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Increasing Efficiency with Voice Applications in the Warehouse

Warehouse operators are always striving to increase productivity. Efforts to streamline operations often focus on the picking process, one of the main problem areas. RMS Omega is confident that a voice application in the warehouse is a cost effective, efficient solution.

Challenges in the Picking Process

Although warehouse operators appreciate the availability of mobile handheld devices to scan barcodes and send and receive written instructions for direct picking, there are still challenges to be overcome such as:

  • Inefficiencies in looking up and down from a screen to a bin or rack and holding a device while trying to maneuver an item or machinery
  • Inaccuracies in reading the original direction on the screen or piece of paper, verifying the pick and manually entering data on a keyboard or paper once the pick is made
  • Safety issues around focusing on a screen and not the warehouse environment which might include moving equipment

Voice Application Solutions

Although a voice application might seem like an obvious solution, RMS Omega recognizes the reluctance of some businesses to move in that direction. There have been concerns with many legacy voice systems about the costs of all new proprietary equipment and technology, lengthy deployment and extended training. However, the specialists at RMS Omega are confident they can provide customized, cost effective solutions with a demonstrable ROI.

RMS Omega recommends products that include the following features:

  • Voice functionality easily integrated into existing systems, including extending legacy applications to mobile computers
  • Flexibility to work on various devices which might come from different manufacturers
  • Speech recognition engine robust enough to eliminate the need for individual voice profiles
  • Voice processing done on mobile devices so not tying up network capacity
  • Simple, fast deployment
  • Reliable connectivity
  • Speech-to-text and text-to-speech functionality for various regional dialects or other languages, as required
  • Low cost for licensing and maintenance

Benefits of Warehouse Voice Applications

RMS Omega is always pleased to review the benefits of installing a voice application in a warehouse operation, including:

  • Streamlined process – Warehouse workers can move more quickly when they are retrieving products. Hands-free devices allow them to focus on finding the item or pallet they are looking for instead of looking up and down from a screen to the bins and racks. Then they can use voice entry to provide and receive confirmation about the pick. There is no more picking up and putting down devices or stopping to make data entries on a screen.  The voice application is particularly effective in a complex operation where there is a large volume of picking functions, multiple moving parts such as conveyors, and several people working together at the same time.
  • Increased accuracy – Voice instead of manual data entry reduces errors. Warehouse operators typically speak of 99% accuracy. This means little if any, time wasted correcting errors, and the end result is increased customer satisfaction.
  • Improved safety – Workers no longer have to key information in a mobile computer. Using hands-free and eyes-free devices with headsets means employees can pay attention to their work environment.
  • Integration with existing equipment and systems – The most efficient voice solutions can be installed on existing mobile computers as long as they support a quality speech headset. This eliminates considerable capital costs for new hardware. It also reduces employee stress in learning how to use different equipment.
  • Multi-modal data input – Management can decide what modality is most efficient for the task. Not everything has to be voice. For example, it might be more intuitive and efficient to use the voice for picking, then use a wearable scanner to verify accuracy. The RMS Omega team works with businesses to review their processes and determine what function is best.

Beyond Picking

Besides the daily picking process in the warehouse, there are other useful applications for the voice functionality:

  • Any kind of data entry
  • Replenishment orders
  • Mobile inspection reports, even in the field
  • Yard management

RMS Omega’s professionals have more than 17 years of experience in reviewing warehouse operations, recommending the most efficient and cost effective solutions for a particular business and overseeing the installation and training.

For further information on a full service solution for voice in the warehouse, contact RMS Omega to start the discussion.