Voice solution manages workflow and cleans up inefficiencies

Global supplier of professional hair care products uses a voice solution to streamline workflows and reduce labor and improve accuracy.

By ·

With a number of warehouses, a professional hair care product manufacturer needed to standardize and streamline workflows across many distribution sites to increase efficiency. 

The Goldwell brand of hair care products is supplied by KPSS and is based in Linthicum Heights, Md. KPSS is one of 21 subsidiaries owned by Germany-based KPSS GmbH, a global supplier of professional hair care products, including Goldwell and other brands such as Curel, Biore and Ban.

KPSS had been working with a paper-based picking system that was manually intensive, so the core objectives in upgrading were to eliminate labor inefficiencies while reducing costs. It also needed a solution that could handle a variety of cultures and languages, as the company has warehouses in the United States, Canada, Australia, Finland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Managers determined that a voice system could be easily integrated into its case- and piece-pick operations to standardize the workflows for replenishment, picking and packing. A voice solution could also provide maximum flexibility with changing business strategies, especially with the company’s distribution partners.

KPSS refashioned operations with a voice solution (Vocollect, vocollect.com) that has made a significant difference. “We still print the paper ticket to view the size of the order for packing purposes, but then voice takes over during the picking process,” explains Brian Hatfield, KPSS vice president of supply chain for North America.

“It converts the information into voice and states instructions over a headset to the picker.”

“The system is smart,” adds Hatfield.  “When a picker signs in on their equipment, the system recognizes the worker’s unique voice patterns and understands their accents and speech idiosyncrasies.”
Flawless communications between the worker and the system have resulted in a number of improvement gains.  Picking and replenishment labor has been reduced by more than 20%, new employee training can be done in less than an hour, accuracy is up over 99%, and there have been no lost time accidents since the voice solution implementation.

In less than one year, KPSS completed its deployment in Fresno, Calif., and Toronto, and expanded deployments in the United Kingdom.  Looking into the future, Hatfield says, “The voice solution is scalable, so you can start small and take it across other functions of the warehouse.” 

Voice Technology: Getting a read on accurate picking
UK publisher uses voice technology to increase productivity and achieve a nearly perfect pick accuracy rate of 99.98%.

click here to download the PDF article
click here to download PDF article


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.

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Outsourced Transportation Management
All the benefits of owning a fleet without the headache of managing it.
Download Today!
From the August 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service excellence finish line ahead of their competitors? Our readers have cast their votes, and now it’s time to introduce this year’s winners of the coveted Quest for Quality Awards.
BMW Takes the Inland Road to Efficiency
Global Logistics: No Shortcuts to Security
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Getting the most out of your 3PL relationship
Join Evan Armstrong, president of Armstrong & Associates, as he explains how creating a balanced portfolio of "Top 50" global and domestic partners can maximize efficiency and mitigate risk.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
34th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: Winners Revealed
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service...
2017 Top 50 3PLs: Investment and Consolidation Maintain Traction
The trend set over the past few years for mergers and acquisitions has hardly subsided, and a fresh...

2017 Salary Survey: Fresh Voices Express Optimism
Our “33rd Annual Salary Survey” reflects more diversity entering the logistics management...
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...