Finance Directors: Using Voice Technology for Profit [FLIPBOOK]
An increasing number of businesses are realising bottom line benefits and competitive advantage through integrating voice technology with their multi-channel software.
1. Where voice technology works well
Picking: With their hands free because instructions are delivered using headsets and microphones, pickers move around the warehouse faster. Talking to the warehouse management system through structured questions and answers, they quickly identify the stock to be selected and move on.
Inventory: As part of the picking process, stock records can be updated in real-time through voice commands. Stock discrepancies are quickly spotted and resolved.
Replenishment: With accurate information about stock levels, inventory movements can be planned more efficiently, optimising use of forklifts and other resources.
Customer service: Access to real time inventory and reduced rates of picking errors improve the customer experience.
If this all sounds a little science-fiction, it’s not. Leading technology analysts Gartner has put voice recognition on their latest ‘Hype Cycle for emerging technologies’ research report, predicting that natural language question and answer will become mainstream in the next couple of years.
“Companies using voice technology in the warehouse are 1.62 times more likely to achieve pick accuracies of 99% or higher than non-voice users.”
Source: Aberdeen Group, A Sound Decision: Utilizing Voice Technology for Improved Productivity and Quality
2. Save money with voice technology
Training: Voice-directed staff need less training because verbal prompts tell them what to do next. There’s no hardware to interact with other than a headset, and they can be working with the system for the first time within minutes.
Paper and printing: There are no pick lists to be printed, distributed, shredded or recycled.
Time: Because new or updated pick lists are delivered by voice direct to the picker, pockets of dead time are eliminated.
Administration: Short-picks, mis-picks and over-picks create extra costs all the way through the system, as mistakes are corrected. Fewer picking errors reduces the costs of processing returns and credits, and more accurate stock records mean fewer order adjustments.
Every second saved in the warehouse contributes to the bottom line, and voice technology saves a lot of seconds.
Voice technology can reduce picking errors by up to 90%.
3. Go faster with fewer mistakes
Pickers in busy or noisy environments operate faster and make fewer errors. Wearing a headset, they receive instructions and give feedback without fumbling for a stylus or keypad on a handheld device.
Pickers can read labels as they listen to instructions, and can give feedback to the system while handling stock.
Voice technology provides intelligent routing as the system tells pickers where to go to pick orders in the warehouse.This saves time and effort and increases the number of orders picked per shift.
Hands-free and eyes-free working in a paper-free environment can reduce health and safety risks.
Talking saves time, saves money and improves efficiency.
4. Use it anywhere
Using headsets connected through a wireless local area network (LAN), workers can operate in any environment without the encumbrance of a handheld terminal or scanner.
Operations in freezers, chilled areas or outdoors are carried out faster and with reduced risk of error through operating equipment wearing gloves.
Workers can be directed to where they are needed more efficiently.
Voice technology bypasses the clunky keyboard and mouse, allowing a direct, hands-free conversation with the warehouse management software.
Businesses moving from paper to voice technology in the warehouse are seeing up to a 50% increase in productivity.