Designing warehouses for efficiency – Part I

With warehouses and distribution centres now a key part of manufacturing supply chains, especially with the dramatic increase in on-line shopping, it is increasingly important that these facilities operate as efficiently as possible.

In the first half of this series Ferret and Manufacturers' Monthly looks at major advances in picking technologies to reduce costs and improve accuracies and efficiencies, in particular voice-directed warehousing.

According to Larry Sweeney, Senior VP and Co-Founder of US-based Vocollect, a leading provider of voice technology, the increase in on-line shopping is changing the face of warehousing as it becomes more complex. 

"Having the capability and the flexibility to respond to these dynamics both in the warehouse and in the retail store is a key focus for us going forward," Sweeney explained.

More and more companies, especially in Europe and the US, are taking advantage of voice picking technology and applying it across the board. 

"We have a vision, which we call the voice centric distribution centre, where voice technology is used as a receiving tool, in the put away replenishment processes, plus picking, loading and inventory functions like cycle counting and inventory counts. We have several customers who are 100% voice in the warehouse," he said. 

According to Sweeney,picking systems are either too expensive or not as efficient.

To read the rest of Part I of this two part series, click here.

Part II will feature tomorrow.