Softeon Drives Improved Customer Operating Performance and Lower System Costs with Direct WMS Voice Solution in Distribution Center

Our approach simplifies Voice implementations significantly and provides substantial benefits to customers in terms of cost and flexibility.

Softeon, a global supply chain software provider with the industry’s best record of customer success, announced its direct support for Voice terminals of all types as part of its WMS in distribution – including smart phones – saving its customers money and enabling true real-time processing.

Voice-based solutions, in which associates in the DC interact with audio instructions from the system and confirm actions performed via spoken words, have become increasingly popular in distribution operations around the world. This growth in adoption stems from the hands-free nature of the technology, since workers interact with a headset without the need to handle a mobile RF terminal or be required to look down at a screen to receive instructions and complete tasks.

Voice is especially popular in many piece and case picking applications and specifically e-fulfillment operations, though Voice is used in other areas such as receiving. In picking applications, productivity gains of 15% or more are very common.

But there are challenges: Voice is costly, sometimes with expensive dedicated terminals, or thousands of dollars per unit in licensing fees to the Voice software provider for Voice-enabling an RF terminal or a smart phone.

Moreover, the systems are sometimes batch oriented, with the WMS sending tasks to a separate Voice server, which then manages the completion of the work, sending confirmations back to the WMS. There is no true real-time dialog, precluding opportunities for smart exception handling, such as empty pick slots or optimizing order releases to workers.

Softeon’s approach to Voice has changed all that. The Softeon advanced WMS interacts directly with the Voice recognition software, whether that be from a third-party Voice supplier or on the Voice capabilities native to most smart phones used today. This has many advantages, including:

  • Allowing companies who are looking to add Voice capabilities for the first time or expand an existing system to more workers or other areas of the DC to do so much more affordably – generally for the cost of one smart phone.
  • Providing many opportunities for…

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