Wednesday, December 28, 2011

VAI Integration: Food customer, voice picking

Connecticut based Dari Farms Ice Cream has been a major ice cream and frozen food distributor since 1950. VAI's S2K for Warehouse Management, along with voice picking technology, was the right solution to improve the warehouse efficiency that Dari Farms was looking for.

Prior to selecting a new solution Dari Farms used many manual processes including clipboards, paper and pencils.  Add to that the harsh freezer environment and it no wonder their inventory accuracy was in the low to mid 80%.

Introduce a Voice Pick system integrated with a solid Warehouse Management System (WMS) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution and the company is able to focus forward to the future.  Like anything new the voice pick system met with initial resistance especially with the long term employees.  Now they cannot imagine doing their jobs without the system.  New employees do not have the overhead of system transition and pick the system up quickly.

Voice picking ensured through audio confirmation the location, product and quantity to process. The entire solution has numerous checks and balances.  Seen initially as a hurdle and time consuming, the process increased accuracy and confidence in the system.

Dari Farms had a hard time trusting what their old inventory system.  The only time they truly knew it was accurate was when they were out-of-stock.

With the new Voice Pick and Warehouse Management System (WMS) they are 99% accurate.  They cycle count and it is rare to have a single item off by more than 1-2%.

Dari Farms wanted a vendor that they could trust and that would work with them long term as they grew.  They wanted to keep moving forward and stay on the cutting edge of technology that would enable them to run their company efficiently and keep their costs down.  They chose VAI as one of those vendors they wanted to partner with.

It is fun and easy to write about this type of solution.  Today many thousands of companies are using manual processes to manage their operations.  Why, because they work.  Well, sort of.  They operate, but at what efficiency level?  They sometimes realize they have hit a glass ceiling.  Sometimes that fact has been obscured from them. 

With a tight economy there is great pressure to run lean and there is pressure to push a trimmed staff to do more with fewer resources.  When what they really need is a set of fresh eyes to look at what they are trying to do and come up with suggestions for improvement.  Many consultants can do this given enough chances.  A great consultant should be able to do this on the first attempt.  That is why they are in business, to improve your business. 

I am not saying the transition will be painless.  Look at the video from Dari Farms.  They had resistance too.  Now they cannot believe they did their operations any other way.  That is a result of partnering with an industry expert that will take the time to develop they right solution for your challenges.

I cannot promise you anything, in fact no one can, but Dolvin Consulting will work with your team to determine your true business operation challenges and develop a solution that will grow with your company.  Contact us today to see in what way we can help.

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