Modern logistics operations need to be nimble. Product handling requirements change. Business processes can be improved with modification. New features become available in the WMS used by the enterprise. Enterprises that can more readily change their operation have a competitive advantage over those that cannot.
By itself, hardware cannot alter its behavior to take advantage of these opportunities – and that’s where software enters the picture. Yet time and again, desired improvements are stymied because the underlying software is too inflexible or too expensive to change.
Here are some real-life examples of situations where software can make or break a business initiative:
- Hardware Refresh: You can realize huge savings by refreshing to a new hardware device, but your voice system is not portable, so it either doesn’t support the new device at all, or cannot support it without being reprogrammed.
- Business Process Change: By implementing a change to the picking procedure, you can make a big reduction in the time it takes to fulfill orders and slash your labor costs, but your voice system and WMS must be opened up and modified first – an exercise that is so disruptive and expensive that it could eradicate the cost savings.
- Super Worker Empowerment: You have some great associates who could take their performance to a new level, but because every worker has to use the same voice dialogs, and newer workers need the extra help provided by elementary prompts, your super-workers are limited – like being stuck behind a slow moving car on the freeway.
I’m sure you could come up with more examples. With the right software, each of these situations can be turned to an advantage by a logistics operation, and money could be saved, whereas the wrong software keeps those savings locked up and unrealized.
Portable software enables you to move a voice solution from one device to another without paying for reprogramming services – and gives you the widest choice of certified devices. Configurable software can be quickly and inexpensively modified to accommodate new business processes. Continuous recognition software enables your experienced workers to combine multiple phrases into a single response and thus work even faster than is possible with a basic voice system.
Bottom line: if you want flexibility and freedom of choice, then make sure that you look very closely at the software included with your voice picking system, because it will have a much more long-lasting impact on overall cost as well as on your ability to do the things you want.