H. I. Giørtz Sønner - Over 80% less errors with Voice-Directed Work
"It had an amazing effect; it was a true hallelujah moment when we first got to try the system in real life"
Efficiency is essential in a business that is striving for closer integration between the stores and fewer and larger wholesalers. H. I. Giørtz wanted to improve quality by minimizing picking errors while simultaneously increasing productivity and improving working conditions, starting from the freezer warehouses.
Optiscan implemented a Voice-Directed solution in co-operation with DriW (former DataPro), the WMS (warehouse management system) supplier. The solution consists of a voice directed application provided by Vocollect that communicates with the WMS through a standardized interface.
Each picker is equipped with a headset and a Vocollect voice terminal on a belt. The terminal and the WMS communicate through a Wi-Fi connection. The Vocollect hardware was upgraded to A710 terminals with SRX2 headsets in early January 2014.
All parts of the picking process are managed by the picker using voice commands and receiving the pick instructions directly into the headset. The system also enables batch picking, which means picking several orders at the same time.
Vebjørn Aannø at H. I. Giørtz admits that he was quite skeptical to the solution while his colleagues at other NorgesGruppen companies were recommending Optiscan.
H. I. Giørtz chose to start testing the system for frozen food since that is the toughest area for both staff and equipment. "It had an amazing effect; it was a true hallelujah moment when we first got to try the system in real life, to put it mildly", says Vebjørn enthusiastically.
After running the system at full speed for 3-4 months also for cold and dry groceries the productivity has increased 10-15%, before optimizing the picking locations. "At the same time the errors have decreased from 1,5-1,6 to 0,1-0,21‰. Our customers say that they don´t have to check our deliveries anymore", Vebjørn says. This is maybe one of the best testimonials you ask for.
H. I. Giørtz handles about 200 orders a day, many of which are quite small since some of the customers are smaller outlets.
Thanks to the Voice-Directed system one part time position has been terminated by saving time in internal work distribution and sorting. This has also increased the pickers´ efficiency. "The voice system has minimized our time waste", Vebjørn Aannø declares. "Every picker used to spend 30 minutes a day just to pick up labels and pick-lists. This has now been reduced to a minimum in our 15 600 m2 warehouse" he continues.
H. I. Giørtz today has over 30 Voice licenses with four in the freezer, three in the cold storage and the rest in the dry groceries area. The voice system now enables the pickers to always use both hands for lifting and to keep both eyes focused on the picking assignment. At the same time as ergonomics has been significantly increased also errors like picking the wrong item have been almost totally eliminated and even picking the wrong quantity has decreased radically.
"A significantly improved accuracy and increased efficiency are the greatest benefits with our voice system", Vebjørn says. He compares the change from printed pick lists and labels to the Voice system just as revolutionary as it was to change from hand written pick lists to printed ones. Today they couldn´t even imagine working without Voice.
Implementation of the system was a successful integration project, conducted in close collaboration between Optiscan, DriW and H. I. Giørtz. Optiscan´s service agreement also guarantees system support and upgrades for the voice software, as an extra precaution for a company where the system up-time is business critical. "Optiscan delivered what they promised and we are incredibly happy with the results", Vebjørn says and also points that the project also stayed within the budget.