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Future-Proofing the Warehouse with Voice

Bob Bova   |    
April 27, 2018

Modern Voice Technology Delivers Productivity for the Warehouse

Evolutionary voice technology is available today for many applications, both inside and outside the warehouse. How can you leverage this technology?

Voice Picking has been a warehouse staple for decades – DECADES. If you’re not already using voice, it’s time to reevaluate the modern evolutionary voice technology offerings available today for many applications, both inside and outside the warehouse.

Picking & Beyond

Stop thinking voice is just for picking and think voice for any warehouse application – the proliferation of device-based voice solutions has remade the industry. Many Operation’s executives are finding that voice integration of shipping, cross docking, replenishment, cycle count and receiving offer benefits that in some cases outweigh the benefits for standard voice picking. But why not consider ALL applications as candidates? The elimination of shipping errors for instance can drive costs down significantly.

Non-Proprietary

Stop thinking that voice systems and hardware technology are proprietary and can’t work with of the shelf scanners. Sophisticated voice integration for all warehouse applications is available on today’s RF technologies, in fact, these robust devices add so much additional capability compared to a simple voice driven legacy picking application.

Workflow Automation

By deploying a voice solution that can COMBINE voice commands for both the application and the device SIMULTANEOUSLY, you can achieve true control over workflow process, and employee performance metrics in addition to taking advantage of the speed and accuracy of good old bar code scanning.

Headsets & Eyewear

Hardware technology continues to improve substantially year over year. Headsets and scanners, connected or Bluetooth are improving significantly all the time. Eyewear is becoming a very interesting solution for workers that need camera’s or streaming video inside the warehouse or for those doing mobile inspection and MRO outside the four walls. While prices have decreased, flexibility, capability and choice have increased. We believe this trend will continue, allowing operations personnel to move more quickly and use different types of hardware for different applications to get the best ROI possible.

Rapidly Prototype & Easily Modify with your In-House Team

Change management has been an enormous challenge for operations professionals that are constantly balancing a well-oiled process with trying to save 12% every year by cutting costs. Many times, changes may require code rewrites, or, even more expensive, WMS or voice providers that require consultations for months at a time for even the most rudimentary application changes to enhance process improvement. Technology now exists that provides user interface flexibility. Changes can be made in minutes and hours, by the in-house team, allowing quick testing and roll out. These types of technologies are a huge benefit to operations executives that are constantly dealing with changing inventories, buying patterns and new lines of goods.

Augment vs. Rip & Replace

The costs for maintaining older, legacy systems has become an Olympian hurdle for operations executives. The fees continue to go up and the usefulness of the solutions is static. This cannot assist any professional in being able to conform to new initiatives, both economic or operational. Today, there are many entirely new systems that can be deployed across the enterprise, for less than the cost maintaining the legacy, single application deployment. When an organization becomes proficient with the newer, device-based alternative, there are no limitations as to how many and where the impact of mobile can be leveraged. This provides multiple outlets for ROI, overall savings, and an ability to standardize on a technology that can be utilized everywhere.

Hardware Agnostic Solutions

The big wave of concern for many right now is the inevitable migration of hardware selection to an Android centric environment. Many companies have spent countless resources developing applications and processes based on a Windows operating system. Can anything be ported or saved from this migration path? Many device-based solutions allow a transfer to devices with a different operating system at no cost. The key point is to be flexible and change friendly, not tied to a single operating system. As companies migrate their applications to Android, or even decide to look at newer WMS alternatives, device-based voice can move to the new environment, without an additional cost for a new license.

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