Voice picking technology in warehouse

In the dynamic landscape of modern warehouses, the quest for increased efficiency is a constant pursuit. As businesses strive to meet growing consumer demands and streamline their operations, innovative technologies play a pivotal role in shaping the future of logistics. 

One such technology making waves in the warehouse management realm is voice picking. Voice picking, also known as voice-directed picking or voice-activated picking, is a hands-free, eyes-free technology that utilizes speech recognition and synthesis to guide warehouse workers through the picking process. 

In this blog post, we will delve into the key aspects of voice-picking technology and explore how it is transforming warehouse operations, leading to significant improvements in efficiency.

Let’s get started!

Defining Voice Picking Technology:

Voice-picking technology is a transformative solution revolutionizing warehouse operations by leveraging voice recognition for order fulfilment. This hands-free, paperless system directs workers through easy-to-understand voice prompts, enhancing accuracy and efficiency. 

Connected to the warehouse management system, the technology converts orders into voice commands heard through operators’ headphones. Workers verbally confirm their movements, automatically updating the system. 

This streamlined process eliminates paper-based errors, reduces labour costs, and allows workers to focus on precise item selection. Overall, voice-picking technology accelerates order preparation, making warehouse operations more agile and error-resistant.

How Voice Picking Technology Works:

Here’s a breakdown of how voice-picking technology works:

Device Setup:

Workers are equipped with a specialized mobile computer connected to a headset featuring a microphone and a barcode scanner.

Order Import and Sequencing:

Customer orders are imported from the warehouse management system (WMS) or enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. The orders are recorded, sequenced, and released for processing.

Instruction Delivery:

The voice-picking device provides verbal instructions to the warehouse worker, specifying picking tasks and their respective locations.

Location Confirmation:

When the worker reaches a designated location, they verbally confirm confirmation digits to verify the location and bin.

Task Confirmation:

The system confirms the aisle or section and provides the operator with the pick quantity, which the operator verbally confirms upon completion.

Optimized Routing:

After completing a task, the system guides the operator to the next pick location, optimizing the path for efficiency.

Tracking Interactions:

All interactions between the worker and the voice application are tracked, allowing managers to monitor order fulfilment progress.

Management Visibility and Reporting:

Advanced systems offer reporting and management tools for workflow management, real-time exception handling, and overall productivity tracking, enhancing warehouse operations effectiveness.

Benefits of Voice Picking Technology:

Here’s a detailed overview of the benefits of voice-picking technology in a warehouse or distribution centre:

Increased Productivity:

Workers have both hands free, allowing them to focus more on picking the correct products. This freedom from manual tasks contributes to improved productivity and efficiency.

Accurate Order Processing:

Voice-directed work aids concentration, enabling faster location and accurate picking of items. This swift and precise order processing enhances customer satisfaction by ensuring timely and error-free deliveries.

Reduced Errors:

The elimination of distractions, coupled with verbal confirmation for each pick, significantly reduces the likelihood of picking errors. The hands-free nature of voice picking minimizes the risk associated with traditional manual methods.

Improved Inventory Counts:

Enhanced picking accuracy leads to improved inventory counts. Organizing items in a way that aligns with the voice-picking process further streamlines the inventory management process, contributing to overall supply chain efficiency.

Less Training:

Voice picking is easy to learn, with simple, step-by-step commands. This ease of use minimizes training time, making onboarding more efficient and reducing the learning curve for new employees.

Versatility in Applications:

Voice-picking technology can be applied to various warehouse processes, including cross-docking, picking to conveyor systems, pick-by-line, putaway, and inventory management. Its versatility makes it a valuable tool across different aspects of warehouse operations.

Boosted Accuracy of Orders:

Voice-directed work allows users to focus on tasks without the need to read instructions. This results in quicker identification of items, selection of the right quantity, and accurate placement, ultimately leading to higher order accuracy and customer satisfaction.

Increased Productivity:

With hands-free from handling devices or paper instructions, workers can concentrate on picking the correct products. Removing these distractions often leads to a notable increase in productivity among pickers.

Increased Inventory Accuracy:

Better picking accuracy contributes to improved inventory counts. The combination of organized warehouse layouts and the precision of voice-picking technology enhances a business’s ability to manage inventory more accurately.

Reduced Picking Errors:

Distractions are minimized, reducing the chances of incorrect picks caused by looking away from the picking area. Verbal confirmation for each pick ensures higher order accuracy rates, potentially reducing the average error rate to as low as one error per 1,000 picks.

Challenges to Deal With:

Although voice picking is a viable option to include in your warehouse, there are a few challenges to look out for. We’ve listed some below:

Initial Implementation Costs:

The upfront investment required for implementing voice picking technology, including purchasing devices and integrating with existing systems, can be a significant challenge for businesses with tight budgets.

Integration with Existing Systems:

Compatibility issues may arise when integrating voice-picking technology with legacy warehouse management systems (WMS) or enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Ensuring seamless integration is crucial for a smooth transition.

Employees accustomed to traditional picking methods may initially resist the adoption of voice technology. Adequate training programs are essential to overcome resistance and ensure efficient utilization of the new system.

Voice recognition technology may face challenges in accurately understanding commands in environments with diverse accents and dialects. This can lead to errors in task execution and impact overall efficiency.

Noisy warehouse environments can pose challenges for voice recognition systems. Interference from background noise or equipment may affect the accuracy of voice commands, requiring careful consideration of the work environment.

As businesses grow, the scalability of voice-picking technology becomes crucial. Ensuring that the system can efficiently handle increased order volumes and warehouse complexity is a challenge that requires thoughtful planning.

FAQ: Role of Voice Picking Technology in a Warehouse

Examples of voice-picking technology in warehouse

Leading examples of voice-picking technology include systems like Vocollect, Honeywell Voice, and Zebra Technologies. These solutions enhance warehouse efficiency by providing hands-free, voice-guided instructions to workers during the picking process.

What are the three most voice-picking technologies in a warehouse?

Prominent voice-picking technologies in warehouses are Vocollect by Honeywell, Voxware, and Lucas Systems. These systems streamline operations by employing voice commands for accurate and efficient order fulfilment.

How accurate is voice-picking technology? 

Voice-picking technology boasts remarkable accuracy rates, often exceeding 99%. Real-time distribution systems (RDS) with integrated barcode scan validation can achieve precision levels of 99.99%, minimizing errors and enhancing overall reliability in warehouse order-picking processes.


In conclusion, voice-picking technology stands at the forefront of warehouse innovation, driving efficiency, accuracy, and streamlined operations. Its hands-free, paperless approach transforms order fulfillment, reducing errors, and enhancing overall productivity. 

While challenges exist, the benefits outweigh them, making voice picking an invaluable asset in the evolving logistics landscape. As warehouses embrace this technology, they position themselves for success in meeting heightened consumer demands. 
To seamlessly integrate voice picking and overcome implementation challenges, consider Qodenext—an industry leader in warehouse technology solutions, ensuring a future-ready and efficient warehouse management system. Upgrade today for a smarter, more responsive warehouse experience with Qodenext!

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