Voice-controlled picking at Media Expert

Implementation objectives:

  • Raising the productivity of goods picking process
  • Increase of work safety

Advantages of the implementation:

Increased productivity
Reduced number of mistakes
Improved work safety
Reduction of training duration
Improvment of work ergonomics
Decrease in operating costs

Terg S.A. is one of the RTV, household appliances and multimedia segment leader in Poland. The capital group includes brick and mortar shops and online ones, headed by the perfectly well-known and appreciated by customers chain of over 480 Media Expert electromarkets and the mediaexpert.pl online shop. For over 15 years, Media Expert has provided RTV and household appliances to customers throughout Poland. Popularity of the brand and quality of provided services by it are confirmed by numerous awards granted by consumers, including the prestigious Consumer Laurel 2019 award in the RTV  and Household Appliances Shops category.

Wide-range commercial activities require excellent logistics and continuously improved processes. The online customers require as short order lead time as possible while the ones visiting brick&mortar shops expect extensive product offering and availability. Looking for the way to optimise the goods picking process in the distribution centre in Lodz, the owner of Media Expert brand employed our experts who, having analysed the customer’s needs and process flow, recommended that a voice control system called Honeywell Voice (former Vocollect) by Honeywell should be implemented.

The choice of the mentioned solution resulted from several factors. Before that, goods picking was carried out using portable terminals (data collectors) with barcode readers. Relatedly, during the process some of the time was spent doing such things as placing the terminal away, checking data on the display or looking for the device placed aside. They occurred e.g. when huge products were picked (i.a. TV sets, monitors) what required using both hands by the worker.

The implementation included designing and developing the software for the picking process based on the voice system functionalities, integration with the WMS system used in Media Expert, supply of 78 sets of Honeywell Voice devices and conducting training for personnel.

The voice system was employed for goods picking during order processing both for the online channel and for the brick&mortar shops.

Picking using the voice system is highly intuitive. The person who picks products for the parcels to be sent logs in the system, receives a picking list, and starts working. He/she has voice system headset and hears commands specifying where the person should go and what goods to pick and in what quantity.

Most voice system commands require solely operator’s confirmation thanks to which the process is structured and faultless. What is more, driving forklift trucks in the warehouse, the operators need not look at the terminal display when picking which improves the comfort of their work significantly. When the voice command generated by the system is not understandable (e.g. due to the temporary noise in the picking zone), the employee has the option of listening to the message again or clarifying the command.The system is designed also for foreigners as it offers the opportunity to upload voice commands in many languages.

The whole implementation was planned and performed not to disrupt the work of the distribution centre. It was also possible thanks to the fact that the voice system, as an extremely intuitive to use solution, does not require any extended training and the employees using it quickly start working with actual orders and achieve the target work efficiency faster. Thanks to the new solution, the picking process in the distribution centre in Lodz was optimised. Removing the burden from the personnel hands and eyes thanks to the voice communication with WMS increases work efficiency, as well as its ergonomics and safety. The voice system ensures reliable operations and contributes to increased profitability of the enterprise.

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