One of the major challenges faced by supply chain managers is having adequate levels of staff to meet demand at their distribution centres and warehouses during seasonal or campaign peaks. As a result, many businesses turn to seasonal workers or casual workers who may be new to picking. Often these casual workers speak English as a second language. To reach optimal efficiency and productivity, this kind of varied workforce is best supported with the use of technologies that are flexible and easy to learn.
Voice picking solutions provide that flexibility, and are specifically designed for quick training of distribution centre staff. This technology has been refined over many years of research, development and practical use in distribution centres and warehouses around the world. Voice solutions of the twenty first century are highly productive and accurate, and can be found in all distribution environments, from grocery to pharmaceuticals to apparel manufacturers, regardless of the spoken language, accent, or age of workers.
Voice is easy to learn and workers using it can be productive within an hour, which is particularly helpful when bringing in new or temporary staff. When compared to the time it often takes to learn other technology solutions, training time and costs can be cut dramatically with Voice; in many cases more than 50 per cent.
Voice technology is designed to understand a worker’s unique voice, rather than trying to match up what a user says to what it expects to hear. Before hitting the warehouse floor, workers spend a short amount of time teaching the Voice system in how they pronounce words typically used in the warehouse environment. This type of training is particularly useful in a noisy warehouse environment, as learning a user’s voice patterns means the system is less likely to pick up on background noise.
This type of Voice system training is also useful in countries such as Australia, that have many workers who speak English as a second language. The system quickly learns to recognise their accent so that accuracy is maintained.
Voice technology supports over 35 different languages, giving workers the freedom to operate using their own language, improving job satisfaction and guaranteeing that every worker will be able to optimise their performance with the voice system.
Language flexibility also means that when Voice is integrated with WMS and ERP systems, it streamlines processes and the flow of information not only within one facility, but potentially across a company’s national or global network of warehouses. It allows for benchmarking and comparison from one operation or location to another, regardless of the languages used in each location.
While some workers may show an initial reluctance to adopting a new technology, once experiencing Voice technology, user feedback is extremely positive. In fact, many operators say that they couldn’t imagine going back to the old way of doing things, nor would they want to. Operators also value the fact that their employer has invested in providing the best technology for their job, one that offers a premier worker experience.
For more information on innovations in Voice, and how they can benefit your business contact Dematic Real Time Logistics today >