3 Factors Creating the Demand for Voice-Based Solutions


Investing in an accurate picking process for your warehouse that has minimal errors is critical to maintaining an efficient inventory. Outdated picking solutions have no way to alert operators when an incorrect item has been picked, and this error may not be discovered until the delivery is made to the customer. Inaccurate picking like this can lead to wrong deliveries and serious consequences regarding customer satisfaction. 

The average cost per mis-pick has increased from $22 in 2013 to nearly $100 now. Even with a low rate of mis-picks, studies show that companies have lost up to $750,000 annually to these errors. To prevent inaccuracy without overburdening shrinking workforces,  warehouse voice-picking systems empower teams to concentrate on picking processes without looking at additional screens, thus accelerating fulfillment rates and without errors. This leaves both hands free to perform the pick. Voice picking systems use speech recognition and speech synthesis to allow warehouse operators who perform the picks to communicate with a Warehouse Management System, creating one of the easiest to adopt picking systems in modern warehousing. This process is more efficient and accurate since operators are ensured they have the correct parts for deliveries with confirmation from the system. 

Although handheld picking systems continue to dominate the modernization front, three persistent challenges have paved the way for increased demands for voice picking:

  1. The e-commerce boom - Since the demand for faster and cost-expensive orders has increased, the demands for solutions that can quickly and accurately manage inventory are also on the rise. Voice-based solutions ensure inventory accuracy so your shipments are more consistent to customers that are more reliant on quality deliveries. 
  2. More SKU proliferation - Increasing the versions and numbers of products that businesses offer as a response to learning what customers want brings visibility into your operation. However, more products means that there will be more pressure on the warehouse to keep an accurate inventory, but a voice-based solution can alleviate some of that pressure. 
  3. Labor turnover rates - Investing in voice-based solutions for your warehouse establishes a solution that helps your workers stay ahead of demands so they don’t feel overwhelmed or have too much work. Minimizing stress and simplifying workflows will make work environments friendlier and improve worker satisfaction. 

What does Voice Picking Look Like?

Studies have found that moving from a paper-based system to a voice-directed picking system can reduce picking errors by between 80% and 90%. Fast to deploy, voice picking has been seen to quickly raise productivity by 30% with less training time while elevating accuracy rates to 99.99%. Although many factors play into this success, four basic components make up a strong foundation for efficient voice picking:

  • Noise-cancelling headsets raise the standard in mobile workforce ergonomics, productivity, and accuracy while enabling voice-directed workflow efficiencies all without requiring workers to take their eyes off their pickpaths. This preserves faster fulfillment rates while also promoting worker safety simultaneously.
  • Robust mobile devices that are easy to wear and use so they can be mounted on vehicles for expanded operational flexibility.  Plus, enterprise-ready technologies connect data straight to you and the WMS, avoiding manual data entry and complex documentation. 
  • Flexible software to streamline operations like picking, warehouse cross-docking, cycle counting, dock scheduling, and order management. 
  • Committed solution expertise that works alongside your current and future teams to adapt your system. Because voice picking is easily scalable to change, having a committed team beside you at all times enables you to make changes and adjust to sudden surges in demand, labor shortages, price drops, and other new challenges. 

To explore the unique factors and benefits voice picking can bring into your operations, contact our modernization specialists for a comprehensive workflow assessment.post content here…