From the Warehouse to the Pharmacy with vo-CE and Wi-Fi

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Established in 1947 as a pharmaceutical production business, Zeta Farmaceutici has developed over the years to become one of the important pharmaceutical group leaders in the production and sales of pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, dietetic and food products.

The Group consists of 4 companies - Zeta Farmaceutici, Marco Viti Farmaceutici, Idea Natura and ZetaBio - and two production plants. The driving force in Zeta Farmaceutici SpA has always been technological innovation and specialized research aiming at safe and high quality processes and products.

To assure customers efficient service, even each departments activities are controlled with maximum efficiency from the relationship with suppliers and material acquisition to production phases, stocking and distribution, thanks to use of advanced technology. With over 1,200 references and a 95% picking rate, Zeta Farmaceutici thought it was time to automate their warehouse processes more efficiently. The finished product warehouse alone covered an area of 4,000 square meters and sorted up to 2,000,000 pieces a month that were distributed to over 7,000 pharmacies and the main private labels in Italy. Therefore, a solution was needed in the finished product warehouse that was capable of improving service to customers in Italy, speeding up order completion and delivery while minimizing errors.

At that point, Zeta Farmaceutici turned to one of Datalogic Mobiles Quality Partners in Italy. This company, along with the supplier of the management solution, SMC, projected a solution based on voice technology using a Datalogic Mobile professional PDA and vo-CE software from Itworks.

Datalogic Mobiles Quality Partnet in Italy had supplied Zeta Farmaceutici with radiofrequency devices in the past and therefore proposed implementing voice technology on Datalogic Mobiles Datalogic JET PDA. Even though Zeta Farmaceutici already used radiofrequency, the company needed to reduce error percentages in order preparation, especially of small, so-called decorative parts, i.e. lipstick, mascara, face powder, creams, etc.

The operators that prepare orders of this type usually move among the corridors of the warehouse with a cart and box to be filled. Therefore, their hands must be free. The Datalogic JET PDA, which provides all the features necessary for operating in an industrial environment, proved to be the ideal solution for managing information on the move. The Datalogic JET is equipped with voice technology through the vo-CE software suite developed by Itworks, allowing it to perform warehouse picking operations using voice commands. The operator attaches the Datalogic JET to his belt and receives instructions from the WMS system. There is no need for the operators hands to be used so they are free to pick the products as indicated.

We found a robust solution that is flexible at the same time, which is exactly what our process needed, states Daniel Massaretto, Information Systems Manager at Zeta Farmaceutici. Today, our warehouse operators use a dual mode picking system (radiofrequency and voice) guaranteeing increased effectiveness and production efficiency.

This solution gave important advantages to Zeta Farmaceutici almost immediately, such as a reduction in percentage picking errors, especially significant for small part picking, such as decorative items. Warehouse transfer speeds also increased as the operators move more easily when there hands are empty. The operators improved their picking performance by over 25% in the finished product warehouse as they could increase their level of concentration and the risk of error was practically eliminated. All these factors came together to provide fast service on-time and reliability for pharmacy customers and safety for the consumer.

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