Okay Google, what do I pick next?
While that’s not quite what we mean by voice picking, it’s pretty close. The voice technology we use in our everyday lives for directions, web searches, videos, and more have been in the warehouse for quite a while.
Today, voice picking solutions tell your fulfillment experts what to grab next, where to put it, and where to go next. Smart systems provide directions for each step and wait for confirmation spoken by the user before moving on to what’s next.
The great news is that they’re incredibly accurate and can even perform audits while the picking takes place. Here are seven of the top reasons we think you might want to consider adding a Made4net WMS with an integrated voice solution to your warehouse.
1. Workers Are More Productive
Two hands are better than one, and voice picking technology frees up your workers to use both hands. So, there’s no putting down paper or having to find a pen and scratch items off a list as they go. Plus, no need to stop and scan with RF guns throughout the process.
This is extremely useful when you’ve got large or heavy items. If you’re working with wave and other advanced forms of picking, you also get better control over picking order and management, so employees are always moving to the best item next.
Some companies even see 25% to 40% higher batch picking rates when they switch to voice.
2. Increase Your Pick Accuracy
Those advanced picking rules and batches got us thinking about another significant improvement: accuracy.
Your warehouse must be accurate, or you cut into your margins and potentially lose money on an order. The best thing you can do is maintain top accuracy rates while being as fast as you can. Errors introduce reverse logistics processes and a lot of extra time reviewing products and reintegrating them into your inventory.
Avoid that by implementing a warehouse management system that includes voice solutions, making it easier for your staff to achieve 99.9% accuracy for your practices. No matter what you sell, you’ll benefit from fulfillment success rates like that.
3. Management Gets Better Metrics
Voice picking solutions provide you with a flow of data that leaders and managers can use to review individual employees, shifts, warehouse lines, full workforces, and more. A powerful WMS will give you the information you need to make smart business decisions while also providing a smart look at your overall operations.
This data can help you manage inventory levels, adjust when order volumes or categories shift, redesign your warehouse layout to maximize picking lanes, and even discover if you should look for a new method like batch, wave, or zone picking.
Choose a smart voice picking dashboard to get real-time data that’ll help you generate the insight you need to run a better warehouse and meet high leadership and customer demands.
4. Prepares You for Future Automation
It can seem like automation is around every corner, and you might find it hard to know where to start.
Voice picking allows you to test out a new type of automation available in many top WMS solutions. Here, you’re replacing a single process while also introducing automated checks and reviews so that your team isn’t disrupted. Workflows are easy to adjust, and pickers usually report that voice picking is easier than RF-based solutions.
You’ll also be getting a simpler process to help train your team on automation and additional support. So, if you need to grow or change your software in the future, everyone has experience with the process. The training and knowledge base you’ll build with this simple addition of voice picking may also help the next time you need to grow your warehouse.
5. Simple-to-Scale Service
Speaking of growing your warehouse, summer is almost here, and that could mean a big seasonal boost for your business. Voice picking makes scaling like that much easier because it relies on a WMS to automate your picking and order fulfillment management.
Voice ensures you’re sending the best picking to the best people and can make it easy to maintain high levels of accuracy and efficiency. Thanks to systems like WarehouseExpert WMS, you can scale your voice solution with minimal impact to workflows and simple introduction of new workers into your picking waves.
Plus, an improvement for the voice solution brings that advancement – such as supporting novel words or accents – to every worker.
6. Fewer Accidents Too
Voice doesn’t get in the way, and that means never obstructing the field of vision. This not only leaves your team free to use their hands how they need, but it also makes it easier to grab on to rails or move ladders whenever that makes sense.
Ultimately, this means fewer slips, trips, spills, and other accidents. The ergonomic system will soon feel natural for your worker and is designed to keep them safe.
7. Train Faster for Better Results
The final benefit of voice picking we’d like to touch on is the training aspect of your team. They’ll learn the new voice system faster than almost any other deployment and be able to use it for improved accuracy and speed. They get to do an excellent job and feel better about their work with fewer frustrations compared to RF, paper, and other picking solutions.
We believe that helping your team feel good about the work they do empowers them to work better for your business. It also makes change management easier and more effective — if employees enjoy the change, they’re more likely to stick with it.
Those are a few of the biggest benefits our customers have seen with new voice picking options. Share your favorite benefits or questions in the comments below.