1_front_coverThe British Gas National Distribution Centre in Leicester is mission-control for all its servicing and maintenance operations, and with almost 43,000 boxes of parts and supplies handled on a daily basis the priority for Supplies Manager Tony Ryan is the knowledge that each consignment is going to the correct destination either internally or externally. Looking for an identification solution that would provide durable, industrial quality barcodes and destination signs that could be produced instantly in-house, Brady UK provided the ideal partner. “Identification is a key factor in the smooth running of our facility,” explains Mr Ryan. “With 2000 boxes dispatched every day via Royal Mail, the original manufacturer’s labels eventually become dirty and damaged, and so we needed to produce replacement labels quickly so workflow wasn’t interrupted. Brady printers, labelling materials and software meant we could instantly produce barcoded labels on demand with a considerable saving in both time and cost.”

Brady’s Ross Atkinson visited the NDC and was able to recommend a total package that addressed all of the British Gas requirements. He says: “The key to making Tony and his fellow workers’ life easier was to find a solution that could be integrated into their existing system. Our IP printer and software was ideal for the external tote box identification as you can simply import your own barcode information for fully customised labels- there’s no re-inputting required and the IP is a sturdy workhorse specifically designed for hard-working industrial environments such as this.”

Brady’s Ross Atkinson continues: “On the label side, our B-488 High Performance Matt Polyester label delivers the industrial durability that constant use, washing and transportation demand- you don’t want a material that can’t be read after only a few uses.”

5_racksIn addition to the conveyor systems in place at the Leicester depot, Brady solutions have also been commissioned for the pick-from-pallet VNA system where racking and shelving of up to 10m high is in use, and also for the loading bay doors. Tony Ryan explains the system: “We have twelve distributor centres we use so the right vehicle has to be at the right bay- it also involves the dispatcher as well who needs to identify the correct hub; on the Goods-In side we’re dealing with anything between 50 and 200 a day while on the Dispatch side we have ten large Royal Mail lorries a day.”

GlobalMark and MiniMark printers provided just the robust and cost-effective solutions that have made Brady the leaders in industrial identification. Ross Atkinson summarises: “All of the Brady team look at an individual project to find the right solution for that situation. In this case after seeing the different demands of each area of the Centre a combination of printers and software give British Gas almost unlimited scope and more importantly the durability and longevity in identification that they need.

“The British Gas National Distribution Centre is a magnificent example of a modern and efficient, hard-working nationwide control centre and I’m delighted that Brady is contributing to its efficiency and smooth running.”

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