Vocollect Inc., Voice-centric solutions provider for mobile workers, has announced the advent of what it calls the new Voice-enabled warehouse era the next generation in distribution centre/warehouse material-handling management along with solutions from Vocollect that will help to usher in this new era. The new Vocollect Voice-enabled warehouse helps customers to more effectively address various business challenges including growth, cost reduction, productivity, throughput, accuracy, traceability and product mix changes.
Over the past five years, distribution processes have moved from paper-centric to RF-centric, and now they are moving to Voice-centric. Market research conducted by Vocollect and confirmed by several independent studies shows that voice technology is a widespread solution for improving business results in logistics operations across many industries and geographic regions. With penetration in more than 10 per cent of DCs and warehouses in Europe and North America complemented by emerging growth in Asia-Pacific and Latin America, voice technology is now used daily at thousands of work sites by hundreds of thousands of workers. Further, voice is increasingly used across many workflows and processes beyond picking.
"Companies have long embraced voice-centric solutions as a highly effective tool for product order selection," according to Steve Banker, director of supply chain management with ARC Advisory Group. "But now they are awakening to the vast potential Voice technology offers in other distribution activities such as put-away, put-to-store, and cycle-counting. This is causing many companies to re-examine their internal processes to see how Voice might be applied to many distribution activities," he said.
It is well-documented that mobile workers are more productive and focused - and thereby more accurate - when using wearable, hands-free, eyes free solutions. Multiple case studies validate the benefits of Voice - with productivity improvements of 20 to 40 per cent, order accuracy improvements to >99.995 per cent, traceability of controlled items and order fulfilment agility.
A New Solution Architecture for Distribution Centers and Warehouses
Realising the full benefits of voice in the DC/warehouse is best done by rethinking the warehouse from a starting point that recognises the maturity and power of voice technology. Working with partners and suppliers with the experience, capability and solutions that approach the use of voice technology with a strategic business perspective is the ideal starting point. The new era of Voice-enabled warehousing is best served by partners and suppliers with full voice solutions that are purpose-built and integrated to serve the vast and varied potential areas of need throughout the DC/warehouse, while providing for seamless integration with warehouse management systems and the additional tools required by mobile workers (e.g., barcode scanning, printing, displays, RFID).
New Vocollect Solution Sets for Unique Customer Scenarios
To implement the next-generation Voice-enabled warehouse, throughout 2010 Vocollect has announced it will introduce four new integrated solution sets to help meet evolving customer needs:
Premium Wearable Voice Solution - A next-generation, Voice-centric, extensible solution (supporting adjunct scanners and displays for occasional use) that offers high performance, flexibility and investment protection for customers seeking double-digit gains in productivity and accuracy across multiple workflows.
Industrial Wearable Voice Solution - A Voice-centric, extensible solution (supporting adjunct scanners when necessary) that offers high performance, along with a level of flexibility and investment protection for customers wanting to enjoy the benefits of voice across multiple workflows.
Light Industrial Wearable Voice Solution - A new Voice-only, light industrial solution for customers seeking the benefits of voice in a value-based solution.
Vehicle Mount Voice Solution - A new Voice-centric, extensible solution (supporting adjunct scanners when necessary) that offers high performance, along with a level of flexibility and investment protection, for customers seeking the benefits of voice for vehicle-based workflows.
"The voice industry has just begun to tap the business improvement potential that voice-centric solutions bring to the supply chain industry and beyond," asserted Joe Pajer, chief operating officer of Vocollect, Inc. and president of its Supply Chain Solutions division. "Vocollect invented the application of voice technology for industrial use and has achieved significant penetration into the picking operations of the largest DCs and warehouses across North America and Europe. We are now moving aggressively to lead this market to the next level - extending the benefits of voice for all workflows to the remaining 90 per cent of the market, in medium to large DCs and warehouses across the globe. Vocollect will, through product leadership and the most experienced and extensive supply chain partnership network in the world, continue to lead this voice revolution in the DC/warehouse market into the future," said Pajer.