L&F Jones Foodservices is saving an hour per week per picker – representing one day a week – with a new RF solution from STL Technology Solutions, the fastest growing developer of IT solutions for wholesalers.
L&F Jones is a successful, family-run wholesale distributor supplying a wide range of goods to pubs, restaurants, cafes, hotels, guest houses, nursing homes, schools and retailers in the counties surrounding Bristol.
It prides itself on swift and accurate order fulfilment. However, its legacy system required pickers to run upstairs to a shared PC in Telesales, obtain an order print-off, return to the warehouse, locate stock, take it to the RF terminal, put the item down to enable scanning, then return the gun before putting the item in the cage. The number of minor individual activities involved created a cumbersome process, which hampered picking rates.
It also involved large quantities of paper, which was both costly and environmentally unfriendly.
Further, if stock was not in its normal place, pickers had to return to Telesales to check availability as their picking guns did not hold live stock information. Consequently, there were too many incidences of items erroneously marked as ‘unavailable’ – unnecessarily disappointing customers and requiring unprofitable follow-up deliveries.
Now, with STL, Telesales can wirelessly and paperlessly dispatch orders directly to the pickers in the warehouse. A colour-coded dashboard enables operators to easily monitor pickers’ progress in real-time, so they can distribute orders according to workload. Importantly, because the terminals are wrist-held with fingers scans, picking is also ‘hands-free’.
This all significantly saves on downtime and backlogs, as well as printing costs.
David Jones, L&F Jones’ Operations Director, said, ‘It’s surprising how much time we save by not having to stop and pick up a gun to scan an item before loading it. It’s one of the major benefits of the STL solution, effectively gaining us a day a week.’
STL’s wrist-units also enable pickers to query live stock information, increasing the level of 100% order fulfilment. Because it is immediately clear if a picker erroneously marks an item ‘unavailable’, accountability has also improved.
Once an item is picked, the telesales system is automatically notified and generates an invoice.
Mr Jones said, ‘The transparency of STL’s solution is really motivating. In particular, by giving pickers visibility of orders and everyone’s workload, we’ve seen a boost in accountability and teamwork.’
L&F Jones is already working on new dashboard capabilities to enable executives to establish key performance measures and drive further competitive advantages.
STL Technology Solutions
Tel: 0870 240 2140