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If you’re considering an investment in voice automation technology for your warehouse, you want to make sure you’ll get measurable results and a good ROI.
But what kinds of results can you really expect from voice automation? And what does a successful implementation of this technology look like?
In this article, we’ll take a look at a couple of companies that have implemented voice automation with AccuSpeechMobile and Zebra Technologies. We’ll review how they adopted voice automation in their workflows and the impressive and measurable results they achieved.
Let’s start with a company that’s been around for well over 100 years but was way ahead of the curve in adopting voice automation.
The iconic Tootsie Roll candy treat has been around since 1896, when Tootsie Roll Industries first launched. Along the way, the company developed additional products such as the Tootsie Pop, and it acquired other leading candy brands such as Andes Chocolate Mints, Mason Dots, Junior Mints, Sugar Daddy and many more.
Manufacturing and distributing so many iconic candies is a big undertaking, and more than 10 years ago, Tootsie Roll Industries connected with our team at AccuSpeechMobile to explore voice automation as a way to improve efficiency in its warehousing operations.
We started with raw materials receiving, where we implemented voice automation and Zebra mobile computing for one of Tootsie Roll Industries’ applications. The goal was to replace repetitive manual keystrokes and steps with voice-driven automation and more efficient mobile-device workflows that would save workers time and effort in performing and tracking each receiving transaction.
In our experience, we’ve never had a voice automation solution produce anything less than a 21% improvement in productivity and efficiency. In fact, many customers see increases of 45% or better. But Tootsie Roll saw a particularly outstanding result, with 111 total work days of labor saved within 6 weeks. That’s an average of 18.5 work days saved per week!
This initial implementation led to many more integrations of voice automation across other Tootsie Roll Industries processes and mobile applications. The results have consistently met and exceeded every goal for improved efficiency, accuracy and productivity, so we’ve continued to work together for more than 10 years.
Bass Pro Shops is a major national retailer of outdoor recreation products, but it was also one of the first companies to truly embrace e-commerce. This was due to the fact that Cabela’s, one of the brands that Bass Pro Shops owns, originally operated a catalog business long before it opened retail stores. Thus, it was a natural fit to take the Cabela’s catalog ordering and home delivery business model to the Internet.
However, keeping up with tens of thousands of orders every day, across five distribution centers and 70 stores, is a monumental task. To get the job done, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s relies on Manhattan Associates omnichannel fulfillment software and an Orace JD Edwards warehouse management system. This means the company uses more than 15 mobile apps designed to interface with these systems, including apps and functions for everything from receiving, cross-docking and put-away to picking, packing and shipping.
To help the company streamline all of these mobile processes, we voice-enabled and voice-automated all of these applications, so users could simply speak verbal commands into their mobile devices and have those commands converted into keystrokes, data entry, and transactions.
We also helped Bass Pro Shops tackle the challenge of working with two different systems. They needed to have sessions of each system running on each mobile device, and they needed to get data from one system and automatically enter it into the other, to help workers complete their jobs faster and more accurately.
Using our AccuSpeechMobile software, high-performance Zebra mobile computers, and some simple and easy integration with their systems, we were able to get a complete solution up and running in very little time. A key factor in the speed of setup was the fact that our software is device-based, so it runs directly on a mobile computer, without requiring a server installation or back-end integration. It works off-the-shelf with no custom software touching your business systems.
With this elegant approach and the power of voice automation, Bass Pro Shops was able to achieve a staggering 600% faster order picking rate, 200% better inventory count efficiency, 90% error reduction and a $1 million annual savings per app that was voice-enabled.
Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s customers got to enjoy huge benefits as well. The company is now able to pack orders at its stores, so customers can receive delivery within one day as opposed to three days.
These two implementations illustrate the game-changing results that voice automation can enable in warehouse, retail and other mobile operations. But to explore the possibilities and get accurate estimates of how much you can save in time, labor, errors and bottom-line costs, connect with our voice automation experts at AccuSpeechMobile.
We can work with you to assess your current workflows, performance metrics and needs, and we have an ROI calculator that can show you exactly what kind of results you can expect in your processes. To learn more, contact us now to schedule a consultation at your convenience, and let’s get started.