Expert Insight

By Scott J. Yetter

Voxware, Inc.

Date: March 24, 2011

Supply Chain Comment: The Velocity-Centric Warehouse

Today's Warehouse Relies On A Growing Array Of High Technology Solutions To Achieve Optimal Results

The distribution center is an increasingly important arena for business and competitive strategy.  Top flight enterprises know that companies who better manage warehousing operations enjoy a number of crucial advantages.  Every dollar saved in the warehouse either goes to the bottom line, improving margins, or can be reinvested in key business initiatives to strengthen the company’s position.

"Voice vs. Velocity" Centric Warehouse

Today’s warehouse relies on a growing array of high technology solutions to achieve optimal results.  The options can be bewildering at times – and there’s no shortage of vendors who proclaim their technology to be not only the best – but also the only way to go.  That can lead to a dangerous myopia.

For example, we’ve been hearing lately about the “voice-centric warehouse.”  This phrase is being promoted by – surprise! – a voice hardware company.  While this view may be more egocentric than anything else, it does bring up a useful point to consider.


At Voxware, our business happens to be delivering voice software solutions, but we believe that the best warehouses are “velocity-centric” as opposed to voice-centric.  That’s because – as much as we’d like to convince ourselves and you that every warehouse task should be voice-directed, in reality the best solution is often achieved by a skilful combination of technologies.

"Pick And Pass" Operation

This video clip shows a good example of voice picking that combines with another technology – in this case RF scanning.  Shown is a highly flexible “pick and pass” operation, where workers assemble multiple cartons into a “train” that is passed along a conveyor.  Rather than voice-in the ID of each container – which would be somewhat time consuming – the operator simply scans the ID using a ring scanner while “talking” to the voice system in regard to the overall assignment.  You will notice the efficiency and fluidity of motion that springs from combining voice with scanning – in this instance.


Of course, not every warehouse needs a pick-and-pass business process … this is just a specific example to illustrate a general truth.  Enterprises are best served when vendors analyze their operation from a “velocity-centric” standpoint.  That’s why we have our Voxware professional services team constantly ask, “What is the best way to optimize this process?” - regardless of the technology that is brought to bear.

Final Thoughts

We know this means sometimes we have to be big enough to recognize voice technology by itself may not be the answer.  But this approach is a better way to build trust between partners and, ultimately, help forward-thinking enterprises to maximize the contribution of their front line warehouse workforce, thereby making their operation stronger than ever. 

For more information about VoxWare's Portable Voice Picking Solutions, please visit:

Voice Picking Expertise You Can Use.

Agree or disagree with with our guest contributor's perspective? What would you add? Let us know your thoughts for publication in the SCDigest newsletter Feedback section, and on the website. Upon request, comments will be posted with the respondent's name or company withheld.

Send an Email
About the Author

Scott J. Yetter has served as President of Voxware, Inc. since November 2006.  He is a long-time executive in the supply chain industry, bringing over 20 years experience in sales, marketing, operations and executive management to his position.  Prior to joining Voxware Scott spent 10 years at American Software/Logility, an early provider of ERP and supply chain solutions. 

For More information, please visit:

Voice Picking Expertise You Can Use

Yetter Says:

Sometimes we have to be big enough to recognize voice technology by itself may not be the answer.

What Do You Say?
Click Here to Send Us
Your Comments
profile Related Blogs
Demand Forecasting Maturity Curve

Supply Chain Transformation - The Need for Speed

"Will the Real Digital Twin Please Stand Up?"

INCOTERMS 2020: Is Your Organization Ready?

Is Your Supply Chain Transparent?

Streamlining the Movement of Goods in the EU

Blockchain: Surgere's New Supply Chain Tool

Surgere Creates Visibility Across the Supply Chain for Companies Like Honda

Dynamically Routing Your Fleet and For-Hire Capacity

Cargo Threats Need Closer Attention

<< Previous | Next >>

See all posts