Voice Technology is speaking loud and clear

image

Jennifer (by LUCAS) is the leading voice directed warehouse solution for open, industry standard mobile computers. Jennifer supports voice picking and other warehouse tasks, helping associates work faster with fewer errors.

By Bob Trebilcock, Executive Editor
July 20, 2010 - MMH Editorial

I had a chat today with John Schreifer, a marketing executive with Lucas Systems, that was a reminder of just how far the voice technology industry has come in the last few years.

Going back about ten years ago, I used to hear a constant refrain: This is the year that voice is really going to take off. Except that it never did. It was like that sign in the bar window that reads “Free beer tomorrow.” Ask the bartender when you can get your free beer, and the answer is always tomorrow and tomorrow never came.

When it comes to voice, tomorrow has arrived. Not that long ago, it was the rare DC that had voice-directed picking when we put together our monthly cover stories.

Now, it seems as if a majority of the facilities are using voice to direct at least some portion of their picking.

What prompted my dialogue with Schreifer, one that I intend to continue down the road, was a story by Maida Napolitano, my colleague at our sister publication Logistics Management. 

Maida highlighted how three companies - Coca-Cola, Christian-publisher Zondervan and Pierre’s Ice Cream – are using voice in ways that vary from the norm to solve their distribution challenges.

As Schreifer and I talked about the story and some of the developments that Lucas is working on, I realized how mainstream voice has become over the past ten years, and how many different options and providers there are in the marketplace today.

Just a few weeks ago, I spoke to someone from Intelligrated about their voice offering, and Dematic recently announced a picking solution that combines voice technology and robotics. Getting voice from your automated materials handling systems provider is different. And, as Schreifer pointed out, Lucas is increasingly combining voice with other modes of data collection, such as the voice and barcode scanning solution I wrote about at Longo’s, a Canadian grocer and Lucas customer, in July of 2009.

Voice really is beginning to speak loud and clear in the warehouse.



About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Executive Editor

Bob Trebilcock, executive editor, has covered materials handling, technology and supply chain topics for Modern Materials Handling since 1984. More recently, Trebilcock became editorial director of Supply Chain Management Review. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.


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!

Recent Entries

Last month, I gave a presentation to a group of senior transportation and supply chain executives. It was entitled “Predictable Surprises,” because it addressed how transportation and supply chain professionals can eliminate unpleasant surprises by looking at and evaluating issues in the transportation industry, and projecting how those issues will affect their companies.

The Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB) said this week that they have formally established working groups, which they said will aim to seek new supply chain efficiencies, and focus on various aspects of port operations, including peak operations and terminal optimization in an effort to augment the San Pedro Bay port complex.

A month ago, the Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) from freight transportation consultancy FTR indicated that shippers might be traveling on a rocky road in the coming months. And one month later it appears those concerns appear to have been confirmed.

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) had nothing but praise for the Senate passage over the past weekend of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015).

While there are apparent benefits to switching from diesel fuel to natural gas in terms of promised climate benefits, they come with a catch according to a research paper recently researched by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

About the Author

Bob Trebilcock, editorial director, has covered materials handling, technology, logistics and supply chain topics for nearly 30 years. In addition to Supply Chain Management Review, he is also Executive Editor of Modern Materials Handling. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484 or email [email protected].

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.