Kennametal's North American Distribution Center Realizes Significant Productivity Gains With Jennifer Voice Picking and Voice-Directed Warehouse Applications

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Lucas Systems reports that Kennametal's Cleveland, Ohio Distribution Center saw immediate performance gains using Jennifer for voice picking, putaway, and cycle counting with SAP to replace traditional barcode scanning.

Jennifer Voice Solution User

Jennifer VoicePlus User

Jennifer has helped us achieve immediate productivity gains by streamlining processes, reducing set up steps, and eliminating time-consuming manual exception processes.

Lucas Systems, Inc., the leading innovator of warehouse productivity solutions for mobile workers and distribution center managers, today announced that Kennametal Inc. has achieved immediate improvements in distribution center operations since installing Jennifer VoicePlus. Kennametal has installed Jennifer in its Cleveland, Ohio DC for voice picking, putaway and cycle counting to replace barcode scanning processes. Within weeks, associate productivity significantly improved across all functions working with Jennifer. Jennifer integrates with Kennametal’s SAP WM system.

“Customers rely on us to deliver mission-critical products, on-time, every time, so we are constantly looking for ways to improve operational effectiveness in our DC,” says Tom McNamara, Manager America’s Distribution, of Kennametal. “Jennifer has helped us achieve immediate productivity gains by streamlining processes, reducing set up steps, and eliminating time-consuming manual exception processes. We have already experienced a double-digit improvement in picking productivity, and we’ve also seen similar gains in putaway. We can now also track the productivity of cycle counting, which we were unable to do before.

“Beyond the productivity gains, we are reducing picking and putaway errors, spending less time training new hires, providing a safer work environment for employees, reducing the distances employees walk every day, and devoting less time to managing labor, inventory control and other miscellaneous warehouse activities. In addition to the hands-on benefits for employees, Jennifer’s Engage Management Console helps supervisors and managers identify and react to exceptions more quickly, as well as to better allocate people in response to changes in order volumes. We are still early in our ramp-up, but we are extremely pleased with the gains we have seen since installing Jennifer less than two months ago.”

The Jennifer VoicePlus system at Kennametal integrates with the company’s SAP WM system. The Jennifer voice applications utilize voice, scanning, and device screens to ensure the most effective, efficient technology is used at each step in the process. For example, users scan tote license plates to identify putaway and picking orders, while relying on voice direction and speech recognition to confirm locations and quantities. The Jennifer voice applications at Kennametal run on standard Motorola MC3190 multi-modal mobile computers.

“Kennametal is a great example of how world-class industrial manufacturers are applying technology to improve supply chain performance,” says Jeff Slevin, Chief Operating Officer of Lucas Systems. “Lucas and the Kennametal operations team have a shared vision for using the best technology for each job in the DC, so managers, engineers and staff were very receptive to our approach of seamlessly combining voice, scanning and screens to optimize process steps. From the beginning their team understood the value of an engineered approach to designing, configuring, and deploying a flexible, optimized system tailored to their operations.”

About Lucas Systems, Inc.
Since 1998, Lucas Systems has pioneered warehouse productivity solutions for mobile workers and distribution center managers. Customers like Cardinal Health, The Container Store, C&S Wholesale Grocers, HD Supply, OfficeMax, Mondelez (formerly Kraft Nabisco) and Rust-Oleum trust Lucas to deliver solutions that greatly improve worker productivity and accuracy because Lucas truly understands warehouse operations. Jennifer VoicePlus, the Lucas solution, seamlessly combines voice, barcode scanning, and other mobile technologies to create more efficient warehouse processes that allow workers to focus on the job at hand. Jennifer also provides managers and supervisors with real-time reporting and management tools that help them better manage their operations. Tens of thousands of associates at hundreds of distribution centers on four continents work with Jennifer every day. For more information, visit

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John Schriefer
since: 03/2009
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