Accommodate Your E-Commerce Growth With Voice

Posted by Speech Interface Design

Nov 6, 2015 9:49:00 AM

rsz_istock_000050188900_medium.jpgAs retailers experience growth in the e-commerce portion of their business, they realize challenges that need to be addressed. In order to accommodate e-retail growth, distribution centers need to be properly equipped with the right tools to assure efficient and effective order fulfillment.  Here are a few of the reasons why retailers are increasingly turning to voice-directed picking solutions.  

Enhanced / Optimal Speed and Accuracy

At the end of the day, more customers mean more orders, and more orders mean more work for your distribution center pickers. Thus, enhanced speed and accuracy in order picking is mission critical. Voice-directed solutions facilitate picking verbally via a headset in lieu of paper or the screen and keyboard of an RF scanner.  With voice, your pickers’ are optimally productive.  Voice eliminates all of the unproductive time spent interacting with a paper pick list or the screen and keyboard of an RF scanner.     

And, with voice, your pickers’ eyes can stay focused on the pick slot and the products they are picking.  Looking away to a paper picklist or to the screen / keyboard of an RF scanner introduces the opportunity for picking errors.  Voice-directed pickers need not look away.  They stay focused and as a result seldom ever make an error.

During times of growth, the number of SKUs in a distribution center is also typically on the rise.  Stage Stores recently installed voice picking to keep up with the fast growing number of SKUs in its omni-channel distribution center. “In order to grow the SKU base from under 50,000 SKUs to a projected 185,000 SKUs will require not only additional rack space, but a strategy for locating the product for the most cost-effective picking.”  Voice is the best solution for cost-effective picking because it delivers optimal speed and accuracy.  

Fulfill Customer Expectations

Customer expectations of e-commerce order fulfillment are simple: deliver the exact products I ordered and deliver them quickly.  And, nothing dissatisfies a customer more than receiving the wrong product(s).  So, picking accuracy must be optimized.   

According to a survey from Honeywell, on average distribution centers lose $400,000 annually as the direct result of picking errors. This number alone should drive your quest to improve picking accuracy. Voice-directed solutions enable pickers to keep their eyes on their task at all times, ensuring nearly perfect accuracy. Most companies utilizing voice report a picking accuracy rate of 99.9% or higher.   

Peak Seasons

Peak seasons, often around holidays, are of utmost importance to e-commerce businesses. During an e-retailer’s peak season, the number of orders per day will often times quadruple. As previously mentioned, voice is able to accommodate this growth with enhanced / optimal picking speed and accuracy. 

Peak seasons also require companies to increase their picking workforce by as much as 30%. This demands that temporary workers be trained quickly.  Voice-directed solutions are intuitive and very easy to learn.  New pickers can be trained and productive in less than one day with Voice, compared to the several days it takes with paper or RF scanning–based methods.  Peak season increases in your workforce make voice an even more attractive solution. 

When you are expanding your e-commerce business you need to be properly equipped to handle growth in product SKUs and orders while fulfilling your customer’s expectations for accurate orders, often with temporary workers during peak seasons.   Equip yourself with Voice to enhance / optimize the speed and accuracy of your order picking and realize dramatically reduced training times for seasonal workers.  Turn to a premier voice total solution provider to get started.

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