Hear from Intimo

“What started out as a concept to bring well-fitting, fashionable lingerie to women of all shapes and sizes has become a means of empowering them with the freedom to control their own destinies. Giving women everywhere the power to earn, to learn, to grow and develop, Intimo has become one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading direct selling companies.”

Kel West

Director, Intimo Lingerie

The operation

To supply its wide range of customers across Australia and New Zealand with quality, supportive and wearable lingerie, Intimo operates a streamlined direct-to-customer distribution model out of a centralised distribution centre in Port Melbourne.

A paperless and hands-free DC

Although Intimo as a business has rapidly grown its operations over recent years, the actual product picking processes within its distribution centre still relied on inefficient paper based systems.

“In the past, our DC used a paper-based picking system that was open to errors and mispicks, was labour intensive and time consuming,” commented ‎ West. “Warehouse workers used to pick into a shopping basket then go back and sort into the customer orders. The whole process was inefficient. The rapid growth of our business meant that our warehouse employees required hands free operations due to the quantity and size of the orders.”

Recognising the need to operate an efficient supply chain and the importance of accuracy in its direct to home product delivery processes, Intimo recently turned to VoiceID to discuss the use of Honeywell’s solutions for their picking process.

“To demonstrate the benefits of using Honeywell for picking in a real-world scenario for Intimo, VoiceID implemented a Proof of Concept (POC) process. VoiceID’s POC process has been developed to allow companies with little investment, to have a demonstrable look at how the voice process would improve their business,” said Paul Phillips, Senior Business Consultant at VoiceID.

In the case of Intimo, the entire VoiceID POC process took four hours to complete and involved two different employees being trained and filmed completing both hands-free and paper picks for review. The POC process highlighted the potential benefit of productivity increasing 50 per cent over the existing process, when considering both the pick and sort process. As a result of the POC, Intimo elected to proceed with a voice deployment paired with hands free scanning.

"We identified an opportunity to improve the planned pick trolleys that were in the design phase at Intimo. By including a spring-loaded step in the design, Intimo were able to implement picking to 5 levels, increasing the available pick face by 25% at no additional cost to the layout with no compromise to operator safety."

Paul Phillips

Cohesio Group

A system for success

To enhance its stock management processes and increase warehouse efficiency, Intimo implemented an advanced order picking and distribution system.

Under the new systems, orders are entered into the Manhattan Associates SCALE WMS, which batches the orders for picking. Orders are picked using the Honeywell A710 Talkman, SRX2 Headset and 8670 Bluetooth Ring Scanner. Receipts, putaways, replenishments and stock management are all handled on the Honeywell CK3X rugged hand-held computer.

“Through using the new voice picking solution, our workers are able to operate efficiently as they do not have to constantly look down at reports, or written location notes. The hands-free, eyes-free aspect not only helps the speed in which items are picked, but also makes workers much more aware of their environment. It allows them to anticipate the actions of others for increased safety in the warehouse,” said West.

With the VoiceID and Honeywell solution on the warehouse floor, a worker is provided a number of separate orders. The Talkman gives verbal prompts which directs them to the correct picking location. The location is confirmed by the use of a check digit upon arrival – removing any confusion about location. The voice system then prompts the worker as to how many items to pick, scan and then the worker repeats the quantity back to the system. They are then directed to put the items in the correct customer order.

“We’ve seen a significant improvement in the allocation of resources, productivity and accuracy since introducing the new system. Within the first month of using the voice system, our productivity increased by more than 30%,” said West.

Upgrading Systems and Business Operations

Through deploying the new voice picking and ring scanning solution, Intimo has achieved labour cost savings, greater visibility of stock, as well as key operational efficiency improvements.

Greater visibility of stock Greater visibility of stock
Labour cost savings Labour cost savings
Key operational efficiency improvements Key operational efficiency improvements

“Today Intimo is able to track its stock movement in real time and accurately direct workers to the most efficient ways to pick orders, which improves workflows and significantly enhances our delivery processes and supply chain practices,” said West.

“Importantly, with our new solution, our pickers are now able to pick up to 24 orders at once, compared to six under our previous paper based system. This improved warehouse efficiency has also enabled us to reassign jobs to other parts of the business to free up key resources.”

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