New paths in voice-controlled order picking of juices and smoothies
With the brands Rabenhorst and Rotbäckchen, the beverage manufacturer Haus Rabenhorst is one of the fastest growing companies in the German fruit juice industry. Last year, Rabenhorst achieved a turnover of more than 40 million Euros. More than 1400 tons of apples, 250 tons of cherries and 1200 tons of berries are processed into approx. 10 million liters of direct juice every year. They are distributed and exported via health food stores, pharmacies, drugstores or the food industry.
To ensure a punctual and accurate delivery of the ordered goods anytime, Rabenhorst relies on the pick-by-voice solution of Klinkhammer. Hereby, the smartphone app KlinkVOICE is used for the first time. The smartphone replaces costly voice terminals and offers decisive cost and flexibility advantages.
Many different article items are picked efficiently
Just recently, Rabenhorst has equipped its warehouses with the new warehouse management software KlinkWARE. The aim was to digitalize the processes and administer all logistics locations in one software. The company attaches great importance to the use of modern IT and technology-based processes for efficient procedures. To increase the transparency and efficiency in the warehouse even more, Rabenhorst relies on pick-by-voice. The focus is less on article-homogeneous bulk shipments, but rather on orders with different article items. On average, one order pallet consists of 12 different article items. Rabenhorst expects many advantages from the voice-controlled order picking via app: The order picking performance should be increased and the error rate in the composition of beverage cartons on mixed pallets should be further minimized.The employees keep their hands and their view free and are able to concentrate on the essential work steps.
400 juices and smoothies via pick-by-voice
In the central warehouse in Anhausen in the Westerwald, the employees process an average of 210 orders every day, in high season more than 300 orders comprising up to 30 article items each. The product range comprises more than 400 juices and smoothies which differ in pack size, bottle size and labelling. Added to this are pasta products and baked goods as well as different display packages. Up to now, all orders have been processed by forklift or lift trucks via terminal or tablet. Despite multi-order-picking by forklift trucks, each work step requires a glance at the tablet.
Standard smartphone replaces voice terminal
These processes are now significantly accelerated and more reliable with pick-by-voice. Rabenhorst is the first customer who relies on the new app-solution of Klinkhammer. Similar to traditional pick-by-voice systems, KlinkVOICE guides the employees through their work processes by voice.In addition, the order picker is able to access the smartphone to retrieve stock corrections or order and routine information or to get a quick overview of the order positions. A Bluetooth scanner at the glove or belt is used to identify load carriers and products.The product code scan confirms the correct item collection and makes a storage bay scan superfluous. The employees communicate with the smartphone app Klink VOICE and the warehouse management system KlinkWARE via Bluetooth headset.Traditional, costly voice terminals are thus saved and replaced by a smartphone. This significantly reduces investment costs. Another special feature of the flexible voice control via app is the ability to read out voice information, e.g. product descriptions, to further increase the order picking quality. KlinkVOICE does not limit the vocabulary by predefined words, as with traditional voice terminals. Thus, KlinkVOICE closes the gap between modern digitalization and existing systems and opens up new fields of application.
Direct connection to the warehouse management software
Due to the direct connection of the app to the warehouse management software via wireless LAN, the wide range of orders with their individual requirements such as packet specifications, pallet type, batches, shelf life or promotional goods are ideally mapped. Traceability and transparency are a top priority at the logistics center of Rabenhorst.
„We have already reached our limits“, explains Bernhard Zell, logistics manager at Rabenhorst. „The growth and the expansion of the market position led to a continuous increase in the volume of orders.With pick-by-voice we are well equipped for the increase in small orders with many different order positions.Frank Bennemann, head of the software company of Klinkhammer confirms: „The configurable solution KlinkVOICE enables a flexible adaptation of the application to the individual requirements of Rabenhorst. With the smartphone and an appropriately programmed app it is possible today to simplify complex technologies and to optimally map intralogistics processes.“
The benefits are obvious. While using pick-by-voice, employees have free hands and a free view. The optimized ergonomics and occupational safety result in a higher motivation and satisfaction of the employees. Furthermore, individual items are only removed from the bottom shelf level to facilitate handling. Picking errors during the compilation of customer orders are reduced while the efficiency of the order picking process increases at the same time.