K.F.I. gives the Arcese warehouse the perfect voice with Vocollect vocal systems

Arcese - K.F.I. Case History
K.F.I. Case History Arcese RoadRail

Arcese Trasporti was founded in 1966 and in over 40 years of activity, has gone from a simple transport company to an advanced logistics operator which is integrated over the entire supply chain. Today the Arcese Group includes 56 companies operating in transport, logistics and real estate and offers a wide range of high added-value services: road and rail freight, air and sea freight and logistics. Arcese’s customers operate in various fields: automobile, paper industry, fashion, chemicals, technology. These are some of the businesses with which the company has invested and, in so doing, developed a range of high-profile professional competences.
Arcese relies on a solid network of contributors and commercial partners worldwide. With over 2.000 employees and a large transport fleet, Arcese is one of the main private logistics operators in Europe and amongst the top 10 in Italy.

Arcese in numbers:

  • 560 million euro turnover in 2012
  • 70 sites and a worldwide network
  • 2.000 employees
  • 500.000 m² of warehouse storage

The real strength of the group is the union of the three divisions operating in constant collaboration to give customers the best support by offering solutions integrated through the whole logistic chain: from import/export via sea or air, to distribution centres or inbound warehouse management, to distribution to final customer and to international transport (FTL, Groupage and Intermodale).
The Castel San Pietro Terme site, near Bologna, is one of the main logistic platforms of the Arcese Group in Italy dedicated to activities of multi-client Integrated Logistics and Road Freight (domestic/ international). The hub includes various dedicated and multi-client warehouses, custom warehouses and offers services of packaging, inbound and outbound, document logistics and e-commerce. All this on a total area of 128.000 m•, 50.000 m• of warehouse, 20.000 m• of shelved area, 37 loading bays, 30.000 picking spots. On site, working over three shifts a day, there are 35 pickers, 4 shipment operators, and a supervisor for a total of 1.800.000 picking lines a year.

The Challenge

One of Arcese’s priorities was the necessity to improve the logistic service for its client, Ford, the world leader in the automotive sector, both in terms of quality and in terms of productivity. The partnership between the two companies started at the end of the 80s and matured in 2000 with the launch of PDC (Parts Distribution Centre) for Ford Italia on the Castel San Pietro site.
The activities linked to the Ford spare parts business include reception and registration, ventilation and boxing, stock withdrawal, rush and referral and packing and shipping. Before the introduction of the vocal solution, the issues concerning the management of the various activities in the warehouse were different. The time wasted during the phases of paper withdrawal and of application of labels requested by the customer was becoming substantial, the management system could give no real-time information on stock and there was a definite need to reduce inversion and quantity errors and their eventual penalties.
With the objective of reducing or removing any warehouse management issues for Ford, and increasing the productivity and quality of its logistic service, the end of 2012 saw the introduction of a picking solution with the Vocollect Voice system. Preparation tasks through the hand-free vocal system were considered ideal to guarantee higher profits in terms of operation and reduction of errors. The thrilling possibility of personalisation of the operation was a strong incentive towards an innovative but flexible solution that could be inserted within an already well-functioning context.

K.F.I. Case History Arcese Logistics Solutions

The Solution

After a first analysis of the solutions on the market, the choice fell on K.F.I., the leader in Italy in the implementation of Vocollect vocal solutions, with a track record of over 130 installations and 5.000 users. K.F.I. worked in close partnership with the logistic partners and with Arcese’s IT department to give life to this highly stable, scalable and flexible solution and deliver the operation results promised while also maintaining a high level of working comfort for the operators.

After an examination of the logistic process and the host system interface, K.F.I. chose to implement the Vocollect Voice solution. At the beginning of 2013, the first release was ready which was tested by a team of pickers and, with whom, areas for improvement were identified. After the first testing period, area managers were trained (in one month) and following them, the full personnel, 40 operators split in groups of 4-5. Two picking trips with a mentor were normally sufficient for operators to become fully autonomous. After a second release, and having made any fine-tuning modifications to the warehouse management programme, all operators began using the vocal system in May 2013.

“K.F.I. provided us with the best assistance and consultancy during the design and implementation of the Vocollect solution. We are very pleased to have chosen a reliable partner with a magnitude of experience in installing voice technology who could seamlessly integrate vocal processes within pre-existent operative dynamics” said Fabio Pinardi – Arcese Project Engineering Coordinator for the Logistic Division. “The Vocollect system completely satisfies our expectations: in just a few months we have reduced errors and time wasting tasks, while also increasing productivity and performance. Our warehouse is now as smooth as clockwork and our operative excellence has improved significantly.”

The Results

Higher accuracy of packing lists
Switching the process from manual to automatic concerning association of picking line to every parcel shipped, has removed the errors of packing list creation. This has undoubtedly increased the level of service perceived by Arcese’s clients

Workflow digitalization
The replenishment request, first manual and subjective, was replaced by a control system that was administrated by the operator’s answers to on-site stock.

Better management of workload
Because live data on the status of pickings is now received, area managers can intervene to integrate or move staff on site even during the day.

Reduction of inversion and quantity errors
With the increase of pickings done by voice system, the claims received from customers for non-compliance have gradually decreased.

General improvement of performance and increase of global
The positive impact of the use of Vocollect Voice on productivity was already visible in the first few months after the training phase. Considering the positive trend, further improvements in terms of higher concentration and shorter waiting times on order flows are to be forecast.