Delta Plastics Study

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Company: Delta Plastics of the South (
Application: Product tracking system developed with Data Net's Co-Log®/Open software
Environment: Delta Plastics' Stuttgart, Arkansas manufacturing plant and satellite warehouses


Company Overview: Delta Plastics of the South

Delta Plastics of the South is an industry-leading manufacturer and supplier of flexible poly tubing used for furrow irrigation in corn, soybean and cotton fields and side inlet irrigation in rice fields throughout the southern United States. Delta Plastics' products are sold through distributors in Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. With a workforce of eighty, Delta Plastics' poly tubing is produced twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and stored in several satellite warehouses. In addition to manufacturing, the company also spends considerable effort recycling used poly tubing. The company picks up used poly tubing from farmers free of charge.

Data Collection: The Need

Until recently, Delta Plastics relied on a paper-based system to record and track the twenty-plus pallets of poly tubing produced daily. Managers at the Little Rock based corporate offices had little information as to the quantity and location of finished goods on hand at the various warehouses.

In late 2004, plant manager Billy Clark and corporate controller Steve Muyers conducted research into various tracking systems available that would track only their finished goods from the time of production through the shipping process. The ubiquitous "off the shelf" warehouse management system software packages were certainly sufficient, but offered significantly more functionality than Delta Plastics required at the time.

Data Net's Solution

Delta Plastics needed a low-cost data collection solution which not only addressed their multi-facility needs, but was also specifically tailored to their manufacturing and distribution business model. Data Net's development team produced a Cisco and PSC-based 802.11b radio frequency product movement application using the latest Co-Log/Open software. The system would track finished product by pallet ID from the point of production, transfers to warehouses and ultimately shipments to customers.

Delta Plastics' low-cost VPN network structure

With the use of a DSL router at each location, coupled with secure VPN tunneling, Delta Plastics is able to utilize wireless PSC Falcon terminals in all locations and communicate with the Co-Log/Open server located at the corporate offices in Little Rock

By virtue of Co-Log/Open's flexibility, Delta Plastics intends to expand the functionality of the system as business changes warrant.

"We were not interested in paying monthly and annual licensing fees, which are typical among competitive package data collection solutions. We felt Data Net brought to the table the scalability, experience and long term return on investment that we need to ensure our customers continue to receive the level of service expected from Delta Plastics." —Steve Muyers, VP and controller, Delta Plastics, Inc.

A Delta Plastics employee scans a pallet for shipment.


Delta Plastics realized several tangible benefits upon installation of a real-time data collection system. Mr. Muyers and his staff now have complete visibility of all finished product inventory in all facilities and subsequently, the tools to reduce inventory levels and still maintain customer satisfaction.

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