Statistics from the Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) provide the picture of technology investment in warehousing. One-third of warehouses still do not have a WMS system. And conveyor implementations are in decline. But growth for voice-directed picking solutions is strong – and growing.
The lack of warehouse management systems is troubling. And the continued reliance on manual systems and dissimilar modules for various warehouse components complicates the seamless communication required for emerging technologies such as the IoT.
The WERC survey results indicate that digital technology implementation progress has been slow among their 549 respondents. “Technology continues to advance at a rapid rate and implementation lags in warehousing. Today, in the warehouse of 2018… technologies have had only a marginal implementation for many of our respondents. We wonder how prepared warehousing and distribution are to step into their part in the digital supply chain for many organizations.”
The Voice-Directed Picking Solution
Today’s rapidly changing market has had a dynamic impact on traditional warehouse operations. Operations have been forced to be more responsive and nimble than at any time in the past. ‘Data’ continues to improve, and with that comes a better evaluation of how a company’s warehouse and distribution segment can best serve the evolving supply chain strategies.
Voice workflows have earned a “workhorse” reputation and saw the greatest implementation growth among new technologies, according to the survey. The chart above shows that about a quarter of facilities are using voice today, compared to 5.7% in 2008. There are a lot of new technologies on the horizon but none that have a greater overall value when compared to voice picking technology.