Sainsbury's "try something new" by using voice

Sainsburys implements voice technology to increase distribution centre efficiency

Leading UK retailer, Sainsburys, has implemented voice technology from VoiteQ at three of its distribution centres - Maltby, Stone and Skelton. Their current warehouse management system (WMS), DISCO, produced paper pick lists at those depots detailing the items that the pickers needed to place into the cages for dispatch to its stores. The new voice system will be used to replace paper pick lists with voice directed work, making the process more efficient and accurate. The implementation consists of over 100 Talkman devices that are being used 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to pick up to c400,000 cases.

The Talkman is a wearable voice computer attached to a securely fastened belt and headset and microphone worn by the picker which interacts with the user and the existing WMS, via VoiteQs VoiceMan middleware solution, the UKs leading software for voice-directed operations. Instructions from VoiceMan are transmitted over a wireless network to the operative who follows the location and quantity instructions. The operative responds with the verification of the product and the quantity hes picked, the device updates VoiceMan in real time, which in turn produces an output to update the host WMS with each pick result. The voice terminal recognises the pickers voice and can understand the key words used irrespective of his nationality or accent.

Nick Symmons, Sainsburys Head of Supply Chain and Convenience Systems, comments, Despite only recently implementing voice we have already seen significant benefits accuracy has  improved by over 1% to 99.99% and productivity is anticipated to increase by the end of 2008. We have made a significant investment in this new system, but believe with this increase in efficiency we will quickly attain our return on investment.

David Stanhope, CEO of VoiteQ, said We have specialised in providing IT solutions to retailers since 2001; we are pleased that Sainsburys recognised our expertise in this area and that we can now add this major UK retailer to our growing list of customers.

Symmons continues, VoiteQ have implemented voice into all three sites with minimal disruption to our day-to-day business, and all the implementations were completed in under 3 months. Voice has had a dramatic effect on our picking operation and we are already assessing the business to see which otherareas we could use voice, to reap additional benefits.  Symmons concludes, We have recently acknowledged VoiteQs commitment to the Sainsburys voice implementation project by awarding them with both the Solution of the Year and Supplier of the Year at our 2008 awards. With the level of service we have received from the VoiteQ team, we are looking forward to working with them on future projects.

VIDEO :: How Voice Compares to Scanning

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