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Warehouse processesVoice picking

Voice picking

Picking managed by voice is a modern and progressive alternative to “classical” picking managed via mobile terminals with a scanner, keyboards and display. The warehouse worker is equipped with a special terminal located on a belt, to which earphones with a microphone (headset) are connected using a cable or by BlueTooth wireless technology. The warehouse worker then receives instructions regarding movement in the warehouse in a natural way, which is voice. Put more simply, the system “tells” the worker what warehouse location to go to and what product he/she is supposed to pick and in what amount. The worker also confirms performed tasks by voice, which is deduced by the terminal and further processed. Every worker has his/her voice profile recorded and recognised, by which differences in accent are dealt with and this ensures quality analysis of the worker's voice.

HighJump Edge WMS has available a module for voice picking, which enables any sales order to be picked not only in the “classical” way but also by using voice. Both methods of picking can meanwhile be arbitrarily combined, or conversely it can be determined in advance what orders are to be picked classically and which by using voice. Technology by the company Honeywell Vocollect (a partner of Kodys) is used for voice picking, either on specialised Vocollect voice terminals or on Zebra terminals.

The advantages of voice picking are obvious. The warehouse worker above all constantly has both hands free (does not have to hold a “classical” mobile terminal and keep putting it away), does not have to move his/her attention between confirmation of operation on mobile terminal and actual handling of goods and he/she receives instructions to work in a natural way. Also very important is a shortening of the necessary period for training new staff. For classical mobile terminals the period for necessary training ranges in days, for voice terminals the period ranges in hours, which can be an advantage e.g. during the taking on of seasonal workers and interns.

Voice picking is an excellent resource mainly in the freezing and cooling industry, where workers often work with gloves, which makes handling with classical mobile terminals difficult for them. It is also very suitable everywhere where light items in consumer packaging are being picked manually without material handling technology (foodstuffs, drugstore, pharmacy etc.). On the other hand, voice picking is not very suitable where handling is being done with full pallets and “harder” material handling technology is needed.