Warehouse Automation - Henny Penny Case Study

Henny Penny manufactures foodservice equipment and serves some of the most well-known names in the business, including Chick-fil-A and McDonald’s. In addition to manufacturing, they run a small parts distribution operation and were looking to integrate picking towers to JD Edwards through Automation. 


Moving from another automated data collection solution, Henny Penny selected RF-SMART due to its highly configurable software, proven integration with JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and top-tier customer service. Right away, Henny Penny began using RF-SMART to pick orders and validate the correct items were sent to the appropriate customer. 

Henny Penny uses a host of RF-SMART workflows, including Work Order Completion, Picking, and Ship Confirm. For this growing company, the reduction of manual data as a result of the implementation of RF-SMART has yielded measurable results. From saving time in the warehouse to increasing accuracy, Henny Penny has grown their business and maintained excellent customer service. 

Integrating Pick Towers 

Even though Henny Penny was utilizing RF-SMART in their finished goods area, there was room to expand, as their parts distribution had too much manual data entry and inaccuracy. “We were a manufacturing company that had evolved to run a distribution operation,” Bob Blackburn, Henny Penny’s IT Delivery Manager,explained. Henny Penny made the decision to bring in vertical lift towers to optimize picking for their parts distribution. This brought about a massive overhaul of their entire process, beginning with integrating the software for their picking towers.

When the project was turned over to Bob’s team, Bob knew he could turn to RF-SMART to help find a way to integrate the towers into their picking process. “We have a strong business partner in RF-SMART,” Bob said. “Throughout all parts of the cycle, RF-SMART has taken the time to understand our business and our processes. We know RF-SMART is here to serve us.”

RF-SMART Automation Module

“Thanks to RF-SMART, the integration of picking towers to JD Edwards was the easiest part of the project,” Bob said. By using RF-SMART’s validated integration, data is sent seamlessly to JD Edwards from the picking towers once the pick is completed. RF-SMART handles all the data exchange, keeping JD Edwards up to date in real-time. RF-SMART’s high configurability allows the Automation Module to map data from any third party automation system (picking towers included) to one of over 50 RF-SMART transactions.

“RF-SMART Automation provides excellent transaction management and error reporting,” Bob said. “Warehouse Automation handles short picks, hot picks, putaways, back orders, and inventory transfer between JDE locations without human intervention.” Henny Penny’s parts inventory is now kept in sync, and error reporting allows Henny Penny to correct mispicks before they go out the door. “It’s a very big deal for us and for our customers,” Bob said.

Benefits are a “Value-add”

In addition to accurate inventory and real-time visibility, Henny Penny has seen a host of other benefits, including increased inventory levels while reducing floor space by 50%. This has yielded big savings for the growing company. And with the focus of their warehouse labor force now on picking and packing, Henny Penny is more efficient than ever. Their through-put capacity is twice the volume from before adding RF-SMART Automation. Having automated much of their manufacturing and distribution operations, Henny Penny can keep their focus on growing their business and serving their customers.

“The new functionality we have with Warehouse Automation has been one of the best value-adds to our organization,” said Bob.

“The new functionality we have with Warehouse Automation has been one of the best value-adds to our organization.."

Learn how RF-SMART helped Henny Penny achieve their automation goals.

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