Operating in cold storage environments requires technologies that offer workers the freedom of movement needed to complete tasks efficiently in challenging situations.
Voice picking technology is ideally suited for cold storage settings, offering a hands-free, eyes-free, rugged design for increased productivity. Many 3PLs have learned the hard way that paper-based picking and some hand-held computer or scanning technologies lead to inefficiencies and inaccuracies in the cold chain picking process. Low temperatures and the protective clothing workers must wear present specific challenges in product sorting and picking.
With paper-based systems in a cold storage setting, workers often find even straightforward activities to be awkward and slow. Writing can be nearly impossible given the bulky gloves and clothing necessary for the conditions. Pick workers must either remove gloves when writing on order forms or try to complete the forms without a proper grip on a pen. This can lead to incomprehensible writing and goods being shipped to the wrong customers.
While certain handheld scanner and mobile devices are designed to withstand cold temperatures, they still present operational challenges for warehouse workers. Entering vital product and delivery information while wearing gloves is difficult, even if the device has special, larger keys. And workers must constantly shift their line of vision between the mobile device in their hand and the product they are looking for.
With Voice technology, operational efficiency improves dramatically. Workers have both hands free to make the picks. They do not have to stop their walking or driving to read from paper or a screen. In all cases, workers can continue to move while receiving instructions.
The Voice terminal is typically worn comfortably under a coat with a wire leading to the well-fitting headset. The Voice system also has noise-cancelling features that remove much of the sounds from fans and compressors blowing in cold temperature buildings. As a result, workers are comfortable and extremely productive.