Voice: Green order picking in the Green Mountain state

Vermont’s Burlington Drug Company turned to a voice solution to create a greener picking process and save some green on its bottom line.

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The Green Mountain State takes its “green” state motto very seriously, and so does the Burlington Drug Company. Based in Milton, Vt., Burlington Drug was founded in the late 1800s and has evolved from a small manufacturer to a wholesale pharmaceutical business that ships pharmaceuticals and convenience store goods to more than 1,000 locations in eight states.

The company had been using a paper-based picking process to fill orders, but that was expensive and created an excessive amount of documents each year. The process was also inefficient because it took about two to three hours to sort through paperwork before products could be moved out of its 170,000-square-foot warehouse. So, the company wanted to find a system that would improve pick accuracy and productivity while also honoring the company’s commitment to eco-friendly environmental practices.

It chose a voice-directed picking solution (Voxware, voxware.com) that provides all of the features that Burlington Drug required, including environmental benefits that shrink its carbon footprint and efficiencies that cut its operational expenses.

“We decided to go with voice not only for the increased order accuracy and production that we would get out of it, but for the cost savings on paper as well,” says Jay Mitiguy, Burlington Drug’s assistant vice president.

The company has saved more than one million pages each year, savings about $100,000.

The new system has also reduced costs and created productivity-driven labor savings. Burlington Drug’s productivity is up 20% and it’s picking at 99.95% accuracy.

Mitiguy says the company knew quickly that this was a good decision. Not only has the company has experienced increased order accuracy and increased production levels, the system’s software allows the company to implement internal business process changes quickly and efficiently.

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About the Author

Lorie King Rogers
Lorie King Rogers, associate editor, joined Modern in 2009 after working as a freelance writer for the Casebook issue and show daily at tradeshows. A graduate of Emerson College, she has also worked as an editor on Stock Car Racing Magazine.

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Today’s consumer-driven retail strategies are making it more difficult than ever to run an efficient, cost-effective supply chain. Consider the following five challenges that supply chain leaders will have to overcome in order to be effective in coming years – and why these challenges are acting as catalysts to engage with third-party logistics providers for supply chain expertise.
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