Friday 21st Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

The voice of Liberty

Liberty, the London department store, has introduced voice technology at its warehouse in Manchester for both picking at put-away.

The retailer recently renewed its logistics contract with Clipper and the introduction of voice technology in to Liberty’s warehouse was part of Clipper’s initiative to significantly improve operations and service to the store.

22174 Liberty’s London store

Clipper worked with VoiteQ to implement the Vocollect Voice solution and to manage the project.

Liberty’s IT director, Jonathan Samols said: “Clipper has shown they can identify where cutting edge technology can be used to improve their level of service to Liberty, and their other clients. The introduction of the VoiteQ solution has dramatically reduced the overall lead time from warehouse to store, meaning products are available for sale to our customers much quicker than before.”

The voice implementation at Manchester covers both the picking operation and the goods in/put-away operation.

Once the goods have been received and have been quality control checked, the voice system directs the operator to place the goods in to specific boxes for put-away. The put-away process directs the operator to place the boxes into the pick locations in the warehouse, which is recorded and verified by the voice solution, guaranteeing accuracy of product put-away.

This picking task of the voice solution replaces a previous legacy paper-based picking; the system directs the operator to the appropriate location, the operator then confirms they are at the correct location by reading the location check digits. Additional verification options are available to the operator to ensure the correct product is being picked.

Once the operator has identified the product to be selected, they verify that they have selected the correct item by reading the last three digits of the product’s barcode. Only once the barcode has been verified does the system inform the operator of the quantity to be picked, ensuring the accuracy of the selection.

Clipper has been working with the department store since 1997. Phil Houghton, business implementations manager at Clipper said: “Only a few weeks after implementing voice technology we are already seeing benefits. These included productivity benefits at all levels, reducing our daily processing time by at least two hours, and a significant cost reduction.

“We are already exploring the next steps for voice technology within our operation, including using it to fulfil orders received via the website and for Liberty wholesale stock.”