IBCS POLAND SPÓŁKA Z OGRANICZONĄ ODPOWIEDZIALNOŚCIĄ realizuje projekt dofinansowany z Funduszy Europejskich pn. „ibcsDock/ibcsCloud: zautomatyzowany system rejestracji przepływu towarów w magazynie”.
Alma Alpinex S.A. is a leading distributor of food products in the province of Świętokrzyskie. The company was established in 1999 as a result of the merger of the largest distributors of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship: PW “Alma” s.c. and A.H.U. “Alpinex” s.c. The company’s activity is based on the sale of products of leading food and beverage producers operating in Poland. When planning to launch a modern distribution center in Piekoszów, the company was looking for an efficient solution for picking goods. The choice fell on “pick by voice” based on ibcsVoice system by IBCS Poland and equipment by Vocollect.
ibcsVoice voice system not only improved the accuracy and efficiency of work in the warehouse in the area of releases, but also significantly simplified the picking processes. The possibility of testing the solution in advance and the flexibility of IBCS Poland during implementation were an additional advantage of the offer.
The newly built center in Piekoszów took over the functions of the existing warehouses located in Kielce and Zagnańsk. In order to ensure the highest efficiency in the new warehouse, the company decided to implement modern packaging solutions. The audit conducted by IBCS Poland in Alma Alpinex warehouses showed that the current picking system, based only on barcode readers, does not guarantee full service of orders, e.g. during the “seasonal peaks” related to the distribution of beverages. The picking process was carried out using forklift terminals equipped with barcode readers, on which the end of the warehouse management application is launched.
The first step is for the employee to pick up the order assigned by the warehouse manager. Then, voice system directs the operator to the appropriate location, which he verifies with a check digit and confirms the collected amount of goods. The cycle is repeated until the entire order is completed, and the pallet with the finished goods is placed in the release area and labeled with a label informing about the recipient’s content and parameters.
– In practice, it meant that one operator at a given time processed one order, which was then handled by one picker. The list of items to be picked up in the warehouse was arranged according to picking path. The solution, although it worked properly, did not guarantee the handling of all orders in situations of increased traffic in the warehouse.
The solution proposed by IBCS Poland is ibcsVoice voice system based on Talkman A500 and A700 terminals by Vocollect, cooperating with SR-20 wired and SRX2 wireless headphones. The whole is coupled with the already operating WMS system.
The implementation was divided into two stages. The first (pilot) stage lasted two months and assumed the use of two voice terminals. After receiving positive results, the number of devices was increased to nine, and in the coming months the number of Talkman terminals in the distribution center in Piekoszów will be increased to 30.
– Alma Alpinex is an efficiently managed company, open to new technologies. With the help of the pilot implementation, we managed to interest the Management Board of the company in the optimization of the warehouse operation through the voice system. As part of the initial test, we carried out two identical pickings: one using the barcode scanner used so far in the warehouse, and the other using a voice terminal with a set of headphones. Picking time with ibcsVoice system was shorter than the method with the scanner, what’s more, the warehouse worker had contact with the voice system for the first time and he managed to achieve such a good result only after 20 minutes of training.
Already at the implementation stage of ibcsVoice pilot solution, Alma Alpinex, analyzing the indicators, observed a clear increase in efficiency in the picking process. Not only does the system provide full support for releases during seasonal peak periods in the summer, but it has also led to increased productivity while maintaining a minimum error rate. In addition, it increases employee safety by providing a picking tool that frees hands and does not distract visual attention, and reduces operating costs related to the use of paper and reducing the failure rate of the system.
In the near future, we plan to extend the system from the application level with the ability to scan codes on seals securing containers with goods. This is possible thanks to the use of Talkman A730 terminals equipped with barcode readers, which enable the verification of seals for securing transport containers with high-value goods.