eoPick Reduces Mispicks, Gets the Crew Home on Time
Case Study: Comer Distributing Company
Comer Distributing Company’s long history of excellence has allowed the company to build solid relationships with the big players – large chains where pallet mix is expected to be on time and 100% accurate. Usually a piece of cake, order accuracy began to slip as the increased SKU mix and growing order volumes became more challenging to handle with just paper pick sheets from a print kiosk.
“We needed to improve accuracy, plain and simple,” said Brent Durling, Director of IT and Office Operations for Comer Distributing Company. “Mispicks cause increased work for everyone, and we stood the risk of damaging our reputation for quality. Plus, our two warehouse managers were spending hours counting every pallet picked every day just to prevent the wrong product from leaving our warehouse.”
eoPick came to the rescue. Activated by hands-free voice recognition, eoPick improves the picking process by dispatching pallets wirelessly to the picking crew, increasing speed, accuracy, and safety. For enterprise-level distributors managing thousands of orders a day, integrated palletization capabilities allow distributors to build optimal pallets and loads without the overhead of exports and imports, further reducing costs and increasing productivity.
“Testing and rolling out eoPick was easier than expected,” continued Brent. “It did require us to change our thinking; we didn’t want to automate a flawed process. Instead, we needed to rebuild the process.”
The results are amazing – Comer Distributing reduced mispicks by more than 90%.
“An individual picker would have 50 to 60 mispicks per week and now they average around 6,“ shared Brent. “As a company, we reduced our weekly errors from over 300 to around 25. We now only audit pallets after picking if there is a weight discrepancy; we no longer audit each pallet. That’s a huge time saver.”
He continued, “What’s more, we’re able to use pickers in other places in the warehouse, wrapping pallets, loading trucks, etc. We run one warehouse shift with eight pickers. In the summer, they worked until 8 or 9 in the evening, and now they are going home by 6 o’clock. They are hitting their performance goals and receiving incentives for accuracy. It’s a great outcome.”
About Comer Distributing Company
Based in Rock Hill, South Carolina, Comer Distributing Company was founded in January 1971 by H. Leon Comer, Sr., after acquiring the Joseph Schlitz brands from Mr. B. B. Aycock, who had operated B.B. Aycock Beverage Company since the early 1930s. Before starting Comer Distributing, Leon worked as the General Manager of the A-B distributor.
Comer started as a small, 250,000 case operation with only three routes. During the early years, Comer employed five workers and had three routes. Today, 50 years later, Comer has 78 employees and sells over 1.78 million cases a year on 14 routes. The company is currently under the leadership of H. Leon “Chip” Comer Jr., who has worked in the family business since 1971.
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