Wearable Scanners: Improved Productivity & Quality, Reduced Labor Expenses by $382,000

Overview

A leading manufacturer of coffee brewing systems partnered with Kenco Logistic Services to oversee its North American distribution.  Kenco manages a 110,000 square-foot distribution center, with 110 employees, in the Southeast and a 33,000 square-foot distribution center, with 30 employees, on the East Coast.

Challenge

The manufacturer was undergoing major growth which led to a 75% increase in daily order volume.  Order accuracy was at 99.5% with 15 full-time employees responsible for quality checks. Kenco was seeking opportunities to cut costs and increase order accuracy to over 99.8%.

Solution

The facilities utilize Kenco’s proprietary warehouse management system, CWIC, designed for multi-client facilities.  The system was modified to allow the pickers to use new wearable scan devices and perform the pick functions on the small screen.  Wearable scanners were a great addition to the pick line where the staff needed the ability to have full hands-free mobility.  They are great for small case or each pick lines in a dense, high SKU, high volume pick area.  Kenco implemented the Motorola WT4000 wrist mounted terminals with ring scanners to improve the picking efficiency and order accuracy.

Results

The new system and equipment changes generated $382,000 in labor cost savings. The improvements allowed Kenco to reduce the QC function from 15 to 3 full-time employees.  The productivity of the line also improved with the automation and orders can now be completed in significantly reduced time.  This time reduction allowed Kenco to handle the increase in order volume without adding labor to the pick lines. Kenco’s order accuracy improved to over 99.9%.  The changes also improved the processes on the floor – reducing the printing of manual pick sheets, manual checking of order lines, and double QC functions.