Vocollect Voice Helps London Drugs Reduce Errors by 70%
PITTSBURGH (October 18, 2011) – Vocollect, a business unit of Intermec, Inc. (NYSE:IN) and the world leader in voice-centric solutions for mobile workers, along with the leading supply chain integration firm Vitech Business Group, Inc., today announced a successful implementation of their voice solution at London Drugs. London Drugs, one of Canada’s largest retail chains, has used voice to achieve near-perfect picking accuracy rates and reduce handling costs to satisfy the “just-in-time” needs of its business.
Founded in 1945, London Drugs operates in 35 major markets across western Canada. It supplies a growing pharmaceutical and retail network through two distribution centers that operate continuously on three daily shifts, six days per week. Perfect accuracy across its DC operations is essential both for preserving brand and customer loyalty and for maintaining trusted relationships with retail locations. With its rapid growth, the company found that less-than-perfect order accuracy was beginning to erode trusted relationships with its retail locations and ultimately, customers.
To eliminate these accuracy issues and to address the rising cost of paper labels, London Drugs sought to evaluate the efficacy of voice technology for improved DC operations and cost reductions. After testing several voice solutions in real-world operating conditions, the company decided, in consultation with its technology partner Vitech Business Group, to deploy Vocollect Voice for its case- and split-case picking operations.
According to Clint Mahlman, senior vice president of retail operations, distribution and e-commerce, London Drugs, “In the areas where we deploy Vocollect Voice, we experience only one error per 1,000 picks. In other areas where we still utilize manual picking, carousels and pick-to-light, we experience one error in every 300 picks,” he said.
“Given our breadth of SKUs and order velocity, ensuring fast and accurate orders is essential to maintaining customer loyalty and service. With voice, our stores easily maintain in-stock positions for customers while reducing the costs and complications associated with picking errors,” said Mahlman. “Because our people are working as efficiently as possible and our accuracy rate is so strong, we can focus on providing value-added services to our customers that certain larger variety and convenience retailers are unable to do.”
While London Drugs surpassed its business goals with the accuracy boost to 99.9 percent through voice, the company also gained benefits in productivity, reduced training time, and worker safety. “Before Vocollect Voice, we already had an extremely high productivity rate, yet voice helped us boost productivity a further 10 percent – so we are interested to see how Vocollect and Vitech can help us with further incremental improvements in other distribution workflows,” continued Mahlman.
“Through Vocollect Voice, Vitech Business Group also has been able to help London Drugs further extend the functionality of its legacy warehouse management system. “In today’s tough economic times, companies need to gain the greatest payback possible from existing IT investments, and voice is one excellent way to leverage the power of existing warehouse management systems,” according to Richard Stewart, principal, Vitech Business Group, Inc.
“We’re excited to see that Vocollect Voice has made a real difference in boosting and sustaining customer satisfaction at London Drugs. Vocollect’s industry-leading voice solutions are helping companies all around the world tackle key business issues that impede bottom-line performance,” said Gary Glessner, vice president – Americas sales, Vocollect.
Vocollect, a business unit of Intermec, Inc. (NYSE:IN), is the leader in creating and providing voice-centric solutions for mobile workers in distribution and warehouse environments worldwide. The speech recognition software and extreme recognition accuracy of in-vocabulary speech helps customers achieve a higher level of business performance through voice. Every day over 350,000 workers worldwide use Vocollect’s comprehensive voice solutions to distribute more than $3.5 billion in goods from distribution centers and warehouses to customer locations. A global team of over 2,000 supply chain reseller and channel partner experts supports Vocollect Voice offerings. Vocollect VoiceWorld Suite integrates with all major WMS and ERP systems, including solutions from SAP AG, and supports the industry’s leading mobile computing devices. For more information, visit www.vocollect.com.
Intermec Inc. (NYSE:IN) develops and integrates products, services and technologies that identify, track and manage supply chain assets and information. Core technologies include rugged mobile computing and data collection systems, bar code printers, label media, and RFID. The company’s products and services are used by customers in many industries worldwide to improve the productivity, quality and responsiveness of business operations. For more information about Intermec, visit www.intermec.com or call 800-347-2636.
About Vitech Business Group, Inc.
At Vitech, we use our knowledge, experience and passion to achieve exceptional levels of supply chain performance for our clients. We are focused on providing our clients comprehensive solutions that solve their supply chain challenges and enable their operation to perform to its full potential. Vitech forms strategic partnerships with the industry’s leading software, hardware and service providers to deliver complete supply chain solutions. Commitment to our customers’ success ensures they achieve the best investment-to-return ratio in the industry. To learn more about Vitech, visit www.vitechgroup.com.