Gist implements voice picking for M&S

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Gist has implemented voice-directed picking technology from VoiteQ within its food logistics business, which will benefit client Marks & Spencer’s 600 plus stores.

The move follows proof of concept in its distribution centre in Thatcham in 2007 and the success of the 100 per cent voice pick operation at its Maylands depot in Hemel Hempstead.

By implementing voice picking to a unique pallet ID label, Gist has further reduced picking errors, which has in turn improved delivery accuracy leading to better stock availability in store and a reduction in waste.

The system was originally implemented to support the picking of ambient and long life product, but Gist is now progressing with voice pick operation in faster moving chill product lines.
Warehouse operatives use the Vocollect Voice device, the Talkman T5 dedicated voice unit, to enable them to interact verbally with the existing Warehouse Management System (WMS) via VoiteQ’s VoiceMan middleware.

The operator collects a pallet of goods and then declares the product code and quantity of the product that they are picking.

The voice system instructs the operator around the picking grid via the most efficient route, directing the picker to the appropriate location in the grid and the quantity to be placed in each location, verifying the pallet ID label using validated check digits to ensure accurate “pick to” location.

Ian Rennie, Gist Business Controller, said: “We are very pleased with the implementation of Voice into Gist and have quickly created a partner relationship with VoiteQ which has enabled us to move from a small proof of concept in one depot to a full network roll out in an expedient manner.

“The implementations have been managed extremely well, employees are embracing the new technology and the picking accuracy improvement supports our continuing aim to deliver service excellence to our customer.”

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