Has Pick by voice become The New Black in the space of automation?

Surbhi Aggarwal

24th Feb, 2020

Has Pick by voice become The New Black in the space of automation_

If you are still wondering about why over half a million people are talking about Voice-based picking, then keep on reading. Speech recognition has become dramatically popular in our daily lives and subsequently finds tremendous potential in the space of warehouse automation. Due to the advance NLP platform, it’s time for pick by voice technology to flourish as a technology since it has become sound and pronunciation agnostic. Each year thousands of users are adopting this new technology for the purpose of executing the warehousing operations and distribution center task management. The voice-based technology is more intuitive and improves the configurability and flexibility required for the smooth functioning of workflow processes. It improves the operating efficiency and results in profitability for the business leading to more bang for the buck.

Voice Vs HHT? Game Over For HHT
While the handheld terminal technology burdens the worker with a device in a hand, due to which the actual picking operation can be performed by only one hand or the HHT has to be tucked in for every pick operation, leading to higher time for picking. Furthermore, scanning takes more time resulting in lesser efficiency. This also takes higher training time than voice-based picking solutions. HHT creates obstacles in hand which when free can carry out multiple tasks increasing the picking per minute and hence the productivity is multiplied many times.

Order Picking With Voice – How it works?
With Pick by voice technology, the operator is given a smartphone-enabled with the voice-based app, powered by Natural Language Processing platform linked with a headset which helps them to accept audio instructions and deliver voice confirmations. The picklist is pushed to the system and the picker is directed to a specific location in the aisle where he is to perform the picking operation. Once the picker is an incorrect aisle, he confirms that he is at the correct bin location by reading out the check digit. After this, the system will deliver the required quantity to be picked and the picker confirms this process after picking that required quantity of units. Confirming this will lead him to the next picking location for the next picking operation. The voice-based system will also optimize the pick path so as to ensure that the operator has to cover the minimum distance. Walking alone takes between 45-60% of the total time of a picker’s operation and optimization helps to bring thigs unproductive activity to 15-35%. This ensures the efficiency of the workforce as they do the picking operation throughout the day.

Benefits of Voice-based picking
This paperless and hands-free technology drives a worker towards better efficiency by minimizing errors and improving picking accuracy. It increases the accuracy of operations by 35% reducing the chance of picking the wrong item due to lack of concentration. It creates a dialogue between the final required operation and the worker through the simplest means of conversation i.e. your own voice in your own language. By leveraging the services provided by today’s Internet of things, voice-based picking leads to better inventory positioning and fulfillment operations. Along with providing free hands to carry out various operations on the go, it also includes reporting tools that improve the functioning of your already existing WMS. This provides better scope for the management to anticipate workforce situations and make an informed decision later on. Most importantly, it keeps the worker focused enough while doing the picking operation resulting in better efficiency and far better accuracy. The headphones used in this process are mostly enabled with noise cancellation so that the worker would not get distracted from the assigned task. The constant confirmation through voice ensures that the process is running in a highly accurate and productive manner. Since the eyes of the picker are also free, there is increased safety as compared to the paper-based system where the picker has to keep his eyes stuck on the paper to ensure the right item is picked in the right quantity. It requires a training time of an average 15 minutes which reduces the conventional training time by 67%.

Finally, this whole process results in better employee satisfaction resulting in decreased labor turnover. Various studies have concluded that after implementing this technology the employee turnover has decreased by 50%. There is various Pick by voice providers in the market today which enables your picking solution to result in more efficiency and productivity. For Indian conditions, Addverb’s Voice-Based Picking is 3 times more efficient then HHT based picking.

IIOT Order Picking Voice Picking

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