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Zetes, a leading European supplier of solutions for the automatic identification of goods and people, has announced that Hitachi Transport System, part of Hitachi Ltd., has selected Zetes multimodal voice solution 3iV Crystal to optimise the picking and receiving operations in its brand new warehouse in Waardenburg, the Netherlands. Combining scanning and voice for both activities, Hitachi aims at achieving optimal customer service by assuring 100% accuracy.
Hitachi Transport System is a Logistics Service Provider, which offers its customers a wide range of first class logistics services and freight management through its global network. From the brand new warehouse in Waardenburg it manages amongst others the logistics services for Mitsubishi Hartmetall GmbH (focused on hardmetals, carbide and spare parts). To guarantee an outstanding service, based on flawless receiving of goods and preparation of orders, both along a conveyor line, they appealed to Zetes in the Netherlands.
Zetes has implemented its multimodal voice application, combining voice directed work with scanning, for the goods receiving and order picking processes. The integration between Hitachi Transport System WMS and the voice solution is done by Zetes Logistics Execution System Medea. Via mobile voice terminals (Talkman T5 from Vocollect) and mobile scanners (SF 51 from Intermec), the operators on the workfloor communicate directly with the host system.
When a new item is received it is transported by the conveyor to an assigned zone. The operator who is active in that zone receives the crate and scans the barcode, after which the voice system communicates the location where the product needs to be put away. This location is not only verified by means of random check digits on the location, but also by scanning of the products barcode. The same procedure goes when a product is being picked up from the shelf to be put into the preparation crates on the conveyor.
Thanks to this rigorous procedure, completed by another check point at the end of the conveyor in the picking area, making mistakes has become virtually impossible. Another important advantage of the solution is that all operators are equipped with the same system, which allows them to change zones whenever required. This flexibility has had a significant impact on the efficiency of the workforce, allowing them to treat more orders in the same period of time.
Stef Wildschut, [Manager Logistics Engineering Department] from Hitachi Transport System comments: Being part of a Japanese group, the choice for implementing voice has not been straightforward, as this technology is not yet well-known in Japan. That is also why, following the demand of one of our customers (Mitsubishi), we still combine voice with scanning. Zetes has convinced us of the benefits of their solution, and so far all they have said has come through. We are very happy with this project, and are now considering using voice for other activities such as cycle counting as well. We have been pioneers within the Hitachi Transport System Group when we started this project, but the positive results in our warehouse have already triggered the interest of other subsidiaries of the Group in Asia and the United States to investigate the implementation of voice technology as well.
Says Alain Wirtz, CEO of Zetes: At Zetes we have been convinced about the benefits of voice for a long time, and we have continuously invested our 3iV Crystal solution to make it a flexible solution that perfectly answers the needs of our many customers. We are happy to see that also Hitachi Transport System is now benefiting from its many advantages, and are looking forward to continue and elaborate our collaboration. Should they be interested in implementing voice in Asia, Zetes is perfectly placed to service them via our partnership with Schmidt in Asia.