Specifically, PFG’s ongoing implementation of Voxware voice technology to improve selection accuracy and reduce shorts caught Aberdeen’s attention. The company applauded PFG’s initial development of an ROI plan to help get buy in across the organization for the investment. “We won’t make any investment without a clearly defined ROI,” noted Jeff Williamson, senior vice president of operations for the Richmond, Virginia-based distributor. “It’s a critical step for us to ensure we have fully researched the impact of the technology, and it is our tool for executive buy-in.”
By breaking down the entire process where voice was going to be implemented, the team was able to clearly establish the positive impact areas and to level set everyone’s expectations for the technology. It also provided focus for the project rollout and budgeting purposes. The other component to any PFG investment is the pilot stage, the proving ground for the ROI and the opportunity to completely calculate process impact of the technology, Williamson said.
Since launching the voice rollout in January 2008, PFG has completed about 50 percent of the project plan and has already achieved payback on the investment in some of the initial implementations, according to Aberdeen. “Their service levels have improved beyond expectations. They’ve reduced their mispicks from one per 1,000 to less than .5 per 1,000 and reduced their truck shorts from 1.3 per 1,000 to .65 per 1,000.”
Williamson adds, “As we complete the implementation of voice for our selection activities, we will evaluate the use of voice for truck loading and our cycle counting activities. If we can improve our service levels and accuracy in our operations with an acceptable ROI we will plan to move forward.”
Nominated along with PFG for the award in the same category are Poland Springs and beverage alcohol distributor Glazer’s. The nominees, along with those being recognized in four other award categories, will be highlighted at Aberdeen's 2009 Supply Chain Management (SCM) Summit in San Francisco, California, April 2-3, 2009. Winners will be announced at a ceremony on April 2.
The 2009 Supply Chain Management (SCM) Summit is an annual two-day executive conference that brings together supply chain leaders from around the globe to share insights, discuss strategies and engage with peers surrounding key challenges facing the supply chain today. For more information on the event visit http://summits.aberdeen.com/index.php/SCM.html.