Voice-Directed Warehousing, VDW, Voice Picking, Voice in the warehouse

Voice-directed warehousing (VDW) utilises Voice direction and speech recognition software in warehouses and distribution centres (DCs). Other terms related to the deployment of Voice technology in the warehouse include Voice-directed picking and Voice-directed distribution. Voice-enabled workers wear a headset connected to a small wearable computer. The computer provides instructions to the worker in terms of what where to go and what to store or pick within the warehouse or DC. Workers are then required to confirm each task has been completed by saying pre-determined stock phrases and codes found at different warehouse locations or goods. The often cited benefits of 'Voice' include its being hands-free, 'eyes-free' and a faster and more accurate methodology than using paper 'pick lists' etc

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Businesses is blooming for Flowervision (Bristol) Ltd thanks to voice-enabled scanning solution from BEC

Businesses is blooming for Flowervision (Bristol) Ltd thanks to voice-enabled scanning solution from BEC

Supplying florists on a daily basis from Cornwall to Worcester, Flowervision (Bristol) Ltd is an independent wholesaler of high-quality fresh cut flowers and plants as well as a vast range of sundries.

BEC – Giving Truckfile Maintenance & Inspection solutions a Voice

BEC – Giving Truckfile Maintenance & Inspection solutions a Voice

BEC (Systems Integration) Ltd, a leading UK-based supplier of digital and fully-automated Maintenance and Inspection, warehouse management and shop floor data capture solutions, has recently formed a partnership with Truckfile; a leading UK online fleet management software provider.

Voxware highlighting augmented reality and supply chain analytics throughout Modex 2020

Voxware highlighting augmented reality and supply chain analytics throughout Modex 2020

Voxware, the provider of cloud-based voice and analytic supply chain solutions, is to exhibit at Modex 2020 (Booth 7481).  Attendees will have the opportunity to experience the benefits of Voxware’s Augmented Reality (AR) solution and VoxPilot, its enterprise analytics software.

5 steps for a successful implementation of voice-guided picking

5 steps for a successful implementation of voice-guided picking

Fast growing order volumes, a higher cost pressure and increasing demands on process quality: logistics companies are still facing the challenge of making internal warehouse processes more cost-effective, more efficient and at the same time less error prone.

What’s in store for 2020 and beyond? 6 trends shaping warehouses of the future

What’s in store for 2020 and beyond? 6 trends shaping warehouses of the future

In 2010, many warehouses would still have been regarded as a neglected cost centre. Now, moving into 2020, the warehouse is a carefully managed control centre and very often the strategic hub of e-commerce within an ever-extending supply chain.

Simoldes` just-in-time (JIT) productivity increases significantly with ZetesMedea

Simoldes` just-in-time (JIT) productivity increases significantly with ZetesMedea

The Simoldes Group produce car door panels for several major international automotive brands. In order to efficiently respond to the demanding requirements of the sector for increased personalisation, they selected ZetesMedea using pick to light (PTL) technology to optimise their just-in-time (JIT) assembly line operations.

Innovative IT solutions for process optimisation – and 20 years of Lydia® Voice

Innovative IT solutions for process optimisation – and 20 years of Lydia® Voice

topsystem techDAY 2020

topsystem, the developer of Lydia® Voice, will be opening its doors to visitors on 29 January 2020 for the fifth time as part of the company's techDAY (previously Technologie-Tag).

Retailer Rami Levy increase productivity by 25% and eradicates order processing errors with Zetes

Retailer Rami Levy increase productivity by 25% and eradicates order processing errors with Zetes

Rami Levy, a leading retail chain in Israel, implemented ZetesMedea warehouse execution solution to improve efficiency in its new warehouse. Rami Levy was founded in 1967 and is one of Israel’s largest retailers employing 7,000 people and serving 2.5 million customers annually.

Voice-directed warehousing solutions market: Advancements such as speech recognition and speech synthesis to uplift adoption

Voice-directed warehousing solutions market: Advancements such as speech recognition and speech synthesis to uplift adoption

According to new global study, increased security and real-time business intelligence are among the major factors driving the growth of the voice-directed warehousing solutions market.

Sound of success - WMS/Voice Picking Technology report

Sound of success - WMS/Voice Picking Technology report

Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke to a number of experts from the vendor and analyst communities about current and possible future trends and areas of development within the world of voice-directed picking systems – including those concerning augmented reality, the rise of e-commerce and the emergence of blockchain.

Part 2: Voice Picking Technology Report

Voice-directed warehousing

Voice Picking or Voice-directed warehousing (VDW) has emerged as the “go-to” technology to improve product selection /order picking in a warehouse. It improves picking accuracy and delivers significant savings by avoiding the various types of pick error which occur in the warehouse. Voice technology uses speech recognition and speech synthesis to allow workers to communicate with the Warehouse Management System (WMS).  Warehouse operatives use a wireless, wearable computer with a headset and microphone to receive instructions by voice, and verbally confirm their actions back to the system. The wearable computer, or voice terminal, communicates with the Warehouse Management Software via a radio frequency (RF) local area network (LAN).

Voice-directed warehousing is typically used instead of paper- or mobile computer-based systems that require workers to read instructions and scan barcodes or key-enter information to confirm their tasks. By freeing a worker's hands and eyes, voice directed systems typically improve efficiency, accuracy, and safety. Whilst VDW was originally used in picking orders, now all warehouse functions such as goods receiving, put-away, replenishment, shipping, and returns processing can be coordinated by voice systems.

Improvements in order picking accuracy are dramatic, and accuracy of 99.9% (one error per thousand picks), and often much better, is usually achieved. The improvements that you obtain will depend on your current method of order picking, but if you are moving from a paper-based system to voice directed picking, picking errors are usually reduced by between 80% and 90%. By using voice directed instructions with a headset, the warehouse pickers communicate much more naturally with the hosts system. This enables the picker to focus on identifying stock locations, travelling to next pick and on handling the materials. There is no need to juggle and RF terminal or paper pick lists. In addition there is no requirement to constantly shift focus from a handheld display/keyboard to the product and back – thereby reducing operator fatigue.

In terms of investment or ROI the case for implementing Voice in the warehouse is usually based on the pick accuracy and productivity improvements that voice directed technology delivers. By understanding the real cost of pick inaccuracies it becomes clear how voice picking is able to produce a strong return on investment within a relatively short period of time.

Voice Picking solutions can be integrated with your existing ERP , Supply Chain Software or WMS and can either be proprietary /closed source or open source. A closed source system is one where the licensing of the source code, the programming language calls and functions, is not generally available.  Modifications to the Voice system, that is a closed source system requires a contract for services with the software vendor. Open source architecture, enables the software to be used in conjunction with various different types of compatible hardware /mobile computers and fits easily with a wide range of standard and custom warehouse management systems.

Voice solutions are now available in the Cloud, lowering CAPEX –(Capital Expenditure) and enabling smaller to mid-size operations to have access to the same technology as larger organisations on a per-user cost basis. Implementation of a Voice solution can now take days instead of months enabling users to immediately leverage the product's key capabilities and make dramatic improvements in efficiency in the warehouse.

There are three different types of error which can occur in a warehouse during the picking process: short, over and mis-picks.

Short picks- The cost of rectifying a short pick is the administrative effort of telesales and admin staff resolving the credit claim and the margin lost on goods sale.

Over picks are where the customer receives more of an item than they ordered and paid for. Over picks may often go unreported for obvious reasons. If ran over pick is reported, the costs to rectify include return transport costs, admin as per short picks, labour costs in handling the return, and in the case of best before or perishable products the cost of writing off stock.

Mis-picks are where the wrong item is shipped to the customer. If the error is correctly reported as a mis-pick all of the same rectification costs for over picks apply. If the error is reported as a short pick, i.e. not returned or paid for, there is the additional cost of replacing the or crediting the item which was not shipped which means that mis-picks can be the most costly type of error.

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