INTERVIEW: Edmond Mikhael, GM for Honeywell in the GCC
Which SPS solutions are most popular in the ME logistics sector at present?
Honeywell provides a range of products and services across the entire logistics supply chain, from warehouse automation and management to solutions for Direct Store Delivery (DSD),where the product is delivered directly from the supplier to the retailer, and Proof of Delivery (PoD).
There are a number of solutions that are performing particularly well across the Middle East – all for different reasons.
Our automation, software and hardware solutions are valued by retailers who are looking to meet growing customer expectations for faster and cheaper delivery.
Our cloud technology, on the other hand, is helping logistics providers to better track and route deliveries.
And, our connected safety solutions make workplaces safer by enabling better monitoring of workers in high-risk situations.
Specific Honeywell solutions that are especially popular in the Middle East include:
The AutoCube™ – a uniquely designed and portable 3-D depth sensing technology solution that takes the volumetric size of any box (regular or irregular shape) presented in less than a second.
Honeywell Vocollect™ – a voice recognition technology platform, which is optimized for challenging industrial environments. It offers an integrated total solution design, including a headset to host data system integration.
Intelligrated – a certified robotics integrator with more than 20 years of robotic material handling experience, which Honeywell acquired last year. Intelligrated designs, manufactures, integrates and installs complete material handling automation solutions including conveyor, IntelliSort® sortation, Alvey® palletizers and robotics, and automated storage and retrieval systems – all managed by advanced machine controls and software.
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Why do you think this is?
The growing consumer demand and expectations are putting increasing pressure on the retail and supply chain industries to deliver efficiently. This, in turn, is driving the demand for Honeywell products.
Retailers have to find ways to ensure faster sorting, dispatch and delivery, whilst keeping the operational costs as low as possible.
By deploying advanced automation and process technologies throughout their supply chains, Middle East’s logistics, manufacturing and retail professionals can manage this demand more successfully, boosting performance, while reducing costs.
How do these solutions boost productivity?
All of Honeywell solutions are designed with productivity in mind. All of our technologies achieve operational efficiency, while also driving down labor costs.
We enable our customers to realize these gains through comprehensive solutions that integrate purpose-built data-collection devices, voice solutions and end-to-end data management. This enables them to significantly streamline operations and ultimately achieve better bottom-line results by driving efficiency across supply chain operations.
How do they improve worker safety?
Worker safety is of utmost importance for us when planning and designing any solution. Where relevant, our solutions are intended exactly for this purpose.
In addition to the productivity solutions mentioned above, we offer a broad range of personal protective equipment and gas detection technology, custom-engineered sensors, switches and controls that keep workers safe.
Often we find that we our productivity and safety solutions naturally marry together based on their function. For example, those companies that are using our voice technologies experience overall productivity improvements, particularly in accuracy of picks, as well as enhanced safety through better communications as well as improved morale and focus among workers.
Who are some of your biggest end-user clients?
Honeywell has deployed connected solutions for a range of customers across the region.
Examples of our biggest end-user clients include Souq.com, the Middle East’s largest online retailer which was recently acquired by Amazon. Souq.com is amongst our biggest distribution chain across the region, covering everything from parcel collection, to delivery to PoD and signature capture. Souq.com’s fleet is fully powered with our CT50 device. Honeywell also proudly serves Aramex in its logistics business across the region.
Other customers include the retailer, The Reject Shop, which uses our Vocollect voice-picking system at its three distribution centers to manoeuvre products to stores quicker while achieving a 100 percent accuracy rate.
Another example of this within the logistics industry is the global dairy products company, Parmalat. Parmalat was able to see a 15 percent increase in warehouse productivity by utilizing Vocollect, which ultimately allowed the company to increase its customer satisfaction.
Finally, Horseware, a supplier of equestrian products, used Vocollect to exceed its 2015 sales target by seven percent, which was achieved without having to add any additional staff.