In addition to voice-directed solutions’ proven time, accuracy and cost benefits for picking & replenishment within the warehouse or DC, this technology is now also gaining major recognition for its effectiveness within the maintenance & inspection (M&I) marketplace.
Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with Phil Jarrett, director of sales & marketing at BEC (Systems Integration) Ltd, about the key advantages voice solutions can bring to M&I applications and the part BEC and its voice solutions partner Honeywell Vocollect are playing to realise tangible benefits for companies within an increasingly wide range of industry sectors.
For many businesses, documenting maintenance & inspection checklists continues to be inefficient. For most, the process still requires the technician to enter their observations and findings as a separate process from the actual inspection and maintenance procedure. With these types of constraints in mind, BEC (Systems Integration) Ltd provides Honeywell Vocollect voice-based solutions that are purpose-built for the M&I marketplace, enabling companies to run a better business with voice.
Using Vocollect voice for inspections lessens the back-and-forth data entry and look-up time on a laptop, handheld device or in paper form. Speaking commands and verbally inputting data findings directly into the system via a headset with a microphone, all while performing the inspection task, helps to save time and reduce the number of data entry errors. Indeed, up to 99.99% accuracy levels are achievable. Also, through standardising the M&I routine within a particular organisation 100% compliance to the company’s standardised processes using voice is easily realised.
John Griffith joined BEC as business development manager during 2018 with the task of further ratcheting up the company’s already growing presence within the voice M&I space. Griffith has extensive hands-on experience of the marketplace, having run a pilot using voice-enabled M&I at his previous company. “We’re really pleased to have John on board,” says Jarrett. “With our growing push within the M&I space, John is a really valuable asset for us, as well as being a great colleague and motivator.”
BEC has recently become a member of the Rail Alliance, a membership body that uses the power of networking to help the supply base understand and access potential opportunities within the UK rail industry. “Members of the Rail Alliance have carriages and other assets that need to be maintained and inspected,” says Jarrett. “Some of these companies currently rely on a combination of paper and PDAs for this process, so we are looking to highlight the benefits of a voice-enabled digital platform for these tasks. Many members of the Alliance are global players, so there is the potential of global roll-outs if voice secures greater recognition within this market segment.”
BEC has also partnered with Truckfile, the provider of Fleet & Workshop Management System for commercial vehicles and the transport sector. Following the initial launch of the DVSA compliant Electronic Inspection System, Truckfile worked closely with our major UK and European customers to develop the Truckfile solution covering all the needs of both fleet operators and workshops. “We have partnered with Truckfile to provide the company with voice enablement to their existing platform,” said Jarrett. “Truckfile has all its inspection templates pre-loaded, so we just digitalise and voice-enable them. Once we’ve gone through the integration processes Truckfile will be able to offer the benefits of voice M&I to all its customers instantaneously.”
Growing market segment
BEC, together with solutions partner Honeywell Vocollect, has made major inroads within the M&I space, securing a number or prestigious contracts with leading player within the pharmaceutical, automotive, rail, logistics, construction & mining machinery and heavy plant sectors. “As well as a growing number of use cases, we have a number of prestigious pilot projects in place with many of the leading brands within these sectors, and should the success criteria be met global roll-out of voice is on the agenda for many of the companies in question,” explained Jarrett. “I believe this would be a game changer for voice within M&I and for us as a company because if you have two of the main players within these sectors rolling out voice or M&I, this will help to trailblaze the technology.”
M&I successes include:
Induction process for jet engine auxiliary power units (APUs) live since June 2014 with over 35 mechanics using a voice system. Savings through voice for this sector include over 30% in reduced data entry cycle time.
Large truck fleet company
Preventive maintenance and repair of owned and leased trucks with a fleet of 206,000 trucks serviced across 500 locations with 4000 techs. Savings through voice for this sector include over 25% in reduced inspection time.
Maintenance and induction of APUs at one site. This has been live since April 2015. Multiple mechanics trained and using the system. Savings through voice for this sector include over 28% in reduced inspection time.
Voice for M&I – the key benefits:
- Increased productivity achievable between 10 and 35 %.
- Reduction in errors achievable between 25 and 50%.
- Reduced training time achievable up to 50%.
- Reduced staff turnover achievable between 15 to 30%.
- Reduced safety incidents achievable between 5 to 20%.