Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!



Voice Technology is speaking loud and clear

image

Jennifer (by LUCAS) is the leading voice directed warehouse solution for open, industry standard mobile computers. Jennifer supports voice picking and other warehouse tasks, helping associates work faster with fewer errors.

By Bob Trebilcock, Executive Editor
July 20, 2010

I had a chat today with John Schreifer, a marketing executive with Lucas Systems, that was a reminder of just how far the voice technology industry has come in the last few years.

Going back about ten years ago, I used to hear a constant refrain: This is the year that voice is really going to take off. Except that it never did. It was like that sign in the bar window that reads “Free beer tomorrow.” Ask the bartender when you can get your free beer, and the answer is always tomorrow and tomorrow never came.

When it comes to voice, tomorrow has arrived. Not that long ago, it was the rare DC that had voice-directed picking when we put together our monthly cover stories.

Now, it seems as if a majority of the facilities are using voice to direct at least some portion of their picking.

What prompted my dialogue with Schreifer, one that I intend to continue down the road, was a story by Maida Napolitano, my colleague at our sister publication Logistics Management. 

Maida highlighted how three companies - Coca-Cola, Christian-publisher Zondervan and Pierre’s Ice Cream – are using voice in ways that vary from the norm to solve their distribution challenges.

As Schreifer and I talked about the story and some of the developments that Lucas is working on, I realized how mainstream voice has become over the past ten years, and how many different options and providers there are in the marketplace today.

Just a few weeks ago, I spoke to someone from Intelligrated about their voice offering, and Dematic recently announced a picking solution that combines voice technology and robotics. Getting voice from your automated materials handling systems provider is different. And, as Schreifer pointed out, Lucas is increasingly combining voice with other modes of data collection, such as the voice and barcode scanning solution I wrote about at Longo’s, a Canadian grocer and Lucas customer, in July of 2009.

Voice really is beginning to speak loud and clear in the warehouse.

About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Executive Editor

Bob Trebilcock, executive editor, has covered materials handling, technology and supply chain topics for Modern Materials Handling since 1984. More recently, Trebilcock became editorial director of Supply Chain Management Review. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.


Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

The acquisition encompasses loose fill manufacturing and distribution, as well as several other redistribution products, including bubble wrap, bubble-lined mailers and rolled foam.

Akro-Mils’ donation to Habitat for Humanity included plastic storage bins and containers, portable organizers, storage cases, plastic and steel storage cabinets, and louvered bench racks.

PMMI to honor Class of 2014 at PACK EXPO International in reception benefiting industry education

Join Associate Editor Josh Bond and lift truck industry training expert, Jim Shephard share all the findings of Modern's annual Lift Truck User Survey. During this webcast, you'll receive detailed insights into users' practices around procuring, utilizing and maintaining their fleets.

Having grown from a local tool and die business established in 1962, company becomes 20th certified robot integrator.

About the Author

Bob Trebilcock, executive editor, has covered materials handling, technology and supply chain topics for Modern Materials Handling since 1984. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. Contact Bob Trebilcock.


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA