August 19, 2014, 12:16 PM

An inventory picking tool boosts productivity for a Norway-based supplier

HI Giörtz Sönner uses a web- and voice-based device from Honeywell.

Lead Photo

A web- and voice-enabled inventory picking tool has helped a Norway-based grocery supplier to increase productivity by 20%.

HI Giörtz Sönner started using Vocollect from U.S.-based Honeywell International Inc. in 2008 and recently upgraded to Vocollect A700. Business-to-business clients in such industries as automotive, wholesale distribution and pharmaceutical use the device to gather and complete warehouse orders by vocal command, with the inventory management technology able to tell the difference between speech and such noises as forklift beeps and pallet drops, Honeywell says.

The Norway-based supplier, which uses its own warehouse management system with the Honeywell technology, says it has recently experienced a “productivity increase” of some 20% from doing so.

“Since upgrading, we are training new staff up to 10 minutes faster than before and are seeing significant improvement in worker productivity,” says Vebjörn Annö, projects director, HI Giörtz Sönner. “In addition, the accelerated response time between the Vocollect A700 Solution and our warehouse management system helps our workers complete orders faster and more accurately. Most of our customers tell us they no longer need to check deliveries, because they know they are getting accurate orders every time.”

Canada-based Home Hardware Stores Ltd., which sells hardware, lumber, furniture and building materials to retail customers, says it uses the technology for its growing distribution program; the company’s shipments in eastern Canada, for instance, have increased 35% in recent years.

“As part of our [warehouse] expansion efforts, we wanted state-of-the-art systems and processes,” says John Dyksterhuis, vice president of distribution at Home Hardware. “We selected the Vocollect A700 Solution to help us increase throughput and to provide faster onboarding for our workers, especially during peak and seasonal times. The Vocollect A700 Solution also offers flexibility with multi-language support, including English and French.”

Honeywell did not immediately say how much it charges for its technology.

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