Honeywell, VoiceID and Icon Integration have completed a project to overhaul Viridian Glass’ stock location processes at its Melbourne manufacturing and distribution plant, and as a result stock visibility increased to 97%.
Viridian is the only glass manufacturer in Australia, and the largest glass supplier in the country. To service the wide range of customers across Australia with glass-based goods, Viridian operates its manufacturing operations in conjunction with a major distribution centre (DC).
“Under our previous manual warehouse management processes, we couldn’t run a cyclic count program due to the poor location accuracy, meaning we had to conduct four wall-to-wall stocktakes per year. These were labour intensive and disruptive to the business,” said Justin McKenzie, warehouse and distribution manager for Viridian Glass.
Working with Honeywell, VoiceID and Icon Integration, Viridian deployed the SAP WMS coupled with Honeywell’s A700 voice picking system, to drive labour cost savings, greater visibility of stock, as well as key operational efficiency improvements
“Our newly approved stock take procedure is to do cyclic counts of locations once per quarter. This means we no longer have to stop processes for wall-to-wall counts, which increases our productivity. Stock accuracy by location went from 25% per location to 86% after the first three months. At the moment, stocktake location accuracy is tracking at 97%. An amazing turnaround,” said Justin McKenzie.
Viridian’s industrial environment, its large plant and materials handling equipment lend themselves perfectly to a hands-free, voice driven environment, to the extent that the company now uses voice for every workflow without the support of RF.
Today when an order comes into the DC’s SAP WMS, the worker is allocated a warehouse task. The operators confirm the pick locations, frame numbers and pack numbers picked for staging prior to despatch. This has drastically reduced the chance of picking inaccuracies, or human error and significantly improved inventory accuracy.
Voice technology has also enhanced worker safety on the distribution centre floor, according to Justin McKenzie. “The hands-free, eyes-free aspect of Voice makes workers much more aware of their environment. It allows them to anticipate the actions of others for increased safety in the warehouse. Today on the distribution centre floor we work hands free, from the moment the glass is manufactured until the point it leaves our warehouse.”