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Vocollect introduces first wearable to integrate voice and hands-free scanning

Food distributor piloted A700 to achieve an 80% error reduction and 12% productivity boost.
By Modern Materials Handling Staff
May 17, 2013

Vocollect, a business unit of Intermec, and a leader in voice-enabled solutions for mobile workers, has unveiled its new Talkman A700 solution that introduces a voice industry first –  integrated voice and scanning in one wearable solution – improving user productivity while reducing the need, cost and management of multiple peripherals, thus creating an entirely new mobile worker experience. The solution facilitates hands-free scanning for process steps such as inducting totes at the beginning of assignments, batch-picking, and product traceability, while retaining the ergonomic and performance benefits of a compact, purpose-built mobile device.

“In the past we have deployed Bluetooth ring scanners to support scanning in voice workflows.  All indications are that eliminating the extra piece of equipment, the additional battery required to power the scanner, and the management of pairing the Bluetooth scanners to the Vocollect Talkman A700 solution will be beneficial in both productivity and reduction of maintenance,” says Bill Morris, senior director, hardware systems, Manhattan Associates.

Lipari Foods, a leading food distributor based in Warren, Mich. with more than 8,000 customers in 12 states, uses Vocollect Voice for case- and each-picking in its distribution operations and has realized an 80% error reduction and 12% productivity improvement. “We had a great experience with our pilot of Vocollect’s A700 solution. There are many tasks that can benefit from scanning in addition to voice, such as weight capture. Having a single hands-free device that supports both voice and scanning is a powerfully efficient tool for picking and many other distribution tasks,” says Joe Beydoun, systems and process manager, Lipari Foods. “Our associates also like the smaller form fit and extended battery life,” he said.

“We are excited to see our strategic global partner integrate scanning and voice technologies in a single compact unit,” said Robert Nilsson, Dematic vice president and general manager of software and supply chain intelligence. “With our growing software capabilities in warehouse controls, we can now execute voice direction with quality control and product tracking functions that often require a scanning device. Having these capabilities in a single platform improves efficiency and delivers a better customer experience.”

In addition to the optional integrated bar code scanner, when used in combination with Vocollect’s VoiceCatalyst software and wireless SRX2 headset, the A700 solution supports a number of features that accelerate deployment and shift start-up times and improve both system performance and user comfort.

The A700 solution is designed to be used by both new and existing users of Vocollect Voice.  It provides a flexible, configurable architecture approach, allowing it to adapt to new challenges within the supply chain as business needs evolve. Almost one million workers in over 60 countries use Vocollect every day to move in excess of US $5 billion of product to customer locations. This proven track record of successful deployments is an important factor to help leaders minimize current and future supply chain risk with their technology investments.

“With the advent of our A700 solution, there is no better time for companies to take a new look at voice for transforming their distribution operations,” says Jay Armant, vice president of product management, Vocollect.  “Vocollect brought forth a vision of the voice-centric warehouse, and today offers the most comprehensive end-to-end, integrated solution to help companies optimize their supply chain performance.”

The Vocollect A700 solution will be commercially available early this autumn.

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