Game Changer: Voice-Directed Piece Picking with Hands-Free Scanning

Posted by Speech Interface Design

A730-1.jpgWhen item level or piece picking to fulfill e-commerce orders, the scanning of the product’s UPC barcode is often integral to the picking workflow.  Because it is, many companies that could benefit from voice continue to pick using handheld RF devices.  Their rationale: if I have to scan, why would I use voice?  If you are one of them, please read on.  


First and foremost, “voice-directed” picking does not mean, nor has ever meant “voice-only” picking.  Voice-directed work solutions have always been able to integrate barcode scanning.  When a product’s UPC barcode needs to be captured as part of the picking workflow, a scanner is often the fastest and most efficient way to capture it.  Hence, voice and scanners have a long history of working well together.

The downside of most scanners is that they are built into RF handheld devices which also have a handle, screen and keyboard.  Voice-directed picking solutions enable associates to be optimally productive and accurate because they empower them to “hands-free, eyes-free” -- thereby, they make no wasted motions nor are ever distracted by having to interact with an RF device’s handle, screen and keyboard.

Voice directed picking solutions are ideal for fast-paced each picking when accuracy cannot be compromised.  While such solutions have often included a ring or back-of-hand wearable scanner, there is yet another, even more “hands-free”, option:  the end-cap scanner built into the belt-worn Honeywell-Vocollect Talkman A730.  Unique to this industry-leading, purpose-built-for-voice device is that its 2-D imager can be turned in two “hands free” ways beyond a button push, namely via a spoken command (e.g. “scan”) or programmatically via the process logic of the voice-directed work solution.

For example, as soon as a picker confirms that they are at the correct bin via a spoken check-digit, the voice program can turn on the A730’s imager so that the picker can then quickly scan the picked product’s UPC barcode and then receive a voice instruction as to which bin the picked product should be placed. 

Voice-directed piece picking with hands-free scanning is a game changer for companies who want all the benefits of voice and scanning without any of the traditional “handle, screen, keyboard” downsides of scanning.  Will saving a few seconds per pick from a solution that also improves accuracy and dramatically reduces training time for new or temporary employees be worth the investment?

Speech Interface Design’s “Industrial Engineering-strength” Value & ROI Analysis will answer that question for your specific operation.  Contact us to take this first step today toward truly optimizing your piece picking and fulfillment performance.        

Topics: voice-directed picking, scanning, piece picking, fulfillment center, e-commerce