The latest supply chain review to be conducted by distribution and facilities service provider ProLogis contends that voice recognition (VR) systems are “arguably the most important technological breakthrough in warehouse operations” since the advent of barcode scanning.
The report, authored by noted warehousing and logistics consultant Kenneth Ackerman states that warehouses using VR benefit from lower error rates, higher productivity, reduced customer returns and more accurate inventory accounting.
VR enables two-way communications between computerized warehouse management systems and warehouse workers equipped with special headsets. It can be used to automate command-and-control of a variety of tasks, including order selection, receiving, sorting and truck-loading.
Unlike other technologies, such as barcode scanning or pick-to-light systems, the reports says that VR leaves employees’ eyes directly focused on their assigned task and their hands unencumbered.
The report further suggests that due to the established nature of the technology, all the major bugs have been eliminated and, contrary to widely-held assumptions, warehouse workers are generally receptive to using the technology.