4 Benefits of Honeywell’s Guided Work—Retail for Click and Collect in Supermarkets

4 Benefits of Honeywell’s Guided Work—Retail for Click and Collect in Supermarkets

The last weeks and months have presented an unprecedented challenge for Grocers, hypermarkets and big-box retailers alike. The traditional in-store shopping experience is rapidly being replaced by consumers turning to online shopping to click and collect their orders via curbside pickup, lockers in-store pickup, and at-home delivery.

In a study conducted by Rakuten Intelligence in March 2020, full-assortment grocery merchants saw average of 210.1% increase in dollar value for click and collect orders while the number of orders grew 151.1%.  In another survey, conducted by Gordon Haskett Research Advisors in the same time-frame, one-third of shoppers said they had purchased food online in the previous week. Of those, 41% had ordered online for the first time. How many consumers will stick with online click and collect is still to be determined. 1

Honeywell's Guided Work for Retail is a simple yet powerful solution that voice-enables workflows in retail, allowing associates to work eyes-free and hands-free. Supermarkets, hypermarkets, and do-it-yourself are among the many retail environments where this solution is a perfect fit.

Guided Work for Retail allows for multiple forms of input, including voice data capture, barcode scanning and keyboard data entry, which improves productivity, accuracy and consistency.  For example,

  • In-store picking. Deliver on the click-and-collect promise. Two-way verbal dialogue directs and tracks order-fulfillment work to meet service-level agreements and maximize labor productivity. The screen can supplement verbal instruction and employees can receive suggestions for an alternative if a substitute item is needed.
  • Gap scanning. Enable store associates to act fast in the event they notice an item is out of stock. Simply scan the shelf tab to automatically create a list of items in need of replenishment from backroom storage.

Honeywell’s mobile computers, including the Honeywell CT40 on the Mobility Edge™ platform, integrate with our Guided Work for Retail solution to help keep associates on task as well as in sync with other associates and store operations (planograms, in-store merchandising, inventory lookup for customers on the sales floor and more).  The Guided work for Retail also integrates with qualified third-party Android/iOS mobile devices.

The top four benefits of using voice-enable solutions by Grocers follows:

Click and Collect Order Accuracy

Click and Collect for Grocery is a fast-pace operation with little room for error. Customers expect fast service and on time delivery. But receiving an order with a wrong product negates the grocer’s best efforts with cost in time and money for returns. The greater costs come in damage to customer satisfaction and reduction in repeat business. By implementing Honeywell’s Guided Work for Retail for click and collect, the grocer can realize accuracy levels of 99.9+ percent in click and collect order fulfillment.

How It’s done. Errors are reduced by providing a hands-free, eyes-up technology that keeps workers focused on the task at hand. There is no longer the distraction of looking at a screen or a piece of paper to know where to go or what to pick next. The worker is directed via voice through the entire process, allowing them to be more alert and aware while performing any number of tasks.

Voice-directed workflow. With Honeywell Voice, associates wear a headset with microphones and communicate orally with software to receive and confirm tasks. For example, in the click and collect order picking assignment, the worker is instructed to go to a pick location. The interaction between the worker and Honeywell Voice would likely be the following:

  • Voice: Go to location A12b.
  • User: Confirm check code for A12b.
  • Voice: Pick 3 items of product ABC.
  • User: Confirm quantity, 3.
  • Voice: Go to location A14a.
  • User: Confirm check code for A14a.
  • Voice: Pick 2 times of product XYZ.
  • User: Confirm quantity, 2.
  • Voice: Capture lot codes for product ABC.
  • User: Lot 1, A1B2C3D4.
  • User: Lot 2, XXXXXX.

The majority of benefits for using voice-directed solutions come from the hands-free, eyes-up nature of voice technology. By using a headset instead of a screen or piece of paper, the worker can keep their eyes continuously on the task at hand. By being free of holding a keyboard or scanner, or reaching for a piece of paper, both hands can be used to carry out a range of tasks.

Increased Productivity for Order Fulfillment

It’s common for supermarket to receive a click and collect order containing 40-50 items. Normally the store will assign their top workers to click and collect assignments. These associates are seasoned with experience, have a good understanding of store and placement of products and can complete an order in the allotted time. But in recent months stores have seen over a 180%1 increase in click and collect orders do to social distancing and related concerns.  To meet the increased demand, stores have been faced with adding a workforce that is a mix of existing and new employees with “learn as you go” training. The result is a mixed bag of error-laden orders to lower productivity per order completed. Using Honeywell’s Guided Work for Retail, that associate productivity could improve up to 35%.

How It’s Done. The click and collect order is automatically organized by Honeywell Guided Work for Retail.  The software defines the best route and order of the pick.  Because workers are directed by a voice through the order, they more focused, not needing to stop or pause to look at a screen or piece of paper. They require fewer steps and time to complete an order which results in faster order throughput. The use of voice and the subsequent increase in overall worker productivity lead to additional savings, including: reduction in overtime; the need for fewer inspectors to check order accuracy; less reliance on temporary or seasonal staff; and the ability to cross-train employees to perform more voice-directed tasks.

Scalability for New Hires and Diverse Workforce

Supermarkets have been forced to hire 1,000’s of new workers to meet the increased demands. These are often entry-level positions. Many of these workers are being asked to fulfill assignments that have traditionally gone to more experienced workers such as click and collect. Voice solutions can provide for rapid “new hire” effectiveness within hours in key workflows and increased productivity that equals the performance of more experienced team members.

How It’s Done. Prior to voice-directed picking for click and collect order fulfillment, workers are frequently brought up to speed by working alongside an experienced worker (with a slight detriment to the “trainer’s” pick performance). It is not uncommon for it to take days if not weeks for the worker to know the store layout, products and optimized processes that result in meeting order productivity expectations. Honeywell’s approach accelerates the learning curve for new workers, achieving click and collect production metrics within a first few hours or shifts of use.

Simplified Hiring. Voice-directed solutions simplifies hiring, as there is less emphasis required on spoken or written language skills. The multilingual capabilities of voice solutions enable workers to work in the dominant local language, or a non-native language/dialect. Honeywell Voice is available in more than 40 languages.

Safe for the Hearing Impaired. Unless the operator is 100% hearing impaired, they can most likely use Honeywell Voice successfully. The Text To Speech engine allows users to choose their preferred voice, pitch and volume to dial it into a frequency and volume that almost any operator is comfortable with. We have a number of different headset styles, including a cupped style that eliminates background noise.

Management Visibility

Easy access to the right information not only leads to faster management decisions; it also benefits employees on the floor by providing real-time information to help gauge self-improvement efforts. Managers can determine clear accountability, with software tracking both the assignment of tasks and acknowledgement by employees and take advantage of greater inventory visibility by tracking products from dock to shelf.

How It’s Done. Operational visibility and predictability go hand in hand. Management can measure and plan more effectively, such as in, build an understanding of how long certain tasks take, leading to better estimates of order readiness for in-store pickup. This data then fuels labor models to build staffing requirements, determining how much labor is necessary to fulfill orders and run normal store operations. Ultimately, this fuels data-driven decisions to avoid overstaffing while ensuring on-time, accurate order fulfillment and an optimal checkout experience.

Click and Collect Example of Guide Work in Use

Let’s look at a traditional, Click and Collect for a supermarket.  A typical supermarket order is between 40 and 50 items averaging $175-200.  It takes an average associate one hour to pick this order.  Using Honeywell’s Guided Work for Retail, that associate productivity will improve up to 35%.  With this improvement, the supermarket can either reallocate the savings in labor to other value-added activities or increase the number of orders the store can process each day. If the store is processing 20 orders a day, they can now increase to 25 orders per day which is an increase of $1,000 in revenue. When you extrapolate that increase performance across a week and year, each store is able to realize a substantial increase in order fulfilment revenue. 

Guided Work for Retail Benefits. With a Guided Work for Retail solution in-place, key performance indicators like order accuracy, productivity, and out-of-stocks significantly improve.  Key takeaways include:

  • Inventory accuracy. Take control of inventory from dock to shelf with system-driven receiving, staging and restocking; achieve DC-like inventory accuracy levels of 99.9+ percent.
  • Combining processes. Combining processes, such as changing price labels while stocking, and using mobile computing to drive in-store fulfillment reduces travel time and increases worker productivity by up to 20%.
  • Productivity Gains. Achieve maximum efficiency by gaining up to 35% productivity improvements by leveraging voice-directed work in your operation. This is accomplished by focusing your workers on the tasks in a hands-free, eyes-up manner.
  • Click and collect order fulfillment. Give your customers the error-free orders and seamless experience they demand, from order receipt to packing and shipping.
  • System-driven restocking. System-driven restocking proactively alerts store associates and can cut out-of-stocks on shelves by 25%. This greater shelf availability can increase in-store sales by 1% – depending on the size of the retailer, this can translate into millions of dollars in extra revenue per year.
  • Visibility and predictability. Every function of the in-store and back-of-store order fulfillment process and labor efficiency can be tracked and measured to identify how long it takes to perform tasks, allowing you to optimize your operations and ensuring you can focus on your customers.

Contact a Honeywell Solutions Expert today!  Call 1-800-934-3163.

1Coronavirus is changing shoppers' relationship with grocery retailers

Barry J. Ewell

Barry J. Ewell is a Senior Content Marketing Communications Specialist for Honeywell Industrial Automation. He has been researching and writing on supply chain topics since 1991.