The use of modern management software has been common in the warehouse environment for almost two decades. Since its inception in the early 90s we have seen many new innovations that have helped businesses to track product sales, control stock levels and sell off slow moving items cheap before they incur a loss. One of the most recent improvements which has had a huge impact on the warehouse environment is that of voice technology. Whilst it is not yet used in all warehouses; it is becoming ever more popular as managers recognise its value to the business.
Understanding the technology
Warehouse management software has traditionally been based on a paper system. When a customer’s order is ready to be dealt with it is printed off and then handed to the warehouse staff, whose job it is to pick the correct items before loading onto the delivery truck. Voice technology instead provides instructions to the staff via a headset. Not only does the system tell the picker which items are required to fulfil the order; it will also direct them to the exact location within the warehouse.
Delivering customer satisfaction
The ability to quickly locate and gather in all the required items means that an order can be dispatched in less time than a warehouse using a paper system. Voice technology has also been shown to greatly improve accuracy by cutting the opportunity for human error during the picking process. In both instances the customer receives a better level of service which helps the supplier to retain their business.
Whilst the initial costs of installing voice technology may make warehouse managers wary; long term it will more than pay its way. The fact that staff are more productive in the way that they work means that businesses are able to employ less people and thus cut staffing costs. Not having to rectify incorrect deliveries can also result in massive savings to the business. In most cases the use of voice technology in the warehouse environment will result in savings that pay for the installation within the first six months.
The warehouse is one of most common work settings for an accident to occur. There are often forklift trucks in operation in such settings as well as manually pushed trolleys. Any member of staff that is not paying full attention can soon find themselves involved in an incident that can leave them severely injured or perhaps even worse. As voice technology removes the need for paper lists it means that staff members are not constantly referring to them and are thus more aware of their surroundings. They can also use both hands to lift items without being encumbered with paperwork, which reduces handling errors and costly damages.
About the Author
John Palmer is employed as a warehouse manager who has been impressed with the benefits that voice directed warehouse management software has provided his company.
Image Source: By Vasco Neves Dias (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons