Hella Ireland optimises 'after market' distribution centres with Zetes' Voice Solution for SAP

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Zetes has been awarded a significant contract with Hella Ireland Limited, one of the top 50 automotive spare parts suppliers in the world. Under the terms of the deal, Zetes will integrate its voice solution with Hella's SAP driven warehouse management system, to improve operational effectiveness at its Dublin 'after market' DC.

As part of their 'Warehouse Improvement Project', Hella wished to optimise the accuracy and efficiency of the order preparation and replenishment processes in its Sales Companies across Europe. The order preparation is based on a 'pick to pack' system, which means all goods are picked into the cartons that will be shipped directly to the customers. According to the size of the goods that are being handled, several different picking or replenishment scenarios exist. All operators are now equipped with a mobile voice terminal, which guides them through these different processes via a real-time communication between the host system and the user.

With goods being picked and shipped directly to the customer, avoiding pick errors is a key business objective for Hella and an important factor behind their decision to migrate from their old paper based picking system toadopt voice.  Voice directed working guarantees a reduction in errors of at least 75% and typically achieves a 30% improvement in worker productivity.

The initial design and configuration of the voice solution was completed by Zetes in close collaboration with Hella's IT department.  The system is being implemented by Zetes' local specialists based in Ireland, who will also undertake all associated user training, maintenance and support. In addition to the implementation in Ireland that is currently being completed, the voice integration is also being completed across 8 other countries across Europe, following a successful pilot phase in the Netherlands.  Hella expects to have all 8 countries fully implemented and using voice by 2011. 

John Byrne, Operations Manager at Hella Ireland says "With this voice system, Hella has future-proofed its warehouse operations and enhanced the benefits we can achieve with our existing SAP warehouse system.  During the pilot phase we were impressed by our worker's enthusiasm for voice directed working and are very satisfied with first results in terms of accuracy and productivity gains.  This huge international project has been made possible through a cross-country and cross-company collaboration between Hella and Zetes.  This approach allows us to control the system centrally through the IT department at our HQ whilst benefiting from local training service and support delivered by local specialists."

Niall Griffiths, Sales Director for Zetes Ireland says "This project highlights the importance of investing in an efficiency enhancing technology such as voice during a tough business climate and we are very pleased to be working with Hella Ireland.  As a leading manufacturer within the automotive sector, this initiative will make a significant contribution to helping Hella weather what continue to be difficult economic conditions by reducing its costs and improving customer service and satisfaction."

Zetes has integrated its 3iV Crystal voice software with Hella's existing SAP WMS system using its rapid application development toolkit for SAP. This provides a direct link between SAP and any wireless device to capture, validate, and process transactions faster, in real-time and with increased accuracy and system reliability. 

Zetes' capability to complete a direct integration with SAP was a key requirement for Hella, because this ensured both that a technically complex project could be simplified as much as possible and minimized the numbers of suppliers involved. 

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