UKretailer, Sainsbury's, has added the VoiceMan MOVER WarehouseOperations application to its initial implementation of the VoiceManmiddleware picking solution from VoiteQ, incorporating Vocollect Voicetechnology. Voice-picking was installed at three of its distributioncentres in 2008, the success of the technology has led to Sainsbury'sinvesting further into VoiteQ's VoiceMan solutions.
Theinitial challenge was to create a brand new solution from the groundup, to meet challenging timescales, but without detriment to thequality of the end product. For this project to be a success theavailability of key personnel was essential, this often required a fulltime investment from the project team, which consisted of members fromboth Sainsbury's and VoiteQ. The implementation of VoiteQ's middlewareenabled this additional functionality to be integrated into the currentbusiness processes, pain-free and with little or no business impact,including zero downtime for Sainsbury's deliveries from the warehouse.
ColinSmith, Sainsbury's Logistics Systems Manager, comments, "With the useof the middleware solution, VoiteQ have implemented their VoiceMansolution into Sainsbury's Distribution Centres (DCs) with minimaldisruption to our day-to-day business. A large part of the success ofthe implementation was down to the capabilities and flexibility ofVoiteQ. They have exceeded our expectations."
Following on fromthe success of the initial voice-picking project, Sainsbury's decidedto utilise VoiteQ's knowledge and experience for creating real time RFsolutions, to make improvements elsewhere in their operations. Anapplication has been created, utilising the existing RF network withinthe warehouse, to interface with truck mounted terminals runningVoiteQ's VoiceMan MOVER Warehouse Operations application. VoiceManMOVER allows Fork Lift Truck operatives to carry out Putaway,Replenishment, Pallet Moves and Stock counts all on a 'Real Time'basis, interacting with Picking to provide just in-time replenishments,and therefore ensuring high availability, on a batch-based legacy WMS.All achieved with no significant modifications to the incumbent system.VoiceMan MOVER now manages stock movement tasks in a number of severalSainsbury's DCs.
ColinSmith continues, "The project was a real partnership effort, in fact itwas frequently impossible to tell who was working for Sainsbury's andwho was working for VoiteQ. I believe this 'one team' approach ensuredthe continued success of the project. The DCs using VoiceMan MOVERcontinue to be impressed with how easy, reliable and intuitive thesystem is for the warehouse colleagues' providing optimal use of reachtrucks to warehouse locations."
David Stanhope, VoiteQ's CEOconcludes, "We have provided Sainsbury's with innovative solutionswhich directly support their ability to provide exceptional service toits customers, whilst also achieving the planned Return on Investmentwith the added benefit of the RF equipment utilised being futuresolutions proof.
At VoiteQ we are always happy to test ourskills in creating new solutions for warehouse operations. Sainsbury'srequirement for the use of real time applications with their forklifttrucks gave us the opportunity to expand our expertise, an opportunitywhich I am pleased to say we achieved successfully, on time and onbudget."