Voice-centric warehouse evolution gains momentum

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Vocollect, a business unit of Intermec, Inc. and a provider of Voice-centric solutions for mobile workers, has announced significant progress in growing its customer deployments of multiple Voice-centric workflows.  Today more than 80 Vocollect customers are using Vocollect Voice in warehouse operations for distribution tasks beyond picking.

"Last May, Vocollect heralded a bold new vision for the warehouse and distribution centre market: that companies would be expanding their use of Voice-directed solutions beyond picking to workflows such as cycle-counting, receiving, loading, put-away, replenishment, put-to-store and more realising even greater performance improvements and cost savings," said Joe Pajer, president, Vocollect.  "This number is growing, as executives continue to recognize the impact that voice can bring to their logistics operations."

Distribution leaders see value of Voice across workflows While some voice customers migrate from paper to Voice across multiple workflows from the outset, others typically begin with Voice in the picking workflow. Once they realise double-digit gains in productivity and accuracy in picking, they quickly discover the value of deploying Voice to other workflows for their hands-busy, eyes-busy workers. They soon find increased productivity and accuracy benefits, as well as a 10-20 per cent reduction in vehicles, which lowers capital expenditures and ongoing maintenance.

Among the Vocollect customers applying voice to non-picking workflows and realizing positive results in performance and cost savings are:
Glanbia plc, a 2.6 billion international nutritional solutions and cheese group headquartered in Ireland (implemented by Heavey RF, a Vocollect Total Solutions Provider). Glanbia is using Vocollect Voice for picking, transfers, receiving, loading, stock-counting and forklift applications.

Fox Head, Inc., an international manufacturer and distributor of motocross and lifestyle apparels (implemented by Vitech Business Group, a Vocollect Total Solutions Provider).  Fox uses Vocollect Voice for cart- and envelope-picking, replenishment, slotting, cycle-counting, and receiving (European facility).

 Tiendas Comercial Mexicana, S.A. de C.V., Mexico's third largest hypermarket chain and grocery retailer, operates a chain of 198 stores across Mexico (implemented by NetLogistik, a Vocollect Total Solutions Provider).  Comercial Mexicana is using Voice for picking, receiving and shipping.

PPG Architectural Coatings France, a manufacturer and distributor of decorative paints (implemented by Zetes, a Vocollect Total Solutions Provider). PPG uses Vocollect Voice for picking, filming (wrapping) and loading control.

Tools to Enable the Voice-Centric Vision Over the past year, Vocollect has introduced a variety of solutions to make it both easier and faster to deploy voice across multiple workflows.  

They include: New Solutions:
- VoiceArtisan and VoiceApplications Provide the ability to create Voice-enabled workflows and interface with Warehouse Management Systems more quickly and efficiently with advanced functionality including multi-mode, real-time interoperability between the WMS and mobile worker, and multi-application workflows.

- VoiceCatalyst Client software for rugged voice appliances and mobile computers that includes state-of-the-art speech recognition for industrial environments.

- Talkman A500 A DC-durable Voice appliance with longer battery life and increased processing capabilities to handle optional scanner and wireless display functions when equipped with VoiceCatalyst; also backwards-compatible with VoiceClient tasks.

- Talkman T1 with SL-4 headset The smallest and most lightweight Voice appliance, ideal for seasonal workers performing Voice-only warehouse workflows.

- Vehicle Mount Solution DC-powered, Talkman A500 used with SRX wireless headset.
Enhanced Solutions:
- VoiceDirect Direct host interface software that features new multi-mode workflow support, including receiving and inventory control. Provides the fastest interface for supervisors and managers to enable Voice-based workflows deployed on Vocollect Talkman appliances or third-party devices.

- VoiceLink Application and host interface middleware that allows supervisors and managers to manage Voice-based workflows deployed on Vocollect Talkman appliances or third-party devices.

"Our customers continue to find innovative ways to boost performance and cost savings across their global supply chain," said Pajer. "Today's challenges bring enormous opportunities for the voice industry as a whole, and Vocollect is at the forefront of this sea change in the transformation of distribution and logistics processes to help companies do more with less and to maximise performance and profitability."

About Vocollect

Vocollect, a business unit of Intermec, Inc., is a creator and provider of Voice-centric solutions for mobile workers in distribution and warehouse environments worldwide. The speech recognition software and extreme recognition accuracy of in-vocabulary speech helps customers achieve a higher level of business performance through Voice. Every day over 300,000 workers worldwide use Vocollect's comprehensive Voice solutions to distribute more than $3 billion in goods from distribution centres and warehouses to customer locations. A global team of over 2,000 supply chain reseller and channel partner experts supports Vocollect Voice offerings. Vocollect VoiceWorld Suite integrates with all major WMS and ERP systems, including solutions from SAP AG, and supports the industry's leading mobile computing devices.

About Intermec

Intermec Inc. develops and integrates products, services and technologies that identify, track and manage supply chain assets and information. Core technologies include rugged mobile computing and data collection systems, barcode printers, label media, and RFID. The company's products and services are used by customers in many industries worldwide to improve the productivity, quality and responsiveness of business operations.

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