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.

<p>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.</p>

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

State of Logistics 2016: Pursue mutual benefit
FedEx, USPS extend air transport contract to 2024
U.S.-NAFTA freight rises for third time in five months in December, reports BTS
Truck tonnage is mixed in January, reports ATA
XPO Logistics posts strong Q4 and full-year 2016 earnings results
More Logistics News

Logistics Resource

Making E-Commerce Logistics Work
Special Digital Issue: Eight feature stories that neatly encapsulate the new technology and processes that are revolutionizing logistics and supply chain operations.
All Resources
By ·

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
The Internet of Things and the Modern Supply Chain
Learn today how the internet of things is transforming supply chain operations.
Download Today!
From the February 2017 Issue
As the new administration sends waves of uncertainly through the global trade community, this could be the best time ever for shippers to build an investment case for GTM. Here are five trends you need to watch if you’re about to put these savvy systems to work
Carrier Consolidation Keeps Shippers Guessing
Getting Value from the Cloud
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Advance your career with the fastest growing logistics certification – APICS CLTD
During this webcast presenters will give an overview of APICS and the new Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD) designation. Learn how the CLTD program can help you stay on top of current trends and advance your career.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
ASEAN Logistics: Building Collectively
While most of the world withdraws inward, Southeast Asia is practicing effective cooperation between...
2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...

Logistics Management’s Top Logistics News Stories 2016
From mergers and acquisitions to regulation changes, Logistics Management has compiled the most...
Making the TMS Decision: Ariens Finds Just the Right Fit
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL)...