It offers numerous advantages over conventional order picking methods such as paper lists or wireless terminals. Rather than communicating visually via paper or computer monitors, Pick-to-Voice relies on voice instructions through headphones and a microphone.

By freeing the operator’s hands to handle the stock items, Pick-to-Voice ensures an ergonomic and efficient pick sequence. Without the need to handle wireless data terminals and paper lists eliminated, the order picker can focus entirely on retrieving the required items.

No more manual keying of data or time-consuming scanning of stock locations. Instead, the instructions to and responses from the picker are entirely by voice. Delays caused by the picker having to stop retrieving items in order to enter data into a device are a thing of the past. The operation is streamlined – and productivity increases.

Where it fits 

Voice picking systems are designed to service fast-medium and medium-slow full case and split case products, making them a flexible choice for order fulfillment. 

Use of the technology has shown standard-based picking rates increase by up to 35%, with accuracy rates of 99.9% or higher. Voice picking systems are an economical choice where there are a large number of SKUs to be serviced. 

Due to the hands-free, eyes-free operation, workers are able to hear instructions and perform tasks without having to look down at a hand-held computer screen or sort through a pack of picking labels. The voice terminal interacts wirelessly and in real time with the host computer or WMS, prompting the operator through a task with audible commands, and waiting for a verbal confirmation or request.

Quick and easy and to learn 

Our experience has shown that Voice systems require very little training. The operator simply slips on the headset and voice computer, spends around 15 minutes familiarising the computer with their voice, and they can begin work almost immediately. This is very attractive in distribution operations where a large number of temporary staff are often required during peak periods. 

Extending voice into item picking applications 

Voice picking has also been fully integrated into zone routing systems for item picking. Item picking applications allow for multiple orders to be batched together for more efficient picking of small orders in pick modules. Alternately, multiple orders can be batched to a pick cart to handle the slowest moving area within a warehouse. 

Dematic has implemented thousands of Voice terminals around the world during the past ten years. 

Benefits of Voice Directed Picking

  • Hands-free, eyes-free picking 
  • Up to a 35% improvement in picking productivity 
  • Up to 99.9% picking accuracy 
  • Reduced operator training time 
  • Direct interface to most WMS 
  • Rapid return on investment

Activities Supported with Voice

  • Receiving (lot & date capture) 
  • Replenishment 
  • Load validation 
  • Case/Layer picking 
  • Multi-order batch picking 
  • Layer staging for ‘top off’ 
  • Staging for truck loading 
  • Interleaving of full pallet picks 
  • Quality check 
  • Label printing 
  • Door Loading

Issues Addressed

  • Low pick accuracy 
  • Low productivity 
  • Limited warehouse operations visibility 
  • SKU proliferation 
  • SKU management in the warehouse 
  • Warehouse layout 
  • Slotting 
  • High employee turnover 
  • Fragmented approach to warehouse control 
  • Delivery truck dwell time

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Case Study

Pacific Brands

The Challenge:
As part of a company-wide transformation project, Pacific Brands identified that significant supply chain and customer service benefits could be achieved by consolidation.

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