Voice picking in the warehouse brings many time-saving and efficiency benefits. It was once the preserve of large warehouse operations. Over time, though, technology has improved and prices have come down. So it’s now very well suited for all sizes of distribution and warehouse operations.
What is voice picking?
Using a headset, voice picking directs pickers through audible instructions. The picker responds verbally, via a built-in microphone, confirming that the pick has been made. The system logs the pick and then directs the picker to the next line or order.
It’s a system that does away with more manual, paper-based processes. It also leaves both hands free. This makes the picker more efficient and quicker in their work, as they don’t need to keep picking up a clipboard and pen or a scanning gun.
What equipment do you use for voice picking?
The set-up for voice-directed picking is simple. Aside from the software, the only equipment needed is a mobile terminal connected to a headset with microphone.
Pickers don’t even need scanners. They are completely directed by voice, and they confirm by voice in return. The mobile terminal or computer is often body-worn for portability.
Can you implement voice picking with as few as 5 pickers?
Pick by voice is a suitable for all sizes of warehouse. It can be used effectively in a warehouse with as few as five operatives. Or it can be used by a facility with hundreds of workers.
It’s also a very scalable solution. For every worker that you scale up by, all you need to buy is another terminal and headset.
How much training is required?
Because a worker’s activities are driven by voice commands, operatives don’t need to be trained on how to interpret picking sheets, or how to use a scanner, or how to input a pick through a keyboard.
All that’s needed is a simple, one-off training session and around 15 minutes spent creating a voice template so that the system recognises them.
Warehouse operatives can be up and running in a few hours, as opposed to the several days of training that a non-voice system might require. This means that you can be confident that seasonal or temporary workers can be ready to get to work very quickly.
Can voice technology be you used for other warehouse processes?
Voice directed activities in the warehouse aren’t limited to picking.
Voice technology allows workers to operate hands-free and also brings a greater level of accuracy. So other warehouse processes can employ voice-directed solutions. It can be used in cross-docking, packing, receiving, put-away, replenishment, cycle counting and full stock takes.
If you’d like some guidance on using voice in your warehouse, our consultants can analyse your operations and provide a business use case that assesses the productivity gains and return on investment you could achieve. Call us on 020 8819 9071 or get in touch.
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