Morrisons added 750 new products to stores last year whilst simplifying its manufacturing business
The British supermarket chain, Morrisons, was able to add an additional 750 products to its stores in 2017, whilst simultaneously simplifying its manufacturing.
The company confirmed that it was able to streamline its manufacturing whilst enhancing capacity through the implementation of technology.
“During the year we simplified our manufacturing business, moving it from profit centre to cost centre,” the company reported in its financial statement.
“A greater focus on cost, yield, and volume, assisted by investment in technology and improved digital capability, has improved productivity and capacity utilisation.”
Morrisons also recently acquired two businesses, allowing it to place a greater focus on its supply chain.
“We recently bought two new businesses – one potatoes, the other eggs- that allows us to own more of the supply chain, meaning closer relationships with farmers and growers, improved product quality and consistency, lower costs of production, and the lowest possible prices for our customers,” Morrisons stated in its results report.
“Both acquisitions required little capital expenditure and both complement our existing manufacturing businesses,” the firm added.
The firm’s recent business strategy has notably been successful, as Morrisons records a rise in profits of 17%.
“Morrisons is now entering its third consecutive year of growth, which is a credit to the whole team,” commented Andrew Higginson, Chairman of Morrisons.
“We will continue to prioritise consistent, meaningful and sustainable growth, which I am confident we are well-placed to keep delivering.”
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.