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Information Management: Voice-directed picking solution provides accountability

Convenience distributor reduces labor costs by 30% with mobile work execution system.

Resnick Distributors is a growing distributor of food and beverage, health, beauty and other products, serving 1,500 convenience stores, pharmacies, supermarkets, tobacco shops and locations throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. To increase efficiency and throughput, the company recently reconfigured its forward pick areas and evaluated technology options to optimize picking processes. After replacing a paper-based picking process with a voice-directed solution, the company’s distribution center increased productivity while cutting overtime and labor costs.

Resnick had been using RF applications for receiving, replenishment and other tasks driven by a warehouse management system, but order picking was a manual, paper-based process. Given the range of products they sell, the 100,000-square-foot DC in New Brunswick, N.J., has several picking areas with different process types, including case and less-than-case picking to carts in coolers and freezers; case pick to conveyor and pallet; and piece and less-than-case picking to totes.

“We had experimented with RF-based picking in the past, so we knew that wasn’t going to give us the productivity and accuracy boost we wanted,” says Steven Resnick, president. Instead, Resnick and his team evaluated voice-directed solutions and installed a mobile work execution system, including integrated applications and a real-time management dashboard. The solution includes configurable picking processes that support the full range of products in the DC, and the applications run on standard industrial devices that support voice, scanning and screens.

“Productivity is improved, we have eliminated errors, and we are filling shorts quicker. This is a fundamental cultural change for our operation,” says Resnick. “We have greater accountability where we didn’t have it before, and managers have real-time data they need to do their jobs better. Using the dashboard, managers can view the status of work and current productivity and make immediate decisions about allocating workers to different areas. There are no delays.”

The system has also helped reduce turnover, and training time for new selectors is less than a day. Resnick has seen an 80% reduction in overtime and a 30% reduction in labor costs while reducing errors by 60%.

Lucas Systems

Article Topics

Automatic Data Capture
Casebook 2016
Food and Beverage
Information Management
Lucas Systems
   All topics

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About the Author

Josh Bond
Josh Bond was Senior Editor for Modern through July 2020, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.
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