Appointment prompted by successful project for SPAR member in Northern Ireland
Brussels, 14 May 2007 – Zetes (Euronext Brussels: ZTS), a leading pan-European company in the value-added solutions and services industry for Automatic Identification of Goods and People, has been appointed a Preferred Supplier of SPAR International, the world's largest retail food and wholesaler chain. The appointment follows market research undertaken by SPAR International and a successful implementation of a major project for Henderson Group Ltd, the SPAR UK Wholesaler operating in Northern Ireland.
Over 5 years ago, Zetes began implementing voice solutions at many of continental Europe's top-tier retailers including Metro in Germany, Système U in France and Migros in Switzerland. The company is the largest pan-European supplier of voice technology, with a market share of around 50%.
More efficient retailing
SPAR is based in Amsterdam and co-ordinates the activities of members in 33 countries. One of its responsibilities is 'Operations Support': facilitating productivity improvement through the study and implementation of international best practice in logistics, ICT and HRM. In this context, SPAR International identified Zetes as a partner to improve its distribution productivity and efficiency, and lower its error margins via goods-ID technologies such as voice, scanning, RFID, etc.
Following its appointment as a Preferred Supplier, Zetes will work together with SPAR International to communicate and demonstrate auto-ID best practices to the worldwide network of SPAR member organizations and retailers and promote Zetes solutions.
“Our '3i Competence Centers' have been working hard to centralize Zetes' best practices, experiences and technologies in specific domains such as RFID, voice and printer applicators,” said Marcel Kars, Manager of the 3i Competence Centers. “This has resulted in a set of proven and standardized solutions and methodologies. The appointment as Preferred Supplier of a global retailer like SPAR International is an important acknowledgement of our work and an incentive to maintain this strategy.”
Voice technology in Northern Ireland
Henderson Group Ltd, the company holding the license for both SPAR and EUROSPAR in Northern Ireland, recently decided to implement '3iV', Zetes' voice technology solution based upon Vocollect's voice recognition technology. The main goal was to improve distribution accuracy and streamline order-picking processes. The company operates a chain of stores in Northern Ireland and also supplies a number of other independent retailers, totaling 392 stores. Henderson Group Ltd has equipped 35 order pickers in three shifts with Zetes' 3iV Solution.
The results are remarkable: Henderson Group Ltd was able to lower its error margin from 45/1000 (4.5%) to an impressive 1/10000 (0.01%). They have also improved productivity in the warehouse by 5% and the new technology has been very well received by the multilingual workforce. The training time for new warehouse staff has been reduced from 13 weeks to 4-6 weeks.
ZETES INDUSTRIES (Euronext Brussels : ZTS) is a leading pan-European company in the value-added solutions and services industry for Automatic Identification of Goods and People (Goods ID and People ID). Zetes uses both emerging and mature technologies (barcode, voice recognition, RFID, smartcards, biometrics), and develops Solution Architecture Frameworks to optimize the business performance of many customers in many market segments: manufacturing, transportation, logistics, retail, healthcare, finance, telecommunication, government and public services. The Zetes group has its headquarters in Brussels, with subsidiaries in Belgium, Denmark; Germany, France, Northern Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. Zetes currently employs more than 600 employees (in FTEs) and generated consolidated revenues of €137.5 million in 2006. More info: www.zetes.com
SPAR is the world's largest food store retailer – the worldwide SPAR organization comprises 14,000 stores in over thirty countries, across four continents and meets the needs of millions of consumers every day. SPAR operates under four different store formats, which enable the SPAR brand to respond to changing consumer needs in different markets. SPAR was founded in the Netherlands in 1932 and the principles of the SPAR voluntary trading system model remain as valid today as they were 75 years ago. SPAR International is responsible for the development and co-ordination of the worldwide SPAR brand.