Project Middleware

Written by Filip

First things first

We recently installed a Slimbox at Ortho-Nutrients. They are now improving their profits by saving on packaging and shipping costs as well as reducing their ecological footprint and helping their own customers to reduce the amount of packaging materials they must handle and process.

Made on a Slimbox

But that is just part of the story.

This is the first installation of an enhancement to Slimbox about which we are very proud - it is softwre classified as ‘Middleware’ because it fits between our client’s own system (e.g. an ERP-system or webshop) and the Slimbox API (i.e. ‘Application Programming Interface’ which enables Slimbox software to interact with other software systems).

How it works

This new Slimbox Middleware receives a message from Ortho-Nutrients' ERP system [1] that a new order has been received and lists the goods ordered. [2] The details of those goods, including dimensions, colors and weight, are accessed by the Middleware so that it now has an image of which products are in this particular order. With that data, the Middleware solves a 3D packing puzzle to figure out the best way to put these products together so that they are safe while also taking up the smallest possible space. The solution of the puzzle provides the dimensions necessary to create the best box and visuals that show how to assemble the products in the box. [3] The dimensions are then send to the Slimbox and [4] the visuals appear on the screen of the person who is responsible for packing the order. All of the above, although complicated, happens in a fraction of a second.

This Middleware saves time and money at Ortho-Nutrients. Their team now has the ability to optimise packaging solutions without having to organise, measure and figure out the packing puzzle themselves. Now the boxes can even be produced before the product picking is done. Also, picking errors are reduced because the order packing illustration can be matched to the products which have been picked from inventory.

Best of all, everything is streamlined and ready just-in-time.

If you would like more information about this or would like to see a similar solution in your own company, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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