During the course of a typical day in a busy distribution centre, hundreds or maybe thousands of different work assignments are created by the company’s warehouse management system (WMS) for completion that day.
For those businesses which do not utilise voice technology, these assignments are usually transferred to paper-based, RF scanner-based or pick-to-light picking systems, all of which are labour-intensive, time-consuming, error prone and frequently unable to effectively up-scale as the business grows.
Within a voice-enabled distribution centre, however, the uploading and subsequent completion of work assignments is much simpler and therefore far more efficient and accurate.
- Employee assignments such as put-away, order selection and replenishment tasks are generated by the company’s WMS
- These assignments are sent via a radio frequency network from the WMS to a lightweight, battery-powered mobile computer, worn or carried by a distribution centre employee
- Once received on the mobile computer, the work assignments are converted into a series of discrete verbal commands which the worker hears through a lightweight headset. The instructions direct the employee to an aisle/section and slot location
- The employee then confirms that s/he is at the proper location and completes the task by speaking into the headset
- The employee’s voice is recognised by the voice recognition software running on the mobile computer, which translates the spoken response into data and sends that data back to the WMS
- The WMS issues the next appropriate command and the process repeats itself
With the ability to work regardless of accent, dialect or language, voice technology helps businesses to complete many more work assignments more accurately and efficiently over the course of a working day, helping to increase productivity, profitability and customer satisfaction.