Productivity, accuracy and revenue are all up by 20% at a thriving UK electrical business thanks to LYDIA voice-picking technology supplied by Ehrhardt Partner Group (EPG). The eye-catching figures make for exciting reading at electrical component supplier Niglon. As an added plus, this investment in technology did not require the customer to implement a new Warehouse Management System (WMS).
LYDIA is a cutting-edge warehouse technology supplied by EPG. This voice-picking revolution offers hope to all logistics organisations, including smaller businesses looking to adapt to the rigorous demands of the e-commerce age without substantial capital expenditure.
Gavin Clark, EPG Head of UK and Ireland, explains: “Because no new WMS is needed with LYDIA, picking consistency can be upgraded to the next level at an affordable outlay – what’s more, LYDIA Voice requires no training for new users, making the handover as swift and flexible as possible.”
No paper, no pressure
To maintain Niglon’s hard-won reputation for outstanding service, managers recognised that they needed to adopt state-of-the-art picking technology that offers efficiency, accuracy and reliability. Speed and full concentration are vital to the company’s fulfilment operations – for instance, a 9V switch looks very similar to an 8.6V switch, and probably has an almost identical product code and the same packaging.
The company’s existing paper-based picking system required training time for new staff, adding to time pressures at seasonal peaks. Ideally, Niglon also wanted state-of-the-art picking proficiency without having to absorb or invest in a new WMS. The Germany-based supply chain software specialist EPG was able to come up with the answers. Dispensing with paper and, crucially, not requiring a company to upscale to full WMS, the LYDIA Voice picking system uses a very simple, adaptable range of short voice commands.
Workflows can be adapted to suit the process, but they are always short and easy to follow. The LYDIA system is also able to comfortably understand accents and dialects where required. Niglon pickers typically wear headsets, but users may also opt for a unique wearable vest in which all the electronics are fully integrated.
Niglon set EPG the challenge of increasing order picking accuracy to 99.9% from its existing overall figure of 96%, which was weighed down by occasionally low first-time accuracy due to missed or wrong product picks.
Productivity and accuracy gains
“Yes, accuracy is 99.9%,” reveals Oliver Hinley, Operations Director at Niglon. Faster and easier inventory management is another gain among many. “Productivity has risen by 10-20% across all of our operators, with first-time accuracy rates up by 20%,” he confirms.
“We’ve increased revenue by double-digit figures but without any need to increase permanent staff, with just a few agency staff required to cover peaks. The good news is that when we do need those extra staff they can be upskilled into a complex environment very quickly, because LYDIA Voice requires no staff training and is very user-friendly.”