Voice technology is rapidly being adopted throughout South African warehousing and distribution environments to help organisations drive efficiencies and productivity across their supply chains.
Voice solutions assist nearly one million mobile workers to process products in excess of $5-billion every day in challenging industrial environments across the globe.
According to Andrew Fosbrook, director of MakeMeMobile, a leading provider of mobile enterprise solutions, voice-directed work is seeing many benefits in the FMCG and retail sectors, due to the ease of use and accuracy.
“Voice-directed workflows enable hands-free, eyes-free work and provide the most natural and effective method for workers to complete their jobs. This works well in South Africa where literacy levels are not high, as training and implementation is very quick. We see immediate increased levels of worker satisfaction and productivity compared to other technologies,” he says.
MakeMeMobile, which supports multiple customers across many industries, recently implemented a SAP-integrated voice solution for a leading third party logistics (3PL) company that immediately experienced productivity benefits by reducing the time to pick daily shipments by over 20%.
Fosbrook says that voice solutions can either stand-alone or complement existing solutions, such as RF barcode scanning and pick-to-light technologies.
MakeMeMobile recently assisted one’s of Africa’s largest retailers to improve efficiency and productivity by implementing a voice-directed system for picking applications at its distribution centres throughout the country.
Fosbrook says that the voice solution improved the retailer’s productivity by 12% and accuracy was increased significantly – in the past, 12 errors out of every 10 000 picks were made; currently using voice technology, this has now been reduced to only two errors in every 10 000 picks.
“We are finding that voice technology is expanding into more diverse industries and applications, such as inspection and maintenance for aviation, automotive, fleet & truck and longhaul industries. Wherever there’s a requirement to interact hands-free and eyes-free with back-end enterprise IT systems, voice technology provides an efficient and user-friendly way of driving productivity and accuracy,” concludes Fosbrook.