Viridian Glass dramatically increases stock visibility with voice technology

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Honeywell, VoiceID and Icon Integration have completed the overhaul of Viridian Glass’ Melbourne manufacturing and distribution plant, increasing stock visibility to 97%.

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Justin McKenzie, Warehouse and Distribution Manager for Viridian Glass, said the project greatly improved the company’s productivity and accuracy.

“Under our previous manual warehouse management processes, we couldn’t run a cyclic count program due to the poor location accuracy, meaning we had to conduct four wall-to-wall stocktakes per year,” he said.

“These were labour intensive and disruptive to the business.”

The project involved the deployment of the SAP Warehouse Management system and Honeywell’s A700 voice picking solution, which resulted in labour cost savings and key operational efficiency improvements, as well as in greater visibility of stock.

“Our newly approved stock take procedure is to do cyclic counts of locations once per quarter. This means we no longer have to stop processes for wall to wall counts, which increases our productivity,” Mr Mckenzie noted.

“Stock accuracy by location went from 25% per location to 86% after the first three months. At the moment, stocktake location accuracy is tracking at 97%. An amazing turnaround.”

He said Viridian’s industrial environment, its large plant and materials handling equipment lend themselves perfectly to a hands free, voice driven environment, to the extent that today the company uses voice for every workflow without the support of RF.

“Today when an order comes into the DC’s SAP WMS, the worker is allocated a warehouse task. The operators confirm the pick locations, frame numbers and pack numbers picked for staging prior to despatch,” he added.

“This has drastically reduced the chance of picking inaccuracies, or human error and significantly improved inventory accuracy.”

According to Mr McKenzie, voice technology has also enhanced worker safety on the distribution centre floor.

“The hands-free, eyes-free aspect of Voice makes workers much more aware of their environment,” he continued.

“It allows them to anticipate the actions of others for increased safety in the warehouse. Today on the distribution centre floor we work hands free, from the moment the glass is manufactured until the point it leaves our warehouse.”