Improve Picking Productivity and Reduce Labor Costs with Victory Voice Picking Technology

Jen Maloney
August 16, 2022

Warehouse order picking operations can consume 50% or more of a distribution center’s labor spend when accounting for order picking, quality control, and packing activities.

For this reason, one of the most crucial warehouse improvements a company can make to gain higher business profitability by improving picking productivity and accuracy is to invest in warehouse automation.

Every warehouse has unique requirements, which is why it is essential to gather data and perform a warehouse engineering study to first determine the right blend of technology for your operation. Equipping your workforce with voice-picking mobile wireless wearable computers, blue-tooth wireless hands-free barcode scanners, and a headset is a leading candidate for most applications.

What is Pick-by-Voice?

A pick-by-voice solution directs the operator’s movement using voice commands combined with product barcode scan validation to direct a more efficient picking process in a fast, consistent manner with built-in order pick & pack validation.

Pick by voice is a lean and simple solution that requires only 15 minutes of operator training. It automatically enforces an optimized pick path to the correct location, and scan validates the location and item barcode with a voice message.

If your are currently relying on paper-based picking or using handheld terminals that require operators to key in data for picking or other warehouse work tasks, it’s time to invest in picking technology that is proven to significantly boost accuracy and productivity.

Voice Picking

Wearable computers with message display efficiently provide warehouse workers with the item and quantity to pick, resulting in an efficient, hands-free, eyes-focused picking operation.

Take a quick look at your operation, and answer these simple questions:
  • Are you still relying on paper in the picking and order fulfillment operation?
  • Do you mainly rely on a discrete, one-at-a-time order picking process?
  • Do you pick and pack to a single carton? Spoiler alert: order release optimization software and cartonization software logic will remove all unnecessary steps out of picking and packing.
  • Is picking and packing a bottleneck that restricts throughput during daily peak periods and peak season shipments?
  • What is the daily labor requirement to perform packing and QC order checking?

A Warehouse Voice Picking System Improves Productivity

Voice picking system performance rates can provide gains of 80+ lines picked per hour compared to RF-directed picking. Victory Voice™ Picking, the latest technology released by Numina Group, combines voice commands with “hands-free camera” based barcode scan validation and a wearable wrist mount display of the item number and quantity to pick with an image of the product.

Victory Voice is the latest advancement in “multimodal” order picking, yielding 99.9% picking accuracy and lowering pick and pack labor requirements by 50% or more in existing operations.

Several clients have increased picking rates to 230-300 lines per hour in high velocity, properly SKU-slotted pick zones.

Victory Voice™ Picking Suite Reduces Warehouse Labor Costs

Victory Voice PickingThe Victory Voice picking software suite is a component of several best practice modules in Numina’s RDS™ Warehouse Execution and Control Software, WES-WCS platform, Real-time Distribution Software. RDS directs lean, paperless picking, packing, shipping, and other warehouse tasks to reduce labor while increasing order throughput and accuracy.

Victory Voice automates many basic ERP and warehouse picking and order fulfillment processes. Its suite of automation modules and technologies automates and enforces uniform and efficient workflows across the entire order fulfillment operation.

Victory Voice is more than just a voice picking application – it is an entire suite of software application modules that removes labor across each component of warehouse pick, pack, and ship operations.

Order Release


The Victory Voice software suite includes an optimized order release module that supports continuous and batch order release planning and works seamlessly with built-in, advanced cartonization logic.

The order release module includes efficient order picking practices and automates delivery prioritization rules based on carrier cut-off times and customer-specific client business rules to ensure both parcel and LTL orders are picked, packed, and shipped to the required service levels.

How Cartonization Software Works with Voice

Orders are first cartonized to the right size and quantity of shipping containers and released for picking. Less-than-case items and full cases are picked and labeled using one of the Victory Voice Picking Suite’s several pre-developed optimized picking processes.

The cartonization function uses several cubing algorithms for each SKU’s size and weight to perform simulated packing of each order before selecting the right-sized carton.

This up-front cartonization feature then takes advantage of the strength of voice picking and hands-free barcode scan validation to direct the picking operator to pick and pack items in a single-touch operation.

The cartonization software not only calculates the right-sized carton or polybag to use for an order, but voice-directed picking with scan validation ensures both the item pick and placement of the product to the shipping container. It directs the pick operator to scan the carton, tote, or polybag barcode identifier to complete the item pick and put transaction.

The best voice picking system takes the guesswork out and enforces uniform best practice work procedures across the picking and packing process!

Smart Batch Cart, AMR, and Fork-Truck Picking

The batch picking process selects and executes order release and assignment to the cart based on the shortest travel path for both carts and fork trucks. RDS includes a transport path travel execution module that directs a batch cart, fork truck, or autonomous mobile robot (AMR) pick path to each pick location in sequence order.

At the same time, the pickers are simultaneously directed in each aisle pick zone to meet the AMR and perform voice-directed picks to carton, as well as sweep single line order items to a tote using Victory Voice’s speed pick process.

Batch order selection includes like-SKU order pick logic that further reduces picker visits to the same location to increase line quantity picking during a storage bin visit.

The use of multi-parameter optimization logic allows smart batch cart picking across a dozen or more orders simultaneously, resulting in over a 100% picking productivity gain compared to a discrete order picking process.

Order Release Optimization & Smart Batch Picking to Save Labor

Time is money, and wasted walk or fork truck travel time is one of the largest drains on warehouse profitability. Victory Voice, as mentioned earlier, is designed to reduce inefficient travel time and labor usage in picking, replenishment, pallet building, and sorting operations.

Hands-free barcode scanning eliminates wasted time reading check digits.

Hands-free barcode scanning verifies storage location and item, lot, and serial number capture in a far more efficient manner than traditional pick-to-voice solutions that require reading check digits to confirm picking. Hands-free barcode scanning increases accuracy performance to 99.9% or higher.

Accuracy is a key component of ensuring customer satisfaction and retention.

An order fulfillment error can conservatively cost a business $250 per incident, considering the total costs of customer service, accounting, warehouse re-picking, packaging, item replacement, shipping, and inventory adjustments. The cost can be 2X to 3X higher in industries such as medical instruments and products, nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, healthcare, and food lot, and sell-by-date distribution operations.

A few errors a day put your operation at risk of damaging the customer experience! A single error can result in the loss of a customer. E-commerce and broken case B2B item picking orders have the highest potential for picking and packing errors. Closing the pick & pack validation loop using the highest accuracy picking technology available, pick by voice, eliminates sources of errors crucial for your business success.

How does a voice picking system + cartonization software reduce labor and shipping costs?

In an order picking application lacking sophisticated cartonization logic, the warehouse is forced to pick to totes. More labor is spent in these operations where packing operators guess at the right-sized carton and perform additional touches to manually construct, tape, and re-pack items from the totes to cartons and polybags. Cartonization software can decrease the sizes of cartons used to the most efficient, cost-saving size.

Smaller carton sizes lower shipping costs in a 1,000 carton/day operation by $100,000 a year or more.

Labor Management and Order History Tracking

Victory Voice includes key performance indicators for tracking, including operator productivity rates and accuracy by work task and picking performance in each zone. A labor tracking management tool helps identify zones requiring re-slotting, employees needing further coaching, or employees that are due to receive recognition for a job well done!

As a component of the order fulfillment automation, a labor management and reporting system adds an additional 5% to warehouse productivity.

How does productivity tracking save labor costs?


Reduced voice picking training time saves labor costs and eliminates training and mentoring time for team leaders, supervisors, and other staff responsible for training the new employees.

Higher employee satisfaction equates to better employee retention. The Victory Voice picking system is quick to learn and easy to use and reduces employee voice picking training time to 15 minutes or less. Operators significantly prefer working in distribution centers with voice picking technology compared to paper-based or RF terminal picking.

A voice picking system is ideally suited to direct picking in slow-moving SKU storage areas, high-velocity storage zone routing conveyor pick modules, goods-to-person picking, and storage systems, or batch cart picking. 

Regardless of the picking process, the latest generation of voice-directed pick-pack-ship order fulfillment automation is one of the fastest ROI technologies proven to lower labor costs, improve accuracy and increase throughput in existing and new distribution centers.

Ready to learn more? Contact the Numina Group today. 

We’re excited to invite you to join us at Modex 2022 Booth #B1813 to discover how we blend pick, pack, and ship automation that together drives the greatest gains in DC profitability. 

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