Dunkin' Donuts' Mid-Atlantic Distribution Center (MADC), the logistics supplier to Dunkin' Donuts franchisees in eight states, has expanded the use of Voxware's (Lawrenceville, N.J.) VoiceLogistics solution beyond picking, to the entire warehouse. VoiceLogistics is now deployed at the Dunkin' Donuts' MADC for picking and loading, with put-away to follow in a month's time. Replenishment will follow immediately thereafter and receiving will be deployed by mid-year. MADC is one of four Dunkin' Donuts’ regional distribution centes. Each is an independently operated non-profit corporation.
"Our experience with voice-driven picking was so extraordinary, we sought to leverage the value of voice throughout the entire warehouse," explained Warren Engard, director of distribution operations. "By extending voice to the rest of our material handling applications, we improved our return on our investment and increased productivity due to the easy-to-use voice interface. We have also increased product availability, enhanced inventory control, improved our ability to respond to our franchisees, and better utilized our workforce."
Engard reported the following benefits from expanding the use of voice technology:
- Accuracy rates improved to 99.94%.
- Productivity increased by 20 percent in dry and cooler areas, and up to 30% in the freezer.
- Picking time decreased from 21 hours to 10 hours without increasing staff.
- Goods damage decreased by 80%.
- Training time for new hires decreased by 50%
"Workers love the voice technology," Engard added. "Plus, we lowered our total cost of ownership for wireless devices, both voice-only and dual-use devices."
Craig Setter, executive vice president and COO of Dunkin' Donuts' MADC, said: "We selected Voxware even before we moved our warehouse to a new location and installed a new WMS, and VoiceLogistics was flexible and adapted to these subsequent changes in our operations. In addition, Voxware is a forward-thinking company that was able to support the expansion of voice throughout our warehouse, for example, additional voice-driven applications beyond picking such as loading, putaway, replenishment, receiving and cycle counting."
Voxware's VoiceLogistics addresses the full range of material handling needs. In addition to VoiceLogistics' picking module, other modules include:
- Loading: Streamlines the movement of containers from a shipping staging area onto designated trucks at the loading dock.
- Put-away: Guides workers in picking up containers that have been received and moving them to specific storage locations, or to picking slots that need replenishment.
- Replenishment: Prompts workers to move containers from one or more storage locations to multiple pick slots, optimizing moves based on worker location and replenishment orders.
- Receiving: Enables workers to efficiently process incoming merchandise, comparing containers with purchase orders or advance shipping notices to validate quantities.
The flexibility of VoiceLogistics allows users to switch seamlessly between the various modules to maximize efficiency by enabling workers to combine tasks based on location, new truck arrivals, exceptions or workload.