Voice Data Collection for Picking and Putaway

Year after year, you’re challenged to find ways to boost worker productivity by five percent or more. You may have considered voice integration in the past, but there’s great news: voice has evolved. With BCC Distribution and Velocity Voice from Ivanti, formerly Speakeasy, companies around the globe are realizing the benefits of full-featured voice enablement that can be deployed in just a few weeks, at a fraction of the cost of traditional voice applications. Best of all, BCC Distribution can activate voice to be used in conjunction with your barcode scanning systems and SAP mobility solutions already in place, or add voice as you refresh your mobile devices, including those running the Android operating system.

  • Accelerate picking speed and order accuracy by voice-enabling telnet (via SAP Console) and browser apps (via SAP ITSmobile) leveraging BCC Distribution and the Velocity platform. Ivanti’s Velocity Voice simply integrates with existing deployments without changes to host apps.
  • You don’t need to abandon investments you’ve already made. You’re enhancing their value. Velocity Voice works with your existing RF barcode scanning implementation using Velocity. Add voice where voice makes sense—alongside barcode scanning, RFID, and more for an optimized data-collection solution that accelerates productivity.
  • Adding voice not only helps optimize workflows for speed, voice boosts accuracy in order fulfillment tasks. Warehouse and distribution operations realize picking accuracy as high as 99.95%.

The Mobile User Experience (UX)

An Untapped Advantage

One area of ERP workflow that is ripe for productivity gains is the User Experience on the mobile data-entry device, or mobile RF barcode scanner. These mobile devices may be handheld barcode scanners, forklift-mounted barcode scanners, rugged tablets, wearables, or other mobile computers employed to interface with your ERP system. Although your ERP system is providing the back-end logic to control all operations, it is on this mobile device UX (“the Edge”) where the rubber meets the road. These mobile devices determine how, when, and where material handlers move product through the supply chain. Therefore, making this UX more efficient can extract huge productivity gains from existing ERP implementations. Assume a material handler is in the warehouse using a traditional barcode scanner with the SAP ERP system. In many cases the user interface is HTML or browser based.  As such, the handler’s interface to the SAP software is via some type of HTML browser on the mobile barcode scanner.

An Example of Common Challenges

Right away this presents several challenges. First off, the screen real estate on all barcode devices is radically different from a PC or laptop screen.  As such, the workflow screens presented on the barcode device are limited to fit only a select amount of information on the screen. This means material handlers may need to scroll or advance the screen to find the parts of the page they need to execute their current workflow.  In some cases, time spent by the material handler navigating on the device is NOT productive, and back-end automation may not be permissible.

Many standard ERP workflow screens supplied by the ERP solution itself are generic, meaning they present ALL options to a worker or handler that may only need specific options at a certain step.  This leaves the material handler struggling to remember exactly which menu option to select at a given step, increasing the likelihood of introducing errors—errors that cost time and money.

For these reasons and many more—including generic keyboards that only degrade productivity—huge gains can be realized from re-creating the UX on the mobile barcode scanner at the point of entry for the material handlers. These gains have been proven to increase speed, reduce error rates, and even cut training time completely

To further facilitate productivity with new mobile devices and processes, data capture must be streamlined. You don’t want workers pinching and zooming due to page-fit issues, as this takes them away from the task at hand—whether they’re working with a handheld barcode scanner, lift-mounted device, or enterprise tablet. What’s more, many warehouses employ seasonal workers to manage peaks and troughs, often not operating in their primary language, and it’s evident that warehouse digitization is at a tipping point, and could cause more problems than solutions. For optimal productivity, businesses need accurate WMS integration to help ensure shipments come and go on time to maintain customer satisfaction.

On modern mobile barcode devices, the Ivanti Velocity software toolset presents a more efficient and productive UX for SAP S/4HANA and SAP ECC using IM, WM, and EWM for SAP ITSmobile (HTML web browser) or SAP Console (Telnet – Terminal Emulation) applications. It provides all the following and more:

  • Changing the UX from a key-based interface to a touchscreen-friendly user experience.
  • Creating enhanced screens on Android, iOS, and Windows 10 mobile devices.
  • Remove unnecessary screen items to keep material handlers on task.
  • It can even voice-enable SAP IM, WM or EWM workflows to make the entire experience voice input/output.

Voice Enabled Solutions for Hands-Free Operations.

Sophisticated Automation and Integration

The Ivanti Velocity software toolset further enables BCC Distribution to customize SAP mobile software transaction screens and the overall User Experience (UX). This personalized formatting helps reduce redundant menu options, reducing scroll times, and rescuing users from being overwhelmed with options. In a warehouse or factory setting, users may only need one or two choices. Paring down what’s on screen helps focus attention and prevents accidental clicks that slow the picking process considerably. This can be a particular challenge in warehouses with a multigenerational workforce. Some material handlers will be resistant to change while others with embrace the new systems. With the BCC Distribution customized and easy-to-use interface, the day-to-day operations will run smoothly no matter which material handler is using it. With the additional benefits of voice activation with the Ivanti Voice software toolset, which doesn’t require training time to recognize different accents, dialects, or languages, BCC Distribution and Ivanti offer the tools to make your digitization achieve best-in-class status.

The move to modernize facilitates this even further, as the Ivanti Velocity software toolset is much more customizable than Windows. This means businesses can choose to remove buttons that don’t serve a purpose for the job at hand, making it easier to log on or make data entries by having the numeric or alphabetic keyboard appear when automatically needed, and highlighting certain buttons by increasing their size and color. This intuitive display minimizes training time while simultaneously improving pick and put-away rates.

100% Device‑Based Voice Processing

No need to train the voice software system to recognize unique accents or dialects. Users pick up any enabled mobile device and get to work.

This enhanced mobile user experience and display can also help seasonal or temporary workers who may not be as familiar with what certain picking or put-away functions look like. BCC Distribution’s mobile data collection software solutions leverage Ivanti’s toolset and with direct SAP integration, there is also the opportunity to display additional pictures, if applicable, to help operatives identify the correct item.

As a very basic example, if a box of oranges is selected to be shipped, an image of oranges can be displayed in addition to the item number and location in the warehouse. To do this, the Ivanti Velocity TE Client reads the article number from the SAP console, accesses another database where corresponding images are stored, and plays the corresponding image back to the end device. This is a huge advantage for users and can be implemented with the SAP software at the client site. This functionality works both ways—and can therefore help with documenting damaged goods—by enabling users to send and store a photo of the damage on the system.

BCC Distribution and Ivanti Wavelink – Trust the Market Leaders Trusted by SAP

Since the inception of the barcode, Ivanti Velocity has been providing warehouse solutions to enterprises, taking their operation to the next level. Despite warehouses increasing in size and complexity, BCC Distribution can make your operations easier thanks to our experience, expertise, and vast knowledge. We can help you save money, drive productivity, and reduce errors with SAP integration, thanks to our fast and reliable direct-connect and real-time software that delivers solutions simply not possible with other providers.

BCC Distribution is an SAP Silver Partner with SAP-certified solutions using SAP Console and ITSmobile, we can work with you to help find-tune your picking and put-away operations. Whether you’re using Terminal Emulation or Web Browser-based applications, or just looking for a more modern and innovative solution, the Ivanti Velocity framework delivers the needed technology for BCC Distribution to automate and achieve your warehouse of the future.

Contact Us

At BCC Distribution, your company will find the right voice and browser-based software solutions it needs to increase productivity and maximize optimization, whether you run SAP S/4HANA, SAP ECC 6.0, or another ERP business system. From barcode solutions to hands-free voice data integration, our team of experts at BCC Distribution can provide the ideal voice, barcode and/or RFID data collection solution to meet your business needs. Contact us today to learn how activating Voice integration can supplement RF scanning to improve Picking and Put Away for your warehouse logistics.