Traditionally, the way of picking and packing in the warehouse is all done using paper. While voice directed picking is not a new concept in the logistics community it has recently become more popular in warehouses and distribution centers. Originally, the use was for the voice system was picking, but naturally they have found more tasks that would benefit with this system. Voice picking has made it easier for workers to focus on the tasks that they given through the system. Warehouse employees are always feeling more pressure in order to get out orders more quickly.
What is Voice Picking?
Also known as voice directed warehousing (VDW) is the new standard to pick orders using automated speech. This process has shown to increase accuracy throughout the day. It makes it easier on the employees to not take the time to read a picking sheet and have to cross check the SKU. This allows the process to be strictly non paper based and hands free.
How does it work?
Workers would wear a headset that is very light weight and it allows them to hear what they need to do directly from the WMS. The program can be integrated with the current WMS, so there is no additional work. There are training sessions that help the device to recognize their voice. The system is able to sort out individual orders that the employee will pick first. This is to be able to pick in the most efficient manner. The workers will be able to speak to the system once the job is complete. By just listening to the tasks it makes it easier to concentrate.
Why is important?
Warehouse employees would be able to improve productivity and definitely be able to manage their time more efficiently. The voice operator will be able tell the worker what the product is and what location it is in. The voice application requires the employee to speak back the order in order to make sure they are correctly picking the item, as well as, the quantity of each item. If the employee repeats information regarding the order incorrectly it will correct them and make them aware which part is incorrect. If the employee repeats the task correctly it will move on to the other steps in the process.
Here are some of the many benefits:
Shorter training time
The time that it usually takes to train a worker is pretty time consuming, but with voice picking it can take under an hour. For seasonal workers this type of training is ideal because it doesn't affect when they start the jobs. Workers just need training one time and to create speech recognition with the system.
With this system there is little margin of error that could occur. According to supplychain247, “Operations can achieve more than 99.9 percent fulfillment accuracy.” This in turn could lead to less returns and have greater increase in customer satisfaction. Voice picking instructs which location the employee should go and the quantity of each item to pick. It also requires a response back to make sure that the employee understood the task.
This process helps workers to concentrate on the task fully rather than constantly looking a sheet and making sure.