How voice-directed warehouse technology is driving the competition forward

chazBy Darrel Williams, Regional Director, Northern Europe and South Africa, Vocollect Solutions, Honeywell

The retail industry is facing challenging times. Supermarket giants continue to battle it out, cutting prices to boost profits by winning new customers. But whilst shoppers may be relishing the benefits, there is another story which is only just starting to unfold.

Online shopping has forced supermarkets to run a more efficient, customer focused service. This high consumer demand and the rise in ecommerce have driven supermarkets to become reliant on warehouse technology, and in return, made warehouses and the workers play a more direct role to the customer – resulting in benefitting both the consumers and businesses.

Ever since supermarkets have introduced online shopping, they’ve been looking to become more consumer focused whilst continuing to drive down their own costs.

According to Defra and the Office for National Statistics, in 2014, UK households spent £112 billion on food and drink, and the convenience of ecommerce has led to 20% of adults now doing all or most of their grocery shopping online – confirming that the UK is leading in online grocery retailing in Europe (Mintel). So how are the supermarkets able to keep up with such a demand? The answer comes from an efficient supply chain, and efficient warehouse operations. Through using voice solutions, warehouses are allowing the supermarkets to continue to be competitive.

Technology is giving the back of store worker more information than ever. Vehicle mount tablets, laptops, voice systems all give workers real time data which handles the dynamic, changeable information. Systems such as voice have come into play that work, not to overload the worker with information, but to give them necessary directions to perform at the most efficient level, simplifying the process whilst ensuring compliance with the customer’s order.

Consumer demand will continue to increase, so what’s next for voice? Whatever a worker does they can execute naturally and intuitively with voice as the technology will adapt to their needs. Supermarkets with voice- enabled warehouses are significantly improving their performance, in turn making them more competitive and able to offer a higher level of service.

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