Voice: Accuracy reaches 99.995% following voice implementation

Grocery distributor improves traceability and compliance with government regulations.
By Josh Bond, Senior Editor
November 01, 2013 - MMH Editorial

Jordano’s is a family- and employee-owned food service and beverage distribution company serving close to 1,700 customers in central and southern California. After deploying voice technology and wireless headsets, the company reduced errors by 93% while boosting productivity.

Today, Jordano’s orders are filled through its Santa Barbara distribution center. The 100,000-square-foot facility processes upward of 14,000 SKUs six days per week across three shifts.

Dennis Merchant, director of operations, wanted to improve accuracy levels. Order fulfillment was also becoming increasingly complicated due to governmental mandates for traceability. After evaluating voice-based setups at comparable grocery distribution centers, Merchant began testing a voice solution (Vocollect, vocollect.com).

“In hindsight, if we had deployed all areas of our DC at the same time, we would have been fully operational in a month,” says Merchant. “But we chose to move a bit more cautiously, starting in the freezer, moving to the cooler, and then to dry goods.”

Using freezer-certified wireless headsets, Merchant and his employees immediately saw improvements.

“It’s a much easier, cleaner process all around,” says Merchant, who adds that because the headsets are lighter it is much easier to maneuver in the freezer section. “The ability to share headsets across shifts greatly reduces the number of batteries and provides a great cost savings.”

Before deploying the voice solution, Jordano’s had one error per 1,000 cases. Workers now average one error per 14,000 cases, representing a 93% reduction in errors (up to 99.995% picking accuracy). The solution also helped workers move from picking 135 cases per hour to 160, for an additional 19% boost in productivity. And, training time for employees has been reduced by half. With the accurate tracking of individual performance, traceability has become much easier.

About the Author

Josh Bond
Senior Editor

Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

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