Photo of men and women putting together orders in a warehouse, they are wearing headsets

Supply Chain

Modern Talking

Voiteq develops market-leading voice-directed solutions for customers of the Körber Business Area Supply Chain. This UK company was acquired by Körber in 2018 — and it’s enhancing both side’s innovative power.

Time is pressin — constantly. Ordered today, delivered tomorrow — this claim is almost standard today in the logistics sector. Companies that want to keep up must develop processes that can work faster and more precisely. And in warehouses there are many opportunities for this type of optimization. “Companies have realized that they can’t master these challenges without efficient warehousing processes,” says Anton du Preez, the Group Sales Director at Voiteq. Voiteq, a company with headquarters in Blackpool, UK, develops the innovations that are needed for this kind of optimization.

Portrait photo of Anton du Preez, Group Sales Director at Voiteq
Anton du Preez, Group Sales Director at Voiteq.

Since 2000 the company has been developing voice-directed solutions under the name of VoiceMan that improve the warehousing processes of its globally operating customers. One of these solutions is the Warehouse Execution System (WES), which can be smoothly integrated into customers’ existing warehouse management systems. WES equips warehouse employees with headphones and a receiver that is not much larger than an electric shaver, then leads them via spoken dialogue through various work processes such as goods receipt, storage and transfer processes, picking, loading, and inventory — without requiring a keyboard or paper. “That speeds up the entire process,” says du Preez. “Adding voice technology takes business operations to the next level.” Efficiency is the crucial advantage it provides. “Functions, dialogue, and commands are reduced to the basics: the business operations and the action that has to be carried out at the moment,” du Preez adds.

lVoice technology takes business operations to the next level.r

Anton du Preez, Group Sales Director at Voiteq

The display speaks

Voiteq’s voice-directed solutions are being used successfully across many sectors and countries. The company’s customers range from price-sensitive trading companies to the fiercely competi­tive automotive market. Thanks to voice technology, customers can increase their efficiency between 10 and more than 30 percent. At the company’s headquarters in Blackpool, IT experts, software developers, consultants, and technicians are constantly tinkering in order to further simplify and accelerate the multilayered, linked ­processes of the logistics sector through voice technology. For example, the VoiceMan Screen-to-Voice connector transforms processes that are normally only visible on displays into spoken commands. This transformation enables all display-based processes to be activated via voice control easily and without any special interfaces.

The state-of-the-art analytical tool VoiceMan Data Analysis can do even more. Warehouse managers can call up data from the voice system in real time — and also use this data for long-term analyses of information about performance trends, benchmarking, and training opportunities, for example.

A smiling woman wearing a headset
No more screen work: The Screen-to-Voice connector converts processes into voice commands.

Voiteq has been part of the Körber Group since June 2018. This has benefited both sides in the field of innovation. Other companies from the Körber Business Area Supply Chain, such as Inconso, also rely on technologies from Voiteq. Meanwhile, Voiteq is also benefiting from the development of new innovations. “Ever since we became part of Körber, we’ve been seeing synergies that enable us to develop offers for our customers. That’s because we can now rely on the Group’s global network of experts, which is bringing us tremendous benefits,” says du Preez. “Today we have even more worldwide contacts who can help us to improve our products and expand our business operations.”

Many more exciting opportunities are opening up for the voice specialists, because customers now pose a very diverse range of challenges. For example, in the e-commerce sector the return rates can be as high as 40 percent, and that can quickly lead to massive amounts of logistics work. Creativity is needed here — and at Voiteq, creativity is a key component of the corporate culture. “Innovations become reality when creativity is part of everyone’s daily work,” says du Preez. “That’s why our employees are creative and flexible as they advise customers and look for the best solutions. We encourage everyone at Voiteq to share their new discoveries during spontaneous stand-up meetings and to share ideas with their colleagues both during and outside their work hours.” He is convinced that “the most important aspect of product development is the process of listening to our customers and understanding their problems.”

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