Globally-renowned German sports brand Uvex has hailed the success of its first decade with EPG’s LYDIATM Voice picking solution. The manufacturer of sports eyewear and helmets (2020 revenues = €480M) praised both the 30% uplift in picking efficiency at its central warehouse and the LYDIA agility that has brought similar picking wins to Uvex Group subsidiaries.

The story began in 2010 when Uvex decided to move away from paper-based picking in its central warehouse. The switch to LYDIA Voice delivered a 30 percent increase in efficiency, enabling the company to ramp up warehouse throughput without adding to its staff roster. Other Uvex Group subsidiaries were also impressed and Ehrhardt Partner Group (EPG) was commissioned to implement the pick-by-voice solution at eyewear manufacturer Filtral in 2017, followed by sports brand Alpina Sports in 2019.

Dramatic Reduction in Error Rates

Since then, employees at all three central warehouses have been performing their duties – which include multi-order parallel picking – with the aid of voice command and control while wearing a headset or the LYDIA VoiceWear vest. This has improved process quality while also dramatically reducing lead times and error rates. Confirmation and recognition that an item has been removed is also voice-based. Without lists to consult, staff are able to focus on the act of picking; the error rate declines, and the number of steps in the process is reduced.

No Staff Training Required

A further bonus for Uvex is that LYDIA Voice requires no staff training and comfortably recognises many languages and dialects.

“We were impressed by the extremely reliable voice recognition, with staff able to work productively with the system from the get-go. That saves a lot of time, especially during busy periods, when we have to bolster our workforce by taking on temporary staff,” explains Christian Kund, of the Group Information Management SAP team at UVEX.

Fast Adaptability to New Processes

During the first ten years of collaboration, the pick-by-voice solution also needed to be adapted to continually changing processes. For example, the company found itself faced with completely new requirements after gaining the largest online retailer as a customer. Those shipments often contained up to 90 pallets with several thousand products needing fast delivery. These orders also had more complex picking and labelling requirements. EPG successfully delivered a system modification quickly to enable Uvex staff to proceed with confidence.

Uvex is always up to date with the latest technology; one of the benefits of LYDIA Voice is that old and new devices can be used side by side without any problems. The latest version of LYDIA Voice, based on neural networks and deep learning, is already in operation at all picking sites.

Both Uvex and EPG now look forward to another highly successful decade together.

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