Can I Voice Enable my Homegrown WMS?

Bob Bova   |    
February 14, 2020

Commercially Available WMS Solutions

As organizations continue to examine the options for continuous improvement in operations, each has a unique set of requirements. What if you have a homegrown WMS? Is voice automated workflow an option for you? Some companies have installed ERP or WMS systems that are large, commercially available applications, including Manhattan Associates, SAP, JDA, Infor, Oracle JDE and others. While still other companies have deployed targeted WMS software provided by companies like Serti, NorthStar, QSSI or Robocom. These customers may be moving from paper-based systems or are looking to gain improvements with specialized WMS functionality not available in the ERP system.

Although these applications are commercially available platforms, each organization’s operations is unique. These systems typically require significant customization for each client to provide the smoothest, most productive workflows for their specific needs. With the changing landscape of inventory management in sectors like retail and manufacturing, new channel development and increasing SKU needs, agile development and deployment is becoming a critical factor for all sizes of companies to deliver the right products quickly and cost effectively. Deploying mobile devices as part of the application workflow, is an integral part of the customization in the distribution center, including many approaches to picking, as well as receiving, shipping, replenishment, and cycle count just to name a few.  

Homegrown WMS Solutions

Some customers are using homegrown WMS software. These systems were originally designed to provide more control and flexibility over the processes and development of applications attached to them. These systems are consistently analyzed and changed to optimize workflows, specific to each warehouse (or customer if you are a 3PL). Tailored operational approaches can be incorporated to suit the business in a cost-effective way. These homegrown WMS software solutions have also customized mobile device support with the WMS, in a similar fashion through continuous improvement analysis. Additionally, with the advent of omnichannel processes and the turnover of products and requirements for additional SKU’s, these homegrown systems have become powerhouses in some instances, customized for streamlined processes that work wonderfully well for manufacturers, retailers and 3PLs.

Can I Deploy Voice Automation with My Homegrown WMS?

With AccuSpeechMobile you can add voice automation to your current optimized processes, regardless of the WMS/ERP/other software application you are running on the backend. As a device-based solution that doesn’t require a server or middleware, voice automation is customized to your environment, including voice automating custom or homegrown WMS solutions as well as highly customized commercially available WMS. We use the same tools, process analysis, user acceptance testing, and production planning for every implementation of AccuSpeechMobile. The approach to voice automation with AccuSpeechMobile is the same for cloud or premise-based WMS products and AccuSpeechMobile works with scanners on with mobile devices such as industrial handhelds, tablets and smartphones running mobile operating systems such as Android, iOS, TE, WinCE, and Web.

AccuSpeechMobile voice technology is WMS agnostic, bringing all the productivity and accuracy benefits to any backend system without long, expensive engineering integration required by first-generation, server-based legacy voice solutions. The critical differentiators for AccuSpeechMobile device-based voice automation compared to first-generation, server-based legacy voice solutions include 1) voice automated workflow can run on/with existing WMS and scanning technology, 2) voice automation can enable the customized, optimized workflows without a middleware module and custom integration engineering 3) due to its device-based integration, workflows can be automated 4) supports every major Terminal Emulation software, browsers, .NET, or Android applications that are deployed and 5) is a fraction of the price of legacy, server-based voice solutions. Additionally, with the AccuSpeechMobile solution, these best practices are used for voice enabling additional workflows on the same (or other) devices, providing a consistent mechanism, technology and deployment throughout the warehouse and organization.

Everyone Can Use Voice Automated Workflows

This type of flexibility is accomplished on device-based voice enablement through an intelligent abstraction layer that is installed on the mobile device along with the voice runtime license. This layer allows for a common interface providing connectivity to any WMS without additional middleware. This RPA process is designed with an SDK that provides workflow tools which automate keystrokes, install voice automation and increase accuracy, all at the device level. This integration is fast to deploy and agile to develop; and, if conditions change, the project can be easily updated and redeployed one device at a time (for testing perhaps) or all at once.

Whether you are using a standard commercial ERP/WMS application, a highly customized commercial WMS or a homegrown WMS – you can add voice today – layer it easily into your current environment, without disrupting operations or touching your core applications. You can do this with an ROI in months, not years and achieve outstanding productivity and accuracy with hands-free, eyes-free automated processes.

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