Only with the right fittings and handles does a frame with glass become a complete window. In order to have the production of door and window manufacturers running smoothly, MACO, an Austrian specialist for fittings, guarantees its customers worldwide delivery within 48 hours. To ensure this, the company’s British subsidiary counts on the Pick by Voice Suite Lydia® from topsystem.
In order for windows and doors to become finished parts of houses, their components must first be assembled from individual components themselves. The Mayer & Co. Fittings GmbH, in short MACO, is at the very beginning of this process. Founded in 1947 and with around 2,100 employees worldwide today, the company makes sure all necessary metal components find their right places on doors and window frames. Their manufacturers have to be able to rely on prompt and reliable delivery as well, so production does not come to a standstill. MACO guarantees its customers around the world delivery within 48 hours of order receipt. The Salzburg company counts on four manufacturing plants, 13 international offices, and five global distribution centers as well as on the latest technology for this: the British logistics center of the company in Sittingbourne has recently started relying on a voice-picking solution from Germany, Lydia® from topsystem in Würselen, to assist with packaging.
In the approximately 1,500 square meter MACO merchandise depot in the north of the British county of Kent, there are about 3,000 different items stored on 5,000 pallets. Everything which can make getting fresh air easier and more convenient nowadays can be found here: from a variety of fittings for shop windows, to tilt or tilt and turn fittings, door locks and window handles. “In order to serve the British market optimally with our specially developed products, we must of course supply ordered goods quickly and correctly,” says Kevin Whiting, Operations Manager at MACO UK.
“For this reason not only must the goods be picked accurately, but there must also be sufficient quantities in stock for incoming orders.” This is a demand that obviously leads to success: since the founding of the branch in 1986, the number of customers continues to increase and at the same time the number of goods to be packed. “Today, as then, in shipping we put emphasis on maximum efficiency. Therefore it was essential to replace the manual pen and paper listing with a more modern and ergonomic voice-controlled system at some point,” recalls Mr. Whiting. “Among other things, the language-independence of Lydia® in installation and training of staff played a decisive role for topsystem to obtain the contract”, he notes.
Lydia ensures clarity
“Today, at MACO in Sittingbourne when compiling articles, nobody is compelled to using bulky notebooks and tediously checking off the various items by hand. Thanks to the Pick by Voice solution Lydia®, the six pickers in the warehouse are now informed via headset, which products they have to pick for each order. Using voice output the system names the exact shelf containing the article in question that needs to be picked. When the staff member has arrived at the appropriate storage location, he/she will find a security code on each product, which is spoken into the microphone of his headset. Only if this is correct does the system state the number of items to be picked up. Picking the wrong products is virtually eliminated, another key asset for Mr. Whiting:
“The probability of picking errors in our warehouse and related delivery errors will be reduced to a minimum. In addition, our solution also helps control the goods in inventory and re-ordering, when the supply of certain products is low.” This is because Lydia also communicates directly with the warehouse management system, and indicates how many units are taken of which products. Thus, the managers at MACO can always check the current inventory in the warehouse. In addition, they learn early on when certain products are scarce and must be reordered.
To enable all this, Lydia® has been seamlessly connected to the Austrian ERP software, JetOrbit, which is used by the British warehouse management. It was clearly documented beforehand, what the topsystem solution should achieve after the roll out, and what changes to the existing system landscape would become necessary. MACO customers are directly linked to this with regards to the timely processing of their order via an EDI system.
topsystem’s international sales director, Andreas Finken, is proud of his team’s performance: “It is especially important for suppliers such as MACO that there is a smooth changeover to the new shipping method. That is why we put great emphasis on comprehensive support during and after the introduction of the new solutions at our British subsidiary, topVOX.” A concept that apparently was successful, because MACO is highly satisfied with it:
“topsystem only took nine months for the adaptation to our specific requirements and establishment of Lydia® in our system from the initial planning to the go-live. During and after the roll-out they were always there for us and supported us. We are already confident now that our three main goals, which were associated with the introduction of Lydia, will be reached: the optimization of the picking process, the visibility and the re-ordering of merchandise,” notes Whiting. Thanks to this positive experience, it is certain that the upcoming migration to SAP will run without complications. Happiest about Lydia’s entry in Sittingbourne are the pickers: “Our employees appreciate the new technology because work has become less complicated. It especially suits them, in the case of bulky hardware for larger windows, where it’s good to have both hands free,” said Mr. Whiting.
topVOX in the UK: Mr. Phil Oliver
Tel: 01327 261 050