SUPER STORE SELECTS VOICE TO AID ORDER PICKING AT DEPOT

STOCKTON, Calif. -- Wholesaler Super Store Industries here, which primarily services Raley's Supermarkets and Save Mart Supermarkets, has gone live with a real-time warehouse management system teamed with voice picking technology to improve picking selection and provide faster access to data.The wholesaler's Lathrop, Calif., dry and frozen facility, which measures about 785,000 square feet, went live

STOCKTON, Calif. -- Wholesaler Super Store Industries here, which primarily services Raley's Supermarkets and Save Mart Supermarkets, has gone live with a real-time warehouse management system teamed with voice picking technology to improve picking selection and provide faster access to data.

The wholesaler's Lathrop, Calif., dry and frozen facility, which measures about 785,000 square feet, went live June 12 with 60 voice units for pickers and about 30 for forklifts, according to Tom Martineau, chief information officer.

The switch to voice technology came as Super Store also made the move to install a real-time warehouse management system in the distribution center.

"We have an AS 400 batch system and will be going to a server-based system," Martineau said. The new WMS will support real-time information for picks and letdowns in an effort to increase pick speed and maximize warehouse space.

Currently, the wholesaler is picking about 175 cases an hour, but would like to go to 185 cases an hour with the help of the voice technology, he added.

Martineau told SN that Super Stores decided on using voice in its warehouse after watching the technology improve over the last several years.

"Actually, we looked at voice three or four years ago, but it wasn't there yet," he said, noting that today the technology is easy to use and much more reliable.

The warehouse management system is from Motek, Beverly Hills, Calif. The voice technology is from Vocollect, Pittsburgh.