Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with a number of experts from the vendor and analyst communities about recent developments within the Warehouse Management System and Voice-directed picking space – including those concerning SaaS/Cloud and Big Data.
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
Nov 01, 2017 Comments (0)
Sep 19, 2017 Comments (0)
BEC (Systems Integration) Ltd., the UK-based supplier of data capture solutions for supply chain logistics and manufacturing, has recently won a voice picking technology contract with Aliaxis, a global leader in the production and distribution of advanced plastic piping systems.
Aug 30, 2017 Comments (1)
The October 2017 edition of Manufacturing & Logistics IT will feature an in-depth special report on WMS/ Voice Directed Picking.
In the report, some of the leading spokespeople from the Voice-directed solutions & WMS research, consultancy & vendor community will offer their insights into the key operational and financial advantages of deploying Voice and Warehouse Management Systems, and to what extent these benefits have been enhanced over the past year or two through further system development.
Jul 05, 2017 Comments (0)
Voiteq, global provider of Voice-Directed Work solutions, hosted its seventh annual Voice User Group (VUG17) at The Belfry in Sutton Coldfield, on Tuesday 20th June.
Jun 29, 2017 Comments (0)
UK-based Voice-Directed Work solutions provider, Voiteq, and Australia-based Voice Interface Design (VoiceID), have announced a partnership enabling both companies to offer multinational solutions and support to customers throughout Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
Jun 21, 2017 Comments (0)
BEC (Systems Integration) Ltd, a leading provider of automated data capture and voice solutions for use within the supply chain, logistics and manufacturing industries, has formed a partnership with Kellton Tech, a global leader in digital transformation with a strong expertise in enterprise solutions.
Jun 15, 2017 Comments (0)
By John Bradshaw, business development manager for Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions.
Maintenance and inspection (M&I) tasks undertaken for plant and equipment within a diverse range of sectors have developed a series of well-established steps over the years with the aim of improving the process by which engineers and technicians capture and share information.
Mar 30, 2017 Comments (0)
At this year's M3 User Association UK Conference (M3UA UK), held at the Best Western Plus Meriden Manor Hotel in Solihull on 1 and 2 March, BEC (Systems Integration) Ltd., the UK-based supplier of data capture solutions for supply chain logistics and manufacturing, was the event's Diamond Sponsor, together with solutions partner Honeywell.
Voxware research reveals significant increase in consumer expectations for online retailers this holiday season
Dec 07, 2016 Comments (0)
Voxware has released consumer survey data demonstrating heightened expectations to which online retailers will be held during the 2016 holiday shopping season.
Nov 23, 2016 Comments (0)
Voxware has released survey data that indicates early holiday shoppers expect short delivery windows for the items they purchase online or over the phone.
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.