Voice Directed Order Fulfillment Automation for Frozen Food Fulfillment

Voice Directed Order Fulfillment Automation for Frozen Food Fulfillment

Success Story

Founded over 100 years ago, Neesvig’s is privately held meat processing and food fulfillment firm that specializes in temperature controlled and frozen food fulfilment.  They distribute products nationwide as a one-stop shop for e-com direct to consumer deliveries.  Acting as a third party logistics service provider for dozens of top brand food suppliers and retailers, their DC is equipped to ship same day orders of perishable, frozen, refrigerated, and dry goods.

Neesvig’s partnered with The Numina Group to design and implement the processes and automation to lean-up their pick, pack, and ship operation resulting in substantial labor savings, reduced order processing time, and operational savings that resulted in under a 2 year ROI.

The operation is controlled by Real-time Distribution System, RDS™, Numina’s Warehouse Execution and Control System WES-WCS.  RDS™ includes a voice directed order fulfillment suite that manages the entire pick, pack, and ship order fulfillment process in the distribution center.  RDS™ manages the order start using cartonization logic to direct the selection of the right size cooler, document insertion, and the order identification barcode label placed on the cooler.

Pick by voice directs order picking throughout the operation. At order release, RDS™ creates an optimized batch of orders and directs the batch picking in the freezer for the required products into barcoded totes. The fork truck operators are directed to each pick location in an optimized travel path using voice commands and barcode scanning validation. Products are batch picked to totes, and at pick completion the totes are dynamically slotted to barcodes carton flow positions in the cooler area pick module.

Once freezer picking is completed, totes of products are moved to the pick module to begin picking customer orders to shipping container/coolers. The picking operation uses multimodal voice combining voice commands interleaved with hands-free barcode scanning to pick and pack the required items to capture the SKU, GS-1 lot numbers, and sell by date for each order.

At the exit to the pick module, coolers are conveyed to the ice-pack and lidding station. Based on shipping rules, RDS™ directs the proper ice pack quantities per order so customer shipments arrive frozen.

Voice picking combining product barcode scan to container validation has streamlined the process, reduced errors, and increased worker productivity at Neesvig’s. “We reduced picking labor in the frozen goods fulfillment by 50 percent.” stated Valerie Walter, the Operations Manager.

Pick and pack completed shipping coolers convey to the in-line scale. Orders that pass the weight audit convey to the print-and-apply labeling systems for automated application of the shipping label. “The print and apply has eliminated the manual processes of weighing and hand applying the shipping labels, significantly speeding up the shipping process,” Walter stated.

At the exit of the print and apply labeling system, coolers convey, are automatically shrink wrapped, and sorted to UPS/FedEx parcel trailer. Automation gave Neesvig’s efficiency gains across the entire operation providing an excellent ROI and scalability to handle Neesvig’s growth. The investment has reduced labor costs by 35 percent and increased throughput by 50 percent during peak periods. “From start to finish, we have less touches, faster order completion time, and less errors” stated Walter.

Automating the Order Fulfillment Operation has enabled Neesvig’s to continue to grow and meet the spike in direct to consumer orders during peak seasons and especially now during the current pandemic.

If you’re interested in reducing labor costs, accuracy, and order throughput across your order fulfillment operation, contact The Numina Group at 630-343-2600.

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