Voice pick contributes to doubling of company size

Headsets and vehicle-mounts create unified selection process and 60% better accuracy for Nature's Best.
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
October 02, 2012 - MMH Editorial

Nature’s Best is the nation’s largest privately owned wholesaler-distributor of natural and organic products. Through two distribution centers, the company supplies retailers throughout the western, central and southern regions of the continental United States, Hawaii, Alaska and Asia. While handling more than 20,000 SKUs in a 24/7/365 distribution environment, the company upgraded its voice-pick technology for significant process improvements and savings.

Facing rapid sales growth and geographic expansion, the company was at a crossroads, says Brian McCarthy, senior vice president of operations. Workers had formerly used voice-pick technology on a departmental basis, but McCarthy says the company recognized the need for a way to do business throughout the selection process.

In consultation with a technology partner, the company determined voice-pick was still the best choice and set about evaluating providers. The company deployed voice-pick headsets and vehicle-mounted units for 130 warehouse employees. McCarthy says the system provides nimbleness and flexibility, combined with processes that are easily replicable.

“The improved order accuracy has netted significant annual savings in credits, labor and rework, and various efficiencies,” says McCarthy. “This is an outstanding payback.”

Following a 60% improvement in order accuracy, mispicks are almost non-existent. Productivity in the each-pick areas has also increased 30%. Combined with a mobile vehicle-mounted unit, the solution helped the company save more than 1,400 man-hours and thousands of dollars in annual equipment maintenance costs. Training time has been notably reduced, even in a multilingual workforce.

Vocollect
412-349-2515
http://www.vocollect.com

Read more Casebook 2013.



About the Author

image
Josh Bond
Associate Editor

Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce.


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

Following the lead of its Congressional Colleagues in the House of Representatives, the United States Senate yesterday approved a measure geared to keep federal surface transportation funding intact through the end of December with a nearly $11 billion stopgap fix.

XPO Logistics announced second quarter earnings and the acquisition of two companies, New Breed Logistics, a non asset-based 3PL focusing in contract logistics services, for roughly $615 million, and Atlantic Central Logistics, a 3PL provider of last-mile logistics services, for roughly $36.5 million.

The report, entitled “Outlook for the Domestic Transport and Logistics Market in 2H14 and Beyond,” takes the view that strong freight levels in the second quarter have left trucking companies in a good position: one in which they need to come up with new plans to handle rising demand. But even with that positive momentum afloat, the report observes that there are some familiar challenges intact, such as a lack of qualified drivers and the regulatory drag from the new hours-of-service rules that took effect in July 2013.

Flags of Convenience are a fact of life in the commercial maritime trade, but several European political action groups are worried that they will pose a threat to the Continent’s air cargo industry.

For May, which is the most recent month for which data is available, the SCI is -7.5, following April’s -7.5. FTR said this reading represents a still-tight capacity environment, as utilization rates hover between 98 percent and 99 percent.

Comments

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