New Arrival for Mamas & Papas

10 May 2010: Mamas & Papas, the UK’s number one parenting brand is investing in Vocollect Voice technology to increase accuracy and productivity in their Huddersfield warehouse. VoiteQ will initially integrate their VoiceMan middleware to Mamas & Papas in-house warehouse management system (WMS) to allow them to gain rapid benefits from the voice solution, proved by an eight week trial over the peak Christmas period.

The Voice-directed picking solution will be installed in two areas of their main Huddersfield warehouse, both the ground floor which includes general merchandise and the mezzanine with the clothing. The ground floor utilises a ‘pick and pack’ operation, where products ordered are firstly picked into totes which then move on to the packing area to be prepared for despatch. The new voice solution directs the operatives to the location where the products are stored, the check digits (a section of the product code) are verbally confirmed, before the system confirms the quantity to be picked. The eight week trial in this area proved that the voice solution increased both accuracy, by the use of product check digits, and the productivity, which increased by 17%.

The mezzanine where the clothing is stored, mostly as hanging garments, used a similar pick and pack operation. The implementation of voice enabled Mamas & Papas to combine these processes, by directing the operative to pick the items required and place them directly into the carton or box for distribution, removing the requirement for the packing process. In addition to enabling the streamlining of the process, voice again provided a significant improvement in accuracy of the picking process, increasing the accuracy to 99.85%.

Chris Greenwood, I.T. Director at Mamas & Papas commented, “The implementation of VoiceMan middleware enabled us to test the benefits of voice technology during our peak Christmas period, but with minimal risk to the business. With middleware simply taking a feed from our existing systems, we did not require any alterations to be made to our core system but gained additional functionality. The ‘picksnake’ has proved to be a very useful tool, enabling us to easily manipulate the route that the operatives take around the warehouse to make the ‘tour’ more efficient.”

Gary Glessner, managing director, Vocollect Europe says; “The nursery equipment market is extremely competitive and subject to very tight profit margins.  Voice picking introduces immediate cost savings for retailers by ensuring the quickest and most accurate delivery of stock from warehouse to store.  Further more, in addition to pre-determined purchases, many prospective parents are subject to high-value impulse purchases, so it is vital that stock is available at all times.“

The VoiteQ solution, built using Vocollect Voice technology, comprises a wearable Voice computer, Talkman T5, running Vocollect’s Voice Client Voice recognition software attached to a securely fastened belt and headset worn by the employee.  This enables interaction between the user and the in-house WMS via VoiceMan middleware. Operatives can work completely hands and eyes free by receiving picking commands from the WMS, via the plug-in headset and the mobile Voice device; the system literally talks the operative through their task.

Greenwood concluded, “The flexibility of VoiteQ’s solutions has worked really well for us, allowing us to gain the benefits of voice via middleware whilst we develop our new in-house WMS. We look forward to working in partnership with VoiteQ to create a native voice interface into our new WMS, their knowledge and experience in this area will no doubt prove to very useful over the coming months.”

David Stanhope, VoiteQ’s CEO commented “We are pleased that VoiteQ can add another major UK brand to our list of voice customers. Being able to implement a voice trial quickly and easily enables us to prove the benefits that voice can bring to an operation, as demonstrated by Mamas and Papas trial results. This provides the operation with the confidence to fully implement a voice solution and statistics to prove the return on investment.”


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About Mama & Papas
http://www.mamasandpapas.com

Mamas & Papas is a family owned business based in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom and is currently celebrating 29 years of trading. The global brand, which started as a small independent nursery specialist in 1981, was awarded Superbrand status in 2005 and now operates 60 stores worldwide with further brand expansion programmes planned for the UK, USA and Greece for 2010. Mamas & Papas currently has 1,300 staff, over 2500 products in the range and had a turnover of over 130 million pounds in 2008.

“When we first came to the nursery industry and we were looking for products for our first child, we were surprised at the very few concessions to style and fashion. We believe that these elements, along with comfort and safety should be inherent in every Mamas & Papas product.

We always strive to understand and anticipate the needs of pregnant women and their partners, their babies and young children to facilitate the design and development of a range of innovative and stylish nursery related products.

By anticipating the ever changing needs of the pregnant mother and their families whilst remaining true to our core values, we are proud to be the UK’s number one nursery brand. Welcome to our world”

- David & Luisa Scacchetti

About VoiteQ
http://www.voiteq.com
VoiteQ provides industry leading voice directed solutions enabling hands-free and eyes-free warehouse picking, resulting in a smoother, more continuous operation, increasing productivity and accuracy.

VoiteQ is the UK’s leading supplier of voice directed distribution systems, having supplied hardware, software, services or support to the majority of UK warehouses which have voice implementations.

VoiteQ supplies fully integrated retail solutions which incorporate Business Management Systems, Warehouse Management Systems, and EPoS systems, as well as VoiceMan, the UK’s leading middleware software for voice solutions.

Part of the CentriQ Group.

About Vocollect
http://www.vocollect.com
Since 1987, Vocollect, Inc. has delivered proven performance improvements in productivity, accuracy, cost reduction and job satisfaction for mobile employees.  Vocollect Voice literally talks people through their daily tasks, replacing cumbersome lists and traditional data capture methods with hands-free, personal voice dialogs. Through a premier global network of resellers and supply chain performance experts, hundreds of thousands of people on six continents use Vocollect Voice to improve work every day. Vocollect is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., U.S.A., and supports its clients and resellers through offices in Europe, the Americas and Asia.

Vocollect®, Vocollect Voice®, and Voice-Directed Work® are trademarks of Vocollect, Inc.  All rights reserved.

For further information please contact:

Aileen Brown
VoiteQ
Tel: +44 (0)870 3000 480
Email: aileen.brown@voiteq.com
Web: www.voiteq.com

For further information about Vocollect please contact:

Caroline Howlett / Sara Collinge
Strategic PR
Tel: +44 (0)1494 434434
Email: carolineh / sarac@strategicpr.net
Web: www.strategicpr.net