Italy - Conad del Tirreno Case Study
Conad del Tirreno: Not just Food for Central Italy
Conad del Tirreno is a large cooperative association of independent entrepreneurs operating with the brands E.Leclerc Conad, Conad and Margherita, supplying partners in four regions: Tuscany, Lazio, Sardinia and in Liguria (limited to the La Spezia province). Today this organization represents one of the major Italian associated distribution enterprises, as proven by the excellent results achieved in 2006 with overall wholesale revenues amounting to 933 million Euro. Over the years the Gruppo Conad del Tirreno enjoyed a steady growth towards the management and operative model typical of the Distribution industry, while maintaining and valorizing the peculiarities of the Group as well as its individual mission. In Montopoli
Valdarno (PI) operates the new unified distribution center (CeDi) for Tuscany and Liguria: approximately 50,000 sq m. where all warehouse activities for Tuscany converge with the exception of nonfood and gift items. This structure includes the general goods warehouse, with a surface of 35,000 sq m.
Eliminate preparation errors
Improve accuracy and as a result, the quality of the service offered
Error reduction -75%
Productivity increase: + 17%
Accuracy improved from 99.03% to 99.75%
"KFI’s consulting proved to be decisive because of the constant presence ensured at every phase of the project (preliminary, feasibility study, design, analysis, development, testing and fine tuning) with competence and determination. Their advice was key in making our decision. KFI collaborated actively also with Etnoteam, to whom we assigned the project’s management and the integration with our WMS"
Director, IT Systems Conad del Tirreno
THE CHALLENGE: Eliminate errors to increase productivity
For more than 10 years Conad del Tirreno has been using Radio Frequency services across all its warehouses and approximately one thousand RF terminals and video-terminals for all its operations. The choice to move to voice technology was seen as the natural evolution and the obvious decision to make. Vocollect Voice® technology has been implemented for the time being only within the CeDi of Montopoli Valdarno dedicated to general items where, on a daily basis, order preparation staff move 90,000 bulk items in relation to 400 orders for an overall value of 700 thousand Euro. The numbers are even more interesting when viewed on annual basis: 15,000 references and 15 million lines of managed shipments. The decision to move to voice only for the case picking order preparation phase was made with the certainty that Vocollect Voice® core features could contribute to achieving Conad del Tirreno’s main goal: eliminate errors and increase productivity. Voice technology, implemented by Vocollect certified partner KFI, has enabled to address this requirement particularly through the use of checks, the item inversion issue, and to simplify the preparation of more parcels of the same item, because voice communication allows to follow operations in real time.
THE SOLUTION: Vocollect Voice at the service of Montopoli Valdarno operators
Conad del Tirreno chose to implement Vocollect Voice® following the implementation of a pilot project that brought even the greatest skeptics within the company to test and have direct proof of the benefits that voice can bring to CeDi (Distribution Centers). "When the decision to implement voice was taken, with their consolidated and long term experience in this sector Vocollect and KFI guaranteed the offering and implementation of a highly specialized solution for our business", explains Riccardo Ciuti, Director IT Systems at Conad del Tirreno. The qualified consulting of the partner KFI and the robustness of the solution proposed have enabled the company’s executives to see the difference compared to the previous RF solution, particularly in eliminating the defects primarily caused by check-picking and the benefits
of free hands and eyes, which is the real advantage for any warehouse operator. Information, in fact, is exchanged through voice commands and responses, therefore enabling real time conversations between operators and the Warehouse Management System (Montopoli). In this way operators are more focused on their work and their hands are free to perform the necessary operations.
THE RESULT: Dramatic reduction of preparation errors improves the quality of service
Currently, at the general items CeDi of Montopoli Valdarno, 40 operators per shift use the Talkman® T5 and SR-20 headsets to manage order preparation operations with impressive results. The introduction of Vocollect Voice®, supported by KFI consulting services, has enabled Conad del Tirreno to verify and quantify, after only three months from the implementation, the many benefits achieved. First and foremost a considerable improvement of the work performed and consequent 75 % reduction of the error rate leading to a 17% company-wide productivity increase. "KFI’s consulting proved decisive because of the constant presence ensured at every phase of the project (preliminary, feasibility study, design, analysis, development, testing and fine tuning) with competence and determination. Their advice was key in making our decision", points out Riccardo Ciuti. The success of the project, the opportunity offered to take ownership of a new method of work enabling the achievement of measurable results and the successful experiences within the Group have led Conad del Tirreno to evaluate the option of adopting Vocollect Voice® within other warehouses.
"When we decided to implement voice, Vocollect and KFI were clearly the companies which, with their consolidated and long-term experience in the sector, guaranteed the offering and implementation of a highly specialized solution for our business."
Director, IT Systems at Conad del Tirreno