PRICE CHOPPER BEGINS VOICE-PICKING OF FROZENS

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- Price Chopper here installed a voice-directed picking system this month in a distribution center (DC) that handles frozen food, according to Vocollect, Pittsburgh, which supplies the system.This is the chain's second DC to be equipped with the system. Price Chopper will install the system in another frozens DC in July, added Vocollect.In its initial installation, Price Chopper

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- Price Chopper here installed a voice-directed picking system this month in a distribution center (DC) that handles frozen food, according to Vocollect, Pittsburgh, which supplies the system.

This is the chain's second DC to be equipped with the system. Price Chopper will install the system in another frozens DC in July, added Vocollect.

In its initial installation, Price Chopper found that the voice-directed picking system substantially reduced mispicks in the perishables and dry grocery sections.

The radio frequency (RF)-based picking system -- called Talkman -- sends automated voice prompts to headsets worn by pickers.

The system reduced perishable mispicks by 83% and dry grocery mispicks by 67%, while increasing productivity of pickers by between 10% and 15% and bringing about a "substantial decrease" in training time, said Vocollect.

"The Talkman system completely surpassed our expectations and reached every objective we set for it," Ron Cellupica, vice president of distribution and transportation for Price Chopper, said in a statement. "And on top of that, we expect payback in about nine months." Price Chopper declined to comment further.

Quest Solutions, Everett, Wash., worked on the installations in November and January for dry grocery and perishables, respectively.