John Lewis deploys Voiteq’s VoiceMan Screen-to-Voice technology across distribution centres

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Voiteq, global provider of Voice-Directed Work solutions, has announced that leading UK retailer, John Lewis, has implemented its VoiceMan Screen-to-Voice solution. As volumes in omni-channel continue to grow and productivity demands increase. John Lewis has, in a bid to improve ergonomics and efficiency among its Partners, extended its use of voice to its distribution centre loading and marshalling areas.

An existing Voiteq customer for many years, John Lewis approached Voiteq in late 2014 with a need to improve the ergonomics of loading for their Partners, making it safer for them to load. William Armitage, development manager at John Lewis commented, "Our Partners in loading and marshalling are at the coalface of the business and there is a strong need for them to maintain accuracy when loading.

Errors in delivery of goods to stores that have technically not been shipped, and therefore are un-receivable have been a reasonably frequent occurrence – we can only put that down to the process of having to hold devices for scanning, or interacting with screens and keyboards. We wanted a solution that offered our Partners the same productivity, increased accuracy and hands-free, eyes-free benefits of the voice-directed system we already successfully use for picking."

VoiceMan Screen-to-Voice enabled Voiteq to seamlessly integrate with John Lewis' existing JDA warehouse management system and to rapidly voice-enable the existing loading screens. The full solution went live in February 2015 in its Northampton site and the company plans to implement the voice application across its additional sites over the coming months. A unique application, VoiceMan Screen-to-Voice takes the text prompts displayed on the screen, translates these into voice and then enters the user's spoken responses back into the screen. This enables employees working within the loading environment to be completely hands-free, allowing a more natural approach to their task.

Isabel McCabe, managing director at Voiteq UK, commented, "Voice is known to improve accuracy, as well as overall productivity and its use in warehouse processes other than picking is becoming more common place. John Lewis is truly pioneering a technology that will allow Partners a more comfortable way of working."

Armitage concluded, "Voiteq has given us a cost effective solution, that has been quickly implemented and is allowing our Partners to work more easily while helping our business improve its accuracy and productivity, which in turn benefits our store colleagues and our customers. Alternative bespoke adaptions to our existing WMS would have been costly, and time consuming. We are delighted with the results and hope to get our remaining sites up and running on the new system as soon as possible."

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