How can productivity in manual order picking be increased without placing an additional burden on the employees? The Fressnapf Group faced this question at its two warehouse locations in Feuchtwangen and Krefeld. The answer: with the Lydia® pick by voice solution from topsystem. Since the introduction of the voice-guided picking system, the specialist chain for pet food and accessories has recorded a productivity increase of 10% and a reduction in the error rate of around 50% at both locations. In addition, Lydia® fulfils all other requirements, such as an easily memorised voice dialogue and short training times.
The Fressnapf Group operates two warehouses under its own management: the 60,000 m2 logistics centre in Krefeld and the regional warehouse in Feuchtwangen with a total area of 30,000 m2. Both locations have a large parts area. Around 2500 fast-moving items are stored there at the Feuchtwangen site and around 8000 articles at the Krefeld site. Manual picking was previously carried out using digital picking lists. "In order to optimise the picking process and make it more efficient, we were looking for a system that increases productivity and at the same time is flexible and can be used without long training periods," says Gerhard Kunkel, Head of Outbound Logistics at the Fressnapf Group. The right solution for these requirements was offered by topsystem: the Lydia® pick by voice solution impressed with its intuitive operation and easy-to-remember voice dialog, which all warehouse employees can quickly learn regardless of their native language. "We also liked the option of choosing between a headset and the Lydia® VoiceWear® picking vest. It is important to us to offer our employees ergonomic working conditions," says Gerhard Kunkel.
Error rate halved
Around 360 order pickers work together with Lydia® Voice in the two large parts areas in the Feuchtwangen and Krefeld warehouses. The system guides the employees through the warehouse in a route-optimised manner, indicating the correct pallet location and the correct number of units to be removed. The order picker then only has to place the goods on the appropriate load carrier, for example on a pallet or in a box. Since the introduction of Lydia® Voice, the Fressnapf Group has recorded a productivity increase of around 10% in the central warehouse in Krefeld and in the regional warehouse. The number of picks has improved from 190 to 205 packages per hour. "We had not expected such a positive development in performance at this level," says Gerhard Kunkel. However, this was not the only surprise: since the use of Lydia®, the error rate has been significantly reduced by almost 50% to just 0.2%. One of the reasons for this is the Hands free-/Eyes free-concept, which enables full concentration on the picking process. The Fressnapf Group is currently investigating additional application possibilities for Voice in order to achieve further process optimisation.