Pharmaceutical distributor CERP Bretagne Nord decides on voice to optimise picking procedures

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Zetes, the pan-European provider of solutions and services for the automatic identification of goods and people, has been selected by CERP Bretagne Nord to equip its local depots with a voice solution combined with datamatrix code scanning. This new procedure will enable orders intended to be dispatched to pharmacies to be prepared much more swiftly. In addition, the new solution enables the business to act in response to the increasingly strict traceability requirements held out in its sector.



Consisting of three different companies and some sixty local warehouses, the CERP network is one of the leading pharmaceutical distributors in France. As an extremely competitive sector, the distribution of pharmaceutical products rests on particularly responsive local services. A pharmacy which places an order in the morning is supplied that very same afternoon. Orders sent in during the afternoon are delivered before the pharmacy opens its doors the next morning. All of which sees CERP operating to "just in time" principles.

In order to better meet these requirements, CERP Bretagne Nord has decided to replace its paper-based order preparation system by a wireless voice solution. The company opted for the Zetes 3iV Crystal solution, which uses the MCL-Voice recognition engine for this project and is set to be put in place on Motorola MC3190 terminals. The solution will be deployed in all of the company's local warehouses, which have several hundreds of operators.

Moreover, during order picking operations, each product is individually scanned using a wearable ring scanner to capture the datamatrix codes. This step has been integrated for the purpose of verification and to meet the requirements in connection with the traceability of pharmaceutical products in France.

This project, which is highly innovative in the world of pharmaceutical distribution, today enables CERP Bretagne Nord to prepare its order by way of "Voice picking". The system sends out the appropriate picking instructions by voice, to the picker, who prepares the order lines and sends back information by the same way. The 2-D ring scanner allows the goods to be scanned as the order picker works his way through the order to check the preparation and to record the batch references and the use-by dates.

Daniel Galas, President of CERP France and Managing Director of CERP Bretagne Nord, comments: "Going for voice will enable us to maintain the levels of productivity required by our business needs in terms of order preparation whilst simultaneously reducing the margin for error. We were aware that the Zetes teams specialised in voice and that they were intimately familiar with the requirements that exist in our sector of industry. Which is exactly why we decided to call on Zetes. Together with Zetes, we are currently examining the further deployment of the system in a wider number of warehouses across the Group."

Alain Wirtz, Zetes Group CEO says: "We are delighted to be able to guide CERP towards deployment on a wider scale. The pharmaceutical industry is one of the strictest sectors around when it comes to product traceability. Which explains why the benefits of automatic identification available to businesses operating in this sector are considerable. Our offering is constantly being made to evolve in consideration of new requirements. Thanks to our very broad range of solutions, we are able to cater to the needs of the pharmaceutical supply chain in its entirety, from datamatrix labelling/code marking all the way up to the actual logistics processes. In the area of voice, our innovative skills are reflected in MCL-Voice. This tool, which was developed by our MCL Technologies division, makes for considerable time savings, especially upon the induction of new operators, as it does not require users to first record their individual voice profile."

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