Voice Picking with the Vocollect A500 Voice Computer

Vocollect A500

18 January 2015, Brisbane.

Splosh (www.splosh.com.au), a long-term RFBS client, upgraded their Navigator WMS solution with the Navigator Voice 2013 module.

After choosing Navigator to run their warehouse in 2011, Splosh again returned to RFBS to discuss a new business challenge: an increasing number of smaller orders and even single-item direct-to-customer orders.

RFBS and Splosh discussed various options to streamline this change in order profile, and worked out that given the type of stock being distributed, the delivery methods being used, and resources already available, that the best solution was to implement a batch picking strategy for smaller orders.

The Process

  • Navigator's splits the list of orders into two pick groups, with regular wholesale orders picked one at a time, and small orders picked four at a time.
  • When the picker requests their next task, the system reduces walking distance by matching up orders which have stock in similar parts of the warehouse and prints out one label per order with a letter from A to D.
  • As each item is picked, the system asks the picker to speak the check digit of the item to prove the correct product is being picked
  • Once the item is picked, the system tells the picker which label (A, B, C or D) requires the stock, and the user speaks a check number off the label.

The Outcome

Each picker can now work on up to four small orders at a time - in a single walk through the warehouse. This practice reduces the amount of 'dead' time a picker spends walking from the despatch bench to the first item, and from the last item back to the despatch bench. In fact, the time reduction is expected to be up to 40% for smaller orders.

Splosh are now able to approach their next phase of growth secure in the knowledge that they will not need to increase warehouse staff numbers in order to cope with a growing number of smaller orders.

The new solution incorporates: