Voice enables Clipper to improve service to Liberty

Luxury department store, Liberty London, has implemented Voice technology in Clipper Logistics warehouse operations to improve the turnaround time of goods coming into the warehouse and arriving at the store. Clipper Logistics worked with VoiteQ to implement the Vocollect Voice solution and to manage the project.

Clipper has been providing logistic solutions for the department store since 1997 and the retailer has recently renewed the logistics contract. The introduction of voice technology in to Liberty's warehouse was part of Clipper's new initiative to significantly improve operations and service to the store. Through the use of voice technology Clipper can not only improve productivity and accuracy within the operation, but it also provides them with greater visibility of activities and stock. This visibility enables Clipper to provide real-time feedback to Liberty, so that they can take advantage of this knowledge in their merchandising.

Phil Houghton, Business Implementations Manager at Clipper said; "Only a few weeks after implementing Voice technology we are already seeing benefits. These included productivity benefits at all levels, reducing our daily processing time by at least 2 hours, and a significant cost reduction. These are the tangible benefits, but in addition through the increased visibility the system has given us, we've been able to improve our planning in specific areas. Most importantly staff satisfaction is key to the level of service we provide, both the warehouse and store teams have accepted the new process and systems well and have given their seal of approval to this new solution."

The voice implementation, at Liberty's Manchester warehouse, utilises VoiteQ's VoiceMan middleware and Vocollect wearable Voice computers. The solution has introduced voice technology into the picking operation and the goods in/putaway operation. Once the goods have been received and have been quality control checked, the Voice solution directs the operator to place the goods in to specific boxes for putaway. The putaway process directs the operator to place the boxes into the pick locations in the warehouse, which is recorded and verified by the Voice solution, guaranteeing accuracy of product putaway. This picking task of the Voice solution replaces a previous legacy paper-based picking; the system directs the operator to the appropriate location, the operator then confirms they are at the correct location by reading the location check digits. Additional verification options are available to the operator to ensure the correct product is being picked. Once the operator has identified the product to be selected, they verify that they have selected the correct item by reading the last 3 digits of the product's barcode. Only once the barcode has been verified does the system inform the operator of the quantity to be picked, ensuring the accuracy of the selection.  

Liberty's IT Director, Jonathan Samols commented; "Clipper has shown they can identify where cutting edge technology can be used to improve their level of service to Liberty, and their other clients.  The introduction of the VoiteQ solution has dramatically reduced the overall lead time from warehouse to store, meaning products are available for sale to our customers much quicker than before."

Houghton concluded; "We are already exploring the next steps for Voice technology within our operation, including using it to fulfil orders received via the website and for Liberty wholesale stock."

David Stanhope, VoiteQ's CEO commented; "This is the second Clipper operation where we have successfully implemented voice technology and yet again the solution has provided significant benefits to the operation. These benefits enable Clipper to continually improve the service level that they can provide to their high profile clients such as Liberty."

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