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, Senior 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

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.


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

According to a comparison study conducted by Teamsters Local 1224, DHL contracted pilots are paid considerably less and work much longer hours than pilots who fly for U.S. logistics companies UPS and FedEx. Pilots at Atlas, Polar and Southern report being forced to fly long hours with minimal rest time in between flights, leading to dangerous fatigue.

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings said it will provide air cargo services to support Amazon’s package deliveries to its customers.

The dark side of the “Amazon effect” and larger impact made by the explosive growth in e-commerce may soon be seen when organized labor prepares for a massive air cargo strike.

During this webcast our panelist offer logistics and supply chain professionals a “reality check” when it comes to our current state of understanding, adoption, and utilization of the technological tools that are available to improve our operations.

The index ISM uses to measure non-manufacturing growth—known as the NMI—was 55.7 in April (a level of 50 or higher indicates growth), which was up 1.2 percent compared to March, with economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector growing for the 75th consecutive month.

Comments

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