Press Releases / Upper Lakes Foods Reduces Errors

Oct 24, 2012

Upper Lakes Foods Reduces Errors With Jennifer FoodSelect

Upper Lakes Foods Reduces Selection Errors By More Than 60 Percent With Jennifer FoodSelect For Voice Picking, Putaway, Replenishment, And Truck Loading

Lucas Systems, Inc., the leading independent provider of voice-directed warehouse applications, today reported that Upper Lakes Foods, Inc. has installed Jennifer FoodSelect in their Cloquet and Northfield, Minnesota, distribution centers. Upper Lakes, a full-service wholesale food distributor serving the Midwest, is using Jennifer applications for voice picking, put away, replenishment, and loading. Since installing Jennifer FoodSelect in August, the Northfield facility has gone multiple weeks without a single picking error, and Cloquet has seen an overall reduction in selection errors of 60-70 percent.

“From top to bottom, our owners, managers and employees are extremely happy with the results and our choice of Jennifer FoodSelect,” says Ramon Osuna, Warehouse Director at Upper Lakes Foods’ Cloquet DC. “I was skeptical that a voice picking system could deliver better accuracy than an RF barcode-scanning system, but our results prove the clear advantages of voice. We are already seeing dramatic accuracy gains with Jennifer, and we are only getting started. During the ramp up of voice we have not emphasized picking rates, but we have seen productivity gains every week, and we are already exceeding our pre-voice picking rates. Jennifer’s voice-directed truck loading process has also eliminated mis-ships and loading errors, such as pallets not getting loaded on a truck. And we expect to see similar improvements as we roll out voice-directed replenishment.”

Prior to installing Jennifer, order selectors at the Upper Lakes DCs were using pick stickers to make their picks. In addition to the accuracy and efficiency challenges of the manual picking process, DC staff spent hours in the office printing, separating, batching and organizing the pick tickets. Jennifer FoodSelect includes an on-demand label printing feature that eliminated the pre-pick label handling process.

“I did a lot of research on voice picking,” says Osuna, “and Jennifer FoodSelect was the most comprehensive voice solution for our business, in addition to offering the best voice engine on the market. Jennifer’s five minute training process was far shorter than any other provider even promised. And it worked right out of the gate, which made it really easy for our guys to accept it and adapt to it. They also like the voice-directed help. If they’re lost, they can ask Jennifer for help. If they don’t know what they are supposed to pick, they can ask for a description. It just really makes it easy for the employees.”

Jennifer FoodSelect provides configurable voice-directed order selection, truck loading, putaway, replenishment, and QC/Audit applications, as well as the Engage Management Services Console (MSC), a web-based management application. The solution also supports the GS1 Foodservice Standards Initiative through flexible scan- or voice-entry of item numbers (GTIN), lot, date and catchweight.

“Foodservice distributors like Upper Lakes Foods face unique competitive challenges, in addition to demands to efficiently capture and track product information throughout the distribution process,” says Jennifer Lachenman, VP of Product Strategy and Business Alliances at Lucas Systems. “Jennifer FoodSelect is the only comprehensive voice solution designed to meet those unique challenges. It includes all of the voice and management capabilities foodservice distributors need to improve operations in a pre-configured solution that ensures rapid implementation and ramp up. This industry-specific solution also supports the GS1 Standards Initiative through voice- or scan-based capture, storage, and exchange of Global Trade Item Numbers and other product data.”

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, OfficeMax, Mondelez (formerly Kraft Nabisco) and Rust-Oleum 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.

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