Blog

March 9th, 2012

Voice technology can be put to use in your business in new and innovative ways. In this article, we will look at how voice technology can improve warehouse operations. Read on to find out how voice technology can enhance the picking and packing process to improve efficiency, effectiveness, and safety in your warehouse.

Business processes and activities in the warehouse have traditionally been very receptive to automation, with the goal of improving efficiency and effectiveness. Automation has been focused on areas including managing stock levels, tracking stock movements, and more. The processes done on the warehouse floor itself, such as item picking and packing, are now largely run by computer-based systems. One attempt at automation included outfitting staff with handheld systems, but they proved to be impractical or prohibitive since they required the use of both hands, were complicated to use, and made the overall process too complicated. Employees have generally preferred to stick with the simple pen and paper instead. But recent advancements in human-to-computer interfaces—such as the use of voice commands instead of keyboard and mouse, pen-based, or touch based systems—promises to change this.

Using voice technology, warehouse staff and managers can now send and receive instructions via voice, using a headset connected to a back-end system that understands and processes voice instructions and can respond in a natural sounding human voice. This can result in:

  • Faster and more accurate order fulfillment: Warehouse staff can be given more specific and accurate instructions allowing them to navigate the warehouse, identify specific bins or pallets containing items for packing, and be able to pick out the correct quantities for the right order.
  • Cost savings: Faster and more accurate fulfillment can result in reduced costs over time as it reduces the need to redo work, avoids costly customer returns and dissatisfaction, and lessens other costs such as training time for employees.
  • Improved safety: With pallets and bins stacked in long, tall rows, forklifts and other heavy machinery zipping from one place to another, and people moving around, usually in a hurry, with both hands full and sometimes distracted, accidents are commonplace in warehouses. With voice technology, this can be avoided by getting people to focus with voice commands, and freeing up their hands and body to work on other things.
Voice technology in the warehouse is new but promises to deliver great benefits for businesses who employ it. If you are interested, let us know so we can help you find out how UC can enable your warehouse or any other part of your business today.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic VoIP General
February 22nd, 2012

Because of continued improvements in technology and changes in the way people work, communication in today's business has become richer but also more complex. Unified Communications is a great new way of taming this complexity. Read on to find out how.

Because of continued improvements in technology and changes in the way people work, we now have a multitude of options to communicate with one another. This can be both a boon and a curse, as not only do we have to learn and master a variety of devices from which to communicate—but also contend with an equal or higher number of forms with which to communicate. For example, not only do we make a phone call to talk nowadays, but we also chat, text, tweet, post, like, poke, huddle, share screens, do white board sessions, and more. We can do all of these whether on the desktop computer, laptop, netbook, tablet, desk phone, mobile phone, TV – and soon maybe even from the kitchen refrigerator! Not surprisingly, people have started looking for ways to tame and simplify all of this complexity—and thus was born the concept of "Unified Communications."

Unified Communications, simply stated, encompasses the organization of different communication tools and models so that it can be used and managed in an integrated way, with the goal of improving flexibility, efficiency, and effectiveness. To illustrate the benefits of Unified Communications, here are some examples of how it can be used in several business scenarios:

  1. Have a "single number to call" or a simpler way of reaching people. Instead of remembering and sharing a phone number, IM handle, email address, twitter account, and more, you can have just one number or address by which people can reach you—and systems will bridge that with whatever device or application your Unified Communications happen to be on or you prefer. So you can easily have calls placed to your desk phone routed to your mobile phone when you are out, and have voice mail emailed to you as a recording in case you can't answer.
  2. Reaching people when you need them. If you are working remotely, or managing remote workers, Unified Communications systems can indicate your or your colleagues' location or "presence"—i.e., whether you or they are available at the normal location, working remotely, or out in the field.
  3. Synchronous or asynchronous way of working. If you work with people in different time zones you can opt to conference when your schedules overlap, or swap messages that can be answered at their convenience if they don't —and be able to track and tie all of these together.
  4. Richer collaboration. If you work on projects, Unified Communications can allow you or your team to get in touch and collaborate in a richer and more interactive way. While working on a project you can chat, switch to voice calls for better clarity, or conference via video to provide more context, as well as share screens for easier collaboration—all from a single screen or session.
  5. Application integration. Imagine if you had the ability to call people from your email application's address book, or initiate a web conference from your instant messaging tool. With Unified Communications that is all possible.
Unified Communications may sound expensive and complex, but in reality it can actually lessen costs and make things simpler for you and your business. Learn more about Unified Communications and what else it can do to improve your business by contacting us today.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.