Why a Voice Picking System is the Choice for your Automated Warehouse Fulfillment Operation.
One of the most effective ways to streamline warehouse labor requirements – by as much as 50% – is to add a voice-directed picking system to your picking operations.
Order picking can be the most labor-intensive and labor-costly activity in omni-channel e-commerce order fulfillment operations, especially piece picking operations. Orders that require specific packaging, colors, accessories, promotional items, documents, or gift wrapping can benefit the most from a warehouse voice picking system because it provides verbal instructions via headset to guide operators on picking, packing, and shipping tasks.
“Hands down, voice picking technology has proven to be the most efficient technology for cost effective and high accuracy picking” according to Dan Hanrahan, President of the Numina Group.
Built-in Order Accuracy and Picking Speed
Warehouse voice picking systems offer a fast and effective replacement for manual, paper-driven order fulfillment processes. For example, rather than managing picking tasks on paper pick tickets, workers instead rely on a headset and mobile device that provides ongoing voice commands to guide them to pick order items and validate their work in a step-by-step manner.
99.9% Order Accuracy
A robust voice picking system can readily increase order accuracy to 99.9%, specifically by requiring workers to validate their activities before they advance to other orders. For example, it can be configured to prevent operators from picking the wrong item or quantity, or closing out an order until it is fully picked before picking is completed and they can move on to the next order.
Built for Speed
Equally important, voice-directed picking is fast. When compared to the time required for warehouse workers to manually read paper pick tickets, key in data and validate their work, voice picking technology is often 50% faster or more.
Built for Flexibility
The best warehouse voice picking systems are also highly flexible. As one example, they can be configured to automatically change picking instructions for the same SKU pick according to each customer’s and retailer/e-tailer’s specific shipment rules.
Pick by outperform paper, RF terminals, message displays, and many times pick-to-light, especially when accounting for the benefit of its increased accuracy!
RDS Voice-Directed Picking is Speaker Independent
The latest speaker independent voice engines have close to 100% recognition rates, while operating in noisy industrial operations, and require zero employee voice training to operate.
Thanks to the advances of technology, voice picking problems related to voice recognition inaccuracies that were problematic in older generation speaker-dependent voice technology are no longer an issue.
Quite different than first generation voice systems, speaker-independent voice algorithms have continued to advance and now automatically recognize voice responses regardless of an individual’s accent.
The latest speaker independent voice engines have near 100% recognition rates across multiple languages, even while operating in noisy industrial operations, and require zero voice training for employees to operate.
Zero Voice Picking Training – a Key Advantage
A key advantage of speaker-independent voice is it requires zero operator voice training for workers to become proficient in picking operations. The time it takes to get an employee up to speed with speaker-independent voice is much faster than manual paper picking, RF, or speaker dependent voice which can take several hours of training.
Speaker-independent voice permits more flexibility in cross-training of workers and interleaving work tasks, leading to better labor utilization for picking, replenishment, and other work tasks. Additionally, the technology captures and time-stamps all orders and labor usage for performance reporting.
Multi-Modal Voice Directed Technology Supports all Warehousing Activities
The latest generation of voice picking systems have expanded beyond voice-only picking solutions and now offer multi-modal voice technology, which combines a very lean voice command set with integrated wearable mobile computers and barcode scanners for single-touch pick and pack verification.
Order picking performed with scan validation, vision, and speech is a three-step verification process. Multi-verification voice consistently achieves a 99.9% accuracy rate – far higher than voice-only technology
For example, a voice directed warehousing solution can be configured to direct the worker to the location in the most efficient pick path, and direct the operator to perform SKU barcode scanning using a back-of-hand or ring-mounted barcode scanner.
Integrated barcode scanning validation, especially the use of the latest 2-D hands free scanners, significantly increases picking efficiency and productivity well and beyond traditional speaker-dependent voice picking technologies.
It directs and validates each step using a combination of voice commands/responses and hands-free two-dimensional (2D) barcode scanning. 2-D scanning is omni-directional scanning to speed-up by 5% the location, SKU, lot and serial ID barcode capture, and validation steps.
Hands and Eyes Free for Employee Safety
Keeping warehouse operator’s hands free and their eyes forward makes an operation safer while allowing operators to hear, see, and verify SKU, quantity, lot, and serial number capture in a fast, accurate, single touch operation.
- Labor tracking provides supervisors the ability to analyze individual worker productivity.
- The process requires no special training. It is remarkably easy to use, learn, and highly accurate, allowing single-touch pick-and-pack validation at near 100% accuracy rates that eliminate the need for secondary order inspection.
Labor tracking provides supervisors the ability to analyze individual worker productivity.
Speaker-independent voice integrates work instructions and verification into each step, for all pick types including pallet, mixed-case, or split-case piece picking. The ability to interleave picking, cycle counting, and replenishment across different order types is readily supported. Voice picking enables work force management to direct and move operators between work zones and work activities.
Numina Group has partnered with Zebra to provide Best in Class Hardware
RDS Voice and Pick-to-Light solutions work seamlessly together on the Zebra ZTC52 and/or the WT6000 Android Mobile Computers. Operators are equipped with Zebra’s latest wearable ring scanners and headsets to enable real-time voice and display messages to direct operator work activities. By integrating Voice with hands-free scanning, the picking process becomes 30% faster and more accurate.
High-Speed Performance, Extended Battery Life
Numina Group’s RDS Mobility voice picking software uses a small client message architecture that resides on the small light weight voice-enabled PDA that can operate for 14 hours or more between battery charges.
Contact the Numina Group today for a no-cost demonstration of our RDS Voice Picking solution. See how easy voice-directed order picking can be.