VoCollect voice system at Corwell Kft
BCS Hungary has implemented the Vocollect Voice System at Corwell Kft, one of the biggest office goods retail trade companies of Hungary.
For the past 20 years, Corwell Kft, being one of the biggest office goods retail trade companies of Hungary, provides its customers with a large variety of office goods, furniture and electronic equipment. Every day, at its logistic centre at Dunakeszi, an amount of goods equalling to 6000 order lines are handled, picked and packaged then to be delivered to any part of the country or even to Slovakia within 24 hours. The wide choice of goods and the huge amount of orders requires that the warehouse be operated at its peak effectiveness with workers being able to work fast and fluent, with the fewest mistakes possible.
In the 4000 m2 warehouse of the company, most procedures, including goods picking from the hand shelves, previously entailed traditional, paper-based administration. However, this occupied the hands of storers and shared their attention, thus the preparation of lots demanded more time than required, whereas picking mistakes occurred quite often.
For this reason, Miller és Morrison Kft, which runs the logistic centre of Corwell Kft, was looking for a solution that speeds up the large volume daily goods handling and makes in-day peak times manageable besides breaking down picking mistakes radically. They intended to get hold of such a background supervision system for storers that „sees everything”, knowing exactly where to go for which good and how much of that is necessary. A highlight objective was to „free up hands” of the workers, eliminate the necessity of troubling with paperwork or difficult equipment during the picking procedure. And since there had already been a WMS system in operation at Corwell, they needed a compatible solution.
The company decided to introduce the VoCollect voice operated product handling and picking system, which provides several advantages, though now very well-known in Hungary yet. The product has been installed in August 2010 by the Hungarian solution provider of this product and service, BCS Hungary Kft. VoCollect eliminates specifically those problems that were faced daily in the warehouse of Corwell.
Unlike order-tracing based on paper-based or bar code identification it uses a very rational instrument: human speech. Storers don’t have to do anything else but fix the mobile terminal handling data on their waist and put on the headset. From that point VoCollect tells them which storing unit they should go to, and how many of the product stored there should be picked. Thus workers only have to follow instructions with their hands and eyes unoccupied, which speeds up work.
Voice communication is two-directional, the user also uses voice to report the performance of a task. As soon as the system understands such a report, the worker is sent to the next picking point, making the whole work procedure more fluent. All the more, the storer may even „talk” with the system, asking it, for example, to tell what kind of product should be found at a certain location and in what kind of package unit. This checking makes it almost impossible to pick another good from the shelf than the intended one.
Effective operation of the warehouse is also uniquely supported by a restriction of the system that individual picking operations cannot be interrupted, that is, once the picking of an order is commenced, it must be completed and finalized. This eliminates the risk of omitting some items of an order due to an interrupted picking completed by another storer.
Another important advantage of the system delivered by BCS Hungary is the simplicity of both the training of the system and its use. There is no need to learn all the steps of all the warehouse procedures, it is enough to perform and report the simple oral instructions of the system. Training of the workers takes only 20 minutes, and after that they are able to work individually with the system. Thus, new workforce, or in case, workers of other areas of the warehouse may also easily learn how to use these equipments. Simple operability of VoCollect is the fruit of the underlying high end technology, several years of experience and high quality engineering, which resulted in a reliable, well operable and customizable hardware-software environment.
At the installation of the system, experts of BCS Hungary have taken all specific demands of Corwell into consideration, and have put it in operation after a long procedure of fine tuning and implementation into the present warehouse management system. This way, procedures were automatized to an optimal extent: picking instructions of orders issued by the customer service office are automatically given by VoCollect to the storer, tracing the whole procedure without interruption.
The VoCollect system is perfectly supplemented with the Motorola MC 9000 rugged mobile computers, also provided by BCS Hungary, which can be applied in the majority of work procedures occurring in a warehouse. These instruments are utilized at the final check of the picking procedures, at product reception, at commissioning carried out in the background, at load-in of hand-administered shelves and at the whole stocktaking work. The bar code scanning capability of the equipment facilitates fast product identification.
The innovative solution of BCS Hungary provides imminent and measurable results, and is a real guarantee to productivity improvement. Due to experience of Corwell, as early as in the first days of the use of VoCollect, a 20% performance increase could be witnessed concerning working performance and the effectiveness of store procedures in the field of hand shelf picking, whereas the rate of picking mistakes can only be measured in per thousands.
Also, clients of the company immediately experienced the most important advantages of the system: accuracy and speed. Thanks to voice controlled picking, orders submitted at the local customer service office can be received in a few minutes, whereas submissions placed via the web shop are delivered at any point of the country and even in Slovakia within 24 hours with much more accuracy than in time of the previous practice.
BCS Hungary provides asset management and warehouse management solutions for a range of major international businesses.
IBCS Group launches their China operations with BCS China at the CHaINA'12 Live event in Shanghai November 7-8.