Voice Guided Technology: A Proven Solution for your DC and WMS

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Voice technology is evolving all around us, and its use in the warehouse is no different. Even with the onslaught of advanced automation, voice-guided picking is an effective and popular order fulfillment solution.

Evolving voice technology

It’s not so uncommon to talk to your phone, ask it a simple question and get an answer. For example, Apple’s Siri is a great tool that millions of people use every day to make their lives easier by not having to type in their questions, but rather use their own voice to communicate with their device.

Aside from Siri, where else is voice guided technology featured, and more importantly, how is it continuing to evolve for today’s modern warehouse.

In Pop Culture

There are many examples of speech interface technology in pop culture today. My favorite is J.A.R.V.I.S (Just A Rather Very Intelligent System) from the Ironman and Avenger movies. It’s a highly advanced A.I. software program that can manage just about anything Tony Stark needs it to handle. Though this is science fiction for now, we are seeing these technologies becoming more of a reality every day.

At Home

Amazon has introduced Echo to customers, which helps with ordering products from the Amazon website, but also acts as an information hub for questions that people may have. Cars are also using voice technology to access a hands-free communication to allow the driver a safer experience while on the road. It is voice technology that allows us to keep living and working without stopping what we are doing to Google something.

At Work

There are more and more voice-guided directions that allow us to work smarter and stay focused on our task at hand. How many of us use a GPS to tell us where we are going when we are driving? In the warehouse setting, however, voice technology has proven to be a viable technology for workers performing batch picking, cycle counting, receiving, and put-away. Voice technology is interactive and customizable to your business needs.

Exacta Voice

Bastian Solutions has been providing voice technology to customers for a number of years and has continued to innovate and improve the process. With Bastian Solution’s Exacta 6 software, an operator in a warehouse can use a voice picking device to log into the system, select a location to pick, and start working as orders are sent to him or her to pick. There is no paper for the operator to look at because the Exacta 6 software tells the operator where they need to go next, what product they need, and the quantity of product they need to pick, count, or putaway. The operator will talk to the voice system as if there was someone else looking at a list and verifying the picking actions. Voice technology simply puts words to action and allows the person-to-goods operations to happen quickly and efficiently.

Why Voice?

In a world where we are constantly finding ways to remove people from the warehouse and distribution process, technology solutions still cannot think and adapt like humans do. Exacta 6 Voice Technology with Bastian Solutions allows your operations to still have the human touch, with the accuracy and precision of a software system. Where humans can see a problem or discover a discrepancy quickly, computers lack the ability in many ways to handle unique situations by themselves.

Voice guided technology allows operators to work safely and efficiently throughout the day. With easy to learn voice commands and a simple interface, operators can complete work in a fast-paced environment to get orders out the door and to their customers.

Edy’s Grand Ice Cream

Take for instance a case study done on Edy’s Grand Ice Cream who implemented a Vocollect Voice enabling technology in their distribution centers. Their objective was to control their order picking and improve accuracy in a very cold (-20°F) environment. This change allowed their operators to work with both hands and not have to key in data or look at an order list. Voice picking technology helped reduce their overall mis-picks by 50%, increase their productivity by 15%, and have an ROI after 12 months. Voice software is clearly a viable solution for picking in a warehouse setting.

Voice recognition software will only continue to improve in quality of design as the market provides more sophisticated and cutting-edge technology, whether at home or work. If you’re interested in implementing voice technology in your warehouse, please contact us or learn more about voice here.

Spencer is a Quality Assurance Specialist with Bastian Software Solutions out of Louisville, Kentucky. He is a graduate from Indiana University SE with a Bachelors Degree in Business Informatics/Human Computer Interaction. Expertise includes voice-driven technology, software testing, SQL databases, and integrated software solutions.

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