In this short 1 minute video clip posted on Facebook you will see how the DC team at our customer, Aquatic Parts Company, showcase the pride they have in their new voice picking technology. Aquatic Parts needed efficiency gains and a solution that could ease the daily burden of their seasonal demand. As the nations largest wholesale distributor of pool and spa parts, APC saw real promise from an upgrade to voice-directed workflows. They understand the accuracy and efficiency advantages gained with this upgrade, and wanted to share the excitement with their customer base.
The “Voice-Directed Warehousing Solutions Market: Global Industry Analysis (2012-2016) and Forecast (2017-2025)” study has been published by Persistence Market Research. You can purchase the full study from them. They deliver insights on market and inherent technology drivers, challenges, trends, and opportunities. The study covers the global voice-directed warehousing solutions market during the period 2017 to 2025.
Strong Growth for Voice-Directed Warehouse Solutions
They have estimated the global market for this technology at USD900M in 2017. Based on their findings, they project CAGR above 14% annually and a 2025 global value of USD2500M. In addition, the report provides detailed segmentation results by component, region, and industry. The voice-directed warehousing platform, Asia Pacific, and retail lead the growth in these three segments, respectively. Also, in the competition segment of this report, they detail the roles of all the major players. These include Honeywell International Inc. (Vocollect), Voiteq Ltd., TopVox Corporation, Lucas Systems Inc., Voxware, Inc., and others. Further, they profile some of the industry partners and software providers.
The Case for Voice Workflows
The study provides several well understood reasons for the strong adoption and growth of voice. First, they cite increased efficiency (including labor efficiencies) and the rise in demand for flexible warehousing solutions. Next, they describe the inherent flexibility provided to the operation when utilizing voice-directed solutions as well as the strong adoption of voice in the growing retail sector. And finally, they note the increased customer satisfaction and reduction of operator training time from days to hours with voice. Jason Rosing writing for Cerasis coaches leaders to put the power of warehouse automation technology to work now. Delaying the move towards warehouse automation is impractical and will result in greater costs to your company. Click on the “Request a Meeting” button at the top of this blog page to talk with one of our industry experts today.
by SCOTT ZAHN, Vice President, Operations, July 6, 2017
In May, 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported nearly a 12% year-over-year growth for “non-store” retail sales. The U.S. Department of Commerce believes this jump is largely from Internet sales.
From an Operations perspective, pallet-in/pallet-out is evolving and probably changing faster than the heady growth rates reported by the WSJ’s eComm reports and other sources around the globe.
While some organizations continue to leverage existing solutions, previously optimized for pallet-in/pallet-out processes, many firms have been able to reduce (not maintain) cost metrics with Voice-Enabled workflows supporting eCommerce and Omni-channel strategies in a variety of business models.
Why Voice-Enabled Workflows?
Productivity – eventually, all distribution operations begin to focus on metrics. Picks per hour (PPH) or similar derivatives, are is a common metric used in many organizations today. Voice-enabled selection processes allow the selector to spend less time at the pick face. Like a race car in a 200 loop event with 4 turns – shaving fractions of seconds off each turn is a winning formula.
Accuracy – over the last decade, intolerance for inaccuracy has grown significantly. Many organizations have added bodies, and process to make sure the end customers get exactly what’s ordered. The economics behind improved accuracy are compelling. Voice-enabled workflows tend to be orders of magnitude more accurate than other selection technologies. When comparing the investment to the results and flexibility – the ability to respond to the changes that will be inevitable, the value proposition quickly distances itself from the alternatives.
Better supervisory control – while a majority of the workforce doesn’t require a labor chaperone, supervisors and front line managers can leverage visibility to workflows, rush orders and real-time changes in demand signals and re-organize work on the floor without the traditional delays most operations have come to expect.
Complete visibility – line item selection visibility provides insights into operational data that is often unavailable today. In many cases, these insights are more granular than ad-hoc LMS solutions or data warehouse alternatives.
Why Are Voice-enabled Workflows Important Today?
Ecommerce growth rates have been averaging $40 billion per year for the past 3 years, up 25% from the prior three year period. Leveraging yesterday’s tools and processes for today’s realities is an invitation for competitors to gain a foothold and shift your customer’s preferences. The market is “uber” competitive, and it’s only gaining momentum. As e-Commerce continues to grow at this robust pace, the case for voice-enabling the selection processes in your DC are too compelling to ignore.
Scott is the VP of Operations at Mountain Leverage. As an accomplished professional with extensive sales, marketing, channels and operating experience, he brings unique insight to common challenges faced by leaders in the distribution industry.
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