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Fashion retailer updates paper picking to manual batch sorting

Charles Vögele is a well known Swiss fashion retailer with just under 800 retail outlets in nine European countries. Approximately 21% of those stores are supplied from their warehouse in Freienbach, Switzerland. In order to sort 40,000 flat and hanging garments per day for those stores, repeat customer Vögele purchased a new manual sorting system - Touch2Sort.

Touch2Sort - or T2S - is a mobile RF driven manual sorting system with touch screen tablet PCs combined with wireless bar code scanners. The tablet PC fits into a robust case which can be fixed on any trolley.

Vögeles main challenges

Vögele’s operators used to sort garments using paper lists. By changing to manual batch sorting system, the process becomes:

  • more efficient
  • more productive
  • more accurate

Flexible sorting areas

With Touch2Sort it is possible to set up as many sorting areas as needed, anywhere in the warehouse. Vögele chose to set up two areas, one for pull (restocking) and one for push. In the sorting areas, each location (tote, carton box) represents a store.

Unlimited number of SKUs

The system is able to show an unlimited number of SKUs to be sorted but for practical and ergonomic reasons, the optimum number of SKUs to be sorted at the same time in Freienbach is 4. It depends on the kind of product to be sorted (small of big products), number of locations and depth of SKU.

Coloured squares

All the information an operator needs is shown on the tablet PC in colored squares:

  • They represent the product linked to that color.
  • Show the number of the location the operator has to go to.
  • Show the quantity per SKU to sort.

Finished at one location, the operator simply touches the colored square and the next location and quantity appear. Before they start, the system has calculated the optimum route for the operator.

Wireless scanners

The scanners are used to cut off a tote and open a new one. It is also possible to scan the location bar code to assure the operator is at the right location. The touch screens allow for confirming the right locations, too.

When not in use, touch screens and scanners can be recharged at a recharge station. Spare batteries are included to prevent downtime. Vögele has purchased 12 T2S units. The operational software is seamlessly integrated with Vögeles host system.

Benefits

  • Increase of productivity per operator.
  • Real-time and accurate data including tote content.
  • Multi SKU sorting.
  • User-friendly system.
  • Sorting areas can be set up anywhere in 3 All kinds, shapes, and sizes of products can be sorted.
  • Easy to add more units.

Statistics Vögele

  • 40,000 flat and hanging garments and accessories per day.
  • 2 Sorting areas of 168 locations each.
  • 12 Operators.
  • Average capacity per operator varies from 1400 pairs of socks to 200 winter coats per hour.

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