Three Unique Approaches to Voice Picking

Our warehouse/DC engineer takes a look at three distribution operations employing three unique approaches to voice picking. But no matter how different each solution may be, these operations illustrate how the benefits of picking with voice remain largely the same.

Zondervan’s $240,000 voice investment is clearly paying off. In the first 13 days that the system was up and running, accuracy improved by 56.7 percent.

Logistics in the News

Behind KION Group’s acquisition of Dematic
Brexit impact yet to be measured by U.S. logistics managers
BTS reports U.S.-NAFTA trade falls 3.2 percent in April
Leadership shortage troubles ocean cargo sector
FedEx posts solid Fiscal Year Q4 and full-year earnings
More Logistics News

Logistics Resource

Three Must-Have Supply Chain Capabilities
Did you know that almost half of all companies now do business in more than 50 countries, and a third operate in more than 100 countries?
All Resources
By Maida Napolitano · July 13, 2010

Order picking with voice is undergoing yet another transformation. Since its pioneering days in the 1990s, voice picking consisted of predominantly proprietary hardware and software solutions, such as those by Vocollect, using mobile computers embedded with speaker-dependent speech engines.

Then in the early 2000s, vendors such as Voxware started moving away from proprietary hardware and shifted to more open architecture solutions that they embedded in commercial, off-the-shelf mobile computing devices such as those marketed by Motorola and LXE. This open hardware era saw an increase in speaker independent technologies and the rise in multimodal functionality allowing devices to capture data multiple ways, whether via voice, scanning, or RFID.

Both “proprietary solutions” and “open hardware” approaches physically require a mobile computer when picking.

But over the past three years, the proliferation of high-performance wireless networks and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems has ushered in what could be a new era in voice. Coca-Cola Enterprises, partnering with Cisco (a leading provider of wireless networks) and Datria (a Lockheed Martin spin-off specializing in packaged voice-enabled enterprise mobility applications) helped to innovate this network-based approach.

“It’s the era of intelligent networks,” says Daniel Hong, lead analyst of customer interaction practice with research firm Ovum and author of the The Guide to Voice Solutions in Warehouse Environments (February 2009). “Voice goes through a physical router that is also connected to a back-end server where all the speech recognition and intelligence resides,” he explains…..continued (click here to download PDF).


About the Author

Maida Napolitano
Maida Napolitano has worked as a Senior Engineer for various consulting companies specializing in supply chain, logistics, and physical distribution since 1990. She’s is the principal author for the following publications: Using Modeling to Solve Warehousing Problems (WERC); Making the Move to Cross Docking (WERC); The Time, Space & Cost Guide to Better Warehouse Design (Distribution Group); and Pick This! A Compendium of Piece-Pick Process Alternatives (WERC). She has worked for clients in the food, health care, retail, chemical, manufacturing and cosmetics industries, primarily in the field of facility layout and planning, simulation, ergonomics, and statistic analysis. She holds BS and MS degrees in Industrial Engineering from the University of the Philippines and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, respectively. She can be reached at [email protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Voice · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Reduce Order Processing Costs by 80%
Sales order automation software will seamlessly transform inbound emailed and printed purchase orders into electronic sales orders that can be automatically processed into your ERP system with 100% accuracy.
Download Today!
From the June 2016 Issue
In the wildly unstable ocean cargo carrier arena, three major consortia are fighting for market share, with some players simply hanging on for survival. Meanwhile, shippers may expect deployment shifts as a consequence of the Panama Canal expansion.
WMS Update: What do we need to run a WMS?
Supply Chain Software Convergence: Synchronization Realized
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Optimizing Global Transportation: How NVOCCs Can Use Technology to Operate More Profitably
Global transportation isn't getting any easier to manage, especially for non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs). Faced with uncertainties like surcharges—but needing to remain competitive when bidding against other providers—NVOCCs need the right mix of historical data, data intelligence, and technology support to make quick and effective decisions. During this webcast you'll learn how Bolloré Transport & Logistics was able to streamline its global logistics and automate contract management.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Details Key to Cross-border Ease
Ever-changing regulations are making it risky for U.S. companies engaged in cross-border trade...
Digital Reality Check
Just how close are we to the ideal digital supply network? Not as close as we might like to think....

Top 25 ports: West Coast continues to dominate
The Panama Canal expansion is set for late June and may soon be attracting more inbound vessel calls...
Port of Oakland launches smart phone apps for harbor truckers
Innovation uses Bluetooth, GPS to measure how long drivers wait for cargo