Operating out of six main distribution centres across the UK and a further six in the USA, Greencore's 'Food to Go' convenience foods business wanted to modernise its warehouse operations with a real-time system that reduced manual paper-based processes, improved accuracy and enhanced customer service.
After an extensive selection process, Greencore chose Voiteq to implement its VoiceMan Warehouse Execution System, which is linked to the company's existing ERP system. Additionally, Voiteq's InfoCentre Dashboards will give Greencore clear, real-time views of their operations and will provide historic data for review and analysis. This solution forms part of Greencore's extensive PALM stock management project that will provide the business with end-to-end stock traceability.
Greencore distributes to retailers, foodservice providers, manufacturers and filling station forecourts. Employing over 12,000 people, the business has grown rapidly over the last few years and the need to ensure consistency, accuracy and quality of its operations was paramount to its ongoing success.
"We recognised that our overall PALM project depended on the quality and timeliness of data from our depot systems," commented Derek Smallwood, PALM project manager. "We also wanted a solution that improved our current picking processes, would be easy for our associates to learn as well as ensuring consistency and traceability across all of our sites. We looked at various options and Voiteq's comprehensive solution offering, proven track record and global reach made them the obvious choice."
Greencore will be using Honeywell's latest Vocollect Voice technology provided by Voiteq. The new A710 and A730 belt-worn terminals with SRX2 wireless headsets will be deployed into the UK and USA distribution operations. Zebra QLN420 belt mount printers will be used to rapidly produce delivery documentation in real-time in the depot.
With numerous manufacturing facilities, extensive depot transhipments and time-sensitive fresh produce, Greencore's picking requirements extended well beyond the standard "hands-free and eyes-free" capabilities of many Voice solutions.
"Both our UK and US operations have pick-by-order processes where the associate will be guided around the warehouse to pick a specific order and capture data such as best-before dates," said Smallwood. "Our US operation also has a bulk pick-by-order process, a stock induction process and a put-to-store (or pick-by-line) process where the associate takes a pallet of product around a grid of totes representing customer stores and is directed to place the correct quantity into the appropriate tote."
"We were looking for a partner with a deep understanding of these processes and of the food industry, who could also ensure we got the most out of our investment in new technology. The team at Voiteq have been extremely professional, sharing their knowledge and experience at every step to ensure we got the very best solution," Smallwood continued. "We're looking forward to gaining the benefits of an optimised Voice operation and will continue to work with Voiteq to extend the use of Voice beyond picking. The benefits of improved visibility, accuracy, efficiency and traceability definitely make VoiceMan the right choice for our business."
"We're delighted to add Greencore to our ever-growing family of global customers," commented David Stanhope, CEO of Voiteq. "We constantly seek to provide exceptional operational improvements with our intelligent execution systems, the best Voice technology and world-class service. We look forward to building a strong and long-term partnership with Greencore."