Voice is a powerful technology – It’s time to explore Voice Warehouse Management Systems
These days, businesses face a wide range of challenges. Within the supply chain, this is particularly true for distribution centres (DC), where supply and demand coincide. Management expects to be able to limit or even reduce costs, while handling more and more goods in picking systems and improving customer service in an era of booming e-commerce. In an effort to meet these expectations and increase employee efficiency, new technologies are coming under the spotlight such as Voice Warehouse Management Systems
When it comes to selection, workflow is the key. Without a doubt, one of the most effective tried-and-tested picking methods used in logistics is voice technology.
Voice Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) uses speech recognition and speech synthesis to allow workers to communicate verbally with the warehouse management system (WMS). Workers use a wireless, wearable computer with a headset and microphone, which links to the server via a radio frequency network. In Voice Picking, for example, the order picker is instructed by voice, via the headset, what to pick and where to pick it. they then verbally confirm their actions back to the WMS system through the microphone.
Voice technology allows wholesale distributors to maximise the benefits of real-time, hands-free and eyes-free interaction with the warehouse system. It generates major performance benefits, especially in terms of accuracy and productivity. Voice systems typically pay for themselves within a year of installation, often within six months.
Where are voice solutions best deployed? Simply put, wherever its users benefit from working hands-free. A good example is high volume, small item picking (for example in an Internet sales fulfilment operation) where a voice-driven, hands-free system can deliver a significant increase in performance with optimum accuracy, reducing costly processing time.
Voice Warehouse Management Systems works across all warehouse operations, including Goods Receiving, Stocktaking, Put-Away, Picking, Pick-Face Replenishment and Labour Management. It is also suitable for standard and bonded warehouse operations.
Here are some of the benefits you can gain implementing a Voice WMS:
- 99.99% picking accuracy
- 10-20% productivity improvement over paper-based systems
- Admin & stationery savings
- Higher customer service levels
- Fantastic process optimisation including order picking, cross-docking, inventory, pick & pack, put-away, replenishment and quality control.
- Minimal training time which is ideal for peak seasonal periods.
- One device for multiple processes.
- You can combine voice picking with scanning, RFID or screen-based support.
- Seamless integration with any ERP or WMS, including SAP.
- 6-12 months Return on Investment (ROI)
A warehouse management system (WMS) is a software application, designed to support and optimise warehouse functionality and distribution centre management. These systems facilitate management in their daily planning, organising, staffing, directing, and controlling the utilisation of available resources, to move and store materials into, within, and out of a warehouse, while supporting staff in the performance of material movement and storage in and around a warehouse. The following article Warehouse Management Systems Explained covers all the key points you need to know.
For example, a WMS can provide visibility into an organisation’s inventory at any time and location, whether in a facility or in transit. It can also manage supply chain operations from the manufacturer or wholesaler to the warehouse, then to a retailer or distribution centre. A WMS is often used alongside or integrated with a transportation management system (TMS) or an inventory management system.
A modern cloud based WMS system can offer the functionality to a small business that needs a solution without big upfront costs and long timescales. With effective handling procedures and advanced multi-location control, you’ll know how much stock you have and where to find it. You’ll be able to optimise storage space, increase pick efficiency and achieve near total despatch accuracy. A product that’s intuitive and easy to learn will need minimal time to commission, but once up and running it will deliver benefits which transform the efficiency of your business.
While your WMS might entail a small start-up cost, it will save you money as your business grows more efficient and productive. If you get a WMS that includes a mobile app, you won’t even need to worry about your system getting outdated, because the app will provide automatic updates.
The one thing you will want to keep in mind when shopping for a warehouse management system for your small business, though, is finding one that will grow with your business. After all, if your business becomes more efficient and productive, you’ll likely need to expand in the future.
Whilst bar code scanning is well suited to many warehouse applications, for some tasks a voice picking system can provide significant benefits. Voice picking enables your warehouse team to communicate with their WMS directly, by listening and speaking via a headset connected to a terminal worn on their belt, and revolutionises the way they work. Voice picking delivers significant benefits for the workers, and performance improvements for the company.
Voice picking using a WMS frees the operative’s hands allowing him or her to work faster without working harder. Moreover, use of voice technology means that the operative’s eyes are focused on completion of the task in hand and not moving from terminal to warehouse locations, helping to improve accuracy.
When considering a voice picking solution, it’s important to recognise that not all voice systems are equal. In order to achieve the full benefit offered by Voice, the solution requires proven, high-performance voice recognition technology combined with process optimisation based on a thorough understanding of your business processes and goals. Voice Warehouse Management Systems are the way forward in 2020.
Speak to one of our team to understand how Clarus’ WMS system can cost effectively support best practice warehouse management processes, better customer service and highly efficient working for a range of warehouse operations with pay per month options and no IT infrastructure needed.
Our platform can scale from a one user, small depot system to a 100’s of user distribution centre operation. The ClarusWMS platform will cost effectively scale with your business based on demand.
ClarusWMS is a UK based supplier of warehouse management solutions with a wealth of industry experience in third party logistics, wholesale / retail distribution, online fulfillment and manufacturing warehousing.