Schweppes Australia Improves Warehouse Order Fulfillment Accuracy

Dexion, the leading integrated systems supplier, today announced that it is working with Vocollect by Honeywell, the world leader in voice-enabled solutions for mobile workers, to deliver a comprehensive voice solution at Schweppes Archerfield Distribution Centre (DC), which has resulted in a significant improvement with greater than 99 percent picking accuracy.

Schweppes Australia's Archerfield DC operates five days a week, 24 hours a day and can pick up to 16,000 cases every day. Schweppes Australia delivers to roughly 5,000 customers out of Archerfield and on a national basis; the company delivers to roughly 30,000 customers. Prior to utilising an automated voice-directed picking solution, Schweppes Archerfield site used manual paper processes. This system would rely on workers planning their picking routes based on paper picking sheets, which led to inefficiencies and also allowed for human error. "Due to a lot of the Schweppes product descriptions being similar, if a picker in our warehouse didn't take the time to read a pick sheet correctly, a product would be loaded and directed to the wrong location, which could result in customer service issues," said Nathan Lucinsky, Archerfield DC manager, Schweppes Australia.

In order to improve its warehouse operations, and specifically improve picking accuracy and efficiency, Schweppes Australia's Archerfield DC deployed Dexion's Real-time Distribution System (RDS) in combination with Vocollect Talkman® A500 mobile computing devices to deliver a fully- automated voice solution across their facility "“ which quickly resulted in significant improvements.

"In our first week using the voice system, picking errors were reduced by 90 percent," said Mike Heide, Queensland Distribution manager, Schweppes Australia. "Our employees now have greater freedom, mobility and safety with a wireless headset and the Vocollect Talkman® mobile device."

Under the new, automated voice solution, Schweppes' Archerfield DC workers are directed via the new Vocollect® SRX2 Wireless Headset to a specific location in the warehouse to pick a specific type of product and there is no chance of manual intervention.

"The Dexion and Vocollect by Honeywell voice system is helping enhance Schweppes Archerfield facility's customer service levels by automating the picking process. The Vocollect Voice® solution directs workers to their correct location, tells them how many cartons or products they need to pick, gets them to confirm this back to the system-- taking a carton count, all of which helps ensure correct products are picked and go to the right customer," said Paul Phillips, Regional manager - Australia/New Zealand for Vocollect by Honeywell.

"Schweppes Australia should be commended for their forward thinking with this project. What they set out to do was do more than just replace paper. They have built a fully-integrated, seamless system that eliminates double handling of pallets and eliminated non-value add repetitive tasks from day-to-day activities "“ all of which adds up to more efficient and accurate DC operations," said Mike Dowd, Systems Solutions manager for Dexion.

In addition to actually increasing the accuracy of the products picked and improving customer service levels, Schweppes Australia's Archerfield DC also is expecting to receive significant efficiency gains through the new voice solution.

"With the new Dexion and Vocollect Voice® solution, we're expecting that our pick rate will improve," said Mike Heide, Queensland Distribution manager, Schweppes Australia.