Voiteq, the leaders in Voice-Directed Work solutions, today announced that Kellogg’s has invested in its VoiceMan Execution System following a successful trial at their KW1 site in Stretford, Manchester. The system is one of the first of its kind, combining Voice technology with cubing and volumetric data which is fed through the Kellogg’s warehouse management system to VoiceMan; enabling staff to build the perfect pallet based on each end customer’s requirements.
Kellogg’s will be rolling out the VoiceMan solution across its two Manchester depots, KW1 and Merlin Park, which are managed and operated by Norbert Dentressangle. The sites supply both the UK and Irish markets.
Retailers are challenging consumer goods manufacturers to make 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’.
Prior to the trial Kellogg’s expected to see a 10 per cent increase in productivity. At the end of the trial they saw a 40 per cent improvement as well as increased customer satisfaction from major retailers, and complete buy-in from the Norbert Dentressangle operators and management.
“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,” commented Abzy Shaikh, head of UK and ROI distribution. “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.”
In order 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 Voiteq VoiceMan solution receives order information directly from the Kellogg’s warehouse management system. It then cubes and groups products into the appropriate customer-specific pallet stack, ensuring they will be picked and built correctly and transportable to stores without compromising product integrity and within tighter delivery lead times.
Warehouse associates equipped with Vocollect’s A500 voice terminals and SR20 headsets are then guided by verbal instructions telling them where to go, how many cases of each product to pick and how to build the pallet. Each pick is validated at the pickface and the warehouse management system is updated as soon as a pick is complete. The accuracy of the pick is ensured by using product and location check digits.
VoiceMan provides warehouse managers and supervisors with comprehensive visibility and control tools, including real-time dashboards and the ability to manage workload and exceptions across the team; resulting in a more efficient operation and freeing managers to focus on value-add activities.
The solution also takes the load height into consideration and builds pallets which reduce the shipping of ‘fresh air’; lowering delivery costs and helping Kellogg’s and its customers with their green initiatives. Importantly, the system also minimises the pallet breakdown effort for the customer, reducing their dock-to-stock times.
“We’re delighted to have enabled Kellogg’s and Norbert Dentressangle to better serve their customers with this innovative combination of technologies,” remarked David Stanhope, CEO of Voiteq. “The fantastic results are a testament to the quality of Voiteq’s employees and products. The project has been a true partnership and proves that by working closely with our customers, we can deliver an optimal solution. Voice-enabling an existing operation delivers benefits, but to maximise those benefits you need a voice-driven process that maximises the efficiencies within that operation, which is what we believe we have achieved with Kellogg’s and what we strive to do for all our customers.”