Manhattan Associates and VoiteQ to Voice-enable Dalepak

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Dalepak Ltd., the packing, warehousing and distribution specialist, has selected Vocollect Voice technology to be implemented jointly by VoiteQ and Manhattan Associates at its Northampton-based distribution facility.

The introduction of voice technology will complement the .NET native warehouse management system (WMS) from Manhattan that Dalepak implemented last year. Voice will provide Dalepak with further productivity gains in picking and other stock control processes as it looks to make its DC operations even more efficient to support the business' ongoing growth.

Dalepak expects the Voice technology implementation will be a simple and straightforward exercise as a pre-built interface between the Manhattan system and Vocollect voice technology already exists.

The Voice-directed picking solution will enable Dalepak's warehouse operatives working in the 'several case' and 'each' picking areas to work more effectively. Where currently they are required to handle high volumes of often heavy and fragile products, Voice will enable the workers to use both hands to pick and lift, allowing them to focus on the task without referring to paper picking lists and / or a handheld scanner. Dalepak believes the new technology will deliver significant productivity benefits to the operation and to the workforce.

Voice will benefit customers across Dalepak's portfolio including companies such as H&I Toiletries, Blueprint Collections and Molton Brown. It will also help Dalepak meet its objective to continually use new technologies and processes to raise the already high standards of service it provides to its customers.

Scott Merrick, IT Project Manager at Dalepak commented, "We were already considering implementing Voice into our operation when VoiteQ took us on a customer reference site visit to WHSmith, which really convinced us that Voice would work in our operation. When we researched VoiteQ, we were impressed by its portfolio of customers and track record, so we were confident in its ability to implement our voice solution and deliver on its promises."

The VoiteQ voice solution, based on Vocollect Voice technology, comprises a wearable Voice computer running Vocollect's Voice Client voice recognition software, attached to a securely fastened belt and headset worn by the employee. This enables interaction between the user and the Manhattan WMS via a direct interface. Operatives can work completely hands and eyes free by receiving picking commands from the WMS via the plug-in headset and the mobile voice device; the system literally talks the operative through their task.

Instructions are transmitted over a wireless network to the employee who follows instructions, such as the location and quantity for picking. The picker responds with the status of the pick, and then the device updates the WMS in real time. The operative is directed to the appropriate warehouse location and the item to be selected is verified by check digits to ensure accuracy. Once confirmed the operative is informed of the quantity to pick, before being directed to the next location.

Jan-Paul Boos, senior director at Manhattan Associates commented, "We have a strong working relationship with VoiteQ and look forward to leveraging this further on future joint technology implementations. It is now widely accepted in industry that voice can provide additional benefits to a warehousing operation and with the direct interface into our solutions, Manhattan customers can quickly and easily implement the technology and reap the benefits."

Merrick concluded, "We are confident that the voice technology implementation led by the joint VoiteQ and Manhattan team will enhance further the powerful solution we already have from Manhattan that runs our warehouse. Both companies have been very flexible throughout, offering us options such as a range of hardware to use, allowing us to decide what would work best for our operation rather than dictating what solution we should implement."

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