The new system immediately improved the material handler's field of vision, eliminating the need for the stock person to pull the container so the driver could see it. Now, the driver simply identifies the material location from an onboard console. When the replenishment operator calls out the order, the driver receives a specific, uncongested route to the material location, which also helps improve safety.
With visibility in real time, Android captured key material replenishment metrics, allowing them to provide clear work instructions to the material handlers, maximizing labor efficiency. The system refreshes every 60 seconds, providing operators right-now visibility into part numbers, priority, where materials are stored, and where they need to go. Management can drill down into the data to optimize load leveling, share material and process management, and make decisions about phased deployments.
The Zebra solution also helped Android determine the optimal cycle timing for replenishment so that operators could plan safety stock, while ensuring maximum assembly line throughput. Exception and alert management gives Android the flexibility to "hot shot" parts to their customers, while achieving data retention and cycle time requirements.
Android can now visualize the time between replenishment movements. The Zebra solution allows management to "see" every container specific to the process, the container's location, and how long each process took vs. requirements. From these metrics, Android can determine the distance for each replenishment cycle for each part, govern the amount of labor needed, and then calculate the efficiency of each unit of labor. What's more, Android can leverage the solution for ongoing process improvement, efficiency gains, and cost reductions—boosting the return on value, year after year.
Rick Frey sums it all up. "We used to work in feet, hours, and dollars. Now it's all about inches, seconds, and pennies. With Zebra's solution, we took a week's worth of data, and went from 85 percent utilization without waste to 89 percent. We are well on our way to 93 percent efficiency. We now have a tool to help drivers and replenishment operators fine tune their workflow tasks to a high caliber, which benefits everyone, especially our customers."