Pharma giant deploys voice picking
12 December 2012
To optimise time consuming warehouse processes and ensure compliance with system safety requirements,Merck has implemented Zetes' 3i Voice solution (3iV). After voice enabling 8 operators, important business improvement
Merck is a global healthcare company with 40,000 employees in 64 countries. Its Portuguese warehouse carries out approximately 9,000 warehousing operations on a total of 30,000 lines each month.
Merck's original warehouse processes based on barcode scanning were time consuming and the equipment used no longer complied with the company's systems safety requirements. In 2010, they implemented a 3i Voice solution to improve process efficiency. "We had already worked with Zetes in the past, and we were aware that they implemented voice picking systems. During a site visit to an existing installation, we saw first hand the advantages of adopting this technology," explains Luis Azevedo, Merck's IT manager.
3iV has been integrated with Merck's existing SAP warehouse management (WM) module. It optimises four warehousing procedures: goods receiving, put-away, replenishment and stock picking.
So far, 8 operators have been equipped with voice terminals. Even with this limited number of voice users, improvements have been impressive in terms of greater productivity, accuracy and ergonomics.
Azevedo adds: "Constant use of the barcode reader slowed down our picking processes. By implementating voice technology, we have seen immediate returns through optimised workflow, increased productivity, improved operator satisfaction, reduced error rates and improved planning."