Cooper Booth Wholesale, based in Mountville, Pennsylvania USA, successfully went live with the topVOX Voice system in April this year.
Trevor Martin, VP operations at Cooper Booth Wholesale explained that the company had initially anticipated problems occurring during the Voice picking implementation due to some issues encountered by the company during the implementation of scanning devices five years ago. However, in practice, everything ran very smoothly. We couldnt simply implement the system in one area, and then roll it out in different areas within the warehouse this is because we have seven core areas that are all so tightly linked that they needed simultaneous implementation, Martin pointed out. We have seven warehouse areas including frozen, refrigerated, ambient, mezzanine and cigarette picking areas so, with our internal management system we could not work through one area at a time with Voice. We had to go live in all the areas, with all pickers, billing and inventory at once. However, the reality was that the whole implementation process was really painless.
Choice of system
Martin stressed that Cooper Booth Wholesale is very thorough before making any purchasing decisions. We went through other scanning systems and Voice-pick options, but when it came to making the final decision we felt most comfortable with topVOX, he said, adding: This was partly because of the functionality and ease of use of the system, and also because it was an open package that could be integrated direct to our WMS. There was also the feel-good factor of having already done business with topVOX management in the past. The solution was also comparatively low-cost and we felt that we could achieve a fast ROI with the system. It also allowed us to do a couple of important things internally that we wanted to do, such as off-setting our costs with other projects that we were already engaged in.
When Cooper Booth Wholesale made the decision to purchase topVOX it put a game plan together with a topVOX project manager and topVOX technician in order to ensure integration, right up to go-live, would run smoothly. Between us, we worked out a vocabulary that would fit best for our picking operation, explained Martin. We only needed two training sessions for all our employees. The staff picked orders in a test mode to ensure they had learned how to operate the systems. The employees picked it up very quickly, while we ironed out a few remaining issues concerning vocabulary with the topVOX personnel. They remained at our site for several weeks, simply to help out if we needed it during implementation.
In terms of back-office system, Cooper Booth Wholesale uses a basic legacy WMS system that it built functionality onto in-house. In order to track picker productivity, topVOX sends time-stamped information back to the WMS, so we know when a picker picked the items and how long it took, explained Martin, who continued: Another big plus in switching to Voice is that we now know what is in every container we ship. We do business with a large global customer that expects to be able to scan the label and know exactly whats in the container. Martin also pointed out that, although Cooper Booth Wholesale currently only uses Voice for picking, the company would also like to use the system for receiving, put-away and inventory control in the near future. Were really enjoying the benefits of having a hands-free way of working and its really impressing us even more than we had first anticipated, he remarked.
Sustained market growth
Martin states that Cooper Booth Wholesale continues to have sustained market growth despite the downturn, but our topVOX Voice solution only adds to our overall profitability through improved productivity and greater picking accuracy, he remarked, adding: We could literally pull someone off the street and after a few minutes training have them up and running. Overall, weve seen an increase in productivity by around 14 per cent. We track errors in terms of one per thousand, and since using topVOX our errors have gone down by around 7 to 8 per cent. Indeed, performance is so good that we expect an ROI inside of our estimation.