Jennifer Fuels Growth At Eby-Brown
Leading Convenience Store Distributor has Realized Double-Digit Productivity and Quality Gains Using Jennifer VoicePlus for Voice Picking and QC/Audit
Lucas Systems, Inc.,the largest independent provider of voice-directed warehouse applications, today announced that Eby-Brown Company has realized significant increases in picking productivity and order accuracy using Jennifer VoicePlus across its seven US distribution centers. Eby-Brown initially deployed Jennifer with a legacy WMS, and more recently upgraded to SAP WM. With Jennifer in place, the transition to SAP was “invisible” to Eby-Brown’s 500 voice picking users.
Chris Timmons, Executive Vice President of Operations at Eby-Brown will be presenting a case study about the company’s implementation of Jennifer at the IFDA Distribution Solutions Conference in Fort Worth, Texas on October 24, 2011. During the presentation, Timmons will explain how Jennifer helped ease Eby-Brown’s transition to a new WMS, in addition to delivering a 46 percent reduction in shortages and 30-40 percent picking productivity gains.
“Jennifer has delivered better-than-expected gains in picking productivity and accuracy, but the back story at Eby-Brown is how Jennifer made our transition to SAP WM invisible to workers on the warehouse floor,” says Timmons. “We decided to install Jennifer in our seven DCs before tackling the WMS project. By the time we started our SAP WM roll-out we had already earned a full payback on the voice system. And with Jennifer in place the transition to SAP was a non-event for our pickers. Equally important, the Jennifer system gives us additional flexiblity to optimize picking assignments outside of the WMS. This has recently allowed us to increase our shipping volumes without making any additional capital investments in our DCs.”
The Jennifer VoicePlus system at Eby-Brown supports voice directed order selection across multiple picking styles and products, ranging from bulk items, foodservice items, candy, HBA and other piece-pick products. The system also features an enhanced QC/Audit module that runs on a handheld mobile computer. Like all Jennifer VoicePlus systems installed since 2005, the Jennifer system at Eby-Brown supports voice and scanning interchangeably, using the integrated scanner of the user’s multi-modal mobile computer, in this case, the Motorola MC9000 and MC3000.
“There is a widespread misperception that voice-directed warehouse applications provide nothing more than a voice interface to a WMS,” says Jeff Slevin, Chief Operating Officer of Lucas Systems. “As a result, many warehouse operations and IT managers believe they need to upgrade their legacy WMS before looking at voice. Our success with Eby-Brown illustrates that a voice-first strategy can deliver significant advantages over a WMS-first approach. A voice system can be deployed much faster than a full WMS implementation and offers a rapid ROI. In addition, the cost savings achieved through voice can help fund a WMS upgrade later, and the voice-first approach can ease the transition to a new back-end system for warehouse workers. What worked for Eby-Brown may not work for everyone, but this is a great example of how the conventional wisdom about the relationship between voice and WMS is just plain wrong.”
About Lucas Systems, Inc.
Since 1998, Lucas Systems has delivered more voice-directed warehouse applications on a wider variety of mobile computers than any other company. Customers like Cardinal Health, The Container Store, HD Supply, Kraft Nabisco, OfficeMax, Oriental Trading Company and Rustoleum trust Lucas to deliver solutions that greatly improve worker productivity and accuracy because Lucas truly understands warehouse operations. Jennifer VoicePlus, the Lucas voice solution, creates a conversation with warehouse workers that frees their hands and eyes to focus on the job at hand. Jennifer also provides managers and supervisors with real-time reporting and management tools that help them better manage their operations. Tens of thousands of associates at hundreds of distribution centers work with Jennifer every day.