Voice: Green order picking in the Green Mountain state
February 01, 2012 - MMH Editorial
The Green Mountain State takes its “green” state motto very seriously, and so does the Burlington Drug Company. Based in Milton, Vt., Burlington Drug was founded in the late 1800s and has evolved from a small manufacturer to a wholesale pharmaceutical business that ships pharmaceuticals and convenience store goods to more than 1,000 locations in eight states.
The company had been using a paper-based picking process to fill orders, but that was expensive and created an excessive amount of documents each year. The process was also inefficient because it took about two to three hours to sort through paperwork before products could be moved out of its 170,000-square-foot warehouse. So, the company wanted to find a system that would improve pick accuracy and productivity while also honoring the company’s commitment to eco-friendly environmental practices.
It chose a voice-directed picking solution (Voxware, voxware.com) that provides all of the features that Burlington Drug required, including environmental benefits that shrink its carbon footprint and efficiencies that cut its operational expenses.
“We decided to go with voice not only for the increased order accuracy and production that we would get out of it, but for the cost savings on paper as well,” says Jay Mitiguy, Burlington Drug’s assistant vice president.
The new system has also reduced costs and created productivity-driven labor savings. Burlington Drug’s productivity is up 20% and it’s picking at 99.95% accuracy.
Mitiguy says the company knew quickly that this was a good decision. Not only has the company has experienced increased order accuracy and increased production levels, the system’s software allows the company to implement internal business process changes quickly and efficiently.