Apex Tool Group Addresses Labor Needs with Lucas

Although Apex was using RF and pick-to-light, the picking processes were complex and inefficient and overtime was common. Secondly, work release was highly manual and pickers would ultimately decide the sequence in which orders were picked, which sometimes caused items to ship late, among other issues. Apex implemented Lucas to help alleviate labor challenges and more efficiently meet stringent quality demands of its customer base
Apex Tool Group
Apex Tool Group

About Apex

Apex Tool Group is one of the leading global manufacturers of professional hand and power tools. The company’s half million square foot central distribution center in North Carolina serves multiple channels, including direct-to-consumer fulfillment, B2B distribution to retailers, as well as shipments to other ATG DCs throughout the world.
"You rarely implement a new system and have users tell you 'It's made my life so much easier!' Making the processes better for associates makes them more productive. And that's better for the business."
Chris Rufa
Senior Director of Global Distribution

The Lucas solution

• The Lucas solution includes unique AI-based optimization that is embodied in Jennifer™, the brains, voice and orchestration engine of the solution.
• The current WMS sends orders to Lucas and Jennifer™ manages the creation and release of work assignments across the facility.
• Lucas creates optimized batch picking assignments for different cart configurations in the main piece picking area while defining optimal pick paths for each cart pick assignment in the area.
• Lucas voice-directed mobile applications are used for post-pick dock sortation and all picking processes in every area of the DC: pick-to-cart, pick-to-carton, case pick and non-conveyable.
Post-pick QC/Audit application uses barcode scanning to replace a manual visual audit process.
The web-based management console gives supervisors real-time performance management, work status updates and exception notifications.
Warehouse Optimization
Lucas management console

The Results

63 percent reduction in picking errors leading to a sharp reduction in fines and other error costs.
Improved audit efficiency allows Apex to perform more audits in a shorter period of time, freeing up staff for other tasks.
• The DC is operating with 10 percent fewer man hours overall (although Lucas is only used in picking, sortation and QC).
Improved employee morale

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