manually writing receipts to each harvester. We geared up the dockside operators with wireless printers. With the click of one button the receipt is printed and the harvesters are on their way. Secondly, The information is automatically uploaded to a cloud database. This means that workers in the head office have access to this information in real time and can better plan for production and payroll functions.
After the lobsters are collected from the seven dockside locations, they all feed into one plant. At this location, they were finding dead lobsters within a few days of being purchased. This means that after only a few days of being caught, lobster mortality was alarmingly high.
“With RFID inventory management, we were able to scan the tags on the crates and pinpoint it back to a specific harvester within seconds.”
-Osborne Burke, General Manager
Traditionally, the death of a lobster cannot be established and a loss is simply accepted. Because of our technology, the core issue was identified and acted on, and new standard operating procedures were created to alleviate future loss to profits.
Check out our website for more information on Automated Traceability:
Payroll & Accounting
“We need to modernize our payroll to grow in the right direction”
–Pauline Rogers, Payroll Manager
Imagine lobsters from Harvester A arrive at Dockside B at 9am, but the paperwork for this transaction doesn’t arrive at the office until 4pm. What if something happened to these lobsters at 11am? 1pm? When data is not available in real-time, it generates a gap in information. With this type of system, you end up accepting losses because there is a lack of traceability and accountability. With our inventory management platform and RFID technology, we are streamlining processes and creating faster and more efficient work procedures.
At the Co-op, the team normally spends countless hours (sometimes days!) reconciling paper slips from the dock – This process was totally eliminated with the Sedna ecosystem. Inputting data at the dockside through a handheld device means that the head office has access to this information in real time. Rather than waiting on paperwork to reach the office, payroll and accounting operations can happen immediately. We also worked alongside their staff to further customize their accounting and payroll operations to allow digital collaboration and eliminate more paper trails.
Autonomous Sensor Network
Sedna’s Cold Chain Monitoring automates processes using wireless transmission of data into real-time reports and downloadable spreadsheets.
At Victoria co-op, trips to the freezers and fridges were a daily task for several operators. In the middle of the winter, someone was tasked with physically leaving their home to visually check the temperature of the freezer. Through our software, this information is continuously monitored and the data can be accessed at all times from a phone, tablet or computer.
Temperatures in the transport trucks must also be logged when sending product to foreign markets like the U.S. This was previously accomplished with USB data loggers which required tedious steps to complete the report:
1. Collect data loggers
2. Plug data logger into a computer
3. Upload PDF
4. Type or write data into spreadsheet
5. Execute FDA (U.S Food and Drug Administration) report
Our sensors have automated this inefficient process and reduced labour hours.
“Sedna sensor networks save us time, fuel and eliminate paperwork for regulators.”
-Osborne Burke , General Manager
The Co-op uses our water quality sensors to monitor pH, temperature, NH3 and NH4 in their holding tanks. It provides the ability to view the critical parameters of the water quality in real-time from your electronic device. It is also equipped with notification services that indicate when parameters are trending towards thresholds or breach parameters.
Water Quality Monitoring: https://peopleware.net/water-quality-monitoring/
Eliminating this paper trail system has decreased human error and increased accuracy. It has allowed data to be shared instantly within the organization, streamlining payroll operations and creating transparency throughout the supply chain.
Learn more about Victoria Co-op Fisheries: http://www.victoriafish.com