Instore plc trading as Poundstretcher Ltd, which operates a countrywide network of 326 stores under the Poundstretcher brand, has selected retail software specialist, Aldata, to help reduce costs and increase efficiency in its 350,000 sq ft warehouse by installing a PDA-based voice directed warehousing system.
The new system, which will include 60 MC3090 PDAs from Motorola, to be used by 60 Poundstretcher operatives across 3 shifts, will integrate in real-time with the companys existing Warehouse Management System, Aldata G.O.L.D Stock, which went live in May 2008. This will give Poundstretcher complete visibility of stock levels across the warehouse and the status of any pick process. It will also enable Poundstretcher to run an automatic replenishment process, resulting in a faster turnaround in getting the right product out to its stores and on to its customers.
When we trialled Aldatas G.O.L.D Vocal PDA solution, we saw that it delivered improved pick accuracy, to the extent that we fully expect the new system to reduce the number of pick gaps to less than 1%, said Fran Gledhill, IT Change Manager at Poundstretcher. The Aldata solution will also deliver real-time updates and automatic allocations for picking lists, which will significantly reduce manual administration time.
With our current paper based system, it can take around 40 minutes for a picker to pick an order, which means that problems arent flagged with a supervisor until the pick is complete, continued Gledhill. With the new system, replenishment can take place as soon as an out of stock is flagged up on the PDA. Ultimately, we know from the trial that this technology will enable us to cut costs, and that directly supports us in our efforts to run a tight, low cost operation so we can pass the best prices on to our customers.
Mark Croxton, Managing Director, Aldata UK, said, Poundstretcher is a great example of a retailer looking for an innovative way to drive down costs, so it can deliver greater savings to its customers and ensure that the right product is always available in the store. By investing in the PDA technology, Poundstretcher is investing for the future, as the PDA can be used to support multiple warehouse processes in addition to voice-directed picking. And finally, at a time when retailers are looking to reduce costs by carrying less inventory, the auto-replenishment will help Poundstretcher manage stock levels in the warehouse.