Extending Voice: 24 Voice Applications

Posted by Tailar Kennedy on Apr 28, 2017 7:00:00 AM

While voice technology was initially implemented mainly to enhance order fulfillment tasks, the performance benefits have resulted in a growing number of companies expanding their use of voice into other areas of the Distribution Center (DC). With voice providing an average of 10-25% improvement in productivity, it’s no wonder why adoption continues to gain popularity outside of picking. Read on to see 24 different ways voice can be used to optimize operational flexibility.

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  1. Case Picking: Mobile workers performing case picking are more productive with voice. With their eyes focused on what’s ahead of them and not looking at a screen you may also experience a reduction in accidents.
  2. Piece Picking: Piece picking mobile workers excel with voice. Expect to obtain up to 25% improvements in productivity because both hands are free and the voice commands streamline exception processing.
  3. Pick to Tote: Pick-to-Tote roller feed operations are natural environments to use voice. You will see 15% gains in your piece pick per hour results and gain valuable insight on individual worker performance.
  4. Gravity-Feed Piece Picking: See immediate improvements in gravity-feed environments with voice. It supports leveraging workers across zones in larger multi-zone layouts and reduces travel time dramatically when batch picking is implemented.
  5. Carousel Line Loading: Voice enabling your line-loading activities is a quick way to improve worker productivity. Workers can build pallets and process customized instructions more effectively over other technology options.
  6. Batch Picking: Picking multiple orders with voice using pull carts greatly reduces your total travel time and provides exceptional gains in worker throughput.
  7. Trolley / Pull-Cart Picking: Voice excels at supporting pull trolley cages and delivering performance gains while offering workers the comfort of voice leading wired or wireless headsets optimized for the DC.
  8. In the Freezer: Voice market breakout was due to its ability to work in a variety of operating environments, like the freezer. The voice-enabled mobile devices and batteries are quality tested and rated to support more than a full shift in extreme conditions.
  9. Product Traceability: Specialty or high-valued items often require secondary data capture like UPC, lot, expiration date, manufacture date, firmware version, etc. Ensure a seamless process that captures data quickly, reliably and consistently with voice.
  10. Put-to-Store / Flow-Through: Voice offers excellent worker productivity performance gains for workers using put-to-store and flow-through staging to break full pallets or cases into store-level orders without storing incoming products.
  11. Put-to-Store (Apparel): Having both hands free creates a more positive worker experience over traditional piece-picking methods, and greatly improves overall throughput by being able to reduce wasteful dead head travel time with reverse picking paths.
  12. Catch Weight / Random Weight: Voice can support the capture of the exact packaging unit weight during the picking process to ensure that the box is properly priced by its weight unit (lbs or kgs) without having to weigh the orders.
  13. Receiving: Workers using voice pair easily with workers with ring scanners and portable printers for missing LPN labels to streamline processes. Receiving is the second fastest growing voice-enabled solution in the warehouse.
  14. Put-Away: The put-away function has always been a task that challenges your team as they position older stock with newer stock. Voice enables workers to operate with both hands, as well as providing them sufficient vehicle mobility.
  15. Stocking / Replenishment: Stocking and replenishing your inventory is another traditional use of voice. The ability for the worker to stay focused on where they are going by listening to their directions will ensure greater bin and slot location replenishment accuracy.
  16. Supporting Narrow Aisle & High-Reach Trucks: Voice enabling your workers in narrow aisles and on high-reach vehicles creates additional ways to better leverage your existing voice investment throughout your facility.
  17. Transferring: Transferring stock is another traditional use of voice. This function can be interleaved with put-to-store, replenishment and back-stocking tasks.
  18. Cross-Docking: Voice-enabled cross-docking is becoming more prominent each year as more customers leverage a hybrid model of using voice with scanning to increase worker productivity and reduce data entry errors.
  19. eCommerce & Packing Station: Managing eCommerce orders has become the fastest growing application of voice. Combined with the voice packing station workflow task, you can eliminate 50% of the steps to pack an order and reduce the time of order completion up to 20%.
  20. Audit & Quality Control: Increased accuracy will positively impact your overall quality and auditing results. Voice can validate products during receipt (leveraging your ASN information) and shipment, and capture data about potentially damaged products as well.
  21. Cycle Counting & Physical Inventory: Easily interleave cycle-counting and physical inventory with other work assignments to maximize worker efficiency and overall worker productivity, without adding a scanning step to the workflow.
  22. Loading: Fork truck operators can leverage voice to help improve their order loading activities. The ability for managers to split large orders amongst other workers helps ensure you can meet those tight order shipment windows from staging to shipping.
  23. Pick to Load: Your workers can even leverage voice to direct load a picked order and eliminate the traditional staging step.
  24. Shipping Manifests: The voice packing station workflow task frees hands and seamlessly works with your scales and supports your existing integration with major parcel delivery services and LTL providers.

 Interested in learning more about Voice?

 Head over to the Vitech website to read case studies and whitepapers, and watch video testimonials from actual voice users.

 

Topics: Voice