International cheese and nutritional ingredients group, Glanbia, has seen picking accuracy levels shoot up to 100 per cent, since installing a voice-directed order picking system at two warehouses and two manufacturing plants in Ireland.
The Vocollect Voice system, which was rolled out with the help of Dublin-based IT company and Vocollect partner Heavey RF, was up and running within two weeks.
Cormac McCarthy, transport development manager, Glanbia, says: “The new system has already surpassed our expectations. A massive amount of information is provided in real-time, which is invaluable. It enables us to see exactly what’s happening at any point in time and where we need to reposition our resources to ensure 100 per cent customer satisfaction.”
Previously the company relied on a paper-based system, which staff described as “inflexible, unreliable and ergonomically challenging”. With the introduction of speech recognition and belt-mounted voice terminals, workers receive real-time picking instructions for each order, via a wireless, bluetooth-enabled headset.
The voice technology has been integrated into Glanbia’s existing SAP system. Within the system, each worker’s head-set and Vocollect Talkman unit is wirelessly connected to the central WMS. Electronic orders are converted to voice automatically by the WMS and then sent out to individual workers for fulfilment.
Glanbia says that the increased accuracy levels have led to an 80 per cent reduction in customer claims on deliveries. And this has thrown up operational cost savings for Glanbia because time is no longer spent amending incorrect orders and issuing credit notes.
Stock control and labour planning and management have also been improved as a result of the system. Previously, additional workers had been left inactive and on site, when they were not required to meet orders, due to over-estimation of resource requirements.