Moresport Limited is South Africa’s leading sport and outdoor retailer.
Moresport required a solution that increased fine picking productivity and maintained a high pick accuracy, especially during peak season. Moresport runs CQuential’s cloud-based warehouse and supply chain management solutions. Moresport partnered with CQuential, Honeywell and Datasmith to successfully deploy Honeywell Voice on CK3 devices and SRX2 headsets to address their challenges and improve their business processes.
Previously, Moresport’s distribution
centre handled predominantly imported
products. Subsequently, the Moresport
distribution centre business model
changed to include local suppliers
and high-end sporting apparel and
footwear product lines. The distribution
centre was required to provide ValueAdded Services (VAS), such as price
ticketing and a just-in-time picking
strategy was implemented to meet store
demand. These changes resulted in a
significant increase in fine picking.
Moresport was using RF scanning in
their picking operation. The RF scanning
process required the picker to read the
pick instructions on the device’s screen
multiple times for each pick, put the
scanner down to move items and pick the
scanner up to scan the items. The pickers
had to focus the scanner on the tag to
accurately scan it. Pickers often had
to lift heavy items to scan them, while
holding the scanner, creating health and
safety risks. Reading instructions from
the RF scanner’s smaller-size screen,
was an inefficient process. Pickers
would frequently look down at the
screen for instructions, causing them to
lose focus on their place in the picking
process and increase inefficiency
During its peak season between
September to December, Moresport
handles 45% of its annual volume,
a significant increase which
required substantial overtime
hours to meet this demand.
The distribution centre needed to
improve its outbound efficiency
through faster picking whilst
maintaining high pick accuracy
rates. This was not possible with the
existing RF scanning process.
Moresport engaged withCQuential, Honeywell and its local voice partner, Datasmith, to find a solution. After reviewing Moresport’s requirements, Honeywell and Datasmith provided a comparison of the various options available, including wrist-scanning and voice-picking technologies. Moresport completed time and motion simulations to quantify the options. A business case was then prepared comparing RF, wristscanning and voice-picking technologies.
The results clearly showed:
• Overall, voice picking technology offered the highest productivity.
• Voice picking had a projected 36% improvement in operational efficiencies.
• The payback time for voice picking was estimated at one to two years.
Datasmith’s experienced warehousing team reviewed the distribution centre’s operational processes, evaluating them against current best practices. Datasmith recommended key process changes to effectively leverage the potential benefits of a voice-outbound process. These process changes included minimising the product touch points and creating a single SKU per BIN environment. Moresport implemented these changes, resulting in significant efficiency improvements
Moresport also conducted a site visit at an existing Datasmith voice customer, a large multinational retail operation that had been using voice picking as an integral part of its operations for more than a decade. They generously shared their journey with Moresport. The site visit provided a South African example, illustrating the benefits of voice picking and an understanding of the key elements to a successful voice picking implementation.
Moresport’s final voice picking solution included Honeywell CK3 devices and SRX2 headsets. The CK3 devices were repurposed from scanning to voice, making this the first CK3 voice deployment in Africa.
Datasmith implemented their Pigeon Voice Server, which provides a simple, flexible way to integrate Honeywell voice into any backend system.
CQuential was a key partner in successfully implementing the solution, ensuring the team could achieve their voice picking project objectives. CQuential continues to work closely with Moresport to identify areas to improve and drive operational excellence.
Moresport experienced impressive results from the hands-free voicepicking solution. Its pick productivity increased by 39% in the first year. The company was able to significantly reduce the number of overtime hours required during their peak season. There was also a significant improvement to worker health and safety with the voicepicking technology. Additionally, the voice-picking system payback period (ROI) was estimated to be between one and two years.
Moresport was able to address their distribution requirements much more efficiently, especially during peak retail trading months. The business experienced less human error due to there being fewer touch points, as well as quicker processing of orders and improved productivity. Additionally, Moresport implemented a successful semi-automated replenishment model, which further improved productivity and the flow of goods.
• Moresport is a leading South African sport and outdoor retail group.
• Pick productivity increased by 39% in the first year.
• Significant reduction in overtime required.
• Payback period estimated 1 – 2 years.
• Increased employee welfare.
• Health & Safety benefits.
• Ability to react to demand faster