Press Release - For Immediate Release
Burris Logistics’ CIO visits Japan to share benefits of Voice Technology
Issue Date: June 30, 2009
User Case Study: Using Voice Technology to Make the Logistics Workplace More Efficient – As Told by the CIO of US-based Burris Logistics
Burris Logistics (Burris), a US-based frozen and refrigerated logistics company, is working to implement hands-free input of information to reduce operating errors and increase the speed of work by implementing a warehousing management system utilizing voice technology in its logistics center. CIO Krupka, who recently came to Japan, talked about the utility of voice technology in frozen and refrigerated logistics, and explained the strategic role he plays as CIO of the company.
Use of “hands-free” operations in -20°C cold storage warehouses
Burris is a frozen and refrigerated logistics company headquartered in Milford, DE, ranked 7th in size nationally by the International Refrigerated Transportation Assn. (IRTA). It has 17 refrigerated and frozen warehouses in the East Coast.
Mr. Krupka joined Burris in 1979, and he has overseen the growth of the company as a leader of the IT department. He pointed out the following regarding the expansion of the IT Division’s responsibilities in Burris.
“When I joined Burris Logistics, the highest priorities were having high-performance cold storage warehouses and a sufficient number of trucks, but in recent years, in addition to goods, using IT to manage information required for the supply chain is gaining importance, and this has led to an increase in the scope of responsibilities of the IT Division.”
The highest priority for Mr. Krupka is supporting improvements in productivity of warehouse workers for the perspective of IT. He says that the reason for this is that “the frozen and refrigerated logistics business has a low profit margin, and increasing productivity is essential in order to ensure the business makes a profit.” In order to deal with these issues, Mr. Krupka has gradually implemented the “Vocollect Voice” warehouse solution system from US-based Vocollect utilizing voice technology in several logistics centers since 2004.
Vocollect Voice is a system for logistics centers performing incoming and outgoing warehousing operations while workers and server software converse verbally. When using the product, workers wear a headset and a wearable mobile terminal that supports IEEE 802.11b wireless LAN. The wearable mobile terminal weighs 343g and is designed to withstand the harsh environment inside cold storage.
“Workers have to wear protective gloves and coats in -20°C cold storage warehouses, and the operation of input terminals, entry of documents and pasting of labels onto packages was very difficult, but with the introduction of Vocollect Voice, workers can concentrate on their jobs with their hands free, and we have been able to reduce the number of operating errors and speed up operations,” said Mr. Krupka with satisfaction.
Incidentally, many of the workers in Burris’ logistics center are Hispanics who do not speak English, but Vocollect Voice has multilingual support, so “there are no problems even when English-speaking workers and Spanish-speaking workers work together” (Mr. Krupka). In the future, Burris Logistics plans to deploy Vocollect Voice throughout all of its warehouses and also across operations other than warehouse management.
“A CIO’S true worth is determined by removing obstacles to business”
Burris is currently reviewing is base systems for logistics operations and its data management. Mr. Krupka stresses that the issues here are the active utilization of open source technology and the full-scale deployment of BI (Business Intelligence).
He also indicated that the first priority when reviewing the supply chain system is to understand what drives the company’ s business and know what the company’s stakeholders want.
“On-site workers will not provide concrete requests such as asking for the database to be upgraded or voice technology to be implemented. It is the CIO’s role to identify their needs and use technology to remove obstacles to business, and this subsequently increases customer satisfaction and improves performance” (Mr. Krupka).
Mr. Krupka is the CIO of Burris Logistics, a US-based frozen and refrigerated logistics company. He implemented voice technology of US-based Vocollect to improve the efficiency of warehouse management, and is proceeding with the implementation of hands-free operations in cold storage warehouses.
About Burris Logistics
Established in 1925, and celebrating a 90-year milestone, Burris Logistics operates an expanding network of temperature controlled warehousing and distribution centers from Florida to Massachusetts. This fifth-generation, family-owned enterprise provides leading edge logistics, transportation, and supply chain solutions coast to coast through four distinct operating divisions: Burris Custom Retail Distribution, Burris PRW Plus (Public Refrigerated Warehousing), Burris Transportation and Honor Foods (a redistributor of frozen, refrigerated and dry food service products). For more information about their trend-setting logistics and deep-rooted values® please visit www.burrislogistics.com.