Productivity And Accuracy To Support Growth
Ace Endico is a growing regional foodservice distributor in New York State. With growth comes the challenge to maintain and improve service while shipping larger volumes from the same physical space. To support growth, the company needed solutions to help their workforce pick more cases in the same number of hours and load trucks more efficiently so drivers could leave on time to meet delivery targets and customer service levels. Their previous order selection process using barcode scanners made the job harder for workers and prohibited the quick assimilation of new employees.
Replacing RF To Improve Accuracy and Productivity
Ace Endico’s RF system hindered productivity, so managers were looking for alternatives to improve efficiency while integrating with their existing ERP system. “The main things we needed were better productivity and accuracy and an easier, faster way to get new employees up to standard,” says Murray Hertzberg, President of Ace Endico. “Better selection accuracy helps us eliminate re-ships, which reduces our shipping costs. And since we are growing, we needed to be able to select orders more efficiently.”
The previous RF-based selection system used wearable computers with ring scanners, in addition to pre-printed case labels. Selectors would read the labels or computer screen to determine what items and quantities to pick. They would scan each case they picked, or, if the product did not have a barcode, they would key enter the quantity using the wearable computer, and place the appropriate label on each case. They would also scan or key-enter catchweight information, and key-enter lot or date information, if required.
The Lucas Solution
The Lucas FoodSelect solution at Ace Endico includes:
- Configurable voice-directed selection for dual-pallet picking.
- Batch picking of slow moving items in a narrow-aisle PIR section.
- Voice-directed replenishment and truck loading.
- Assignment creation and management using the Lucas Engage Work Execution Server, in addition to on-demand case label printing.
- Mobile QC/audit application that runs on standard PC tablets.
- Engage Management Dashboard for managing work, audits and exceptions, and real-time productivity reporting.
- The Lucas voice-directed mobile applications featuring Jennifer run on rugged multi-modal hardware devices from Motorola that could be used in freezer, cooler and dry areas of the DC.
- Reduced new user training form two weeks to two days.
- New selectors achieve standard pick rates within two weeks, versus 90 days with RF.
- Voice-directed replenishment reduced drops and saved four man-hours per shift.
- Average case-picking rates increased 28%
- Selection errors reduced 44%.
- Reduced selector turnover and improved worker satisfaction.