Specialized warehouse technologies like voice picking have been around for a long time. And while these technologies are popular in some very specific industries, they have not gained mainstream traction. One might argue it’s because they are restrictive, expensive and complicated. Fortunately, there is a new approach coming that will remove these barriers and bring advanced technology to the warehouse in an affordable and user-approachable way. Introducing multi-mode embedded warehouse management.
What is multi-mode warehouse management?
Multi-mode embedded warehouse technologies are the seamless integration of multiple technologies, both new and old, from multiple vendors and communities. It’s the ability to apply the most relevant and appropriate technology to the warehousing task and level of user at hand. This enables the user or manager to select and configure the technology they want to use to get the job done. For example, combining traditional RF scanning with visual prompts and a voice interface provides a suitable, efficient and accurate user experience.
What difference can multi-mode warehouse management make to your operations?
Tecsys recently previewed our embedded visual voice solution and there was a lot of interest and enthusiasm around the new capability. It’s one of the first real examples of bringing advanced warehouse technologies to the mainstream warehouse user and a preliminary step in creating a true multi-mode warehouse environment combining visual cues, barcode scanning and voice prompts.
Traditionally, voice picking has been utilized in warehouse environments like the grocery sector for high volume full case picking. It’s fast and efficient – so long as everything is very simple and the warehouse task fits the technology profile. Plus, there is enough volume of that type of task to provide an ROI for the cost of specialized voice software and hardware. With embedded voice, the manager or supervisor simply enables the voice prompts in whatever part of the warehouse system they want to voice enable, for whichever users they want. Then, in addition to scanning, the picker has voice prompts all on the modern smart warehouse terminal.
With multi-mode warehouse management, there is no longer the need to invest massively in proprietary technologies. The new generation of warehouse terminals are naturally voice capable. You can simply adopt multi-mode technologies as and when you need them at no additional cost. Plus, you can use it everywhere in the warehouse and at any time you think it might help as opposed to being constrained by where and when you can use the technology. For example, multi-mode technology is perfect for onboarding new employees or utilizing with temporary staff. Think of it as potentially training wheels for a new worker!
New technologies are continually being designed and enhanced with the goal of creating the most efficient and accurate warehouse possible. While multi-mode warehouse management with combined visual prompts, barcode scanning and voice is only the first step, it does help illustrate what’s to come. Don’t be surprised if the future warehouse includessmart glasses to help pickers with automatic product and barcode recognition and location detection.
I encourage you to continually research and apply the most appropriate group of technologies to your warehouse tasks in order to remove steps from your operational processes. Tools that worked for you at one stage of your supply chain development might not be working for you now. Part of the journey to supply chain greatness is finding the right solutions to solve your operational challenges.