Voice Picking Software Improves Perfect Order Metrics

Jennifer Maloney
February 2, 2019

Unlike the vast majority of online shoppers, I frequently think about voice picking software and perfect order KPI’s because I am in the warehouse automation solutions business.

During the recent Holiday rush, however, I experienced firsthand the additional costs to businesses when they fail to meet shipping deadlines.  I recently received an unexpected (and unwelcome) call from a major clothing retailer phoning to apologize because the package that I had paid to expedite was not going to be delivered on time.  The caller went on to inform me that some of the documentation would be missing from the package, and gave me instructions about what steps to follow in the event that I may wish to return the items.  This phone call was followed up with two emails, one with a subject line “Running a Bit Late” with a new estimated delivery time and a quick explanation about what may have caused the delay.  The other email was more personalized, explaining that my items were shipped without an invoice.

While I was impressed with the level of customer service this company put forth to keep me as a customer, I couldn’t help but think of how many man hours and how much labor went into doing damage control for shipping mistakes that could have been avoided with the right blend of automation. Also, I probably won’t use this business again, because I was left with the feeling that they were unreliable.

Shipping mistakes are expensive.  Industry statistics show that 1 in 3 buyer will not use a retailer again after a negative experience.  A customer lost forever can be a very high lifetime cost to a business.  When you add up the cost of damage-control, returned orders, and lost business due to unsatisfied customers, it’s easy to see how implementing perfect order processes will save your company money in the long run.

The Warehouse Education and Research Council defines the perfect order as:

  • Complete order-fill accuracy
  • On-time delivery
  • Zero Defects
  • Accurate Documentation

With two out of four metrics missing, it’s no wonder that I am very reluctant to use this business again. The shipping issues that they faced would have been avoided if they had implemented the right blend of processes, software, and automation. 

Process improvement that streamline distribution:

  1. Reorganizing inventory for velocity movement
  2. Batch orders together with similar products to improve picking efficiency
  3. The ability to insert an expedited order into the system
  4. Segregated tasks – Picking person passes a cart to another person in charge of final manifestation
  5. Batch picking with a consolidation wall

Work with an experienced design engineer to help define current processes and develop a plan for a lean operation.  You want a system completely tailored to your needs.  Numina Group takes a collaborative approach with your team when defining and implementing warehouse operation improvements that will increase productivity. The highest ROI happens with order fulfillment processes that are united and automated.

Software is the critical component behind most DC productivity improvements. Most WMS and ERPs lack the ability to integrate automation technology.  You need a solution that can bolt-on to your existing ERP or WMS to control your entire operation. Numina Group’s RDS™ Warehouse Execution and Control Software modules include all of these components:

  • Batch order release
  • Wave release
  • Cartonization
  • Voice picking
  • Pick to light
  • Put to light order consolidation
  • Pack automation
    • Print fold insert
    • Scan-weigh-dim
      • Vision audit
    • Print and apply labeling (several solutions)
  • Conveyor and high speed sortation control
  • Combines LTL, Parcel, Full Case Pallets
  • Several people in zones simultaneously working on tasks
  • Labor performance tracking (incentive programs)

These modules can stand alone or work congruently, enabling an entire pick, pack, and ship solution to deliver perfect order practices.  No other company besides Numina Group offers all of these components with the flexibility that our RDS™ Software Suite provides.

Voice Picking Software

RDS™ Voice picking software, for example, accomplishes improved metrics for three Perfect Order KPIs.

  • Complete order-fill accuracy
  • On-time delivery
  • Zero Defects

Our Voice solution is one of the most significant cost saving automation modules that we offer. Lowers labor costs, increases accuracy 50% or more, and delivers an outstanding ROI. The two step verification process (Voice Headset and Scanning) increases accuracy to omit the need for secondary inspection and ensures complete order fill accuracy with zero defects. Voice takes out the inspection step, guesswork associated with shipping containers, and directs workers in the fastest walk path. RDS™ Voice includes very advanced Cartonization and Order Release Modules supporting picking directly to the right size cartons and/or padded bags, eliminating secondary touches in packing, resulting in lower costs. These factors all contribute to on-time delivery. RDS™ Voice blends Voice directed workforce management together with the entire pick, pack, and ship processes and automation technologies. 

Pack automation takes bottlenecks out of the operation, reduces labor, and ensures that the correct documentation is inserted or applied to each carton.  Inline scan-weigh-dimension machines work as a fail-safe to pass inaccurate products into an inspection lane.  Additionally, adding a vision audit camera to the scan weigh dimension system will provide further evidence that a product was shipped with zero defects.

Due to the high costs associated with failing to meet the perfect order metric, it is apparent that integrating the right mix of process improvements, software, and automation into your operation will have a fast ROI and enhance future profitability.  Call the Numina group to discuss your operation. We look forward to partnering with you to brainstorm process and automation technologies that will streamline your order fulfillment operation and help you to achieve the perfect order.

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