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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Dakota & Truckfile join forces to create voice-directed maintenance & inspection solutions

Dakota & Truckfile join forces to create voice-directed maintenance & inspection solutions

Dakota Integrated Solutions Ltd, a real-time data capture, printing, mobility and voice-directed solution specialist, has formed a partnership with Truckfile, the UK-based provider of web-based Fleet Management, Workshop Management, Drivers Check and Compliance Systems to the haulage transport sector.

Renovotec to drive Whitworths warehouse modernisation with voice picking and wireless networking

Renovotec to drive Whitworths warehouse modernisation with voice picking and wireless networking

Renovotec, the UK’s rugged hardware, software and services provider for supply chain companies, is to drive Whitworths’ planned warehouse modernisation with new voice picking and wireless networking technology it was announced today. The agreed project ROI is less than one year for the new systems and infrastructure investment, led by a 35% increase in voice-driven picking productivity. 

EPG targets ambitious UK expansion with new country manager hire

EPG targets ambitious UK expansion with new country manager hire

Voice-picking specialist EPG has signalled the strength of its ambition in the UK logistics market with the appointment of Gavin Clark as country manager.

Dakota achieves Platinum Partnership Status with Honeywell

Dakota achieves Platinum Partnership Status with Honeywell

Dakota Integrated Solutions Ltd, a real-time technology, printing, mobility and digital data capture solution specialist, has achieved Platinum Partnership Status with Honeywell. This latest accolade for Dakota means that they are now able to offer Honeywell’s entire product range, including Voice-directed technology and solutions.

The one-stop shop advantage

The one-stop shop advantage

Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with Philip Jarrett, commercial director of Dakota Integrated Solutions, about the company’s focus on a one-stop shop data capture solutions service for customers in a variety of sectors, together with the company’s new focus on Voice-directed solutions provision.

Lydia knows exactly who is speaking

Lydia knows exactly who is speaking

In an effort to ensure even greater reliability in voice recognition, EPG (Ehrhardt + Partner Group) has incorporated machine learning into its latest release. The system reacts to the volume of the input signal coming from the speaker and automatically ignores it if there’s a significant deviation.

Lydia Voice passes the test - Highly reliable voice recognition even while wearing a mask

Lydia Voice passes the test - Highly reliable voice recognition even while wearing a mask

The coronavirus has taken hold around the world, and all parts of the economy have a duty to help slow the spread of the virus. An increasing number of logistics firms are implementing measures to maintain operations and protect their workforce.

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.

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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