Reference story : Malorama

Our experience is that voice picking is more efficient, and more ergonomically correct. We notice that in the employees at the warehouse. Also, it’s cheaper.

Atle Melgard, Logistics Manager, Malorama

Increaced quality

“The voice in the head” is provided by Optiscan Group. In other words, we are talking about voice picking, or voice, which has been a success for Malorama at Kløfta. Malorama delivers paint and associated equipment such as trowels and brushes – to the whole of Norway (1,000 delivery points per week). At the new central warehouse at Kløfta, up to 1,600 pallets are sold a week, and NOK 1 billion a year.

Within the walls of the 10,800 m2 warehouse, there are a total of 6,500 product lines. The picking is controlled and quality assured through earmuffs and a microphone.
– We wanted to try something new to optimize logistics. After several study trips, we settled on voice control. It meant that we had to redefine everyday life in the warehouse, but the payoff came quickly: We became more efficient and then we experienced a big gain in terms of quality, says Malorama’s logistics advisor Helge Sagbakken.

Own voice profile

The introduction of voice control already took place in 2009, in the then Colorama. Since then, a lot has happened: Colorama has been merged with MAL to become Malorama. Just before the turn of the year, Malorama opened the brand new central warehouse at Kløfta. There was never any question of them going back to handheld terminals and “more common” equipment:
– Our experience is that voice control is more effective, and more ergonomically correct. We notice that in the employees at the warehouse. Also, it’s cheaper. The Voice equipment lasts a long time, says director Melgard. He and the others at Kløfta have spent the winter training new employees in voice. –
The training is very simple: After the employee has read in their voice profile, a session that takes approx. 40 minutes, the human and the system talk together, and the rest is almost self-explanatory. Now all the employees “on the floor” walk around with headsets.

Tekst: Thomas N. Witsø-Bjølmer, Moderne Transport

No scanners

Voice Pick is thus a system that replaces picking lists and scanners. A headset and a microphone enable the warehouse worker to communicate directly with the warehouse management system. The system reduces the percentage of errors by requiring the picker to enter a check digit at the picking location.
– The trend among our customers is that voice as a technology is wanted to be used in more warehouse processes than just picking. The technology is suitable for all goods movements, from reception to loading, as well as administrative tasks such as item counting, says sales manager Andreas Bjørnhaug at Optiscan. Voice Pick is an independent product that can be integrated with all warehouse management systems. At Malorama, the system works together with a logistics system developed by the Ålesund company Solwr.
– The principles for picking are primarily based on two factors: The heaviest products must be at the bottom of the pallet, and the picker must move as short as possible, says Sagbakken.

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