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If you’re considering using voice picking to increase efficiency at your automotive warehouse, you’re not alone. A surprising number of companies are adopting this technology to make things easier for their employees. The global market for voice picking software and related products was valued at 1.19 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow at an annual rate of 14.7 percent through 2025. Now’s the time to utilize this technology, but is it the right choice for your business? Use this guide to find out.
What Is Voice Picking Automation?
Voice picking automation is exactly what you might imagine it to be. Workers use their voices to retrieve products from the shelf instead of doing it by hand. In other cases, the system may direct the worker to the product’s exact location. Many companies find voice picking to be easier and faster than having workers manually input information or look for products on their own. It operates using a warehouse management system. Many software programs are starting to offer voice- or speech-based picking options to give their clients more options on the job.
The worker will issue a voice command by saying either the name of the product, order number or SKU number. The person will carry voice-activation equipment on them, while the system automatically retrieves the item or generates a picking path. Workers might use voice-activation stations instead. The system will then bring the product to the loading dock for shipping.
Benefits of Voice Picking Automation
Voice-activated picking is generally more accurate than other forms of product picking. The system will retrieve the product as efficiently as possible using the shortest route, which can make all the difference in the world when you’re trying to get your products out the door. Your workers won’t have to worry about getting lost or not being able to find what they need.
Having your workers enter information by hand can be time-consuming and tedious, so it’s always better to automate the process. The barcode system works for many companies in the automotive industry, but this doesn’t account for the possibility that some of your packages may be mislabeled. The label could also be missing or damaged, which can bring your operations to a halt.
Voice-activation automation also improves workplace safety. Your team won’t have to physically retrieve or scan items, so they can focus on handling packages and inventory with care. They can also keep their head up instead of having to look down at a screen.
Is Voice Picking Right for You?
The benefits of this technology are clear. Automakers can use voice-picking to solve challenges in real-time while reducing their dependence on manual labor.
However, this technology can be expensive to implement. Everyone will need to carry a headset. Your inventory will need to be uploaded into the system so your workers can retrieve it using their voices.
You should also consider what it would take to use this technology in the field. Your employees will need to hear and speak clearly throughout the day, which means turning down the music. This may not be a good option for your facility if you have a problem with noise pollution.
If you decide that voice-picking isn’t the right choice for your company, consider these alternatives:
Use bulk wire baskets to help your workers see everything that’s being stored on the shelf. This will help you reduce product retrieval times without having to set up a new digital infrastructure.
If your team is having trouble scanning damaged or mislabeled packages, learn how to prevent mislabeling in manufacturing, so your workers don’t have to enter this information by hand.
Automotive manufacturing isn’t what it used to be. Vehicles are using more advanced technology than ever before, including built-in driver assist programs, GPS systems and smart sensors for improving driver safety. If your facility handles these kinds of items, keep your inventory safe with a pallet container. They’re designed to fit onto a pallet, so there’s no way for your goods to slide off the pallet during transit. This ensures that your products arrive at their destination intact and on time.
Is Voice-Picking the Right Automation Process for You?
Voice-picking isn’t for everyone. Keep this information in mind as you consider automating the picking process.