Logistics heads turn to voice technology to drive competitive edge

WOOBURN GREEN, BUCKINGHAMSHIRE; (October 30, 2012) –  Voice technology can offer organisations across industry the opportunity to improve operations and increase productivity and accuracy, at a time when many are under pressure to cope with changing business volumes, according to the results of a new logistics industry study carried out by Redshift Research on behalf of Vocollect.

Over a third (37 per cent) of the 117 senior logistics decision-makers from across the UK that were questioned in the research reported that, aside from fiscal pressures, managing changing business volumes was their single biggest internal priority, compared to just eight per cent that are currently seeking to improve supply chain visibility. Other priorities included optimising inventory levels (29 per cent) and improving picking accuracy (13 per cent).

The research, which was commissioned by Vocollect as part of its tenth anniversary operating in EMEA, also looked at the impact of voice technology on everyday operations. Significantly, 80 per cent of those already using voice confirmed that it has made their operations more competitive through improved staff productivity. 70 per cent also cited the reduction in picking errors as an important benefit. 

Despite the important competitive advantages associated with voice, the research showed that a staggering 66 per cent of organisations are still reliant on time-consuming manual processes such as paper lists and spreadsheets. Approximately half of decision-makers in operations that did not use voice technology admitted that improving accuracy (51 per cent) and productivity (49 per cent) would be top benefits of upgrading their existing picking and warehouse systems.

In the lead-up to one of the busiest periods for the retail industry and a time of continuing high staff churn in logistics overall, the research also highlighted that 90 per cent of workers that were proficient in voice were believed to be satisfied in their daily work, compared to 70 per cent of those using other sorting and picking solutions. 

80 per cent of the logistics heads surveyed went on to say that the technology had helped improve their workforce management processes, with employees trained and using the technology effectively in two days or less in 60 per cent of cases.

“Voice-directed systems contain inbuilt flexibility that can help warehouses and distribution centres to cope more easily with variable orders at short notice,” said Darrel Williams, Regional Sales Director, Northern Europe and South Africa, Vocollect EMEA. “As this new research highlights, this combination of greater productivity, accuracy and flexibility makes the technology increasingly compelling for modern logistics operations.” 

To receive the full survey results and analysis, please contact Vocollect’s EMEA office at voc_emea@vocollect.com or telephone 01628 552900. 

Advance Notice: Intermec has also conducted an extensive global survey of 250 senior decision- makers on the potential savings to be gained across all warehouse and distribution centre processes. Look out for the full survey findings over the coming weeks.