Leading supplier of Voice systems for supply chain performance predicts future
Vocollect, Inc., provider of the most widely used Voice systems for improving supply chain performance, has released its latest white paper, The Future of Voice Technology, giving an insight into Voice directed technology in the future. Already transforming productivity rates and reducing errors within the warehouses of UK businesses including Sainsbury’s, Morrisons’, CJ Lang, Gist, and WH Smith the technology is beginning to reach out into wider areas of the supply chain.
The paper highlights the potential for Voice technology outside of the ‘pick face’ in the warehouse, where users are still mainly picking staff that listen and respond to instructions via a headset leaving their hands free to pick efficiently. Businesses are beginning to see the value of the technology outside of picking, and are already beginning to look at its use from checking in goods received and putting goods away, to orchestrating cross docking operations and directing forklift drivers.
And as the software for recognising human speech becomes sensitive enough to deploy in noisier environments, the technology becomes more useful to workers on shop floors in retail outlets where general background conversation needs to be filtered out. New headsets are also being developed to be deployed within the in-store area, where they need to be less intrusive and can be hung around the neck when not in use.
Raf Jezierski, Vocollect’s marketing director for EMEA and co-author of the paper sees Voice expand outside of the distribution centre in the future, he comments; "There are a wealth of opportunities. We have focused on the distribution centre, but upstream there are manufacturers and downstream there are retail outlets. We expect to see Voice expand in both directions. In manufacturing you have got to track goods and components in stores and on production lines, while in healthcare and in service industries there are opportunities to apply Voice technology to the day to day management of work."
The paper further discusses Vocollect’s potential uses for Voice outside logistics where groups of workers with complex jobs could benefit from hands free direction. Utility companies supplying telecoms, electricity, water and gas are all considering deploying Voice to assist in maintenance work and meter reading.