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Productivity doubled

12 June 2015

Clothing retailer Cassis has deployed the ZetesMedea voice solution in its logistics centre allowing 20,000 items to be picked daily.

Using the voice solution, processes such as order picking, cross-docking and restocking are carried out much faster and with fewer mistakes. This allows Cassis to meet the demands of seasonal peaks, processes the increasing number of orders without a hitch, and has resulted in double the number of shops being supplied by the same number of employees. The operation allows up to 20,000 items of clothing to be picked daily.

Originally, Cassis' orders were picked using mobile terminals. Monique Courant, IT & logistics manager at Cassis says: "Barcode scanning and screen communication on wearable terminals allowed us to perfectly process our orders on time. For a limited number of (larger) shops, that all placed the same type of order, orders would simply be processed one after the other. Due to the expansion of the number of sales outlets, the previous technology was no longer able to process orders fast enough. We needed a new model and a different technology in order to increase profitability.”

After Monique saw the ZetesMedea Voice solution in action at an existing customer in the same industry, she immediately made the decision. ZetesMedea is Zetes' logistics solution to efficiently manage all warehouse processes.

The logistics process at Cassis is determined by product characteristics such as 'size', 'colour', 'folded', 'hanging', 'piece' and 'bulk'. The result is a complex matrix that requires substantial efforts to correctly follow up all orders and maintain stock levels. Cassis' success over the last ten years has seen its store network multiply from 60 to 130 sales outlets, as well as its e-commerce activity, resulting in increased seasonal peaks and pressure on the logistics centre.

Cassis has applied the solution in different stages of its logistics process. At the start of the season, the new collection arrives at the distribution centre in Woutersbrakel. The majority of the clothing must be distributed as soon as possible so that all shops can build up their local stock for the season. This is done through cross-docking. The remaining clothing is stored in the distribution centre (put-away) and, throughout the season, distributed across the shops based on sales figures and availability on the shop floor (order picking).

The in- and outbound process of clothing items is organised around 4 important characteristics: ‘folded’ or ‘hanging’ and ‘pre-packed’ (type of bulk packaging consisting of different sizes of 1 article) or ‘piece’ (1 article, 1 size). Each item requires different logistics processes. Since the ZetesMedea Voice implementation, operators carrying out these processes are guided by the voice system. They are equipped with WT4190 voice terminals from Zebra, one of Zetes’ leading hardware partners in the EMEA region. The terminal is connected with a ring scanner and a headset, and the system directs the operators to the right product and tells them which quantity is required. The operator will then confirm using a voice command and/or by scanning the product. Operators can now work hands and eyes free to pick multi-clients orders.

ZetesMedea, powered by the MCL Voice platform, is a logistics solution that efficiently manages warehouse processes. The aim is to quickly and flexibly organise the processes, to reduce errors and lower the costs. Besides, the system’s flexibility and the multi-modal approach, whereby voice can be used together with scanning and printing of labels, has greatly improved the overall efficiency of the warehouse.

"Since Zetes’ Voice solution is an untrained system, the temp workers we hire during peak seasons are directly up and running. The productivity we gain thanks to this new system allows us to handle twice as many operations without increasing the headcount,” explains Monique.

Operators no longer have to register their voice profile before they can start work. This process could easily take half an hour. Unlike a 'trained', or speaker-dependent voice system, operators simply have to log in, register approximately five keywords and they can start work right away.

"No longer losing valuable time on training and having to invest in configurations, makes a huge difference. ZetesMedea Voice allows me to effortlessly call in temporary workers, which for a seasonal business, is a key asset,” adds Monique.