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Voiteq supports the warehouse of tomorrow with voice, vision and robotics

Voiteq supports the warehouse of tomorrow with voice, vision and robotics

No longer is it ‘just’ a voice specialist, Voiteq is now the trusted team within Körber Logistics that specialises in voice, vision and robotics.

New technologies are changing the supply chain of today, and more importantly, tomorrow. Voiteq was the first to introduce voice-directed work into UK warehouses and over the past 19 years its expertise, knowledge and technology suite has evolved. 

Android voice
The warehouse is evolving, consumer demand and expectations continue to increase, whilst outdated mobile devices make you less competitive.

The adoption rate of Android devices within the warehouse is set to continue to grow throughout 2020 and beyond. Whilst voice has been around for 20 years, Android-based handheld and wearable devices create significantly more opportunities within existing and future customers for voice solutions.

“The move towards Android will have a very positive impact for supply chain management,” says Matt Gregory, sales director at Voiteq. “There is now potential for voice across a wide range of functional areas that would never have used voice previously. This provides significant additional areas for improved operational efficiency. It is also part of a movement towards the use of voice in conjunction with new technologies, such as Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) and Vision.”

Working in partnership with one of the UK’s largest supermarkets, Voiteq introduced Android voice enabling a multi-modal device to perform any process in the warehouse.

Android appealed to the supermarket because Voiteq offered the capability to mix and combine estates with older non-android devices. Voiteq made this possible by creating an interface that works together with any kind of workflow, hardware and platform. This ‘mix and match’ approach ensures the technology investment can be managed and rolled out in timeframes suitable for the induvial operation, preventing large up-front costs and investments.

Operations now have the flexibility to adopt new technologies, without being locked down. This ultimately allows for expansion and growth with minimal effort.

Fully optimise your supply chain with process change
Operational growth and success don’t rely entirely on new technology adoption. Working in partnership with the UK’s specialist retailer of greetings cards, Voiteq’s team of logistics problem solvers reviewed the full flow of goods from the warehouse to the shop floor to not only improve picking, but to review the entire supply chain.

Starting at goods-in, right the way through to in-store replenishments, the team identified efficiencies and process improvements to increase productivity and accuracy of the pick. This was achieved by ensuring each member of the picking team was provided with the most ergonomic interface into the VoiceMan Warehouse Execution System (WES), coupled with an optimised picking process.

Once a mutually agreed solution was identified, a pilot was deployed in a fast, high-volume card picking zone. The pilot proved the new process was beneficial and quantified financial savings that could be achieved by implementing Voiteq’s VoiceMan WES paired with dedicated voice hardware, as the optimal user interface for the pickers.

Adding voice and WES not only increased productivity by 18%, but also enabled the customer to revisit and improve all processes across the operation, unlocking more value from the same solution.

Reverse pick solution for easy returns
The rise of free or low-cost shipping has altered consumer buying habits in a way that directly affects reverse logistics. There is now a necessity for operations to have a robust reverse logistics plan. Consistency is important because how the product is handled once the retailer has regained ownership will drive several subsequent processes, from how refunds are handled to how the product is integrated back into inventory and warehouse management.

A UK supplier of high quality frozen, chilled and ambient foods was faced with a reverse logistics challenge. All returned food stock was being left at the side of the warehouse to perish, wasting money on stock that could have been otherwise used.

A reverse pick solution for easy returns was needed. Voiteq developed this solution and implemented a new process to reverse pick the returned stock straight back into the warehouse, ready to be picked for another order. The return on investment and cost saving on this solution was seen straight away and has been rolled out at several other customer sites since as a proven solution.

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