Morrisons has signed a contract with Zetes, worth more than £6 million, to provide it with one of the UK’s biggest voice directed picking installations.
A three-month pilot programme has already been completed at the supermarket’s Corby distribution centre and it is now set to be deployed across more than 30 sites in what James Hannay, Zetes managing director UK and Ireland calls a “ruthless deployment” – one distribution centre will be implemented every three weeks for the next two years.
He adds: “This is a major step forward for voice in the UK. It puts the UK on the map.”
The system is based on Zetes’ 3iV voice software and will use more than 2000 Vocollect Talkman voice computers.
Once live it will voice enable thousands of Morrisons’ warehouse operators who currently work on a paper-based picking system.
The voice implementation is being deployed as part of an enterprise-wide IT strategy which also includes a migration from Morrisons’ legacy warehouse management systems to the Oracle WMS.
Hannay says: “It’s much bigger than just a voice deployment. It’s about the whole consultation process. By aligning the roll out with Oracle it will enable Morrisons to realise ROI much more quickly.
“As Oracle sites go live we will go live at the same time, but we will also be deploying on legacy systems.”
Additionally, Zetes has adopted an open systems approach to ensure Morrisons is not locked in to any voice hardware or software, so can retain access to all the latest application and technology developments as well as benefit from improvements in industry standards.
Gary Glessner, EMEA VP and managing director of Vocollect, added: “This deployment with Morrisons reinforces the contribution of voice in the warehouse, and its ability to maximise efficiencies in the supply chain. Using Voice to remain competitive by delivering the right goods at the right time will enable Morrisons to continue to be responsive to market demands.”