JTI – Japan Tobacco International, with about 25,000 employees in 90 offices, 24 factories, 6 research & development centers and 5 tobacco processing facilities around the world, is a member of the Japan Tobacco Group of Companies (JT), a leading international tobacco product company.
In order to tackle illicit trade at its sources of origin, JTI signed an agreement with the European Commission (and its Anti-Fraud Office – OLAF) in 2007. As part of its efforts to fight this large-scale issue, JTI committed to implement a state-of-the-art Track & Trace system and processes which would allow to track its products. JTI is gradually implementing such systems throughout its relevant operations.
JTI's partner in Greece is Athanassiou S.A., founded in 1928 as a small tobacco wholesale store based in the center of Athens and which is now the reference on the Greek tobacco market. Today the company exclusively represents JTI and six other multinational companies for the importation, storage, promotion and distribution of 160 different tobacco products and other fast-moving consumer goods in Greece. Fuelled by the dedicated contribution of a 265-person network spread throughout the country, Athanassiou serves approximately 34,000 points of sale.
To implement an efficient track & trace solution that met their needs, JTI and Athanassiou selected Mantis' state-of-the-art Warehouse & Distribution Management System (Logistics Vision Suite - LVS). The system was deployed at Athanassiou's modern distribution center (DC) of about 100,000 square feet in Acharnes, Athens. The DC features VNA (Very Narrow Aisle) trucks, climate control, special conditions (humidor), extended fire safety/protection and 24//7 security. Products are based on a five-level pack type hierarchy (pallet, master case, carton, pack, cigarettes).
At this stage, tracking & tracing has been implemented for master cases (a master case contains about 50 cartons, i.e. 500 packs and 10,000 cigarettes). In the future, it could be provided for cartons (about 10 packs of approximately 20 cigarettes each, i.e. 200 cigarettes) and in the longer term, for cigarettes packs. The system currently covers the distribution of all products up to the delivery point and meets the sophisticated needs of the reverse logistics/returns.
"The approach to implement the track & trace system and processes through an advanced Warehouse & Distribution Management System enabled us to achieve our tracking/tracing objectives while at the same time further improving our already high quality customer service and enjoying the plethora of benefits of Mantis' sophisticated logistics information system" says Ms. Hara Kalantzi, the Logistics & Supply Chain Manager of Athanassiou S.A.
"The track and trace project is part of JTI's ongoing effort to implement state-of-the-art systems and procedures throughout all of its operations and partner networks. The success of this project proves that together with Athanassiou, we have made the right choice in selecting Mantis as our logistics technology partner in this challenging endeavor" says Mr. Kevork Bogossian, the IT & Business Support Director of JTI Hellas.
"This was a sophisticated project and a challenge for Mantis. The rich functionality of LVS and the experience of our consultants in similar projects along with the commitment and support of both Athanassiou and JTI were the decisive factors in the success of the initiative," states Fedon Daskopoulos, Mantis' international business development manager.