AW-5600ATll Case Study: McKinnon's Supermarkets
AW-5600ATll Solves Demand for High-Volume Supermarket needs at McKinnon's in Wilmington, MA.
McKinnon's Supermarkets began in 1946 and is celebrating its 76th anniversary in 2022.The Penta family has operated the company for more than 50 years, expanding to several locations in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The newest location as of July 1, 2022 is in Wilmington, MA.
McKinnon’s has been a long-time customer - spanning over nearly two decades, DIGI’s sales and technical teams have developed a cohesive working relationship with owner Ed Penta and his team, collaborating as business grew and new locations opened. Four other locations have DIGI’s automatic wrapper, AW-5600ATll, where it has been successful in providing efficiency and continuity across the stores. McKinnon’s new location in Wilmington, MA is following suit, but for their own reasons concerning high-volume needs, sales, labor costs and compatibility.
Previously, the meat department at the new location used a hand wrapper for all its orders, averaging 11-13 trays per minute. Scott Conrad, McKinnon’s Wilmington Store Manager mentioned, “At minimum, 1,000 packages per day, so 7,500-10,000 units per week is a very fair estimate.” Unable to keep up with demand, sales were taking a hit. Knowing the positive outcome of the auto-wrapper in other locations, Ed discussed the features of the machine with DIGI America Sales Rep. Lynn Orsi. Considering the increase in productivity compared to the hand wrapper, Ed Penta stated it was a “no-brainer” to immediately replace the hand wrapper with the new auto-wrap- per. Output has increased 75% by wrapping 36 trays per minute, resulting in keeping up with the high-volume. Plus, Ed mentioned it always provides a consistent clean product with accurate label placement.
Concerns in McKinnon’s meat room of space, adaptability, short staff, and labor costs were eliminated with the installation of the AW-5600ATll. Even with limited space, the AW’s small footprint allows for the perfect fit. Ed noticed right away the improved productivity of this department and how easy it is to move the machine, change the outfeed direction, and replace film & labels. Along with a large 15” color touch- screen, these are all key elements the AW has provided the new location to keep up with demand and minimize labor costs.
McKinnon’s Store Manager Scott Conrad quoted, “We had one of the more aggressively priced sales shortly after purchasing the machine and we absolutely wouldn't have made it through the week without it. The amount of time it saved while it worked efficiently allowed us to keep the case full while having stock for the shelf ready to go".
“Previously when we experienced labor shortages, we would purchase tray-packed chicken at a higher cost that ate into the margins. The auto-wrapper has allowed us to buy 40lb bulk boxes of chicken again and save money while also speeding up the wrapping process. The machine is very efficient, it's never late to work and always ready to go every morning with the push of a button. It's the ultimate employee!”.
With Wilmington, MA now being McKinnon’s fifth store to have the AW-5600ATll, it was important for the data to be compatible with all store locations. This was no issue, as it works well with their existing software systems, for easy updates and flexibility with label formatting.
McKinnon’s supermarkets are now all compatible, updated, and solving high-volume needs. “We have never been disappointed with your products or service. DIGI is always quick to respond and find a solution when we need assistance.
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