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.
image
By Lorie King Rogers, Associate Editor
February 01, 2012 - MMH Editorial

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.



About the Author

image
Lorie King Rogers
Associate Editor

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!

Recent Entries

Total gross first quarter revenue for XPO was up 404.4 percent annually to $3.5 billion, with net revenue up 510.5 percent to $1.6 billion. While gross and net revenue were up, the company reported a net loss of $23.2 million, or $0.21 per diluted share and an adjusted net loss attributable to common shareholders of $9.3 million or $0.08 per share.

Regardless of capacity, pricing, or the economy, trucking industry regulations are never far from the freight transportation limelight. That is especially evident when it comes to the federally mandated hours-of-service (HOS) regulations. As usual, the current state of HOS remains somewhat fluid. And the reason for that has to do with legislation coming from the Senate Transportation Appropriations legislation that is currently being considered by the Senate.

At last week’s NASSTRAC Conference in Orlando, Fla., LM Group News Editor Jeff Berman caught up with Jack Holmes, president of UPS Freight, the less-than-truckload subsidiary of UPS. On June 30, Holmes will retire from UPS after a 37-year career with Big Brown that saw him rise from the overnight docks in Philadelphia to the executive suite in Richmond, Va.

Having introduced into the California State Senate a new bill designed to give an exemption from sales and use tax for port terminal operators purchasing zero or “near zero-emission” equipment, Lara is trying to advance two agendas.

The notions of “green shoots” or “cautious optimism” in gauging the current state of the economy does not specifically exhibit what is really happening, when assessing how things are actually going, it seems. That was made clear by Bob Costello, chief economist at the American Trucking Associations, at last week’s NASSTRAC (National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council) Shippers Conference and Transportation Expo in Orlando, Fla. last week.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.