Here's a fact: if a company is deploying a new WMS solution, unless they are already using Voice or other picking technologies such as pick-to-light or “put walls,” these types of technologies are almost never designed in from the start, even if there is great interest in them for down the road.
But is that really the right approach?
Here at Softeon, we review many WMS RFPs and participate in many scripted demos every year.
Here's a fact: if a company is deploying a new WMS solution, unless they are already using Voice or other picking technologies such as pick-to-light or “put walls,” these types of technologies are almost never designed into the system from the start, even if there is great interest in them down the road.
The thought process, in some cases reinforced by consultants, seems to be to just start with a very conventional warehouse, using just radio frequency or “RF” terminals, leaving other technologies for Phase 2 or beyond.
But is that really the right approach? Voice systems, in order picking and other applications, have demonstrated their value for more than two decades, delivering productivity gains of 20% or more in many cases, due to the hands-free nature of the work.
Voice, pick-to-light, Put Walls, mobile robots and more can deliver value starting Day 1 for new WMS deployments. So why not consider designing them in from the beginning? Rather than waiting for a Phase 2 to realize the value, and perhaps, in the meantime, buying a number of RF terminals that later obsolete.
In working with Softeon, that approach is made even easier, because we offer our own native Voice solution, plus direct management and control of smart carts, Put Walls, pick-to-light, mobile robots and other systems, with no other software or integration required. This unique approach makes it easy to deploy these types of sub-systems as a core part of the new WMS processes.
We’re not saying this approach is right for everybody - but it is certainly right for a lot more companies than embrace it today, reducing the ROI of a new WMS by being overly cautious with technologies new to them.
The bottom line: if you have strong interest in certain technologies down the road, take a good look at whether they should be designed in and deployed from the start, so you realize the performance benefits right away – and don’t need to wait for a Phase 2 that may never come.
You can find out more about how Softeon manages these picking sub-systems at here.