Vocollect, the Voice solutions provider for mobile workers, and a business unit of Intermec, Inc., has introduced Vocollect VoiceExpress, a new host interface solution. Vocollect VoiceExpress is said to be able to provide distribution centre (DC) and warehouse operators with the benefits of Voice across almost any warehouse workflow, by eliminating or reducing common customer adoption barriers to Voice solutions.
VoiceExpress allows Vocollect's certified partners to reengineer processes easily – without host changes or significant IT resources – and to combine their consultative expertise with Vocollect's speech recognition software to create a high-performing, integrated Voice solution. This results in more productive and accurate Voice-based workflows along with more satisfied warehouse employees.
Giant Eagle, Inc., one of the USA's largest multi-format food and fuel retailers, has initially deployed Vocollect VoiceExpress in its put-to-store workflow at one of its retail support centres. "Vocollect VoiceExpress has helped us cure an ongoing efficiency problem we had in our put-to-store workflow," said Joe Hurley, Senior Vice President, Distribution and Logistics for Giant Eagle. "We had tried to apply Voice to this workflow previously, but couldn't cost-justify the interface customisations. Since VoiceExpress didn't require us to change our warehouse management system, it provided a new and much easier way to deploy Voice. VoiceExpress has helped us improve productivity by an additional 20 per cent. Voice is also a safer way to work. We are now looking at using Vocollect VoiceExpress to address a variety of additional workflows."
"We continually look for new technologies that can make our operations more efficient, so we piloted Vocollect VoiceExpress for the receiving application at our Shelbyville, Tenn. distribution centre," said Joe Stephenson, Supervisor, Purchasing for Newell Rubbermaid. "The hands-free/eyes-free aspect resulted in greater efficiency, including less travel time and less risk for product damage, as well as a more ergonomic environment for our employees."
New workflows can be Voice-enabled within a matter of days – from order picking to cycle-counting, put-away, receiving, loading and many others. Voice-enabling a broader portion of a DC or warehouse is also much easier, since VoiceExpress uses Vocollect's latest client software, Vocollect VoiceCatalyst, which operates on multi-vendor vehicle-mount and fixed-mount computers and, later this year, on handhelds. Now customers can increase their return on investment from their Voice-enabled mobile devices by reusing those devices for additional workflows, either during off-shifts or by workflow interleaving, with nominal investments in host interfacing. If workers or mobile devices are workflow-specific, VoiceExpress provides new justification for devices that are ready for upgrades or replacement.
"Based on early feedback from some of our customers and partners, we are excited about enabling more distribution operations to gain the benefits of voice quickly, across more workflows and in a way that minimises their need to modify the host interface or tap precious IT resources," said Tom Murray, Vice President – Product Management and Marketing for Vocollect. "Partner expertise is a vital component of successful voice deployments and VoiceExpress helps our partners and customers to reengineer and optimise workflows. That expertise, in combination with faster implementations through Vocollect's industry-leading speech recognition, purpose-built headsets and certified mobile computers, provides a powerful solution that helps transform business results and workforce performance for distribution operations around the world."
Vocollect now offers four host interface approaches, each of which addresses specific target market needs. Since VoiceExpress can be deployed alongside other Vocollect interfaces to the same host, it gives companies maximum flexibility to add Voice quickly and easily to additional workflows. The initial solution implementation leverages the power of Vocollect VoiceArtisan, an open and flexible integrated development environment, Vocollect VoiceCatalyst, a next generation, multi-vendor client application and VoiceExpress Server, a 'thin', pass-through middleware component that is based on technology from the DataMAX Software Group.
Vocollect VoiceExpress is now commercially available worldwide.