Argos has implemented a Zetes voice directed put-away system within 130 stores to boost operational efficiency in its back of store warehouse areas.
Since introducing the system, the retailer has seen a 24 per cent improvement in put-away efficiency reducing time to the final sale point.
“Previously stores needed to put away products within each cage and then release the products for sale. Now individual items are released for sale as soon as they are put away – on shelf literally means on sale,” said Alan Jeffries, head of store operations at Argos.
Argos began working with Zetes on a proof of concept pilot in 25 stores, which took place during the peak trading period of 2008.
It then began the first phase of the integration contract, completing the project objectives within half the original time forecast with 15 stores going live each week.
Zetes has now been appointed to carry out a company-wide roll-out to all Argos’ 740 stores.
Argos stores can receive two daily deliveries depending on store size. It is using the voice technology to notify delivery assistants of where to store each product in the back of store warehouse.
Voice technology has also enabled Argos to introduce line positioning in the stock room, allowing complete flexibility over the layout with fastest selling products to be stored closest to the customer collection points.
In addition, smaller stores are now able to stock a greater variety of products because items can be shelved anywhere and easily retrieved without the need for delivery assistants to have detailed stock room knowledge.
The in-store voice system will comprise the Zetes’ 3iV application software and supporting management tools, along with Vocollect’s T5 Talkman computers, VoiceClient and VoiceConsole software.