David Archer, Head of Sales Australia/New Zealand at Ehrhardt Partner Group (EPG) discusses the company’s entry to the Australian market, and the unique advantages of its Lydia Voice Solution.
Although Ehrhardt Partner Group (EPG) has 21 locations, 800 staff, and has been serving customers every day for more than 30 years, it remains a privately owned and managed business – its headquarters located not far from Frankfurt, Germany.
“While our main starting component is still our WMS, called LFS, EPG ONE encompasses 3PL function and billing, Dock & Yard Management, Warehouse Control System (WCS), Workforce Management (WFM), Transport Management System (TMS), Checklist and Inspection and Supply Chain data analytics tools.”, says David Archer, Head of Sales Australia/New Zealand at EPG.
This, says David, makes EPG unique among WMS suppliers because it offers all the ancillary and complementary services that a purchaser of WMS or WCS might also need.
“Many buyers will secure a WMS from one supplier, then have to go to another for Voice Solutions, and partner with yet another for WCS, and so on,” he says. “By contrast, EPG is a one-stop shop for the end user.”
In recent years, EPG became enthusiastic about properly entering the Australian market, David says. Although it already has many global clients with Australian warehouses, it thought that the Australian market was underserved as compared to European markets. To that end, the decision was made to establish an office in Australia to focus initially on Australia and New Zealand before considering broader moves into the APAC region.
“For us it’s about establishing a team here, getting to know the Australian and New Zealand market in detail, and establishing credibility with our end users,” he says. “We have started by implementing our WMS for existing global 3PL clients in Australia and New Zealand and are approaching national Australia and New Zealand clients to introduce our company to the market and our suite of supply chain solutions. We have a clear roadmap towards quick growth within the market.”
In terms of what unique capabilities EPG will bring to the Australian market – aside from its advantage as a one-stop shop for supply chain execution solutions – David thinks that its Voice Solution is of especial significance.
LYDIA VOICE SOLUTION
In terms of its Lydia Voice Solution, EPG delivers both the hardware and software components as well as consultancy and implementation services.
“We have our own unique solution, and as for the hardware, it’s lighter, faster, and cheaper,” David says. “And the same thing goes for our licensing and subscription service. Our unique voice solution made us become number one for number of new sales globally.”
There are three components to EPG’s advantage with its Lydia Voice Solution:
(1) The unique speech recognition based on Neural networks and deep learning;
(2) The flexibility afforded by its subscription model; and
(2) The advantages of its unique hardware.
“We can subscribe the entire package – the hardware, the software, and everything except for hygiene components,” David says. “Our unique pricing model is very interesting as a proposition for the end user. For example, I’ve talked with some large-scale operations – say, with multiple distribution centres – who have considered competitor voice solutions, and the initial investment is just too large. The business units cannot convince the board to make an expenditure that might run into a couple million dollars on a voice solution. By contrast, our Lydia Voice Solution runs on a subscription model basis – you don’t need to purchase the whole thing – and is easily integrated with different ERPs or Host systems as well as WMS. This makes it much easier to get the funding from the board and get a voice solution up and running quickly when you need it.”
The other major selling point is the unique voice technology that EPG deploys for its Lydia Voice Solution. While other voice solutions necessitate the use of headsets, which can prove an encumbrance to workers, EPG provides a vest that workers wear and which picks up their voice, and only within a closed distance such that it doesn’t record voices from others working nearby.
In terms of onboarding and training new workers in its Voice Solution, EPG also has another distinct advantage.
“Lydia voice is Speaker Independent, unlike other voice solutions in which the end-user has to be trained to create a ‘profile’ for them – that is to say, the technology has to be taught to recognise the voice of each individual user, which is a time-consuming and inefficient process,” David says. “By contrast, our Lydia voice solution does not require voice profiling.”
Naturally enough, this would be a massive time-saver no matter the worker by bypassing the step of individual ‘profiling’ of individual voices. But it has an added advantage for warehouses that have high turnover of staff or that bring in seasonal workers.
“We understand transitioning to our voice solution could be costly to companies already on other voice solutions and the good news is that EPG Lydia voice solution can work alongside other voice solutions in a Hybrid environment.
Moreover, companies that have invested heavily in RF scanners and wish to use the existing scanners for voice picking, can do so by using the Lydia App, developed by EPG. This makes the initial investment for voice significantly lower.
“Like all the EPG solutions, I can say with great confidence that what we’re offering with our Voice Solution is the best on the market. And we are looking forward to working with – and learning from – new customers in Australia and New Zealand to solve their unique challenges, and to improve our own processes and solutions by learning from them, too.”
To learn more about EPG and its Voice Solutions, click here.