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The south of France is best known for its fine wines, beaches and luxurious villas. While Leclerc Lecasud's dry goods warehouse is probably not on most tourists' must-see list, it keeps the region humming by supplying residents with everyday items as well as perfumes and fine beverages.

Leclerc Lecasud, which operates 35 hypermarkets, is also pretty keen on the country's debonair native tongue. It has employed spoken French to improve productivity by 12 percent. By using Aldata's G.O.L.D. Vocal Module in combination with voice-activated PDA terminals and headsets, warehouse operators now carry out order picking assignments in real time.

Sans paper, commands are received and transmitted to the Warehouse Management System. This system helps operators reduce the number of pick rate errors. Leclerc Lecasud also uses G.O.L.D. Vocal for order preparation.

"The error rate has gone down eight-fold," said Alain Robeau, Leclerc Lecasud IT and quality manager. "G.O.L.D. has increased productivity by approximately 12 percent and improved stock management because we can integrate perpetual inventory during order picking. The multi-model opportunities enable us to consider redesigning other proc-esses, such as truck loading.

"The reception process for orders enables us to identify products intended for storage and future preparation," he adds. "Preparation is carried out using a paper form, a radio terminal or, more recently, vocal commands. Effective management of fork lift operators enables us to reduce the number of movements in the warehouse."

Leclerc Lecasud has worked with Aldata for several years. The retailer also uses G.O.L.D's central buying, warehouse management, radio operations and transport planning and scheduling products. Leclerc Lec-sud's 12,000 SKUs include groceries and produce, alcohol and general merchandise.

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