The name Feinkost Dittmann has stood for exquisite gourmet products of impeccable quality for more than 115 years. Since 2005, Lydia® Voice by topsystem has also contributed to this. The Pick by Voice solution in the logistics centre in Diez ensures that olives, antipasti, capers or garlic specialities are assembled to customer deliveries efficiently and without errors. Over the years, Feinkost Dittmann has remained true to the proven expert for voice-guided work processes and his hardware and software developments. It is fitting that nine models of the Voxter® Elite mobile voice computer were recently introduced at the warehouse in Diez.
Carl Dittmann laid the foundation stone for the successful delicatessen company in 1901, when the product range still concentrated on anchovies and anchovies paste as well as capers. In the meantime, Feinkost Dittmann has developed into the German market leader for olives, antipasti, capers, garlic and anchovy specialities and is regarded as the most popular delicatessen brand in the German trade. The portfolio of the traditional family business currently comprises around 1,000 articles from the dry and fresh ranges. These include own brands such as Feinkost Dittmann, Teufli, Ajolix and Pepper Balls as well as various sales brands such as Obela, Olitalia, Real Thai and Sharwoods. The customer base includes well-known food chains such as Rewe, Edeka, Aldi, Lidl, Metro and Globus. In addition, Feinkost Dittmann delivers to 28 countries worldwide. Most of these are deliveries by road, specifically direct deliveries to more than 9,000 stores. But the company also transports the goods to central warehouses. In order to reliably fulfill this workload, reliable and high-performance solutions are required, especially in manual order picking, which offer the best possible support to the warehouse employees.
Pick by Voice replaces paper picking
From a logistical perspective, 2005 was a turning point for Feinkost Dittmann. Up to this point, paper lists were still used for order picking in the 5,000 m2 warehouse in Diez. However, the increasing demand for delicatessen products and the expansion of the company led to capacity bottlenecks. This is why Feinkost Dittmann opted for Pick by Voice as the technical solution. The company chose topsystem as a suitable supplier. Initially, Feinkost Dittmann used the hardware independence of Lydia® Voice and started with 18 standard PDAs of the HP brand. The results were not long in coming: the voice-guided picking process increased warehouse efficiency by 15 percent, while complaint rates and administrative effort were significantly reduced. In addition, quality control, which had previously been carried out on a random sample basis, was completely eliminated as paper picking also eliminated the source of errors. After initial scepticism, the employees were enthusiastic about the user-friendliness of the technology, which was brand new in Germany at the time and is now one of the leading picking processes.
But not only the principle of paperless picking was convincing. The delicatessen retailer has also remained true to topsystem as a business partner over the years. "It was important to us to have a competent pick by voice provider at our side. Right from the start, we found the cooperation with topsystem to be very trustworthy. In addition, we appreciate the innovative strength of the company, which constantly adapts and expands its product portfolio to the current technological requirements of the market. The solutions used in our warehouse have always fully met our objectives," says Christian Leberzam, Head of Warehouse Logistics at Feinkost Dittmann.
Voxter® Elite generation convinces
Most recently, nine Voxter® Elite have complemented the existing 21 Voxter® Black. A Lydia® VoiceWear® is also in use. At Feinkost Dittmann, the ergonomic picking vest is mainly used to train new employees. Christian Leberzam is convinced by the performance of the Voxter® Elite: "One of the advantages of the Voxter® is the fast and reliable speech recognition. All service functions such as volume and speed control or microphone muting within an application can be controlled via voice commands. Of course, the Voxter® Elite generation also has the typical Pick by Voice advantages: The mobile voice computer can be operated intuitively without the user even having to touch it, leaving the employee with two hands free. The hands-free concept is an immense advantage, especially when working with gloves or in the freezer. It also enables employees to concentrate fully on their work. Picking errors are thus avoided and customers receive exactly the goods they have ordered. The Voxter® Elite also stands out for its small size, durability and performance. With its rugged housing, it is suitable for use in almost any working environment, even in extreme conditions.
Lydia® Voice guides employees at Feinkost Dittmann through the various storage areas with a total of 7,000 pallet spaces, optimised for the best possible route. In practice, this means that the required articles are first picked from the dry area. Only then is the fresh goods area, where fresh antipasti or caviar specialities, for example, are stored, visited. This procedure ensures that the goods cooled at 2 to 5°C are only exposed to higher temperatures for a short time and that there is no loss of quality. The picked articles are then taken to the packing station. There, an employee adds the goods receipt slip before the finished package is wrapped mechanically in stretch film. The packaged goods are then loaded onto trucks and transported to their destination.