What you should know about voice picking in the warehouse

To help you find the right solution for your business we have answered some of the typical questions that we get asked about voice picking .  

What is voice picking?

Voice picking helps you improve the processes in your warehouse. It is also known as pick by voice or voice-directed picking . This speeds up the picking process and reduces errors which helps you generate cost savings and improve customer satisfaction . Whilst it’s usually used in the warehouse, voice can also be used in other environments and processes, such as cross-docking, pick and pack, receiving, put-away and cycle counting. See voice picking at work in this video.

What equipment should I use for voice picking?

Order pickers are equipped with a mobile terminal and headset. You can use either a voice dedicated terminal, which has voice as the only interface, or you can use a general purpose mobile terminal. ZetesMedea Voice is one of the only voice picking solutions that runs on nearly all mobile devices from leading manufacturers. Our specialists will advise you on the most suitable voice terminal for your business. 

I only have ten order pickers, is it worth investing in voice picking?

ZetesMedea Voice is used in projects with five to ten voice pickers and projects with several hundred spanning different continents. A business case for voice picking will depend on various factors including: 

  • number of errors during order picking
  • cost per error
  • number of picking lines per order
  • number of grabs per picking line
  • number of on-time shipments
  • number of orders shipped complete
  • inventory count accuracy

At Zetes, we will look at your business processes and advise you on the best technology to optimize your order picking. Our advisors will help you build a business case to support your decision to invest in voice or alternative order picking technologies such as RF and Pick-to-light. 

I have many temporary workers, does a pick by voice system require a lot of training?

Voice picking is ideal for environments with many seasonal workers. The system guides the operators through tasks, with simple and easy to understand voice dialogues. This means the need for training is dramatically reduced . As it’s powered by the MCL Voice speech engine, it copes particularly well with different dialects. See how voice picking works in this short video.

“The new terminals are used with Zetes’ untrained voice solution. Because of seasonal variations, many pickers are temporary employees who can be fully productive immediately because we don’t need to register their voices with the new system. We save a lot of time on training this way.”

Charles Chelayfa, Head of IT Production, Système U (EN)

Can I use voice technology only for picking?

ZetesMedea Voice can be used in a variety of warehouse processes. This includes:

  • Cross-docking
  • Pick by line 
  • Picking to conveyor 
  • Picking combined with put to light 
  • Inventory 
  • Quality control
  • Receiving
  • Put-away
  • Replenishment

Voice picking can also be used outside your warehouse including on the manufacturing lines and in stores. This video about using voice technology for cross docking may help.  

Do I need to change my RF system if I start with voice picking? 

The voice picking application only sends data (text files) to the host system. The text-to-speech and speech-to-text conversion happen on the terminal so there are no specific requirements for your RF-network . You can contact us for a site survey of the wireless infrastructure in your warehouse.

What ROI can I expect from a voice picking project?

Voice picking projects have a relatively short ROI, typically between 6 and 12 months. Zetes consultants will help you build a business case based on your current and future situation. 

Can I use voice picking in a cool or freezer warehouse?

Our voice picking system operates in ambient, cold and deep freeze environments. See how Système U is using voice picking in its deep freeze warehouse at -28°C.