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OCTOBER 2017

The European magazine promoting the effective use of IT in supply chain applications

Special Technology Report: WMS/VOICE-DIRECTED PICKING Interview: FASHION ENTER

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AIDC/Mobile Computing

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CONTENTS Manufacturing and Logistics IT October 2017 The European magazine promoting the effective use of IT in supply chain applications

Interview 5

Editor: Ed Holden

Fashion Enter

Special Technology Report 10

WMS/Voice-Directed Picking

Contributors: Philip Jarrett, BEC (Systems Integration) Ltd.

Automatic Data Capture/Mobile Computing

Jonathan Bellwood, Peoplevox Steve Richmond, Jungheinrich UK

20

RFID and NFC still on the rise â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and DENSO keeps up with innovative products Panasonic: Two decades of tough, 99 years of design innovation

Publisher: Frontline Consultancy launches new BYOD security solution to support GDPR

Dean Taylor

requirements Designer: First Sight Graphics Ltd, www.firstsightgraphics.com

Majority of EMEA retailers plan to increase investment in payments, survey by ACI and Ovum finds

Production: Carolyn Pither

Supply Chain Management

Circulation:

26

DynaSys: Forecasting, demand management and planning â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the winning hat-trick for

Carole Chiesa efficient customer service IT Manager: Ian Curtis

Transportation Management

Accounts: Sarah Schofield

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Published by: B2B Publishing Ltd PO Box 3575, Barnet, Herts, EN5 9QD UK

TimoCom App now available in TomTom Bridge devices

Voice 30

Tel: +44 (0) 1707 664200 Email (publishing): info@logisticsit.com Email (editorial): editor@ibcpub.com

Worldwide Chain Stores: Voice picking within grocery retailer Musgrave Retail Partnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two warehouses in Ireland improves productivity and accuracy BEC: Voice and the omnichannel advantage Global distributor achieves significant productivity gains with Voiteqâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Voice solution

No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publishers. No liability is accepted for any action arising from the contents of this publication; readers are advised to check any manufacturerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s or supplierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s claim for products. The publishers do not endorse opinions expressed in any article by an outside contributor. While every care is taken over photographs and illustrations, which are returned when requested, no liability can be assumed by the publishers for the loss of such materials.

topVOX: Lydia Voice Suite for Just-in-sequence processes at Volkswagen Poznan

Warehouse Management 40

Peoplevox: Picking the right WMS is mission critical for high velocity e-commerce retailers Jungheinrich: Unlocking unparalleled supply chain efficiency with automation Greene King implements Indigo WMS + Voice to support business growth

ISSN:1463-1172

Dickies makes light work of warehouse management with Indigo

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Fashion Enter

Interview

The right fit Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with Jenny Holloway, CEO of Fashion Enter, about the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s highly bespoke IT estate and how this provides end-to-end visibility regarding production, warehousing and marketing processes. !""#    #"#  !# !"##!" !"#    ##  "#! " "#! " ! !!"#

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stablished in 2008, Fashion Enter is a not-for-profit social enterprise that strives to be a centre of excellence for sampling, grading, production and for learning and development of skills within the fashion and textiles industry. Jenny Holloway, the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s CEO, explained how the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s formation came about. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I previously worked in the private centre for retailers such as Littlewoods and Marks & Spencer and as a senior buyer for the Arcadia group in Ladieswear. Then, for six years I worked for a government project called the London Fashion Forum, run by the London Development Agency and set up to help young designers. After the funding for this scheme stopped, I set up a garment design business called Retro with my husband. Unfortunately, mainly due to dealings with a third party, the company went into liquidation. Having learned valuable lessons from this experience, I set up Fashion Enter as a not-for-profit organisation, Soon after, Jenni Sutton joined as a work placement student. She is now our development director.

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From the outset, one of the key raisons d'etre of the company was to help people not to encounter the same type of business pitfalls that I had with the previous company.â&#x20AC;? Holloway reflected that Fashion Enter really is a social enterprise from the perspective that it is helping its workforce upskill. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Since Fashion Enterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inception in 2008, we have been highly reactive to change. In fact, we didn't set out to be a manufacturing company. We started out with a shop in Croydon where we were supporting young designers by selling collections, and heard regular complaints about manufacturers and cut, make and trim (CMT) units exploiting young designers. Because we were referring them to other companies, we felt bad because we were trying to help them further their own successful careers, not lead them down a path where their talents were going to be taken advantage of.

off. Today we employ 107 people and make around 10,000 garments a week.â&#x20AC;? Holloway explained that the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s manufacturing processes comprise three main lines of production. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have a fashion studio where we make samples such as those for wedding dresses. We also make larger quantity items of between 50 and 499 for larger retailers. Then in our factory we make garments at a lower price point.â&#x20AC;? Holloway pointed out that the lack of skills and training is a major issue in the garment industry. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Because of this, in 2016 we opened a Fashion Technology Academy with support from government,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Suitable qualifications didn't really exist, so we wrote our own. We offer courses from levels 1 to 5.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Because of this, we set up a small workshop in units 13 and 14 on an industrial estate in Harringay, North London. Initially we just five members of staff, including a general manager and a cutter. In fact, those members of staff are still with us today.â&#x20AC;? Demand for garments from the workshop quickly grew, largely due to a big demand for sampling. â&#x20AC;&#x153;From the outset, we wanted to make beautiful garments and provide training and good solid advice and support to the workforce,â&#x20AC;? stressed Holloway. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This has paid

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Interview

Fashion Enter

Production planning

just wasn't doable for a relatively small manufacturing company.” With this in mind, Holloway approached IT developer Mark Randall with a request to develop a system that could enhance the company’s overall production, warehousing and marketing activities. The system is called Galaxius. “Each operator has a barcode sheet and they scan the work that they do. The barcodes are generated in Galaxius. When the garments are fully made they move to the finishing section where a barcode is scanned and the face of everybody who has worked on that garment will pop up. If you think about the modern slavery act that came into law in 2015 where companies have to show transparency in their supply base, that does that job.” It's really progressed well and we now run apprenticeships for 33 retailers, including New Look, Jigsaw, Hobbs, M&Co, Marks & Spencer and ASOS.”

IT estate Holloway spoke about Fashion Enter’s recently deployed and highly customised IT estate, and the business and operational benefits it brings to the company. “In 2015 and early 2016 we very nearly had to close the business. This was because we were paying staff at an hourly rate. All the machinists we employed were very good at their job. However, even if you are good you can still fall into basic, fast-, medium- or slow-working categories, and there wasn’t a great deal of incentive to work at a quicker pace. The quality of the work was maintained but there was little real impetus for the workers to produce garments faster. Basically, there was no performance-related pay. Because of this, we spent three years looking to develop an IT system that could monitor workflow. There is a process known as general standard minutes for the industry. However, this proved unnecessarily complicated for our needs; going into the fine detail of the tension and revolution of the machines, and whether workers pick materials up with one hand or two hands. It

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Increased production Holloway explained that, normally, the manufacture of one dress involves five different operations using four different machines,” she said. “We allocate a general time for each operation, which correlates to a monetary value. This is fair value based on minimum pay, meaning we had now established more of a level playing field for our workers. Since the implementation of the bespoke IT system, Galaxius, our production rates have risen from 3,500 units to 10,000 units a week. It has been an amazing revolution for us because everything is totally transparent. The workers have a QR reader so they scan in their start time for each bundle. The Galaxius system flashes red if individual workers are underperforming. When this occurs, we can immediately look into the problem. Perhaps a needle had broken, or perhaps they had gone for a break but hadn't scanned out. The system has given us the transparency to know that if there is a quality issue we know exactly who is responsible. So, Galaxius has truly incentivised the whole workforce. Time is now recognised as equating to money for them. Everybody is in a position to earn bonuses. This has also made the retention of our workforce very stable too.”

Galaxius also manages Fashion Enter’s production planning tasks. Holloway elaborated: “We have a weekly team meeting on a Monday. The production slot is at 11 o'clock when the production team brings out the forward plan. We have a photographic delivery schedule (PDS) where we know what garments are on the lines and what is due for dispatch that week. This helps us to keep to a just in time (JIT) and lean production regime. I remember when I was doing my business degree we were told about talk about production bottlenecks. When you're a student you hear the word bottleneck and you studiously write it down, but in the real world of manufacturing a bottleneck is a huge complication. It really can completely decimate the flow of a factory and cause major losses. Of course, you can't ever completely stop all bottlenecks, but Galaxius highlights a production problem immediately, giving us the opportunity to resolve the issue quickly.”

Transparency Holloway added that Galaxius also informs the company of any material shortages, damaged goods and any shrinkage that has occurred. “It’s just opened up complete transparency throughout the whole company,” she said.

Mobile data access Holloway explained that Fashion Enter has equipped each member of the workforce with a mobile phone, with a ready-downloaded QR reader app. “Because Galaxius is a Cloudbased system, it can be accessed easily by the workforce wherever they are. Galaxius is accessible on the Microsoft Azure Cloud platform.”

Reports Galaxius manages all Fashion Enter’s management reporting requirements. “Everything is captured in real-time from

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Fashion Enter

quality reports to how many samples have been made for a particular client,” said Holloway. “There's a critical path from fabric ordering, fabric delivering and fabric cutting – everything is monitored. Through Galaxius, we are able to undertake in-work checks and fabric inspection. Basically, just about everything can be monitored through this centralised system.”

WMS Warehouse Management functionality is also covered by Galaxius. “Each box of garments has to have a delivery sheet and this is printed out on the IT system” explained Holloway. “We have an internal warehouse where we store the boxes, but they are collected most days because making 10,000 garments a week means we have regular deliveries. We try to adhere to a just-in-time storage policy wherever possible. Or course, like any business we receive cancellation notices for some orders, which means we sometimes have to store the fabrics for longer than would be ideal, but if we started having delays in production this would severely compromise the business.”

learner's journey in our Fashion Technology Academy. We need a number of interfaces with stakeholders such as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) as the funding agency, so we wanted to develop something that gave us a greater level of openness and transparency. All of our education resources are now on Brutus. We can assess online using the internal quality audit (IQA). It's the same with production; learners can access Brutus on their mobile phone if they want. The system helps to stop sharp practices.” Holloway added that although education within the business is based around guided learning hours (GLH), log book-based timekeeping can be easily forged. “Brutus avoids this issue because users log on and log off the system, which captures the time of GLH,” she pointed out. “The Fashion Technology Academy website, fcfta.com, has revolutionised our training as well, and eventually that will lead to MOOC online courses because our aim is to have more national and global coverage.”

Online marketing Ongoing customisation Although Galaxius is largely the brainchild of Mark Randall, based on the specific business and operation needs of Fashion Enter, Holloway pointed out that the system is still being regularly adapted and fine-tuned – often at the request of workers – in order to best meet the needs of the Fashion Enter team.

Education and training In terms of Fashion Enter’s education and training activities, Holloway explained that the company recently went live with an IT system called Brutus; supplied by IT developers Will Burrows and Nick Holbrook-Sutcliffe. “Before installing Brutus as our education system, we were finding it very difficult to track each

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Interview

real-time, so this could help ensure Leicesterbased businesses. As well as making data more immediately accessible, this can also help to stamp-out unethical practices such as paying workers below the minimum wage. Indeed, to complement this a new audit called Fast Forward set up by retailers such as ASOS, New Look etc. has the capability to interrogate a company’s financial transactions with a view to ensuring that all is above board. For example, if a company was withdrawing £5000 in cash every Thursday or Friday then this could indicate workers are being paid in cash. So, this audit and systems such as Galaxius can support how people work and what they get paid to make things more ethical and legally compliant.”

Efficiency Holloway concluded: “Galaxius and Brutus have given us end-to-end visibility for our production, warehousing and marketing requirements. There can be a general resistance to a change in systems among the workforce of a company, but once our team saw the difference it made to their pay packets and the overall efficiency of the company, everyone was fully onboard.” 

On the marketing side of the business, Fashion Enter uses Axis for its database requirements. On the marketing side of the business, the company runs a total of six websites, which are hosted by WordPress and Joomla.

Future plans What of the future for Fashion Enter? Holloway pointed out that the company has plans to expand nationally. “We are currently looking at major garment manufacturing areas such as Leicester, and talking to the Leicester Enterprise Partnership. We would like to take the proven process and IT systems we have and work with Leicester to further improve them. In Leicester, there are some 1500 garment manufacturers employing 9500 people. Galaxius captures and stores data in

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Special Technology Report

WMS/Voice Picking

Moving with the times Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with a number of experts from the vendor and analyst communities about recent developments within the Warehouse Management System and Voicedirected picking space – including those concerning SaaS/Cloud and Big Data. oday, warehousing has never been

T

a hybrid of WMS and Warehouse Control

on software according to their warehouse

more mission-critical; with

Systems (WCS). The WES analyses data

operational needs.”

expected delivery dates becoming

from the ERP and WMS and on-going

shorter and with omnichannel

operations to optimize the warehouse and

efficiencies becoming non-

DC operation through controlling of systems

“Vendors such as HighJump (acquired by

negotiables for many warehouses and DCs in

in the warehouse via the WCS. The latest

Koreber), SAP, and Oracle now offer Cloud-

the advent of the ecommerce explosion. There

WES software can optimise the process from

based scalable management systems.

are also many intricate supply chain

automation, inventory, asset movement, and

These Cloud-based WMS solutions can be

challenges to overcome in order to keep

order picking. Most end users prefer a single

accessed from anywhere and from multiple

customers happy, operations efficient and the

solution to manage/monitor both inventory

platforms making them highly attractive to

bottom line healthy. So, what are some of the

and automation and WES solutions have

SMB organisations who need solutions that

current key talking points and developments in

emerged as the next evolutionary step to the

can be implemented quickly and grow as

the warehouse management and Voice-

traditional WMS.

their business scales but the shift from

• End user migration to Cloud-based systems.

physical servers to the Cloud has been slow

directed solutions space?

due to security concerns.”

• Modular WMS solutions with the ability to Shahroze Husain, analyst, autoID & data

add-on packages/capabilities as needed.

capture, VDC Research, explained that,

“Developments are already in place with

according to VDC’s research, there are three

solution providers developing modular

Proven technology

major ongoing developments in the WMS

management platforms instead of complete

Dwight Klappich, research VP, Gartner, made

space:

WMS solutions. Multiple WMS vendors today

the point that Voice is a mature technology. “A

offer customisable and modular solutions

lot of people that still feel its new and risky, but

with the ability to add on packages such as

it’s actually proven and there are tens of

Systems (WES) as a replacement for WMS

Order Management Systems, Transportation

thousands of users,” he said. “One of the

solutions. “The evolving needs of the

Management Systems, Labour Management

barriers to Voice has been that it was more

warehouse brought by new automation and

System modules as needed and is an

expensive than traditional RF, but now that it's

faster needs to fulfilling orders, has resulted

appealing feature to organisations as they

more price competitive more warehouses are

in greater interest surrounding WES, which is

are able to pick, easily integrate and spend

consideriung Voice, or those that have it can

• The emergence of Warehouse Execution

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WMS/Voice Picking

Special Technology Report

more easily expand

degree than paper-based picking. “That’s

distribution centres or direct to store – are

the number of users.”

because it's a better way of communicating

now also picking ecommerce direct-to-

tasks and is comparable with RF in terms of

customer orders in their warehouses or DCs.

According to

productivity – indeed, in some instances it

These companies need to fulfil these types of

Klappich one of the

actually offers higher productivity than RF

orders even though their labour operations

key trends is

guns,” he said.

have traditionally been organised for bulkpicking, and their systems have been

multimodal systems, where Voice is

Wilson pointed out that he has seen

installed for bulk-pick methods of operation

combined with

companies that have implemented Voice

rather than parcel. Even at the retail level,

traditional scanning

directly into legacy WMSs. “Consequently,

their own distribution centres have the same

technology. “It's

they have needed to put a lot of WMS-type

types of challenges. So, warehouse

synergistic in the

capability into Voice picking software both in

operations have dramatically shifted, while

sense that certain

terms of creating pick waves and also in

labour and freight costs have risen. This is

things fit Voice much better – navigation

terms of pulling out productivity data around

where Voice can offer advantages in terms of

instructions and so on,” he said. “But if I have a

the pickers,” he said. “That has been quite

faster and more accurate picking. Whereas

35-digit lot number it might be much easier

successful; however, what I have seen is that

companies used to be able to manage bulk

and more accurate to scan that. So, we see

they are moving to a mode of putting in place

orders quite comfortably without Voice, they

multimodal gaining traction; particularly in

the kind of WMSs that are scored as being

are now having to look any method that can

sensitive industries such as food and pharma.”

the leading solutions by organisations like

save money because they are often being

Another area of development cited by Klappich

Gartner. For the most part, we agree with what

hammered on price through shipping direct to

is use of consumer-grade devices in the

they are saying around who the leaders in that

customers.” Ball added that, in the

warehouse; moving from a traditional

space are. For, example, Manhattan’s WMOS

omnichannel world, Voice should also be able

ruggedised proprietary scanner to using an

integrates directly with Voice without the need

to coexist with other techniques, such as RF

Android-type device.

for the level of middleware which historically

or barcode scanning, and be able to easily

was necessary. So, the integration of Voice

integrate with the WMS; ideally as plug and

However, Klappich considers probably the

now into the leading applications is effectively

play rather than via middleware.

biggest area of innovation on the horizon to be

the same as it is for RF devices. A few years

the convergence of ‘transactional Voice’ with

ago, that was not the case; for RF devices

‘conversational Voice’. “The unstructured

integration was there, but for Voice there was

dialogue capability of chatbots (conversational

a need to have a middleware layer. That just

Speech recognition developments

Voice in this context) like Siri, Cortana and

shows how the leading applications have

Sharmila Annaswamy, senior research

Alexa, combined with the structured capability

moved forward in terms of their capabilities.

analyst, industrial automation & process

of transactional Voice, has the potential to

That has helped in terms of the uptake of

control, Frost & Sullivan, made the point that

dramatically change the whole nature of Voice,”

Voice.”

Voice-directed picking solutions have been

Dwight Klappich, research VP,

he said, adding: “With Voice, we have had

well-established now for a number of years,

instructions like ‘go to location A21, pick five

Bryan Ball, VP & group director – global

but the number of implementations are

cases, confirm your location’ for a while, and

supply management practices, Aberdeen

increasing due to the commoditisation of the

walkie-talkie capabilities to ask questions such

Group, explained that the issues today’s

technology and the greater affordability of

as ‘I am at the location but I'm out of inventory

warehouses and DCs are facing need to be

the systems. She added that speech

what why do?’” he said. “Now, the conversation

understood at the picking level, at the

recognition technology has greatly improved

could be ‘Siri, do I have any late orders, or

distribution level and at the business level.

in the recent past.

Cortana do I have any more inventory for 1, 2,

“Just about everybody is now in the retail

“Developments in

3, 4 and 5?’ I don’t know of any company that

business because companies are trying to

speech recognition

has delivered this commercially yet, but I've

compete with companies like Amazon,” he

technology have

seen a couple of prototypes and talking to the

said. “For example, particularly in the US,

been a major boost

organisations involved it's not a huge technical

retailers and wholesale distributors – or

for Voice directed

hurdle to get there. So, over the next 12 to 18

distributors of any kind – are leaning on their

picking systems –

months I think that at least one vendor will

suppliers; these could be traditional B2B

being able to

deliver that capability.”

manufacturers, or they could be distributors

understand different

themselves that ship direct.

users’ accents and

Steve Wilson, expert in supply chain

how they pronounce

management, Capgemini, said Voice picking

“Even B2B companies that have traditionally

words,” said

certainly drives productivity to a more efficient

focused on bulk-pick operations – sending to

Annaswamy, adding

www.logisticsit.com

Sharmila Annaswamy, senior research analyst, industrial automation & process control,

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that some systems

Continuous development

effective and efficient technology option.

can also filter out

Tim Just, managing director. topVOX, made the

According to Makan, this is due to the

background noise

point that Voice solutions are continuously being

following key benefits:

in the warehouse.

developed. “We are hearing from customers that

She believes

Voice is a key important technology and that

• Voice offers the most versatility.

benefits like these

they are keen for this simple to deploy

• Voice can be used across the DC not only

are driving more

technology to lead the way in many different

in picking; e.g. in section, forklift, loading,

warehouse

areas of their businesses,” he said.

merging and PI. It offers a true end-to-end warehouse solution.

professionals

Isabel McCabe, managing director,

towards Voice.

Just added that SaaS is definitely a trend he is

• Voice gives immediate benefits to the

seeing more and more of, and explained that

employee because of its hands-free/eyes-

Annaswamy

this is an area topVOX has developed further,

free operation, ensuring maximum freedom

explained that

having been offering this for some time. “I

of movement while focusing on process. • Voice allows for fast results, giving improved

automation is another enabler that is

think this is partly driven by us but also by the

increasingly occupying warehouse

customers,” he said. “It just makes sense that

management systems. “For example, you

when SaaS-model WMSs are becoming more

might find autonomous vehicles going up

and more sought after that the technologies

are able to recoup their ROI within less than

and down aisles,” she said. However,

that typically either integrate with or are

a year.

because Voice is so convenient, with users

intrinsically built into these systems, such as

simply putting on their headset to hear

Voice, should be able to offer the same

Makan added that WCS is seeing further

where to pick and what to pick, Annaswamy

service model. Also, the ability offer truly

innovation with Voice in returns, which is a

maintains there is not necessarily the need

multimodal Voice offerings which are

growing challenge its customers are

for fully robotic processes for these types of

effectively Voice enhancing other technologies

experiencing due to their customers ordering

tasks.

such as typical scanning technologies but also

a number of different product variants and

Vision, Augmented Reality and even Virtual

returning them if not suitable. Moreover, she

Reality system for training purposes.”

made the point that due to the impressive

Isabel McCabe, managing director, Voiteq

accuracy and efficiencies immediately. • Those that implement Voice in their DC often

accuracy, productivity benefits and rapid

UK, reflects that Voice has evolved immensely since its introduction and

Just made the point that Voice and Vision is

return on investment, Voice is also finding its

continues to do so. “We’re finding that more

something that has been spoken about for

way into retail stores.

and more of our customers are using the

some time. “This is now becoming a reality

technology across multiple warehouse

and Voice and Vision is now being deployed

In terms of the drivers for these types of

functions and not just picking; particularly in

as a standard option with Lydia using Android

changes, Makan said that over the past few

stock movements, loading and returns

Smart Devices including Phones and

years WCS has seen major progress being

processes,” she said.

Watches,” he explained. “This has been

made on further Voice innovation.

enhanced with Glasswear to develop

“Ecommerce and omnichannel fulfilment

McCabe added that, in addition, its data

Augmented Reality solutions where the

pressures are helping to push further

capture methods – combined with business

combined technologies are complementary

investment and adoption of Voice within the

intelligence (BI) tools such as VoiceMan

and offer additional assistance to users to be

distribution centre and more broadly across

Data Analysis – is enabling businesses to

able to fulfil more complex tasks very quickly

the supply chain,” she said. “As we are seeing

crunch data more effectively for both

and simply whilst minimising risk of errors. We

shipping and return volume peaking per day,

historical reporting and predictive analytics.

are also seeing the evolution of Virtual Reality

WMS vendors like

She made the point that Voice is also

where this technology is being developed to

ourselves are

proving to be a perfect companion to many

assist in training people such as forklift drivers

continually investing

other technologies such as vision goggles,

among other things.”

in the development and functionality of

put-to-light and other multimodal

solutions that will

applications. Additionally, McCabe believes machine learning is one to watch out for, as

Multiple benefits

meet the complex

well as real-time 2D and 3D positioning

Joshila Makan, CEO, Worldwide Chain Stores

needs of today’s

visualisations. Furthermore, she is seeing

(WCS) UK, said Voice has evolved significantly

companies.”

the use of Voice grow outside the warehouse

over the past few years, and after evaluating a

into markets such as inspections and in-

number of picking solutions with its customers

From a WMS

– such as RF, pick by light, RFID and robotic

perspective, Makan

picking – WCS still finds Voice the most

said WCS customers

store retail.

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Joshila Makan, CEO,

www.logisticsit.com


WMS/Voice Picking

Special Technology Report

are always looking to

20Km per day, and for business owners from

remain one step

a time- and cost saving perspective,” he said.

ahead of the

“Rather than replacing pickers, the robot is

Development of omnichannel

competition and

helping them do their job faster and more

Mark Jones, enterprise account manager,

recognise the value

effectively.”

Honeywell, is noticing several key new trends,

that technology

driven by the ever-changing customer

brings to their

Bellwood made the point that robots are a

demand and expectations. “Warehouses are

business. “They are

natural extension and evolution of automation.

no longer just a place to store goods; they are

investing in pilots

“Organisations typically look at ways of

often now the final touch point between the

that test the viability

eliminating a process to save on tying up their

retailer and the customer,” he explained. “As

and relevance of the

own human resources,” he said. “If they can’t,

such, the pressure for picking accuracy,

types of technology

they will look to automate it. Similarly,

efficiency and exemplary levels of service is

available in the distribution centre today that

outsourcing to temps at peak times is the

higher than ever before. The development of

will have maximum impact with the biggest

preferred option over hiring additional full-time

the omnichannel has meant the elevation of

ROI,” she said. “They also have in their sights

staff. Hiring more in-house staff is always the

the warehouse to a point where successful

on the next wave of technological innovation

last resort.”

operations can drive the success of a brand.”

Internet of Things, driverless vehicles,

Glenn Melville, software development

Jones added that some of the tendencies

automation and robotics. These all have the

manager, Indigo Software, explained that, as

Honeywell has noticed to help enable this are:

highest predicted adoption rates over the next

a provider of WMS solutions, Indigo is seeing

ten years.”

significant demand from customers to

Andrew Briggs, technical director,

that includes the likes of mobile, wearable,

integrate their existing WMS with other tools to

• The WMS is no longer just a stock management tool. It is key to achieving the

Makan added that to fill the gaps in the labour

improve process efficiency. “For example,

force and to increase efficiencies in

ecommerce customers are asking to integrate

distribution, supply chain business leaders will

weighing scales, conveyors and parcel

the visibility across the supply chain is

look to technology to continue to help widen

carriers, with the objective of joining together

essential to maximise inventory and reduce

their margins while reducing costs and

the picking, packing and dispatch processes

remaining as lean as possible. “Indeed, as

into a single, seamless transaction,” he said.

costs reduce for these technologies, and the

“The end goal is to effectively build quality

enable operations that ensure the necessary

cost of labour increases, we are sure to see

into a process from the outset, thereby saving

levels of service in today’s omnichannel

more organisations investing particularly in

time and resource costs, rather than having to

world is increasing.

automation and these other emerging

operate quality checks at each stage.

technologies,” she said.

Instead, with an integrated and automated

and should not be seen as silos but rather

process, a single individual can be

part of the end-to-end supply chain solution,

responsible – and accountable – for picking,

so that it aids in delivering the overall

Robotics

packing and dispatching, all driven by the

customer experience.

From a warehousing management

WMS.”

customer engagement needed. • The ability to re-work redesign and having

lead times. • The implementation of Voice technology to

• Retail stores are integral to the supply chain

• Businesses are ultimately being challenged to think differently and strategise like never

perspective, Jonathan Bellwood, founder & CEO, Peoplevox believes the arrival of

Regarding drivers for change, Melville

software robots is without doubt the most

believes there are a number of things that are

important innovation in the WMS space.

fundamentally changing the WMS market and

Andrew Briggs,

“Amazon has blazed the trail with softbots like

end user requirements. “These range from

technical director,

KIVA, and this has started to make more

smart devices and the Internet of Things;

BEC (Systems

retailers interested in them and wanting to

operating systems like Android and IOS; and

Integration) Ltd.,

know how these innovations can help improve

demand for truly mobile applications that can

believes the key

efficiencies in their own warehouse

switch seamlessly between Wi-Fi and GSM,”

talking point is the

operations,” he said.

he said. “Users now expect applications to

spread of Voice

include touchscreen functionality, which is

applications, i.e. not

Bellwood explained that Amazon’s KIVA can

fundamentally changing the landscape of

just picking but doing

boost picker productivity and accuracy when

what the software and hardware in a

every task within the

it comes to the retrieval of certain common

warehouse looks like and influencing the

warehouse using

items across the warehouse. “That’s good

development of much more intuitive user

Voice to get the best

news for pickers who often walk as many as

interfaces.”

out of a company’s

www.logisticsit.com

before.

Jonathan Bellwood, founder & CEO, The Expert WMS Providers

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technological

complete single-view of their order and where

point that most leading vendors have come on

investment and the

it is in the process,” he said. “Organisations

board to invest in Cloud/SaaS-based offerings

solution as a whole.

that fail to provide those levels of service will

for clients. He elaborated: “Many WMS

He explained that

soon see themselves waning in comparison to

providers are experimenting with the idea of

door-to-door Voice

their competitors.”

Cloud-based WMS solutions, but the shift from on-premise to Cloud-based has been slow in

applications – as well

comparison to other enterprise applications

as picking – can

(such as CRM) due to security concerns and

stock counting,

The Internet of Things and digitalisation

quality transactions,

Wolfgang Albrecht, managing director IT

executives take with technology investments.

stock rotation and

development & delivery, Vanderlande

SaaS-based solutions have become attractive

stock control.

Industries B.V., considers that, without any

to both vendors and end users alike as end

Indeed, Briggs

doubt, the Internet of Things (IoT) and

users are able to expand storage and

maintains that any movement or transaction

digitalisation is currently a very hot topic. “It is

capabilities as needed with cloud-based

that can be done should be done with Voice

a game changer in logistics and this is for

solutions as their business grows while

as it has so many advantages.

several reasons,” he said. “On the one hand, a

vendors now have a channel for recurring

lot of our customers are currently

revenue generation.”

With respect to drivers for change, Briggs said

implementing new business processes to

Ball considers that for companies trying to get

everyone is also asking about reporting and

serve the digital world; and this means more

to a best of breed solution, the Cloud has

monitoring productivity and efficiency and

logistics challenges. Digitalisation and the IoT

been a huge advantage in that in some

being able to view dashboards etc. “This is

are the enablers for a lot of new innovation as

instances users don't need to rip and replace

also all achievable with Voice,” he explained,

a wide range of new technologies becomes

a whole ERP system just to get a WMS, or to

adding that there is now more knowledge and

available. Due to new IoT-based software

get the few extra pieces of functionality they

acceptance of Voice and its benefits. “We are

architecture we will have in the near future

want by bolting on and integrating the extra

seeing it being implemented in all the big

plug and play systems for material handling

functionality. According to Ball, another

industrial/corporate players, and it has now

systems. New IoT-based sensor systems will

advantage of SaaS/Cloud is that users can still

filtered down into smaller operations,” he said.

provide far more data, which we can use for

put the application behind their firewall if they

“There’s now much more acceptance to look

optimisation and machine learning.”

prefer. “So, companies don’t necessarily have

include dispatch, Wolfgang Albrecht, managing director IT development & delivery,

the more conservative approach supply chain

to have their software completely on-premise –

at and to use new technology instead of being Albrecht believes these developments are

if they want, they can opt for a type of

driven by new requirements because of new

specialised hybrid Cloud model – a

Steve Richmond, director – logistics systems,

business models that are changing the

personalised Cloud. It should all be based on

Jungheinrich UK, notes that, today, consumers

traditional business processes in logistics. “In

what makes the best sense for their particular

are demanding unprecedented levels of

some areas, the logistics chain changes from

business needs,” he said.

immediacy and visibility. “For organisations to

a push principal to a pull principal where the

In terms of the actual IT, Ball commented that

stay competitive, this has to be reflected within

end-customer demands delivery through the

SaaS is very near being a commodity at this

the Warehouse Management Systems (WMS),

use of mobile devices such as smartphones or

point. “Whether a solution is on the user’s

whether that is through immediate order

tablets,” he explained. “R&D activities are, of

server or somebody else's server, or whether

updates/alerts, full visibility of where an item is

course, also driving the change in logistics as

it's a hybrid of both, it has been proven to

within the supply chain or the ability to check

new technologies will help us to offer more

work so in most cases you can just let the

stock levels through an online portal,” he said.

automation for materials handling. Very often in

integration people do

“Ultimately, all supply chain systems and sub-

the past we had to answer the question:

their job,” he said.

sceptical and wary of change.”

systems require a high degree of

‘should a specific process be executed

For over 10 years,

communication and connectivity. Consumer

automatically or manually?’. In the near future,

Klappich has seen

expectation continues to drive innovations and

humans and machines will work more and

many companies

developments throughout the supply chain,

more together in a collaborative way.”

progressively moving WMS into a

including improved functionality and capability

centralised centre of

of the WMS.”

Software as a Service

excellence – a

Richmond added that the consumer journey

Has the Software as a Service (SaaS) model,

private Cloud. “Some

today more commonly starts from point of

and the Cloud concept in general, had any

companies want to

order on a mobile device, for example. “From

notable level of impact on the Voice-directed

roll it out to multiple

that point forth, the consumer expects a

systems and WMS market? Husain made the

sites – they might, for

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www.logisticsit.com


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Tim Just, managing director,

Special Technology Report

instance, have five

and I can think of several retailers where the

their place and are popular among start-ups

warehouses and

data centre is a considerable distance away

and SMEs that do not want to invest in an IT

have an IT centre at

from the physical distribution centres that it is

infrastructure or internal IT competencies and

one location offering

controlling. The days when the data centre

are seeking a low-cost entry point for a small

a single instance of

needed to be physically inside the DC are

number of users. “From our experience, larger

the software that

well behind us now; particularly for leading

companies prefer the option of remaining with

supports those five

applications. Consequently, clients do have a

their on-premise solution, especially if they

locations remotely.

choice; if they want to go Cloud they can go

already have the data centre capabilities

Alternatively, they

effectively private Cloud very easily.”

required or have an existing ERP system,” he said. “Most major WMS vendors would

might have two instances of the

Albrecht made the point that, in this context,

probably agree that it is typically smaller

software; one

we have to differentiate different forms of

companies using cloud solutions and that it

supporting three

Cloud-based solutions. “With regard to the

appeals to a certain ‘profile’ of customer. For

North American warehouses and the other

private Cloud model, the enterprise manages

example, when a company’s warehouse

supporting two warehouses in Europe – but

the Cloud environment as something that is

operations and sales order processes are in

still in a central data centre. Now, moving that

completely separate from the public Internet,”

the infancy stage, a Cloud-based system is

to the other side of the firewall in the public

he explained. “Sensitive data is thereby under

very appealing – there is no outright purchase

Cloud is not a big leap. Only about 8% of

control and an IT solution can be provided

cost and no need for internal IT expertise. But

companies have actually implemented Cloud

and managed flexibly at the same time. In a

as the company matures, Cloud systems can

WMS, but that is accelerating, so the bottom

public Cloud enviroment, the application is

be restrictive if the user wants to make

line is the majority of people are going to be

managed by a third party and the customer

changes and that performance is often

accessing a remote server from the

can use this application very often as a

outside of their control and dictated by the

warehouse; whether it's Voice or RF.”

service. The application software needs to

hosting infrastructure available.”

support both set-ups. Currently, we see a Wilson made the point that a dedicated Cloud-

growth in both areas. Parts of a logistics

based WMS can offer the advantages of SaaS

application that contains sensitive data can

Cost

from the perspective of speed of

be managed by the customer in a private

Cost is also a key factor to consider,

implementation and therefore cost of

Cloud, and parts of the software where data is

according to Melville. “A Cloud-based WMS

implementation. “However, the degree of

less sensitive will be managed by third parties

solution requires an ongoing monthly payment

flexibility and configurability it offers makes it

and offered combined with additional services

and the industry average lifecycle of a WMS

probably a more logical choice for

(e.g. system maintenance).”

is approximately 10 years. Therefore, what

organisations such as smaller retailers or

initially appears a cost-effective solution in the

smaller .com operators where they can align

Bellwood maintains that SaaS is steadily

short term can quickly become an expensive

their processes to the capabilities that it

becoming the preferred choice for

recurring outlay in the long run. Finally, there

delivers – this is the fundamental nature of

ecommerce retailers over on-premise as it

is also still a legacy perception about data

how SaaS products work best,” he said.

removes the burden of ownership of servers,

security with Cloud systems that some

backing up, and having in place layers of

companies are inherently suspicious of and

resilience. “This hugely reduces cost of

the issue of reliability. With the Cloud, you are

Depths of functionality

ownership and complexity as well as

effectively relying on your Internet service

Wilson added that the leading on-premise

eliminating the need for expensive in-house IT

provider to ensure you can deliver orders, and

type solutions offer huge depths of

resources,” he said. In addition, Bellwood

if the Internet goes

functionality. “That is part of the reason they

made the point that SaaS-based offerings are

down, the company

keep getting chosen because they can be

continuously maintained, updated, and

could potentially

configured to deliver a complex retail solution,

enhanced by the vendor, which allows future-

grind to a halt.”

and they are also proven to work at high

proofing and alleviates the risk of over

volumes,” he explained. However, Wilson also

customisation, therefore eliminating

Richmond considers

pointed out that those same leading best-of-

integration problems later on or premature

that the WMS

breed, on-premise solutions can be delivered

obsolescence. However, added Bellwood, to

software solutions

as Cloud solutions if required. “So, if clients

really accelerate the adoption of SaaS,

market has been

are looking to avoid having on-premise

additional peace of mind through the

revolutionised by the

hardware in their own data centre then those

provision of an off-line capability is necessary.

wider adoption of the Cloud. “Cloud

solutions can be delivered in that way,” he said. “That's actually pretty normal these days

www.logisticsit.com

Glenn Melville, software development manager,

Melville believes web-based systems have

services have given

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suppliers access to a

and beliefs in freedom, flexibility and

platforms,” she explained. “For example,

wider range of

reliability, it does not worry us in the

WCS CSnx has multi-owner, multi-warehouse

customers, including

slightest as we are already capable of

capabilities, multi-channel warehouses to

many smaller start-up

handling whatever the customer wants,” he

manage ecommerce waves, put-away

organisations,” he

remarked.

processes and shipment documentation.”

may not have

Voice as a Service

Big Data

benefited from a fully

Jones considers that some customers will

Is Big Data having a significant impact on the

integrated solution,

naturally see the benefit of SaaS as it allows

world of Voice or WMS? For initial clarification,

no longer need to

for regular payment options, allowing them

Husain explained that Big Data is essentially

invest heavily in

to transition more easily from their existing

any large amount of data sets and the use of it

infrastructure as

system to Vocollect Voice. “These smaller

to better organise/forecast inventory levels,

they can now access a WMS through Cloud-

scheduled payments can then be

product sourcing. He added that in this regard

based services instead.”

accommodated into budgets in the same

ERP planning is becoming a key investment

way that a utility bill is regularly paid,” he

across organisations. “Organisations are

McCabe commented that businesses are

explained. “VaaS (Voice as a Service) is a

investing in data scientists and data analysts

asking for SaaS as an offering, and it is one

service offering that allows customers to

to combine insights from data silos including

that Voiteq has been providing to its

have access to the software and support

WMS, CRM, ERP and sales databases to gain

customers for a number of years. “We tend

that they need to implement a Vocollect

actionable insights and form strategies for

to think of it as a more holistic ‘Solution as a

Voice solution as well as optional hardware

growth,” he said.

Service’, which includes all the components;

in some geographies. It offers an alternative

including headsets and devices,” she

to the requirement for a large up-front

Husain pointed out that Big Data is being

explained, adding that although still a

purchase and outlay cost associated with

analysed more as raw data by data scientists

relatively small portion of the overall market,

the outright purchase of a Vocollect Voice

today to identify key trends and variables to

she does expect to see demand for SaaS

solution.”

help grow the business. However, he

said. “These smaller businesses, which

Mark Jones, enterprise account manager,

grow.

explained that warehouse management Makan has seen a high take-up of SaaS

systems are approaching this via the

Just considers that Cloud-based solutions

models directly related to challenges with

integration of BI and analytics tools within

have a huge benefit in that they can be

high-volume picks due to ecommerce.

WMS product packages which can be

deployed quickly and easily and very cost-

“Software as a Service (SaaS) it is becoming

leveraged for insights. “We are starting to

effectively. However, he added that in the

popular with organisations that have Capex

witness the impact of Big Data on improved

past they have had an Achilles Heel in that

constraints, but want to get the benefits of

forecasting of demand to optimise inventory

they rely on robust and fast connectivity.

Voice today,” she said. Regarding WMS and

levels and open the opportunity for more

“This has been a stumbling block in the past

SaaS/Cloud, Makan explained over the past

intelligent stock management systems and

and is now becoming more and more

2 years WCS has witnessed a growth in the

eventually for complete automation of

mainstream,” he said. “I was with a

interest and adoption of its CSnx Cloud-

warehouse and distribution centre

customer recently who has now decided to

based WMS. “We will definitely continue to

environments,” he said.

replace their old proprietary WMS with a

see SaaS deployments,” she continued.

readily available Cloud-based solution for

“The main reason for the stimulated WMS

Annaswamy believes Big Data offers a huge

the very reasons I have highlighted above.

market growth has been that our customers

opportunity within the warehouse management

They also want to have their Voice solution

are investing to support ecommerce and

and Voice marketplace. However, she added

delivered on the same basis. With Lydia

omnichannel fulfilment.”

that Big Data itself is simply very large chunks

PickManager they have exactly that and

of data that may be of little use to anyone. “It is

because of our open architecture the ability

Makan pointed out that WCS has seen major

only when this data is able to be analysed that

to connect to any of these WMS’s is

interest in the 3PL industry over the past two

there will be valuable information and

incredibly simple.”

years too. “WCS has responded to this

actionable insights available,” she said. “So,

fulfilment trend with features and

Big Data analytics is the next step that we are

Just believes that, for the foreseeable future,

functionality to support our customers’

going to see develop in a major way. There

there will be a place for non-Cloud-based

evolving requirements and offering a small-

might be hundreds of people in a warehouse,

systems; however, he maintains that they will

to mid-sized business a WMS with Tier 1,

receiving Voice commands and picking and

become less and less relevant over time.

deep and broad functionality and the ability

replenishing objects. Then, at the end of the

“That said, because of our business model

to integrate seamlessly to ecommerce

day when warehouse managers look at the

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statistics that are available through using Big

transactions – one the suppliers need to get

down and its

Data analytics, they can get to know things that

the goods in, and two they need to ship them

performance remains

could have been done to improve efficiencies.”

out.”

very good because

According to Klappich, the Big Data questions

Ball added, that planners who are really on top

the labour

are mainly around how do warehouse

of things might be looking two, three or four

management or

professionals leverage data to gain insights of

levels back through the chain. “If they are

workforce

learning and to process tasks better. “Labour

tracking raw materials they might want to know

management part

is a big issue – we are seeing people wanting

when they are going to be shipped from the

holds the

to use machine learning capabilities that can

mill,” he said. “If it’s certain types of metal

performance data at

say ‘am I improving?’ or ‘if I could tune this

goods they need, they may want to know what

an individual

process better could I increase my

shipments are coming from the mines to their

transaction level

throughput?’ That’s certainly a big goal; it's

suppliers, and want to know about any other

ready to be

certainly an absolute goal in ecommerce

issues that might possibly create disruption to

analysed.”

because you’ve got to keep pumping more

the supply chain.”

Shahroze Husain, analyst, autoID & data capture,

Wilson added that a company could in

and more goods through the warehouse. But that's not the only industry where you see very

Ball reflected that because this type of Big

principle decide to send that data into their

similar situations – service parts look a lot like

Data information is now more commonly

own data lake and extract it in a different way

ecommerce warehouses, for example. So,

available, it can make people involved in the

to run reports. “But the leading WMSs have

there are some real opportunities with Big

supply chain feel more comfortable. He

this capability for labour-management already

Data, but regrettably I think warehousing is a

explained that they can, for example, receive

built in, and since it's assigned to do that job

little behind other areas in exploiting it.

more alerts concerning possible supply chain

that's what we see people using,” he said. “It's

Nevertheless, I think we are playing catch-up

constraints in advance, giving them time to

straightforward, it's relatively easy to configure

and making progress pretty quickly.”

plan around the problem.

and it drives value. From a warehouse perspective, that is where the big data is.”

On the end-customer side, Ball thinks it is

The right data for the right people

useful to monitor the many miscellaneous

Ball reflected that, today, companies have

social media. “This can help companies to

Turning data into actionable insights

access to more data than ever before. He

work out what they need to prioritise on the

McCabe believes advanced data analysis

made the point that much of this data could

design side, what products they need to offer

should form a major part of any Voice offering

potentially be of value to a company, but

and where they need to offer them,” he said.

today. “The volume of data we’re seeing has

different people within an organisation will

“On the demand planning side, it’s about

grown rapidly, yet many operations don’t know

essentially require different types of data at

taking all these pieces of supply chain and

how to harness it, understand it and turn it into

different times. “For example, if I'm on

social media data to see if any useful

actionable insights,” she said. “In 2016, we

scheduling goods into the warehouse or

correlations can be made using Big Data.”

launched our VoiceMan Data Analysis tool and

sources of information that are accessible from

picking orders I don't necessarily need to see

it’s been very popular with our customer base.

the Big Data involving shipments coming from

The things Wilson sees being actively

Being able to clearly see operational data in

all my logistics providers from Shenzhen, or

implemented are productivity management

real-time, view historical records and use

what container certain products are in and so

applications associated with WMSs. “The

predictive analytics using easy-to-understand

on,” he said. “If I’m planning, on the other

WMSs of JDA/RedPrairie and Manhattan, for

graphs means that day-to-day activity can be

hand, I need to know when items need to be

example, have as part of their solutions a very

improved; and managers are able to make

delivered and therefore when I'm due to have

well-developed productivity management

more informed decisions about the future.”

capability that is based on transactional data

them in stock.”

from the WMS,” he explained. “WMSs are

Just believes Big Data is certainly having an

Ball explained that the supply chain is where a

execution systems and are not designed as BI

impact in supply chain and logistics. However,

lot of the real value of Big Data comes into

systems per se, but they can take all the

he added that the use of Big Data to analyse

play. “It used to be the that most things were

transactional data from Voice applications and

supply chains is an area that Voice enables

vertically integrated so you could see

scan guns and send that across into the

within the operation rather than controls. “To

everything within your own four walls virtually.

workforce management or labour management

get the best of this, operations prefer to have a

Then, you had groups of local suppliers, which

module that comes with the WMS. That

central database so that they have one version

meant there were also your suppliers'

module is designed to run reports on

of the truth,” he said. “Voice systems capture a

suppliers. So, every time you add a tier to the

productivity etc. at an individual level, so this

lot more usable data than traditional handheld

supply chain you increase it by two

means the core part of the WMS isn't slowed

scanning solutions as the data is true real time

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Special Technology Report

Bryan Ball, VP & group director – global supply management practices,

WMS/Voice Picking

and as such this data

customers that companies that learn to

that Big Data and transform it into simple,

can be used by

harness the power of their data sources

actionable and measureable elements that

operations to plan

benefit significantly; harnessing the

drive real process improvement across

warehouse layouts or

advantages of advanced analytics across

workforce productivity.” Jones pointed out that

re-organising

supply chains can allow organisations to be

Honeywell’s Operational Acuity analytics

operations for

responsive, demand-driven and customer-

software makes sense of the vast amount of

instance or even to

centric. It will enable supply chains to adopt a

data available from a workflow environment and

help plan relocations

proactive rather than a reactive response to

provides the customer with insights into how

of warehouses or

supply chain risks (e.g. supply failures, delays

they can run their warehouse operations more

other operations.

due to man-made or natural hazards, and

effectively.

Some operations are

operational disruptions).” Briggs explained that much of the business

even using the

intelligence in solutions to date has focused on

system to monitor activity within their

Entry level

users; for example, the

operations and

Bellwood doesn’t believe Big Data is making a

performance/productivity of operatives. “We

looking at using voice to advise break times

notable impact on WMS so far. “Most users are

expect that we are going to see much more use

direct to the operator and others are looking at

at the entry level stage of using it to analyse

of the masses of data that can be gathered

it to assist in safety and security processes

and advise them from data captured from their

through our warehouse management systems,

within their operations particularly the larger

own internal systems – stats about pick rates,

giving the ability to monitor all business

sites where commination can be a problem

for example,” he said. “In order to maximise the

process, transparency across many sites,” he

with people dispersed over many acres of

full potential of Big Data, users will need to start

said. “The large volumes of quantitative data

warehouse as well as multiple sites.”

monitoring and capturing data from multiple

will enable very accurate measurement and

sources; including from within the organisation

forecasting of resources – labour, energy,

Makan commented that business intelligence

as well as outside complementary data

materials etc. – and provide immediate real-

and predictive analytics are becoming so

sources. For example, to analyse despatch

time quality and reliability measures, with

important and are attracting a lot of interest

operations with view to reducing root causes for

triggers for anomalies, and exceptions which

from WCS customers, that today it is essential

unnecessary returns, one might also choose to

can then be handled immediately.”

that the operations are able to analyse their

analyse complaints management data to get a

operations and use the data from their systems

bigger picture; perhaps by using dedicated

Melville pointed out that a new breed of WMS

to predict and manage issues before they

customer service software solutions such as

software is emerging, which has the ability to

occur. “With our second-generation WMS –

Zendesk.”

use Big Data to mirror the forecasting capabilities of manufacturing solutions. “This

which is legacy-based as opposed to our next generation WMS, which is real time – our Voice

Albrecht believes Big Data is having a notable

allows producers to accurately forecast, for

solutions direct interface to our legacy solution

effect in several areas of logistics, but added

instance, the impact of increased production

has always captured low-level process data,”

that Big Data is very often more a buzz-phrase

levels on their existing warehouse operations,”

explained Makan. “Voice allows us to use the

than a real value-add. However, he added that

he said. “By overlaying forecast data with other

Voice data to provide higher-level real-time

Vanderlande offers a wide range of additional

third-party data and internal models, greater

visibility and control of the operation even in

system functionalities and services that use Big

efficiency and accuracy can be achieved – and

our legacy-based offering.”

Data – e.g. machine learning or predictive

it also enables contingency planning to ensure

maintenance service – and in so doing can

additional vehicles or warehouse space is

Makan added that when WCS launched its

offer additional value to its customers. “With our

available if necessary.”

CSnx platform, decision makers within the

BPI solutions we offer a very powerful package

supply chain immediately found exacting data

for data analytics, and our VISION software has

Melville added that Martijn Bertisen, Google’s

from the application simpler, faster and more

machine learning capabilities to make our

sales director, once described data as the

flexible – even from the front end – giving them

solution more flexible because of self-adopting

‘secret sauce’ to maximise sales. Melville

the ability to make intelligent, real-time

capabilities,” he explained.

believes this is also true in a supply chain and warehousing context. “Information is always key

decisions. “CSnx allows the supply chain to collect and connect to any data in real time

Jones considers that many companies realise

to supply chain efficiency and the earlier it can

within the application,” Makan explained. “Big

that Big Data is a game-changing trend for our

be accessed, the more readable and usable it

Data within the supply chain will certainly

industry, and companies are looking to put this

is, the more likely it can be acted upon for

enable better decisions and actions, and

wealth of information to better use. “Operations

decision making,” he said. “Given that margins

facilitate a move away from unsupported

have a vast amount of information, but we

in so many manufacturing industries are

decision making. We have seen from our own

believe that the challenge has been to capture

shrinking due to increased competition,

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currency pressures and the cost of raw

developments within increasingly autonomous

materials, achieving more with less must be a

warehouses. “I think that within five to ten years

New skills

primary goal and data plays an essential part.

we will see warehouses either completely

Melville also maintains

However, most companies produce and have

automated or completely autonomous,” she said.

that due to the recent

access to terabytes of data, so it needs to be

“If you put that together with Big Data analytics,

advances in AI for

integrated to be of value to a business. In a

warehouse managers will just need to monitor

robotic systems, it is

warehouse context, this means integrating

their phones to know what's happening in the

becoming more

sources and repositories of information with

warehouse. That would be one big leap for

straightforward to

essential sales, manufacturing and logistics

warehouse management systems.” Annaswamy

integrate robots with

functions, to maximise stock visibility. Doing this

also believes there will continue to be moves in

WMS software. “This

ensures, for example, more effective use of

the direction of biometrics and towards

will potentially mean

information, better productivity, more

augmented reality with respect to data capture-

warehouse workers

streamlined operations, faster throughput and

type devices.

having to work

improved ability to cope with seasonality. In

Steve Wilson, expert in supply chain management,

alongside robots and automated technology and

effect, it is being able to achieve more using

McCabe reiterated that machine learning is one

potentially having to develop a new set of skills

fewer resources.”

to watch out for, as well as real-time 2D and 3D

and perform activities that complement the work

positioning visualisations. Furthermore, she is

being carried out by robots,” he said. “Although

seeing the use of Voice grow outside the

labour costs can be relatively low and the entry

Things to watch

warehouse into markets such as inspections and

point for a robotics investment remains relatively

What might be the next innovations or

in-store retail.

high, there is clearly a strong ROI for these investments. It’s actually not such a big transition

developments to look out for in the world of Voice and WMS in the near future? Husain anticipates

Briggs believes Voice could spread from

for those companies who already use some form

three key areas of future development: First, he

warehousing into manufacturing for assembly,

of automation.” Melville added that IoT & AI is

cites, the integration of modules to

inspections etc., while Bellwood thinks that,

going to be have a major impact over the next

control/execute instructions to robotics and

without doubt, software robots offer a great

two to three years.

automation solutions. “WMS solutions today are

opportunity for deployment in warehouses. “No

continuing their evolution towards what MES

holidays, sick days, even sleep – and they don’t

Albrecht expects further innovation in the area of

solutions are today for manufacturers,” he said.

need supervision or further ‘training’ once

machine learning and user experience (UX). “We

Secondly, Husain believes there will be a greater

programmed to do a specific task,” he said.

see UX is a very important area of WMS for two

shift to the Cloud, but added that security

“Clearly, robots have the potential to remove

reasons: the first is that a new kind of man-

concerns are/will be a roadblock. Thirdly, he

human error from the warehouse workplace as

machine-interfaces will offer a new of

foresees further development regarding open

well as do certain tasks more efficiently.”

collaboration between humans and WMS/WCS application,” he said. “The second reason why

APIs for better communication between SCM Just explained that topVOX is already working

we think that further innovation in this area will

on the next generation of Voice solutions. “The

help to offer more values to our customers is that

One type of technology Wilson sees on the

key here is in the power of the recognition

we think an improved UX will help our customer

horizon is integration of Voice and vision;

engine alongside the development of

to manage a more complex logistics world.”

specifically, augmented reality type glasses.

increasingly smart devices and hardware,” he

“This has Voice plus the vision element, and it

said. “The more powerful the recognition

Makan foresees Voice and visual glasses

may prove to be a challenge to Voice solutions,”

engine the more you can do with it. Then

working together to provide the users with even a

he said. “I don't know of any place in the UK that

there is additional logic within the engine itself

better use experience and taking this technology

has implemented this yet, but I do know of one

and how that can be developed in a way to

efficiency to the next level. With regard to WMS,

implementation in the US that is using Google

make it simpler and easier to use in more and

Makan believes that over the next year or two we

Glass integrated with one of the leading WMSs.

more complex processes.”

will see further enhancements of slotting

systems and devices.

capability to allow for dynamic slotting as well as

It gives an increased level of capability beyond Voice. It allows the picking operator to scan

According to Bellwood, packing is a good

mobile innovation. This, she said, will include

barcodes by just looking at them; because of the

example where robots are already at work on

wearable glasses picking, drone inventory

way the glasses work they know what you're

conveyors; deciding which carrier receives

checks, driverless forklift trucks, automations and

looking at and so are able to pass commands

which package – e.g ‘push parcel left for

AI. “In essence, the next two years will see

through vision.”

Royal Mail and right for DPD’. “They can also

technology businesses like ourselves work hard

decide and deliver to the pack bench which

to meet the demands of our customers and the

Annaswamy anticipates that warehouse robotics

size/type packaging is correct for a particular

use of technology will be fundamental to their

is going to continue to be one of the key

item or items, and seal the parcel,” he added.

success,” she remarked. 

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AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING

Company Profile

RFID and NFC still on the rise – and DENSO keeps up with innovative products oday companies are more and transformation of their business.

T

RFID takes big steps in more and more companies

This was recently shown in the

Automatic payment, labelling, recognition,

results of the ‘Digital Change

registration, and storage – all this is possible

Study’ survey, done by business software

with RFID. The technology is no modern

provider IFS. In order to determine the digital

discovery, but it is just now becoming more

maturity of companies, 750 decision-makers

and more popular. The main reason for this is

in 16 countries were asked about the

that the originally high costs for RFID tags

digitalisation process in their companies.

decreased significantly, which led to more

The UR20 series from DENSO.

What came out was that nine out of ten

companies using RFID as a basis to work

based on RFID, the technology is almost the

companies said an investment in the digital

more efficiently. With the use of RFID, time

same. However, the application fields are

transformation of their business was

and costs can be reduced as not every single

different,” says Gelbrich. As an example, the

‘appropriate’ or ‘conducive’.

item has to be scanned and registered

loyalty points cards of supermarkets are fitted

individually. This leads to more efficiency in

with the NFC technology.

more willing to invest in the digital

The main reason put forward for this type of

any companies’ internal processes. For

investment was to increase the efficiency of

example, on receipt of goods in warehouses,

all internal processes. Without any doubt,

products can be captured directly by the

digitalisation also includes devices for mobile

RFID scanner according to amount and size.

data capture, such as scanners and handheld

SE1-BUB-C The new pocket size scanner weighs only about 70 g and can be conveniently stored

terminals. DENSO, part of the Toyota group

Afterwards, the place of storage is saved in

and carried all day long, making it perfect for

and inventor of the QR Code, offers innovative

the company’s system and the employees

workplaces where staff members consistently

data capture devices of the best quality to

can directly check the information. That is an

need to carry a scanner, for example in retail

their customers. Not long ago, DENSO

enormous time saving factor. Dirk Gelbrich,

environments. It also prevents scanning of

launched the QK30-IC with modern NFC

Teamleader Technical Services at the DENSO

other nearby RFID tags, and thus guarantees

technology. More RFID or NFC products

Auto-ID Business Unit, explains: “Also in the

the smooth and quick processing of RFID

followed, such as the new SE1-BUB-C, the

retail area, RFID could make a big change to

tags one at a time. Another advantage is that

smartphone style BHT-1600 and the UR20

working conditions should it become a

the SE1-BUB-C can easily connect with other

series which is suitable for use in retail

standard. Especially during an inventory,

Bluetooth devices simply by scanning a setup

environments and the attached warehouse

much time and therefore costs can be saved.

code. “This feature offers various benefits,”

facilities. However, an end is not in sight.

Instead of having to touch every single item,

says Gelbrich. “For example, on-the-spot

counting it and sorting it by colour and size,

inventory checking can be done while serving

everything can be registered with just one

customers in a store. That helps the staff to

scan when using an RFID reader. That eases

accurately access information and add value

the work load immensely.”

to the customers’ experience.” The pocket size innovation is compatible with iOS,

NFC for shorter distances

Android, and Windows.

When the goal is to scan from a short rather

BHT-1600

than a long distance, and still contactless and

The new SE1-BUB-C pocket size scanner weighs only about 70 g and can be conveniently stored and carried all day long.

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comfortable, the NFC technology can be the

The BHT-1600 is equipped with modern NFC

right solution. It is based on the same core

technology and is very compact in size. It was

technology like RFID, but uses a lower

recently launched onto the market in the style

frequency range. NFC works on short

of a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) and

distances of a few centimetres. “As NFC is

comes with Android 6.X. In the ruggedised

www.logisticsit.com


Company Profile

AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING

version, it is much more robust than

put on the checkout counter and they are

Furthermore, it convinces with other popular

comparable devices on the market today.

then scanned by the installed UR21 in just

features that are already present in the BHT-

One reason for this is the pre-installed special

one single movement across the checkout

1200 series. For example, it can be used

protective cover. The other advantage is the

counter. This results in huge time savings and

under extreme temperatures (-20 to +40°C)

shatterproof Dragontrail glass that equips the

eliminates long queues at the Point of Sale.

and can achieve 400 scans per second.

BHT-1600. Further key features of the new

The UR22 has a wide communication range of

DENSO Android 6.X PDA scanner are the

approximately 2.6 metres and can be

integrated mobile data capture scanning

installed on the upper part of a gate to

engine coupled with all common standard

capture the incoming and outgoing goods.

There are many fields of application for the

applications support for wireless

Due to its compact design with its slim

QK30-IC series from DENSO: it can be

communication such as Bluetooth, WiFi or 4G.

antenna, the small scanner can be installed

integrated into cash registers, connected to

All this combined with in an appealing design,

practically anywhere.

multi-media terminals or even to access

compact size, and light weight.

QK30-IC

control systems. Mobile data capture,

BHT-1200 RFID

mobile payment in connection with

The robust BHT-1200 RFID offers very fast

of individual buying behaviour – the QK30-

Also, the UR20 series from DENSO came with

reading speeds, is easy to operate and has

IC is an allrounder. It is equipped with the

modern RFID technology. Both the UR21 and

a long battery life of up to 60 hours. The

NFC technology and is available as a

the UR22 scanner convince with modern

handheld terminal is – thanks to its

stationary or built-in scanner. The QK30-IC

features, especially in fashion stores and their

ergonomic pistol grip – easy to use and the

can read QR Codes from smartphone

attached warehouses. The UR21 scanner is

Windows CE operating system has proven

displays or codes printed on paper – and

ideal for retail and for use at the Point of Sale.

itself consistently as user friendly. Moreover,

this even if they are damaged. Another real

With the RFID technology, it is now possible

the BHT-1200 RFID successfully scans RFID

benefit of the QK30-IC is its capability to

to record numerous RFID tags with just one

tags from a distance of up to five metres

read mobile coupons, mobile loyalty cards

scan. The customer’s clothing items can be

thanks to its long-range function.

and mobile tickets. 

UR20 Series

Product News

smartphones and apps, or the measurement

AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING

Frontline Consultancy launches new BYOD security solution to support GDPR requirements

E

very year over 500,000 personal

Caine Fearn, managing director at Frontline

"Every business will have to consider the

mobile devices are stolen in the

said: "We have launched our new mobile

issues behind GDPR and having the ability

UK, many of which contain

security solution because so many

to monitor and control mobile device access

access to sensitive business

companies do not realise how vulnerable

to data will be critical for compliance going

data, which could be a breach of

they are to data breaches by allowing staff

forwards," continued Fearn.

new GDPR regulations due in 2018. To

to use unmonitored and unsecured devices.

support its clients, Frontline Consultancy

It is a common misconception that just

Key benefits of using the solution from

has launched a new mobile device

because a mobile device is locked data is

Frontline include remote security tools to

management solution specifically aimed at

secure."

manage data and access, the ability to push

companies who allow staff to bring and use

apps centrally and being able to enforce

their own devices for work along with

The new solution, which is fully supported

central policies, password rules and

corporate devices.

and managed by the team at Frontline,

encryption. In addition, users gain

gives the customer full visibility of all the

significant reporting functionality across all

The new solution allows companies to actively

devices attached to their network as well as

mobile devices as well as aiding with GDPR

manage all devices used by their staff

the ability to reset access, lock, and in

compliance. 

members allowing them to safeguard data at

extreme circumstances wipe the data held

all times as well as ensure GDPR compliance.

on the device.

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AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING

Product Profile

Two decades of tough, 99 years of design innovation ll this year Panasonic is

A

celebrating 20 years of Toughbooks, one of the most recognised names in rugged computing. But Panasonic didn’t

establish the rugged notebook market overnight. It took a lifetime of commitment to quality and design to make the original CF-25 Toughbook possible in the first place. In the 20 years since that very first rugged notebook launched, the company philosophy has ensured there has been no let-up in the untiring effort to improve. However, the story really starts with the vision of the company founder, almost a century ago. The principles that guide Panasonic’s untiring effort for improvement and its adaptability are written into the company creed. The business

The Anechoic chamber measures RF emissions. The facilities at the Mobile Solutions Manufacturing plant have kept pace with the evolving requirements of modern computing. The anechoic chamber is used to measure radio signal emissions, to make sure wireless communications are robust. It also ensures the devices don’t emit any unwanted signals that could interfere with other equipment, or pose security risks.

philosophy and principles were set out by Kōnosuke Matsushita a few years after founding the company, in 1918.

Pre-rugged history

first-time construction workers, engineers, police

It seems odd to think that 20 years ago, notebook

that could work wherever they worked.

officers and first-responders could buy a laptop

The Mobile Solutions Manufacturing plant in Kobe

computers themselves were in their infancy. In

was purpose built to create the Toughbook

1996 most laptops were designed to be carefully

The popularity of the Toughbook was

range. It remains a state of the art facility,

carried between air-conditioned offices. When

understandable; it made mobile computing a

combining research and development,

Panasonic launched the Toughbook CF-25, it

practical option for a whole new segment of

manufacturing, testing of the Toughbook and

expanded the potential audience beyond those

users. But the requirements of a laptop have

Toughpad products.

working in sterile office environments. It was the

changed in almost unimaginable ways in the last 20 years. Panasonic had established the foundations of rugged computing, but it immediately set to improve and adapt its design. In compliance with the Panasonic company creed.

Testing times Visiting the Mobile Solutions Manufacturing plant in Kobe we saw how the Toughbook range has adapted to modern business needs. The range now includes the Toughpad tablets, 2-in-1 Toughbooks, and the popular business-rugged models. Panasonic tests Toughbooks in every way Mobile computing has changed its meaning in the last 20 years. Mobile computing once meant a computer could be taken from desk to desk. Modern mobile computing really means mobile, so Panasonic regularly creates docks for all manner vehicle, from forklift truck to motorcycle. Fully rugged models must be resistant to liquid equivalent to a rain-shower, while the semi and business rugged models are built to withstand high humidity.

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imaginable. Some might call the tests thorough, but for a lover of technology, I’d be inclined to call the tests brutal. The Toughbooks are dropped mechanically and repeatedly; they are baked,

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MEETING THE UNIQUE NEEDS OF YOUR MANUFACTURING WORKFORCE Want to run the leanest operations with as little costly downtime as possible? Want to find technology that consistently delivers out on the floor, despite any dir t, dust or drops? And all while maintaining the highest product quality? Our latest (and shor t!) repor t reveals how.

Read it at: computers.panasonic.eu/specialist-in-manufacturing Intel, the Intel logo, Intel Core, Intel vPro, Core Inside and vPro Inside are tr ademarks of Intel Corpor ation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.

The Toughpad FZ-G1 with Intel® Core™ i5 vPro™ processor.


AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING

Product Profile

Panasonic has streamlined the process of custom features to the point where ideas can be turned into reality with incredible speed, without compromising quality. The local customisation doesn’t mean the finished products escape the rigorous Toughbook testing. Each design goes through very similar tests to the ones in Kobe.

The softer side of tough While laptops that look ready for a war zone are exciting, it’s overkill for the average road warrior sales team. Turning up to a meeting to discuss ladies fashion with the laptop

Variations on a theme, mass customisation was pioneered by Panasonic in the ’90s.

equivalent of a Humvee would turn-heads but

drenched, opened and closed, steamed and

organisations to integrate customisation into its

frozen to the point of failure. But it’s the only way

production. Now that it has 20 years of practice

of knowing exactly how tough a Toughbook is.

customising Toughbooks, it is a master of the art.

Any idea that Toughbooks are simply laptops

The next step in the journey is to Panasonic

notebooks. They are built to standards just as

with rubber-bumpers stuck on were quickly

Manufacturing UK, based in Cardiff. This is where

precise as the fully rugged range. But they

dispelled. Standard laptops may appear to

the customisation and localisation of the

are designed to withstand coffee spills and

have similar characteristics. But there is

Toughbooks and Toughpads takes place for the

falling off desks, rather than hurricanes and

almost nothing standard or off-the-shelf in the

whole of Europe. When it comes to building

falling off ladders. The resulting machines are

Toughbook design.

horses for courses, it all happens at the final

more lightweight, with a more refined look, but

furlong. The Cardiff facility completes anywhere

are considerably more durable than the

From the super-strong USB sockets to the laser-

between the final 5% to 15% of the

average notebook.

engraved letters on the keyboard, there is nothing

manufacturing process depending on the extent

standard about the standard features.

of the customisation required.

Evolving markets Today’s portable computing requirements

connected by strengthened ribbon cables. No

Challenge accepted - Meeting business needs

weak links are tolerated.

The R&D facilities in Cardiff include everything

weren’t in 1996 includes Google, Broadband,

needed to produce any type of customisation for

WiFi, touchscreens, even mobile phones were

Mass customisation, building horses for courses

the products. The design team can take an idea,

rare. The Panasonic commitment to

or requirement, sketch it out and make rapid

adaptability has kept it at the forefront of

prototypes with a 3D printing machine. The team

innovation. The range now includes the

The devices that come out of the Kobe

can also provide custom software installations

Toughpad tablets, 2-in-1 hybrid notebooks,

manufacturing plant are ready for anything, and

and staging, so the Toughbooks can be

and semi-rugged devices.

indeed they are used in almost every situation

delivered ready for action.

for the wrong reasons. To meet that need, Panasonic has created a line of semi-rugged and business-rugged

Components that are more sensitive to rough handling, like the screen and the HDD, are floated on shock-absorbing mounts and

would be almost beyond imagination 20 years ago. Things that are common now, but

With its latest focus on the rugged handheld

imaginable. However, the build process isn't quite finished yet. The custom nature of most

Customisation can be as simple as adding

market, Panasonic has more than doubled its

Toughbook use, makes it impossible to have a

corporate branding to the machine. Or as

year-on-year growth in Europe in this sector.

one size fits all approach. Fortunately,

complex as Toughpad accessories with built-in

Despite the decline in the wider notebook

adaptability is another of Panasonic's core

heatsinks for use in hot environments. At any

market, Panasonic has also continued to grow

philosophies, one that’s taken very seriously.

point, the team will be designing, producing and

its share of the rugged notebook and tablet

testing designs like custom shoulder straps,

market and is far and away the largest player

When Panasonic first popularised the concept of

custom battery charging stations, or steering-

in Europe with more than a 67% rugged

rugged computing, it was also pioneering mass

wheel mounts. The designers and engineers

notebook revenue share. It’s focus on quality

customisation. A concept unheard of before the

clearly relish the challenge of making the perfect

and design look set to stand it in good stead

’90s, Panasonic was among the very first

device for any situation.

for the next decade ahead. 

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Insight

AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING

Majority of EMEA retailers plan to increase investment in payments, survey by ACI and Ovum finds ome 55% of retailers and

customer management, ACI Worldwide, said:

respondents are worried about liability in the

merchants in the EMEA region are

"Investment in new payment capabilities is

event of data breaches, with mobile perceived

planning to increase their

clearly high on the agenda of merchants and

as a greater risk than traditional online

investment into new payment

retailers across the EMEA region. Most retailers

capabilities in the next 18 to 24

have moved away from seeing payments as

S

channels. • New payment types: 62% of EMEA merchants

months, according to the 2017 Global Payments

purely transactional and now understand that

say their organisation is ready to process

Insight Survey: Merchants and Retailers by ACI

payments are crucial to the overall customer

emerging payment types and that flexibility to

Worldwide and Ovum.

experience and success of their businesses.

enable new payment method acceptance is

They also increasingly understand the value of The report, which surveyed more than 260 EMEA

payments data as an important tool for getting a

retailers and merchants across industries such

single view of their customer."

reveals that infrastructure improvements (54%), security considerations (53%) and introducing

merchants (79%) feel they are very much aware that customers want a broader choice

as general merchandise, grocery, restaurants, fuel and convenience, and travel and lodging,

the key omnichannel driver. • Customer experience and innovation: Most

Other key findings

of payment types, however more than two-

• Payments technology and business benefits:

help with creating innovation in customer

thirds (72%) report their organisation needs

analytics to payments (47%) are the main drivers

80% of respondents in EMEA agree that new

behind these investment plans.

payments technology will provide benefits for

Quartermaine continued: "Merchants increasingly

experience

their organisation and 66% say they are willing

recognise the importance of enabling consumer

However, the research also finds several

to pay more for a broader range of payment

choice and retaining the flexibility to support

concerns that prevent merchants from investing

services if they add value to their business.

future payments innovation. We believe that to

more, including security concerns (87%) and

89% say they would expect increased

be able to respond to the challenges in this fast-

regulatory compliance (70%).

operational efficiency and 88% enhanced

changing market, it is important to adopt

customer experience from their investment.

solutions that are flexible in regard to connectivity

Andrew Quartermaine, vice president SaaS

• Data breaches are a key concern: 74% of

and the point of customer interaction." 

We have been working for 30 years to develop just one single scanner. Yours. DENSO. Driven by quality. DENSO has been a leading supplier of quality data capture devices in Europe for more than 30 years. The result is a diverse range of models without equal – scanners and terminals exclusively designed to meet your needs, whether with advanced Windows CE or RFID technology, or Android-based in the style of a smartphone. They are so rigorously tested that they remain in service almost longer than we would prefer. Find out more at denso-autoid-eu.com.

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Supply Chain

Success story

Forecasting, demand management and planning – the winning hat-trick for efficient customer service

M

ayoly Spindler is a French independent family-owned pharmaceutical company which has managed to develop its activities over several decades in specialist pharmaceuticals, building a reputation for efficiency and safety. At Mayoly Spindler, activities embrace multiple therapeutic areas such as gastroenterology, rheumatology, ENT, general medicine, consumer health care and dermocosmetics with the Topicrem range. Today, the company is particularly proud of its identity as a business on a human scale. Responding to pressure from the medical

profession, and constantly endeavoring to improve the quality-of-life and public health, Laboratoires Mayoly Spindler stands apart in its strong dynamism and professionalism.

Company turnover was steadily growing, reaching €157 million in 2012, 63% generated in France and 37% from the international market. With a staff of 450 people, operating out of more than 70

DynaSys have the solutions we need to support us efficiently as our business grows, and to stay in step with the group’s development, making our supply chain a competitive advantage.” – Marie-Claude Cevalte, Mayoly Spindler.

To support the company’s growth, Mayoly Spindler opted to develop a 3-year improvement plan involving the implementation of a Demand & Supply Chain Planning solution.

countries and with 4 production facilities in France, Mayoly Spindler ranks 8th among French pharmaceutical companies. “Mayoly Spindler’s global supply chain has significantly developed since 2007, arising from our wish to support the company’s growth through an efficient organisation. There is no getting away from the fact that competition in the pharmaceutical industry is increasingly keen and the group’s ambitions are extending inexorably to the international field, demanding a process capable of optimising customer satisfaction” said Marie-Claude Cevalte, supply chain & information systems director of the group. “A general audit of our operating methods during the third quarter of 2007 to identify the openings for progress and improvement potential, culminated in the proposal of a 3-year Progress Plan, validated in October of that year.”

The progress plan focused on 3 major objectives •

• •

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Making the major input of the supply chain dependable, that is, reliable sales forecasts. Anticipating & controlling the availability of products. Optimising demand management.

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Success story

The challenges Supply chain manager, Christophe Napiot, commented: “The major challenge confronting supply chain planning is helping the main players in the various departments of the group to make the right decisions, and increase the reliability, through a seamless & integrated collaborative process. This is the key role to be played by Demand Management in terms of sales forecasts, anticipation of risks and opportunities.” Drawing on impetus from these considerations, Mayoly Spindler initiated an S&OP (Sales and Operations Plan) approach aiming essentially at: • •

• •

Maximising their customer service level. Boosting coordination of activities between company functions, and establishing more open and transparent communication. Improving sales by reducing lead times & shortages. Reducing inventory levels, unsold items and costs generated by emergency expedites. Meeting the annual budget.

DynaSys Demand & Supply Chain Planning solution Mayoly Spindler selected DynaSys solutions in January 2008. Cevalte explains: “We selected DynaSys based on a traditional process involving the determination of our requirements, market analysis and compliance with specifications. DynaSys provided the most comprehensive and best integrated offering, the one closest to our needs and strategy. Our sales directors were closely involved with this decision because we considered it essential that they understood and took ownership of the solutions we were about to implement.”

DynaSys solutions within Mayoly Spindler Group

Today, more than 30 employees are using DynaSys solutions at Mayoly Spindler, with profiles and solution access customised to their roles in the various supply chain processes.

Integration, the key factor for success “Effective coordination needs effective integration,” says Napiot. “Integrating information systems is an essential part of supporting out business processes. Hence our decision to support the redesign of our supply chain using two integrated modules: Demand Planning and Production Planning.”

Demand Planning to develop sales forecasts and create a consolidated, collaborative and reliable vision of future demand. Production Planning to optimise strategic production plans (S&OP) and operational production plans (MPS).

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• •

Time saving and increased accuracy when validating forecasts. Centralised information and a monthly process which is robust and collaborative. Enhanced logistic performance and increased responsiveness through better planning. Anticipation and responsiveness through continuous monitoring of finite capacity plans and planning actions. A simple, centralised and consolidated vision based on a 15-month mixed horizon (weeks/months). Full control of MPSs and Net Requirement Calculations and subsequently of inventories and product availability. 

Today, more than 30 employees are using DynaSys solutions at Mayoly Spindler, with profiles and solution access customised to their roles in the various supply chain processes.”

Two projects were begun to run sequentially one after the other. The first involved Demand Management and the second Production Planning. Mayoly Spindler’s decision was to set up a centralised business model to support the group’s strategy, with centralised demand management and planning. The project was also aimed at harmonising Mayoly Spindler’s pharmaceutical and cosmetics activities. Finally, production sites refocused on their core business: ‘producing at the lowest cost, in a timely manner and to the required level of quality’.

The benefits •

Supply Chain

Dramatic reduction of inventory shortages and significant reduction in inventory levels of finished products. Improved sales forecasting reliability.

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TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT

Product News

TimoCom App

now available in TomTom Bridge devices

T

he TimoCom app is now included as a standard, out of the box feature on TomTom Bridge, the professional driver's terminal from the navigation system manufacturer TomTom. HGV drivers who are TimoCom customers can log into the TimoCom platform directly from their TomTom Bridge device – finding the right load or offering free storage whilst on the go.

Transport platform on board Anyone who travels often for work knows how difficult it is to be unable to manage and complete processes correctly. This is particularly true for lorry drivers, who spend a large part of their professional life on the go. TomTom Bridge, a professional driver terminal, provides an essential connection between driver and office, as well as driver and customer. In addition to TomTom truck navigation and real-time traffic information on all routes, the devices, based on the Android platform, also contain mobile business apps. One of these is TimoCom, Europe's largest transport platform. This allows users to change their plans as required: find load offers across Europe whilst on the go, or put your free storage room on the transport

platform — quickly and easily. The integrated app is particularly practical for self-employed drivers, allowing them to find return or additional loads at any time. "It saves a lot of time for TimoCom users. The drivers do not have to access their private smartphone to check freight offers — and TomTom Bridge provides both navigation and the TimoCom app, as well as all other applications in one simple device," explains Andrea Di Domizio, solutions manager at TimoCom.

Lorry drivers can search for freight in TomTom Bridge.

TomTom Bridge – the perfect combination of navigation and business application According to Klaus Burgstaller, TomTom Bridge senior sales DACH & EE, inclusion of the TimoCom app makes the TomTom Bridge hardware even more valuable: "TomTom Bridge driver terminals offer much more than simple navigation and maps. Thanks to integrated applications such as the storage entry and freight search from TimoCom, our customer's work day is easier, and much better suited to their needs. Which is precisely our mission: working together to develop technologies from which everyone benefits.” Since the beginning of July, 2017, TimoCom transport platform users have also been able

TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT

TimoCom freight in TomTom Bridge modules.

to manage offers via mobile access: the new TC Transport Order application digitalises transport offers and allows business partners to come to an agreement within the TimoCom platform itself. This further simplifies communication and networking for both carriers and shippers. 

Insight

How transport platforms

contribute to climate friendlier supply chain management

C

limate change does not only damage the environment but also the economy. According to the European Environment Agency (EEA), from 1980 to 2013 climate-related economic losses of 400 billion euros were reported. More and more companies from manufacturing and trade are therefore aiming to reduce their CO2 emissions. The Italian start-up GreenRouter

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points out important saving-potentials within the supply chain.

Empty runs and environmental pollution considered systematically In a current study using a 26-ton EURO 6, GreenRouter underlines the need to

systematically consider the harmful impact on the environment of empty runs. The CO2 emission per driven kilometre are: -

0.9 kg with a full load. 0.7 kg empty.

However, taking a closer look, as Andrea Fossa, CEO of GreenRouter, explains: "A fully loaded truck produces 25-30% more

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Insight

TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT

emissions as an empty one. Nonetheless, an extra truck must be used to transport the load the empty truck could have transported. So, in the end the empty run has to be added to the additional truck and the final effect is that empty runs contribute to higher harmful emissions."

Good for economy and the environment: digital transport platforms One of the most efficient measures to avoid empty runs and reduce CO2 emissions are digital transport platforms. According to GreenRouter, the logistics company Rampinini Ernesto was able to increase the utilisation of its fleet by 30% and its profit margin by 15% thanks to Europe's largest transport platform. At the same time, they reduced their CO2 emissions by 23%. Climate friendlier transport gains importance for shipping companies. By choosing transport service providers that efficiently use their resources, they too support the achievement of their climate objectives. Lars Laskowski, head of logistics at MC-Bauchemie Müller GmbH, and whose company has already carried out numerous transports through the TimoCom platform, also confirms this: "Reduction of CO2 emissions in all areas of the supply chain, including transport, responsibility and sustainability are very important issues at MC-Bauchemie." All benefit from the objective ‘reduce CO2 emission’ by using digital transport platforms – shippers, transport companies and the environment. 

Your digital transport orders in good hands! With TC Transport Order®, you can handle your transport orders directly within the TimoCom transport platform.

Optimise your business processes with TC Transport Order®

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www.timocom.co.uk/Quote-requests

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V OICE technology

Success Story

Voice picking within grocery retailer Musgrave Retail Partner’s two warehouses in Ireland improves productivity and accuracy ounded in Cork, Ireland in 1876

come directly into the warehouse from its

allowing the picker to be hands-free. The

today Musgrave is one of Ireland’s

network of retail partners, and would be split

headset meant they were able to hear all the

largest and most successful

into paper picking orders then divided by

information required, and were able to query

companies with annual sales

section across the warehouse. Each assembler

anything they needed to. Within ambient

approaching 4.6 billion Euros. With

or picker then had to pick up to a 3-cage

specifically, the picker was able to confirm he

its retail partners it employs more than 44,000

assignment and drive through the warehouse

was in the correct location before picking

people and has 1360 stores. Its supply chain

picking items according to the list, before

which immediately had an impact on errors.

delivers to 686 stores in the Republic of Ireland

delivering the paperwork back to the onsite

The improvement in accuracy and

with 3400 deliveries a week. The company has

office. Any amendments would be made by

productivity was substantial.”

4 warehouses that total 580k square feet, and

office staff for that operation. Within the chill

packs a total of around 2 million cases each

warehouse a pick-to-zero operation was in

The WCS Voice-directed system has allowed

week for distribution to its network of retailers

place, and the very nature of this operation

for a much more ‘free flowing’ environment,

across the UK and Ireland. The company

meant it was hugely paper-based with pick

where productivity gains have seen an 8.2%

stores products across each warehouse that

labels generated for the picker to follow and

lift. Not only that but with accuracy increasing,

consists of ambient, chilled and fresh foods. A

label cases to be loaded onto a container. Both

there have been savings in overall head count

customer of Worldwide Chain Stores (WCS) for

systems across ambient and chilled were

as the business is able to be more lean with

many years, Musgrave has been using WCS’s

prone to error, with no checks in place to catch

its staff needs and today has reduced the

Warehouse Management System for 18 years

discrepancies, the company realised

number of warehouse staff significantly since

and gaining the value of a functionally rich

investment in new technology was critical.

the implementation of the project.

The company embarked on a test project at its

Fitzgerald continued: “We’ve been able to

Cork facility to assess the impact of Voice

achieve 99.8-99.9% accuracy, which leaves

picking on accuracy, productivity and retailers

very few errors within our operation and

F

system that continues to support the needs of the business. Having used technology to its advantage to maximise its growth opportunities for a number

and would allow it to determine an

of years, in 2007, driven by the desire to further

implementation timetable for a full roll out of

improve accuracy and efficiencies the

Voice picking across its operations.

company embarked on a process to review the value of integrating Voice technology for

Productivity and accuracy gains achieved

picking within its warehouse environment.

Musgrave saw some early benefits from its Voice implementation. Brendan Fitzgerald,

Moving from paper to Voice

industrial engineer from Musgraves,

The existing paper-based system at that time

commented: “When we moved to WCS Voice-

was complex and prone to error. Typically,

directed picking for both chilled and ambient,

orders within the ambient warehouse would

one of the key immediate benefits was

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Success Story

V OICE technology

use of Voice as it looks to implement across its loading function, and ultimately within receiving.â&#x20AC;?

Achieving maximum return on investment Since starting its Voice implementation, Musgrave has recouped its initial investment and continues to see a return of 660,000 Euros per year. It continues to achieve very high levels of accuracy and productivity gains remain near 9%. Fitzgerald concluded: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Voice has been an integral part of our warehouse operation now for a number of years and it continues to allow us to achieve high accuracy

    

and productivity results. Taking Voice into other

critically at the retailers back door, where they

of inventory levels and better synchronisation of

areas of our operation is compelling, we are

have been able to eliminate the costs

replenishment activities. Pickers are allocated

trialing across loading and will look to

associated with having to check all deliveries

the best next picking assignment so as to drive

implement in the future within receiving,

and so are able to position staff in more

efficient DC operations. Josh Makan, at WCS

replenishment and PI. The accuracy levels

customer facing positions.â&#x20AC;?

said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Accuracy and productivity are critical in

make it a very compelling proposition for many

modern distribution centres and the use of

areas of warehouse functions. The ROI figures

Integrating Voice with the WMS

Voice technology delivers this. Voice operation

speak for themselves, far exceeding any results

The Voice-directed work system integrates

is particularly suitable for picking frozen and

we could have achieved from other competitive

seamlessly with WCSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Warehouse

chilled foods, where gloves hamper the

technologies.â&#x20AC;? 

Management System, with all Voice-based

handling of paper or the use of radio data

transactions allowing for real-time maintenance

terminals. Musgrave is leading the way in its

is proud to present

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Purchasing

Labour Management

Yard Management & Reservations

Warehouse Management

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Supply Chain Intelligence

Voice

Billing

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wwchainstores

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V OICE technology

Opinion

Voice and the omnichannel advantage By Philip Jarrett, director of sales & marketing, BEC (Systems Integration) Ltd.

ithin the retail industry,

W

additional challenges for warehouse and DC

benefit of having a scanning facility on their

warehouses have

professionals â&#x20AC;&#x201C; particularly when there is now

Voice system when this is the best solution for

traditionally been tasked

the additional growing trend for next-day (or

the task. This omnichannel combination of

with fulfilling bulk

even same-day) delivery to the consumer.

Voice and scanning technologies works very

consignments to the store.

Related to the direct-to-customer trend is the

well together in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s omnichannel world of

This involves putting in place a highly efficient

rise in returned goods, which requires a

retail.

methodology whereby all tasks â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from picking

particularly deft reverse logistics methodology

and replenishment, to stock moves, stock

in the warehouse or DC, ensuring returned

From a screen perspective, sometimes there is

count, stock cycles etc. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; are executed in a

goods are inspected and re-stocked quickly

a requirement for a scanned product to match

highly efficient manner.

and efficiently.

an image on the device in order for the picker

However, the past few years have seen

Voice-directed picking solutions have over a

example, an item in a particular colour might be

phenomenal growth in ecommerce; whereby

number of years proven to be a highly effective

required, although all colour options for the

single items often need to be dispatched to

and cost-efficient way of optimising picking and

product have the same barcode number. This

single consumers. Today, consumers have a

replenishment accuracy, as well as speeding

is another good example of the use of

number of ways to place their orders: in store,

up the daily performance of the workforce in the

omnichannel technology.

on the internet or on their smartphone. This is

warehouse or DC. Now, with the advent of

often referred to as omnichannel retailing.

omnichannel retailing, the importance of Voice

Over the past few years, the benefits of Voice-

This added level of shopping convenience for

is greater than ever.

directed systems and related technology for the

to double-check that it is the right item. For

modern warehouse and DC environment have

the consumer has, understandably, resulted in

Logistical challenges

been well-proven. According to a Tompkins

Interestingly, just as there is now an

Associates white paper titled: Order Picking for

omnichannel route to placing orders, from a

the 21st Century â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Voice vs. Scanning

technology point of view there is now also a

Technology, companies who have invested in

tried and tested omnichannel means of picking

Voice systems are seeing productivity

and replenishing goods in the warehouse. For

increases of over 25%, and are pleased with

example, at BEC we have a customer in the

the reduced turnover and training time required

cosmetics sector whereby the ecommerce side

for their labour force. The paper also states that

of their business is growing rapidly. This poses

users can achieve accuracy rates of up to

certain logistical challenges, especially during

99.9% and above.

the Christmas period. From a scanning

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perspective, well-established Voice-directed

Using pick lists, organisations record

picking solutions â&#x20AC;&#x201C; such as the Vocollect Voice

information on paper and this data then has to

solutions from Honeywell â&#x20AC;&#x201C; have integrated

be inputted into a PC at a central point where

scanners built into the hardware. This is a big

somebody approves all the pick lists.

advantage for users such as our cosmetics

Understandably, this methodology is open to

customer, which has to pick and replenish

human error; with incorrect codes, or even

single product items such as small eyeliners

incorrect quantities, being inputted. Also, the

and lipsticks where the digits underneath the

writing on the pick sheet might be illegible

barcodes on those types of products can be

and the person inputting the data may have to

too small to read. This is the type of instance

make a guess as to what the correct

when a scan is required and this is where

information is. Voice eliminates the need for

warehouses and DCs can really reap the

secondary input of data, and so increases the

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Opinion

V OICE technology

%230)0**2)/301)23.0*(/10,3&+0$30,2"2**31,)*('2.3-3 01)2/+-1,2'3."./2$3/%-/31.3)-#-*230&3*2-+,1,!3/%23(,1(23#+0&1*230&32-)%3(.2+3-.30##0.2'3/0 .1$#*"3+2)0!,1.1,!3/%23.0(,'30&3-3(.2+.3 01)2

Established reputation

speed of output and accuracy levels. This is

frustrated by having to ask the Voice system

because the information is input at source

to regularly repeat instructions. Naturally, this

I believe it is also important for warehouse and

directly to the backend system.

can also slow down the picking and

DC professionals to source their Voice system

replenishment process â&#x20AC;&#x201C; definitely something

from an experienced, reputable systems

Voice even provides a health & safety benefit

to avoid in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s omnichannel world.

insofar as the operator is working hands- and

integrator that specialises in this type of implementation. There is little point in putting a

eyes-free. Using paper pick lists has always

The Voice devices should also be robust, so

Voice system in place if a warehouse or DC has

posed a danger because if the worker is

the user has the ability to sweat the asset for a

no intention of improving its current process

looking down at the list there is a risk that he

number of years. In the warehouse or DC

constraints. The systems integrator of choice

or she might not be aware that, say, a forklift

environment, weak and flimsy solutions are

should be able to re-map the warehouse or DC

truck is heading in their direction.

unlikely to last very long. Voice devices are

in order to make it as efficient as possible. It is

rarely treated with kid gloves. For example,

then that the Voice technology should be

The right choice

users take them off and swap them over after

applied; a technology that can help to optimise

So, Voice offers a number of proven benefits

their shift, and they often get unhooked from the

the new processes. In order to do this, the

to the modern omnichannel-focused

userâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s belt and put on a forklift where they can

systems integrator needs a firm understanding

warehouse or DC. However, once a company

easily fall onto the concrete floor. So, it is

of the optimum flow of a warehouse or DC.

has made the decision to investigate Voice in

important to source robust Voice equipment

Engaging, say, a field force automation

more detail, it is important to carefully

that is fit for the modern, busy omnichannel

specialist to undertake this type of project with

evaluate the quality of the devices offered by

warehouse or DC environment.

little or no knowledge of how a warehouse and

different vendors. Take the listening kit, for

Unique voice verification technology is also

DC should flow is unlikely to end well.

example. In the case of the headsets of

invaluable. In the case of Honeywell Voice

Honeywell Vocollect Voice solutions, these

solutions, its voice-trained system is capable of

are fitted with three microphones â&#x20AC;&#x201C; two to

learning the unique profile of each user as

sector, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just about fulfilling bulk orders to

cancel most of the extraneous background

opposed to simply recognising the sound of

store; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just as important to have the ability to

For warehouses and DCs serving todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s retail

noise and one to pick up the voice of the

any userâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s voice. This means that if, for

speedily and accurately fulfil individual direct-to-

user. This type of equipment is a major

example, a particular user has a cold, he or she

consumer consignments. The best Voice-

benefit to users operating in noisy

will still be able to operate the system because

directed picking and replenishment solutions â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

warehouses, with forklift trucks travelling up

it is able to tune into the frequency of an

together with their complementary scanning

and down aisles and radios playing all day

individual voice profile. This voice verification

capability â&#x20AC;&#x201C; feature mature technology that has

long. Without this type of noise filtering

technology can also ensure the system is only

been proven to be fit for the task in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

mechanism, warehouse operatives can get

being used by an authorised person.

omnichannel world. 

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every second counts

Voice-drive ven worke kers aren’t just fa faster: they ey’re focused on what counts. Building g voice into your distribution centre is one of the most effective ways to speed up u operations. But your workers aren’t just faster – voice also enables you to rapid dly scale your operations and redistribute labour where you need it most, giving you y critical workflow agility. Find out what workflows look like when every second d counts for more: Honeywell.

CHANG GE YO YOUR PERSPECTIVE Look closer at www.honeywellaidc.com/vocollect y

© 2015 Honeywell International Inc.


Success story

V OICE technology

Global distributor achieves significant productivity gains with Voiteqâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Voice solution S Components is a leading high-

R

service distributor of electronics, automation and control components, tools and consumables, serving over 1

million customers globally. With operations across 32 countries and a network of distribution centres worldwide, it offers more than 500,000 products through the internet, catalogues and at trade counters, shipping more than 44,000 parcels a day. The companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 600,000 sq ft Distribution Centre (DC) in Nuneaton which supports RS Componentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; global supply chain, was using an automated conveyor system combined with a paper-based picking process. Andrea Wing, operations manager at RS Components, said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We wanted to enhance

1/%1,3-3.%0+/3/1$2&+-$2330$#0,2,/.31,)+2-.2'31/.3-))(+-)"3+-/1,!3-/3(,2-/0,3&+0$3 /033-,'3+2-*1.2'32&&1)12,)"3!-1,.30&3 3

our customer experience by ensuring that our customers consistently receive the correct product and quantity within short delivery

Challenge

Componentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; existing conveyor, SAP ERP and

windows.

Distributing thousands of products daily, and

DAI WCS systems.

with its DC operating on a multi-shift basis, it â&#x20AC;&#x153;As part of our ongoing strategic vision for

was critical that any new process could be

Wing explained: â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was imperative that the

operational excellence, we looked to

introduced without disrupting order fulfilment

Voice technology could integrate easily with

introduce Voice technology for picking tasks.

schedules.

our complex systems. We needed to retain the processes already in place and protect

We recognised the productivity and accuracy gains that Voiteqâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s VoiceMan solution could

In addition, Voiteq had to ensure that its Voice

the huge investments already made in those

deliver through eyes and hands-free working.â&#x20AC;?

solution would work seamlessly with RS

systems.â&#x20AC;? The business also wanted to provide managers and supervisors with greater visibility of operations, allowing them more control over processes and supporting the proactive management of work-in-progress. Wing continued: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We need to know what is happening in our DC at any point in time to ensure high levels of service, and that product dispatch targets are being achieved.â&#x20AC;?

Solution and results Voiteq worked closely with RS Componentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Operational Excellence Programme team that was set up to manage the Voice project. Using Voiteqâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s VoiceMan Warehouse Execution System (WES) and business intelligence suite (BI), the new solution was

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V OICE technology

Success story

The BI suite has provided the company with high-level dashboards that offer insights and analysis which are reviewed remotely by managers to track pick rates, order progress and exceptions as well as associate performance. 

VoiceMan Picking 15.63275."52+750737,63-52+715.6 3((,5.345127&1/706,6.452+7+11-0754'5273 *0$73/6'1*067 7620*/52+73..*/346 1/-6/7&*,&5,)6247'5+'7(/1-*.45%54$7326&&5.56247*0671&7043&&#7*,,$7&634*/6-73237.1/67.1)(1262471&74'6715.632 3/6'1*0676.*45127$046)74'6 0$046)7507'5+',$73-3(43 ,6741732$ 3/6'1*067054*34512#7$7.1) 5252+ 5246,,5+62471/",13-7)323+6)624754' 6/+121)5.715.6!-5/6.46-70'1(7&,11/ (/1.60060715.63275."52+7-6,5%6/0 .1)(6,,52+7.104703%52+0732-7.*041)6/ 06/%5.675)(/1%6)6240#7 15.63275."52+7.*041)6/0 .120504624,$7'5+',5+'474'67.,63/7/63,!45)6 %505 5,54$7547(/1%5-607&/1)74'671%6/3,, (5."52+7(/1.6007-12741752-5%5-*3, (6/&1/)32.6732-71/-6/74/3."52+# 323+6/073/676)(16/6-754'74'67/5+'4 52&1/)3451273474'67/5+'4745)674173,,1 4'6)7417)323+67 $76.6(4512732-7&1.*0 127%3,*6!3--52+73.45%54560#7'62 .1) 526-754'715.63273437 23,$050 -3437&/1)715.63275."52+7(/1%5-60 %3,*3 ,6732-7-6435,6-75205+'407524174'50 ,3 1*/75246205%67.*041)6/!&3.52+7(3/471& $1*/73/6'1*06#

successfully developed and integrated into

Within a short time-frame, the company

RS Componentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; systems.

increased its accuracy rating at Nuneaton from 99.6% to 99.9% and realised efficiency gains

Now operatives in forward pick face zones,

of 26%. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The implementation of Voice marked

receive a tote on the conveyor and through an

a significant milestone for the company,â&#x20AC;? said

â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A730 belt-worn Voice unit and SRX2 headset

Wing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Voiteq delivered a solution that worked

- hear a spoken command of which item to

well with our operation and had the expertise

pick and the quantity. RS Componentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Chris

to deliver such a huge project in a matter of

Jennings, who completed the first live pick on

months. The visibility and control that the BI

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;go-liveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; day, said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was pleased to complete

suite has provided means we have been able

the initial pick. Voice will be a big improvement

to improve our management of staff and adjust

to the business; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s extremely simple to use.â&#x20AC;?

meet our customersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; delivery needs; the flexibility we now have is second to none,â&#x20AC;?

Benefits at a glance  # 75)(/1%6)62471273..*/3.$#7 7  7(/1-*.45%54$7+3520#7 7 63,!45)67%505 5,54$71&7(6/&1/)32.67321/-6/76.6(45120#7 7 63),60075246+/34512754'7#7 7 5+'7*06/73..6(432.6#7

15.63275."52+70*((1/407)*,45(,6 (5."52+704/346+560754'5274'6703)6 3/6'1*06752.,*-52+70432-3/-71/-6/ (5."52+7(5."! $!,526 (*4!41!041/67(5."! 32-!(3."7)*,45!1/-6/7(5."52+732-7 34.' (5."52+#7/-6/0732-7(5."52+73.45%54$7.32 670(,547,52"6-732-7)6/+6-74171 4352 1(45)3,7(/1-*.45%54$732-7417)664 1*4 1*2-7-63-,5260#715.63275."52+ .3273,017*067-6435,6-7(/1-*.4 52&1/)3451270*.'7307-5)620512073265+'474173006) ,671/-6/0754'1*4 3046-70(3.671/7/50"71&7-3)3+6#

Benefits

Wing concluded: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been blown away by the results and user uptake, now weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking to implement single-order line picking using Voice to reduce the use of totes on the conveyor and to further enhance

43&&74/35252+7507&304732-76&&6.45%6 5//60(6.45%671&74'671(6/345%607&5/04 ,32+*3+6732-7630$!41!*2-6/0432-53,1+*607/*2252+71276/+121)5.7'32-0! &/6676$60!&/6676*5()62475)(/1%6 3001.534607.1)&1/4703&64$73203450&3.4512#7

       

2./630673..*/3.$7*(7417##7 )(/1%67(/1-*.45%54$7 $7!#7 ,63/7%505 5,54$#7 63,!45)67.124/1,#7 6-*.674/35252+745)67 $7#7 2./630673001.5346703450&3.4512#7 6-*.671(6/3452+7.1040#7 )(/1%67.*041)6/706/%5.6#7

productivity.â&#x20AC;?

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#SpreadTheWord

For over 16 years, Voiteq has been a pioneer in the Voice industry. Our customers are at the heart of what we do and are supported by the world’s largest team of voice-directed-work specialists. Award-winning innovation and strong product investment ensure that our solutions continue to add value to warehouses, stores and inspection operations - locally and globally.

www.voiteq.com/voice

With state-of-the-art business intelligence tools and unrivalled industry expertise, we’re ‘Spreading The Word’ on the power of Voice.

in


V OICE technology

Success Story

Lydia Voice Suite for Just-in-sequence processes at Volkswagen Poznan o be able to produce VW Caddy

T

manufacturer produces special vehicles, for

order. This is the only way to ensure that all

and Co. efficiently VW Nutzfahrzeuge

instance police cars, vehicles for the German

components arrive at the related

maintains a total of 30,000 m² of

Post in factory 4 in Swarzedz. Here, Caddy,

manufacturing station in their correct order

warehouse facilities in its plants in

Caddy Maxi and T6 are adapted to individual

and at the right time. Any picking error will

Poznan, Poland. Whether it is

customer requirements.

affect all downstream processes.”

VW supplies its production lines in Poland

Just in time and Just in sequence

Picking affects assembly

with all kinds of components. To optimise the

Car windows, seats, engines, gear shifts and

The complex picking processes affect the

picking process, the automobile manufacturer

sun protection louvers – the product lists in

programming of the Voice software

relies on Lydia Voice Suite by topVOX.

the supply depots could be continued as

considerably. topVOX has imaged the

desired. On a total of 30,000 m², the

different sequencing options in Lydia Voice.

The pick-by-Voice system was launched after

manufacturer has 2000 articles consistently in

Torsten Isenhardt, Project Manager at

only four months of project time, and since

system. With the diversity of components and

topVOX, explains: “Windscreens are

then has ensured a reliable assembly of the

their different sizes, picking is a complex

sequenced backwards. Therefore, the picking

individual parts for the automobile production

process. In addition, the sequencing

cart is loaded from the back to the front.

– always taking into account ‘Just-in-time’ and

processes play a crucial role for the

However, cardboard boxes with smaller items

‘Just-in-sequence’ deliveries. Since the

production. In its plant in Poznan, VW has 54

such as sun protection louvers can be filled

introduction of the new Voice picking solution

sequencing zones, which are supplied with

unsystematically so that in this case route

Volkswagen Poznan have been reaping the

so-called product baskets.

optimised picking is possible.”

Before the implementation of the pick-by-

The developers adapted some components of

Voice system, Volkswagen Poznan relied on

the software. In particular, the various types of

Since 1994 Volkswagen Poznan has been

paper pick lists to fill these transport units.

sequencing were programmed. Before going

manufacturing light commercial vehicles such

Robert Koniezny, head of logistics planning at

live, the system was put to comprehensive

as Caddy or the T6 Van. Body construction,

Volkswagen Poznan says: “When it comes to

testing by VW Poznan, since even a short

paint shop and assembly are also located in

Picking it is decisive for us that the

breakdown of the picking system may cause

this production facility. Every day 720 cars

components are taken from the racks and

a standstill of the production lines.

leave the factory. The automobile

placed into the product baskets in the proper

engines, gears or car windows – from here

benefits from warehouse productivity that has increased by up to 30%.

Error rate reduced by 95% Via Lydia Voice the pickers receive the information about the storage location they have to go to and how many items they should pick. Whilst picking, the employees wear the mobile Voice computer Voxter on their back, so the risk of damaging the withdrawn parts is minimised. The Voxter is connected to a headset via cable. Thus, the picker has both hands free for the picking process. When he arrives at the storage location the picker confirms the warehouse compartment and then the withdrawal of the items by entering the check digits and the taken quantities. In addition, the check digit of the storage compartment of the picking cart, into which the item is placed, is confirmed. This increases process reliability considerably. Compared to the picking list, the error rate with the new system has been reduced by

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Success Story

V OICE technology

almost 95%. Every day almost 60 staff members pick up to 40,000 items. They benefit from increased speed of picking and the assistance provided by Voice dialog. In particular, the improved ergonomics has a noticeable effect on the handling of bulky products. The hands-free concept facilitates picking of heavy engine blocks or windscreens. Due to speaker independence, the software facilitates the training of new staff members, without additional Voice training. The technology recognises all speakers – regardless of their gender, dialect or accent. The Voice dialog is operated intuitively. After a short training period, the pickers accept the Voice system as their personal assistant.

Productivity considerably increased Shortly after start-up, the pickers at VW Poznan were delighted by the increased work comfort of Lydia Voice Suite. Even the training

professional support we receive in Polish and

Just-in-time into account, but also Just-in-

time of new staff members was reduced by

the high competence of topVOX, we were

sequence processes.” says Robert

70%. Using Lydia, VW Poznan have

able to realise this project in such a short

Konieczny. Volkswagen Poznan plans to use

increased labour productivity by 30% and

time. Lydia is the perfect system for supplying

the ergonomic picking vest Lydia VoiceWear

sequencing quality. “Due to the ongoing

our production lines since it takes not only

in future. 

Vo V oice Picking easier than ever!

VO OICE

Voice technology is the way to go! Vo With L Lyydia® V Vo oice we have a marketdriven, innovative voice-based solution, which has proven its value worldwide for many years.

Your Choice for V Yo Vo oice® Scan to see Lydia y ® in action!

Further information: info@lydia-voice.co om - www.lydia .lydia-voice.com voice.com - phone: +44-1327 +44 1327 261 050

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Warehouse Management

I

Opinion

Picking the right WMS is mission critical for high velocity ecommerce retailers By Jonathan Bellwood, founder & CEO, Peoplevox.

B

y using a modern ecommerce Warehouse Management System (WMS), growing ecommerce retailers can quickly address common problems such as missed sales opportunities, overselling, picking errors, and poor productivity. It can also help optimise staffing costs, reduce customer complaints, and returns. With so much at stake it’s therefore surprising that many delay in implementing a dedicated WMS, or continue to rely on one that’s not fit for purpose. After all, the well-proven software as a service (SaaS) delivery model now makes it easy and more affordable to equip ecommerce warehouses with flexible WMS solutions designed to keep pace with the speed and complexities of ecommerce retailing. These will streamline and improve a number of key processes within the warehouse, from goods in and inventory management, to order picking, packing and despatch. The reporting available with some of the latest WMS solutions can also significantly enhance forecasting and planning accuracy, helping ensure retailers stock the right products at the right time.

SaaS brings flexibility Furthermore, SaaS makes ecommerce WMS software future-proof and quickly scales up or down depending on demand. A few WMS solutions, including the Peoplevox solution, are designed to operate with mobile Android devices, allowing operatives the agility to always be right at the point of activity. Peoplevox has also included a unique offline working capability, ensuring business 40

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Jonathan Bellwood: “…the well-proven software as a service (SaaS) delivery model now makes it easy and more affordable to equip ecommerce warehouses with flexible WMS solutions designed to keep pace with the speed and complexities of ecommerce retailing.”

continuity in the event of an internet connection being lost.

Global fitness brand stays in shape with integrated ecommerce platform

The Peoplevox WMS is easily deployed and configured without the necessity for in-house IT resources. This saves costs, as does its offthe-shelf integration with other leading ecommerce software including order processing, marketplace, carrier management, ERP and accounting solutions. ecommerce retailers thrive on their ability to attract and retain customers by offering shopping convenience, competitive pricing, and speed of delivery. In today’s supercompetitive era of high-velocity ecommerce, they can no longer afford to risk their future growth and profitability by neglecting the overall efficiency of their warehouse operations.

Bromsgrove-based Gymshark is one of the most recognisable global fitness brands. Just three years after starting up in 2012 the online retailer was averaging around 500 orders per day, peaking at 20,000 on Black Friday 2015. The following year saw volumes jump to 2000 - 3000 per day. Experiencing such rapid growth, Gymshark took the decision to review its existing IT systems as Chris Perrins, Gymshark’s financial director, explained: “Even before Black Friday 2015, our incumbent ecommerce software system was showing

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Warehouse Management

signs of stress. However, a systems crash during the event itself proved we urgently needed a far more robust, scalable, and integrated ecommerce and WMS platform to keep pace with our rapidly expanding business.”

Business benefits Shopify Plus integrated with the Peoplevox WMS has delivered a number of key benefits: • •

The solution • The solution was the Shopify Plus enterprise level ecommerce solution integrated with Peoplevox WMS. The key factor in making the decision to use the Peoplevox WMS was its ability to easily integrate with Shopify Plus. In addition, the WMS offered the advantage of integrating with the Scurri Carrier Management software that Gymshark was planning to implement. In September 2016, the new integrated ecommerce and warehouse fulfilment solution went live.

Stability: Supporting rapid growth without compromising customer experience. Agility: Faster and more accurate order processing, picking, packing and shipping. Scalability: Quickly flex warehouse operations to match changing order volumes, from a typical 4000 – 5000 per day to 30,000 during peak periods. Managing peak demand: 90,000 orders cleared in six days over the Black Friday 2016 sale period.

The integrated Shopify Plus with Peoplevox WMS platform quickly improved the warehouse team’s agility and ability to keep pace with Gymshark’s accelerating order and fulfilment demands on a day to day basis.

A mobile-first Saas WMS which can be accessed anywhere, anytime

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I

Opinion

However, it was the success of Gymshark’s Black Friday 2016 campaign which really demonstrated the scale, power and speed that the combined solution offered. It effortlessly supported the picking and packing of 30,000 thousand orders on the day, and a further 10,000 per day during the run up. By the end of the company’s extended six-day Black Friday sale period, Gymshark had cleared 90,000 orders. In contrast, the previous year’s Black Friday using the old systems had taken ten days to clear just 20,000 orders. Chris Perrins concluded: “As a high velocity ecommerce retailer, the solution has totally met our requirements by enabling the flexibility to quickly scale our warehouse operations to cope with accelerating order volumes, and always be sure of shipping on time. This has supported our growth strategy and improved overall customer experience.” 

A flexible system

which will grow with your business

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Warehouse Management

I

Opinion

Unlocking unparalleled supply chain efficiency with automation By Steve Richmond, director – logistics systems, Jungheinrich UK.

L

ogistics operators are under increasing pressure to streamline operations. Driven by the eCommerce boom, customer expectations are forever evolving and demand continues to rise for a more connected multichannel experience, faster delivery times and added convenience. Retailers, manufacturers and 3PL providers have already undergone huge transformations and many are turning to automation to further drive efficiencies.

Mounting pressure for customer service led business models In the retailer race to deliver the ultimate customer experience, many organisations are living or dying by their management of delivery, returns and customer service. Logistics practices can make or break the business model and an efficient supply chain is arguably now as important as the commodity it is producing and distributing. As customer demand for greater convenience continues to grow, the pressure is mounting to further drive efficiency, improve accuracy and reduce costs at every stage of the process – pushing demand back through the supply chain. Not only is logistics now integral to an organisation’s business model but in the drive to meet customer demand for a documented journey of deliveries and returns, the supply chain is blurring, with a far less distinguishable beginning and end point. As a result, organisations are looking to automation both to manage escalating volumes and to ensure required data is automatically accessible and ready to integrate with the rest of the business. Simply adding faster forklift trucks or equipment 42

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to a warehouse, for example, is not going to address the inadequacies of out-dated technologies and processes. Just extending existing conventional storage mediums is not going to help an organisation meet the fastgrowing demand to pick individual items. What’s required is a complete, intelligent and holistic intralogistics solution, specifically designed to meet an organisation’s individual business challenges. Suppliers should be striving to develop intralogistics solutions that optimally manage the flow of not just goods but also information. If this is done well, productivity will rise to new heights; from consultation, analysis, and planning, to implementation, maintenance, and training. Significant improvements in efficiency and cost reduction will only be achieved if process and technology are combined. In today’s warehouse, distribution centre or factory environment, everything has the capability to interact. There may be small incremental gains to be had from specific new systems or solutions but by linking everything together holistically, considering systems and processes in their entirety, those small gains are multiplied – enabling organisations to meet and conquer the challenges faced by embracing the new customer service driven business model.

Open mind drives innovation No two organisations are exactly the same and while some may have similar business challenges and objectives, each organisation will have its own idiosyncrasies – from product range and service delivery, to customer expectation and company

vision. As a result, there is no one-size-fits-all logistics model – and, as such, no one-sizefits-all automation solution. While a fully automated solution might well be ideal for certain operations, others require a more manual, people led approach, and vice versa. Organisations must therefore adopt a business led approach to intralogistics, and look to consultative suppliers that share this ethos. What is required is an intelligent consideration of business objectives combined with an end-to-end intralogistics solution – from trucks to racking, warehouse design and process change to software, systems integration to customer service. When considering automation, logistics managers must first ask: what are the key business objectives, how can value be added to the customer proposition, what are the constraints to achieving new levels of responsiveness, and what are the business aspirations for the future? This open-minded and strategic approach to optimising supply chain operations is allowing organisations to unlock flexibility and extend capability within existing processes. Order picking, for example, has been one area

Steve Richmond: “Businesses need to move beyond compartmentalised operations: it is now imperative for logistics managers to adopt a holistic approach to operations, where man, machine and software work in harmony to unlock the next level of efficiency gains.”

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Warehouse Management

I

Opinion

where automation and advanced robotic technology can be seen being embraced in its entirety; it is now commonplace to find robotics at the forefront of goods-to-man picking stations. Advancements in technology, as well as a deeper understanding of the benefits presented by automation robotic technology, can also be found on the frontline of the individual operator workstations, picking orders at an item level. At this time businesses simply can’t afford not to innovate. Traditionally, automated handling technology has typically required a relatively high level of investment, over an extended period of time, before it has secured a return. However, with the recent technological advances combined with the rapid rise in consumer expectation to deliver a faster, more agile multichannel experience, the appetite for automated solutions – and hybrid systems in particular – are in increasing demand.

Transforming operations Conventional suppliers are in danger of becoming complacent, simply upgrading fork lift trucks or equipment on a three, five or seven-year cycle could be seen as the easy option. The current rate of change across varying industries and the added threat of disruptive technology’s means that a customer’s business can change significantly within the life cycle of a standard product. It is critical that this is taken into consideration when offering more innovative solutions in a highly dynamic customer led market. But what does it mean to truly innovate? In

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essence, it requires new thinking. There is a considerable range of automation solutions now available, but organisations will not drive the required level of change in operational performance by considering any one of these solutions in isolation. A client can easily become overwhelmed by the sheer diversity of innovation and automation now available. Looking to work with a supplier that is taking a business-led rather than product-specific approach, will avoid the risk of making an investment that may ultimately prohibit innovation and business growth further down the line. Without preconceived ideas, suppliers and clients alike can look at an operation with a fresh approach; everything from ergonomics to productivity, serviceability, scalability and flexibility can be looked at to ensure that the right solution is recommended. The resulting solution may look different to what the customer initially expected, however, suppliers are obligated to offer best practice advice and not just a system that fits within a certain product range or product strategy. On occasion, customers may believe they need a fully automated solution but, following a review and analysis of their operational needs, a manual or semi-automated solution may be better. Conversely, where a client has used

conventional equipment for many years, it may well be appropriate for a higher level of automation to be implemented.

Conclusion As organisations across all industries work to extract even more efficiencies from their existing processes, automated solutions are now a critical component to remaining competitive. And there is no doubt that incremental gains can be achieved by opting for new racking or state of the art voice operated equipment. However, such point solutions alone cannot deliver the accuracy, responsiveness and efficiency required today. Businesses need to move beyond compartmentalised operations: it is now imperative for logistics managers to adopt a holistic approach to operations, where man, machine and software work in harmony to unlock the next level of efficiency gains. This can only be achieved by following an in-depth analysis of the overarching intralogistics model and the customer-base of a business. If done correctly, organisations will be left with bespoke solutions in accordance with the precise needs of the strategic business objectives – ensuring competitive advantage in an uncertain, customer demand led landscape. 

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Warehouse Management

I

Success story

Greene King implements Indigo WMS + Voice to support business growth

I

ndigo Software has been implementing Indigo WMS integrated with Voice picking across Greene King’s network of UK distribution centres. As a leading pub retailer and brewer, the investment into Indigo WMS with Voice by Greene King was essential to enable the company to securely move larger volumes of its products around the business and onto customers as efficiently as possible. Now with the project nearing completion, Indigo WMS will ensure better use of Greene King’s warehousing network and is expected to deliver a tangible return on investment across the company’s supply chain. Greene King operates around 3100 pubs and employs 42,000 people, making it the UK’s largest managed pub company. Indigo WMS was selected by Greene King as the company’s preferred solution following a strategic business process review involving a number of WMS vendors. The company’s final

decision to adopt Indigo WMS was made because as well as providing extensive warehouse management and traceability functionality, Indigo also offers Voice-directed picking, the ability to handle multiple warehouses and product movements between sites, plus direct integration with Greene King’s existing ERP solution.

Critical success factors Greene King’s critical success factors for the project will see key supply chain improvement objectives met including the reduction of wastage through better stock control, shelf life management and overall stock accuracy across the business. By improving efficiency in this way, Greene King can achieve its growth plans whilst keeping costs under control, which is essential to maintaining profit forecasts – a benefit seen by many of Indigo’s customers.

“Visibility and traceability will be greatly improved by using Indigo WMS and it will also facilitate smoother running of our warehouse, allowing us to improve our services to customers,” says Tony Macken, Greene King’s brewing and distribution director. As food and drink industry specialists, other companies in the sector also using Indigo WMS to optimise their warehouse operations include Greencore, Alphamega, Lees of Scotland, Samworths and Dairy Crest. 

Dickies makes light work of warehouse management with Indigo

D

ickies Workwear is a global brand, selling branded workwear, corporate clothing and streetwear to customers in 100 countries. The company uses Indigo’s WMS software to manage its 170,000 sq ft DC in Bath, which operates 24/7. Here, Dickies clothing manufactured in India, China and Morocco, is stored ready for dispatch either in bulk to retail outlets, or sold as individual orders through the company’s growing ecommerce division.

Automating previously paper-based processes As a result of manufacturing being outsourced, there can be discrepancies between new stock inside a shipment and the printed label, which needs to be cross-checked before ‘put away’. Prior to implementing Indigo, this involved a labour intensive, paper-based process, requiring garments or footwear to be hand

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checked, assigned to a location and then put away onto different pallets. Using Indigo, Dickies now operates a random sampling procedure and processes incoming orders more quickly, transforming what was a 2-day operation into a same day onward shipping process in 75% of cases. “Productivity has improved enormously using Indigo and now as soon as an order arrives we can have it assigned to a location and put away with very little human interaction needed - what used to take hours now takes under an hour,” says Clive Mills, IT manager at Dickies Workwear. Indigo WMS is fully integrated with Dickies’ Infor ERP and an automated conveyor system, to speed up the goods receiving process. This has also supported the growth of Dickies’

ecommerce division, allowing stock to be transferred quickly and for items to be picked and dispatched efficiently.

Full ROI achieved within 12 months Dickies saw a clear return on investment from Indigo WMS within 12 months and have since invested in more equipment to support company growth. “We recouped our capital outlay much faster than anticipated and now have a greater number of mobile devices and more operatives per shift, who work around the clock to fulfil demand,” says Mills. “Overall, implementing Indigo was straightforward and they did a great job of designing it to work in all parts of the warehouse. It’s an ideal solution for the apparel sector and very intuitive for users and management.” 

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October 2017

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