Voice technology enables growth as warehouse doubles in size

Cloud-based subscription model installed in 11 days provides return on investment in 60 days.
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
November 01, 2013 - MMH Editorial

Memphis-based Hollywood Feed offers unique brands of unprocessed food for canine and feline pets as well as ancillary services such as grooming, training and proper pet nutrition. Since 2007, the company has expanded from three to 20 stores at 50% yearly growth with plans to build 12 new stores in the next year. After deploying a voice picking solution in its warehouse (Voxware, voxware.com), the company has improved accuracy and efficiency while supporting rapid growth.

Operating distribution out of a 36,000-square-foot conventional warehouse, Hollywood Feed previously filled orders for 30- to 50-pound bags of pet food using a paper-based picking process. With a small workforce devoted to product selection, the existing picking process did not allow workers to reach maximum levels of productivity or efficiency and left room for inaccuracies. When the company expanded the warehouse to 77,000 square feet, managers turned to voice technology to increase productivity, efficiency and accuracy.

“We began investigating voice because it offered a hands-free solution that would best meet our needs,” says president Shawn McGhee. “However, we quickly found that few suppliers wanted to talk to us unless we were spending $250,000 or more.”

Instead, McGhee selected a supplier that offered subscription-based pricing that provided the level of flexibility needed to bring voice into his business. “In addition,” says McGhee, “we thought their cloud-based voice management suite (VMS) was far more intuitive than any other solution we investigated.”
Hollywood Feed had the voice solution up and running in just 11 days without the help of dedicated information technology resources. And, 50% of the workforce was up and running in two days. “Quite frankly, this is the single easiest technology I have ever implemented,” McGhee says. “I’ve had Windows implementations that took longer than this did.”

The results include decreased worker training time, worker efficiency improved by a third, increased accuracy in order selection, and a return on investment in less than 60 days. With continued growth in their sites, the company plans to scale the cloud VMS to accommodate more workers, increase order demands and ensure their customer base remains satisfied.



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

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in March was up 1.1 percent on the heels of a revised 2.8 percent (from 3.1 percent) February decline, with the SA index at 133.5 (2000=100). This is off 0.3 percent from the all-time high for the SA of 135.8 from January 2015 and is up 5 percent annually.

Intermodal volume was up 8.1 percent annually at 280,016 containers and trailers. This outpaced the week ending April 11 at 270,463 and the week ending April 4 at 271,127. AAR said this tally marks the second highest weekly output it has ever recorded as well as the first time container and trailer traffic was higher than carloads for a one-week period.

Ocean cargo carrier service reliability across the three core East-West trades hit a five-month peak in March with an aggregate on-time performance of 64 percent, according to Carrier Performance Insight, the online schedule reliability tool provided by Drewry Supply Chain Advisors.

The Airforwarders Association, which represents more than 360 companies that move air cargo through the supply chain, today applauded an agreement reached by Congressional leaders to advance legislation giving the President authority to conclude key global trade agreements.

Despite great opportunity for growth, the logistics market in Latin America is lagging behind other emerging markets thanks in part to its notoriety for corruption, violence, poor infrastructure and government bureaucracy.

Comments

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