HONEYWELL VOCOLLECT VOICE BECOMES A MARKETING AND SALES TOOL TO HELP JORDANO’S EXPAND BUSINESS
Jordano’s, Inc. is a family- and employee-owned food service and beverage distribution company in the U.S. serving approximately 1,700 customers in central and southern California, with a proud 98-year tradition of commitment to quality and customer service and support of its local community. Originally founded as a grocery chain, the company transitioned its focus to distribution in the 1970s and today has annual sales topping $142 million company-wide, employing over 205 people across its operations.
Today Jordano’s orders are fulfilled primarily through its distribution center (DC) in Santa Barbara, California. The 100,000-square-foot facility processes upwards of 14,000 SKUs six days per week across three shifts.
Perfect Orders the Key to Maintaining a Competitive Edge
Having a long-standing reputation to uphold with its nearly 1,700 customers, Jordano’s continually challenges itself to improve customer satisfaction. Through its technology partner BFC, the company is always looking for ways to boost operational performance.
For some time, Director of Operations Dennis Merchant had been thinking about the need to ratchet up accuracy levels in the company’s single 100,000-square foot distribution center in Santa Barbara. In addition to accuracy concerns, order fulfillment was becoming increasingly complicated due to governmental mandates for traceability. Clearly the old double paper label processes needed modernization.
Growing Continuous Results with Vocollect Voice and BFC
Of course, Merchant was aware of voice technology and had been doing his own research into various providers. Through BFC, he was able to visit similar distribution businesses. Honeywell Vocollect™ voice solutions were recommended by BFC due to their proven results for the grocery and food distribution arenas.
“In hindsight, if we had deployed all areas of our DC at the same time, we would have been fully operational in a month. But we chose to move a bit more cautiously, starting in the freezer, moving to the cooler, and then to dry goods,” Merchant says.
“It is important to make sure that the RF network is reevaluated – we found a dead spot not addressed when we first built our freezer area. Once that was reconfigured, everything worked well,” according to Merchant.
Recently, Jordano’s tested Honeywell’s freezer-certified Vocollect SRX2 wireless headsets, and found them to be a tremendous success. “The SRX2 headset is a much easier, cleaner process all around compared to anything else on the market. The speech recognition quality is excellent, the headsets are lighter, and it is much easier to maneuver in the freezer section. The ability to share headsets across shifts greatly reduces the number of batteries and provides a great cost savings. Employees love working with it,” says Merchant.
Strong Order Accuracy Keeps Customers Happy
Before deploying the BFC/Honeywell solution, Jordano’s had one error per 1,000 cases. With Vocollect voice, workers now average one error per 14,000 cases – representing a phenomenal 93 percent reduction in errors (up to 99.995 percent picking accuracy). Says Merchant, “Our salespeople tell prospects now, ‘We pick with Vocollect voice, so you are virtually guaranteed a perfect delivery’.”
In addition, the BFC/Honeywell solution has helped the company save tens of thousands of dollars on an annual basis due to improved order accuracy.
While productivity was not the top priority for moving to Vocollect voice, it helped workers move from picking 135 cases per hour to 160, representing a healthy additional 19 percent boost of productivity.
Training time was also reduced by half. Jordano’s does a full two-week employee orientation; within a few hours on the floor, the new worker is up and running on the voice system.
With the accurate tracking of individual performance and order fulfillment that voice provides, traceability has become much easier. Now management can pinpoint who picked what order, in what quantity, at what time and date, and where the worker was stationed at the time the order was fulfilled. This breadth of information on individual performance also provides an excellent coaching tool for supervisors.
“One of the big pluses for us is that workers are continually engaged in a two-way dialogue with the voice system, so they are far more focused and there is much less idle chatter,” Merchant says. “Our workers really enjoy using Vocollect voice, and even more so with the addition of the SRX2 wireless headset.”
“Our partnership with BFC and Honeywell has really been a win-win in many ways. We’ve gotten great value from the investment, and their service and support has been outstanding,” says Merchant.
Distribution Center Accuracy
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