The retailer, which already uses wireless technology to support voice directed picking in its regional distribution centres, is also using wireless in its factories to select products via forklift at the 'goods out' stage for delivery to warehouses.
The move means Morrisons’ production facilities can access real time product data via mobile devices, which can be transferred immediately to the company’s main enterprise resource planning (ERP) system over a wireless network.
Implementation began this summer and involved integrating more than 130 forklift truck mounted touch screen terminals with voice directed work solution 3iV developed in Germany by IND, part of the Zetes Group.
“Integrated with the voice technology we have already implemented, Zetes has created a highly automated and efficient manufacturing operation that supports safer, hands-free working,” said Morrisons IT director Gary Barr.
Morrisons said the innovation improved accuracy and health and safety levels, and would boost forklift truck operator efficiency by up to 30%. The wireless network would enable its predominantly paper-based processes and information systems to become more accurate and automated, paving the way for future operational improvements, said Zetes.
Other manufacturers using the Zetes technology include Premier Foods and Friesland Campina.
In January 2009 Morrisons announced it would be investing £6m in a voice picking project with Zetes across all its warehouses. Announcing its interim results last month, Morrisons chief executive Dalton Philips said logistics improvements had contributed significantly to overall performance.