Voice-Directed WMS Facilitates Wholesale Improvements

posted on 1/25/2012 2:00:03 PM

Voice-directed warehouse management software aids an Irish wholesaler and retailer, helping to boost utilization in the warehouse and improve customer satisfaction.

Ireland-based wholesaler and retailer BWG Foods has found success improving its customer satisfaction with help from voice-directed warehouse management software, the maker of that software announced this week.

One of the largest food wholesalers in Ireland, BWG set out to improve the efficiency and accuracy of its warehouse operations, and undertook an evaluation of WMS software offerings to help facilitate that goal. One of BWG’s primary objectives was to improve its supply chain execution through voice-directed WMS technology, according to Business Computer Projects Ltd. (BCP), the company that eventually won the wholesaler’s business.

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At issue: The satisfaction of BWG’s retail customers, as well as the containment of the company’s supply chain execution costs. The BCP product emerged from the software selection project as the technology best able to meet those goals and accommodate the company’s warehouse processes, according to Veronica Sullivan, head of IT at BWG Foods.

BWG spent £250,000 for BCP’s Accord Voice WMS software, installing the system at a depot in Dublin. The facility covers 52,000 square feet and stocks 4,700 product lines, fulfilling 300 orders each day. BWG executives hoped the WMS software would improve accuracy and productivity in the warehouse by allowing workers to more easily track stock movements and better utilize space. They applied a concerted group of technologies—the voice-based WMS software with Vocollect Talkman T5 terminals and a Motorola RF network—to facilitate goods receiving, put-away, picking, and transfers.

The wholesaler saw numerous rewards from the new WMS system, according to BCP’s statement.

“We know immediately when a picking slot needs replenishment and exactly where that replenishment should come from, so we can make the best use of operations,” stated Adrienne McDonnell, who managed the software implementation for BWG.

The technology “exceeded everyone’s expectations, from our finance team to our trading team,” Sullivan added. “And feedback from customers has also been very positive, particularly around the accuracy of deliveries.” In short, she said, “It’s allowing us to reduce the amount of money we have tied up in stock.”

Buoyed by that success, the wholesale and retail company implemented the WMS software at a retail distribution site in Walkinstown, Ireland.