Reston, VA (August 1, 2017)
Customers Increasingly Interested in Smart Phones, as the Softeon Approach Requires No Third-Party Voice Software, Unique in the WMS Industry and Reduces Costs
Softeon, a global supply chain software provider with the industry’s best record of customer success, announced its direct support for Voice terminals of all types as part of its WMS in distribution - including smart phones - saving its customers money and enabling true real-time processing.
Voice-based solutions, in which associates in the DC interact with audio instructions from the system and confirm actions performed via spoken words, have become increasingly popular in distribution operations around the world. This growth in adoption stems from the hands-free nature of the technology, since workers interact with a headset without the need to handle a mobile RF terminal or be required to look down at a screen to receive instructions and complete tasks.
Voice is especially popular in many piece and case picking applications and specifically e-fulfillment operations, though Voice is used in other areas such as receiving. In picking applications, productivity gains of 15% or more are very common.
But there are challenges: Voice is costly, sometimes with expensive dedicated terminals, or thousands of dollars per unit in licensing fees to the Voice software provider for Voice-enabling an RF terminal or a smart phone.
Moreover, the systems are sometimes batch oriented, with the WMS sending tasks to a separate Voice server, which then manages the completion of the work, sending confirmations back to the WMS. There is no true real-time dialog, precluding opportunities for smart exception handling, such as empty pick slots or optimizing order releases to workers.
Softeon’s approach to Voice has changed all that. The Softeon advanced WMS interacts directly with the Voice recognition software, whether that be from a third-party Voice supplier or on the Voice capabilities native to most smart phones used today. This has many advantages, including:
- Allowing companies who are looking to add Voice capabilities for the first time or expand an existing system to more workers or other areas of the DC to do so much more affordably - generally for the cost of one smart phone.
- Providing many opportunities for improving operational productivity through the real-time, direct nature of the connection, without the limitations of the traditional batch-oriented approach to Voice.
- Enabling companies with existing Voice solutions to easily migrate to the improved Softeon software approach while maintaining the return on their prior investment in the hardware.
- Softeon’s unique approach to task management which means Voice and RF terminals can be used interchangeably in any given area, such as a pick model, providing significant operational flexibility to assign workers to different devices based on the workload, training needs and more.
“Our approach simplifies Voice implementations significantly and provides substantial benefits to customers in terms of cost and flexibility,” said Dinesh Dongre, Vice President of Product Strategy at Softeon.
Softeon is finding that a growing number of its WMS customers and prospects have a strong interest in the use of smart phones for Voice applications, and is currently going live with Voice over smart phones at a major beverage distributor this week.
“Whether a company wants to look at smart phones, add traditional RF terminals with Voice, or leverage investments that have already been made, our solution maximizes flexibility and performance to get the most out of Voice,” Dongre added.
Softeon is a global provider of supply chain solutions from planning through execution. Our modern platform is engineered to reduce complex problems into simple solutions for a faster time to market and lower cost of ownership. Users can implement solutions incrementally to solve a specific challenge or deploy an integrated system. Configurable modules and rules-based solutions give market leaders the business agility they need to get ahead and stay ahead. Companies choose the flexibility and ease-of-use of the Softeon platform to drive higher business value and accelerate ROI. Deployment options include on-premise or in the cloud. For more information, please visit www.softeon.com.