Morrisons will replace a paper-based picking system with a voice-based one at its distribution centres, as part of an enterprise-wide IT restructuring.
Morrisons voice picking system will be developed on Zetes’ 3iV voice software and over 2000 Vocollect Talkman voice computers. Zetes will implement the project under a GBP6m contract.
Zetes provides automatic identification of goods and people using barcode, voice recognition, RFID, smartcards, and biometrics. Its 3iV software enables warehouse operators to communicate real-time with the host system (WMS/ERP). All communication is routed through a mobile voice terminal and headset.
Morrisons has selected Zetes for the project after a successful three-month pilot at the retailer’s Corby Freezer distribution centre. During the pilot, Zetes implemented a voice picking system with 20 Vocollect Talkman T5 wearable voice computers and headsets.
Zetes says that the pilot phase has witnessed improved picking accuracy, greater operational efficiency, user-friendliness, and the ability to support multi-lingual operators. The actual implementation will begin this month and is expected to be completed by 2010.
Zetes voice system will run on both Morrisons’ legacy WMS as well as on Oracle WMS. The retailer plans to migrate to Oracle WMS as part of its IT restructuring. Earlier this month, it has selected Wipro Retail to plan and manage the IT systems based on Oracle ERP platform.
In addition to Morrisons, Zetes will be supplying its voice picking technology to the The Co-operative Group to support 1200 warehouse users across six distribution centres. The voice technology specialist claims to support over 40,000 live users of its 3iV software in distribution centres across Europe.
Alain Wirtz, CEO of Zetes, said: “In a tough economic environment, Zetes’ voice solution delivers significant productivity gains to our customers. Investment projects bringing the shortest RoI are the first ones customers are typically considering.”