Monday 24th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Kellogg’s combines voice and volumetrics at Manchester DCs

Kellogg’s is implementing a voice-based system at its two Manchester depots. The system combines voice technology with cubing and volumetric data and is designed to enable staff to build optimised pallets based on customer requirements.

It will be rolling out the Voiteq VoiceMan system across its Merlin Park and KW1 depots, which are operated by Norbert Dentressangle. The sites supply both the UK and Irish markets.

The move follows trials at the KW1 site in Stretford, Manchester, which showed a 40 per cent increase in productivity. It comes in response to demands from retailers for more frequent, smaller deliveries. This has increased the proportion of case picks and mixed pallets that need to be managed by the manufacturer’s warehouses. By using volumetric and weight information, Kellogg’s saw an opportunity to provide its customers with the “perfect pallet”.

Abzy Shaikh, head of UK and ROI distribution, said: “We were extremely happy with the success of the VoiceMan trial. Initially, there were pockets of scepticism that improvements couldn’t be made, but by the end of the trial everyone across Kellogg’s and Norbert Dentressangle were asking why we hadn’t done this sooner.

“We were trying something new by combining voice technology and volumetric cubing; which meant we needed to work very closely as a team. Voiteq showed outstanding knowledge and understanding of our business and used their VoiceMan Execution System to design a solution that directs our operators to build the perfect pallet.”

To achieve this optimal pallet build, the quality of the product master data is essential. For this Voiteq recommended the CubiScan Static Dimensioning System which measures and weighs products.

The VoiceMan system receives order information from the Kellogg’s warehouse management system. It then cubes and groups products into the appropriate customer-specific pallet stack. Picking staff are equipped with Vocollect’s A500 voice terminals and SR20 headsets.