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Meat-picking by voice: Pick-by-Voice processes in SAP LES

Efficiency increase for the own brand "SPAR meat & more" through paperless picking

Pick-by-Voice processes in SAP LES:
SPAR Switzerland optimises meat picking of its own-brand SPAR meat & more

About SPAR Switzerland

The SPAR Group is a Swiss retail company with headquarters in Sankt Gallen. The SPAR Group includes around 200 SPAR neighbourhood stores, SPAR mini and SPAR express convenience stores and TopCC Cash & Carry cash & carry pick-up stores. The majority of the stores are run by independent retailers in a franchising system.

The SPAR Group employs around 2,000 people (as of May 2020). SPAR relies on food supermarkets in the neighbourhood, a wide range of fresh products and a wide variety of assortments including local and organic products. Since April 2016, the SPAR Group has been a subsidiary of South Africa’s The SPAR Group Ltd, which generated total sales of CHF 7.4 billion in 2019.

Industry: Retail

"With the project meat & more we have created the necessary flexibility towards suppliers, products and new ideas. This is now fully supported by new logistics processes with IT."

Initial situation

In July 2019, SPAR Handels AG (hereinafter SPAR Switzerland) launched the new own brand “SPAR meat & more” for meat, sausages, charcuterie, marinades and side dishes in all SPAR markets in Switzerland. This is intended to focus on animal welfare and sustainability, among other things.

Up to now, the central supplier has pre-packed the ordered meat products in boxes in line with the markets’ requirements. Re-packing at the distribution centre in St. Gallen no longer took place.

This led to inconsistencies, e.g. with regard to delivered goods or quantity. It was decided that in future picking would be done directly at the distribution centre and no longer at the supplier.

About the project

The project was divided into 2 phases:

Applied solutions and services

Highlights of the implementation

Key benefits for
SPAR Switzerland

Description Phase 1:
New implementation of the meat picking processes
in existing SAP LES with pick-by-voice processing

Initial situation

Until now, the pre-commissioning of orders took place at the central supplier, not at the distribution centre in St. Gallen. The ordering process was as follows:
1. The stores send their meat product orders to SPAR Switzerland.
2. SPAR Switzerland sends a collective order with article-related SLS sub-items to a central supplier via EDI.
3. The ordered meat products are pre-picked in boxes by the central supplier in line with markets’ requirements.
4. The pre-picked goods are delivered to the SPAR Switzerland distribution centre and parked at the cross-docking storage location (cold storage).
5. Delivery to the ordering SPAR stores without repacking.

Pre-packing by the vendor led to inconsistencies, for example, with regard to delivered goods or quantity. Therefore, it was decided to carry out picking directly in the distribution center in St. Gallen in the future and no longer via the suppliers.


The future process for ordering and delivery of meat products at SPAR Switzerland included an incoming goods process and an outgoing goods process. For this purpose, a so-called cross-docking process was implemented in a new warehouse number.

The goods are stored in a cross-docking storage type in line with markets’ requirements and are made available at a later date for loading the market tours, i.e. removed from storage.


Description Phase 2:
Optimisation package - challenges & measures

Markets order several times for the same day

Conversion to SU management in the cross-docking storage type in order to be able to separate stock per outbound delivery and market. This makes it possible to provide stock for each delivery. A separate stock removal strategy was also used for this purpose.

Prioritisation of certain SPAR markets

The start of the putaway process (Z monitor) is initiated in advance by the creation of the putaway transfer orders. Processing is then carried out by the system using pick-by-voice.

Rounding problem solved analogous to SAP Catch Weight functionality

Updating of the converted delivery quantity for weight articles.

Over-delivery of goods

Allocation of the over-delivered quantity to the individual SPAR stores according to a certain key.

Performance optimisation for cross-docking deliveries

The delivery update was decoupled from the WM transfer order update of the delivery. Picking is now updated asynchronously.


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