Voice solutions have matured as a technology in a number of uses to become an indispensable asset for picking and packing. From processing goods for retail outlets to packing customer orders in eCommerce fulfilment centres, voice is a modern, sophisticated and adaptable technology.
Here are three applications for the solution in modern logistics and warehousing operations.
1) Improving site mapping to reduce staff navigation time
One of the most time-consuming processes in any warehouse is navigating the storage spaces in search of inventory. Without instant insight as to where certain items are stored, operators can spend a great deal of time trying to navigate manually by reading picking slips. This also means floor staff don’t have free hands to pack and process orders once they have located them.
Voice technology makes this issue a thing of the past. By allowing operators to instantly recall data whenever needed, staff can find orders they need without having to manually record information or find their way around a large storage facility. Reducing travel times between finding and retrieving orders can translate into a range of efficiency improvements down the track too, such as improving the amount of stock picked and processed per hour.
2) Increasing order processing efficiency
When assessing goods for dispatch, operators need access to a certain amount of information, such as the item’s history, comparative stock levels of other similar items and where the order is being sent. Paper records give processing staff the information needed – but at the detriment of having to read and retain information. The hands-free factor also affects operators’ ability to perform their roles to the best of their ability.
Voice gives floor staff the power to vastly improve order processing efficiency. Using the technology, employees can recall important product information as and when needed, rather than retain all data from a single paper form. Operators can also use voice solutions to more easily access a range of digital data on operations, making it easier to adapt their responsibilities to increase the number of orders accurately processed over time.
3) Redesigning warehouse infrastructure for greater productivity
Voice technology is designed to integrate with your existing production infrastructure – but advanced solutions can also help you analyse these processes to see if they offer the best returns. You don’t need to be restricted by the ‘chicken-and-egg’ relationship between whether technology availability should define processes, or processes should stipulate the tech required – the link can work both ways.
For example, using voice technology to reduce staff navigation time and increase order efficiency can stimulate business leaders to reassess how their storage facility is laid out. Accessing data on the volume of goods processed in a given time period, where these items are stored and how they are moved around can all inform warehouse layout. With these insights, business leaders can rearrange shelving units or change access routes through storage spaces to reduce the time and staff power required to meet basic labour processes.