Fight the Warehousing Labor Shortage with Automation

Unemployment levels are reaching their lowest levels in a decade, with the U.S. job market adding more jobs than expected. Now that the American economy has effectively reached historic full employment and the two-month Consumer Confidence Index has reached an eight-year high, an already small labor pool is becoming even tighter.

This might be good news for economy, but it’s making it more difficult for warehouse distribution and manufacturing operations to find reliable workers, a problem that is exacerbated by the fact that Baby Boomers are retiring in record numbers.

These conditions make automation technologies a very attractive option that provides an unmatchable return on investment. After all, finding manual labor and temporary workers in peak periods is not only difficult; it can also be quite costly. Using automation solutions like pack and ship automation in conjunction with pick by voice, however, can boost distribution and manufacturing operations’ productivity levels by as much as 50 percent.

Benefits of Pick by Voice

In addition to the spike in productivity, pick by voice also provides a return on investment in just 12 to 18 months. It is quick to deploy, and immediate increases in order accuracy can be noted. It is particularly suited to omni-channel picking and environments where serial numbers, sell-by dates and lot codes must be captured.

It’s worth noting that today’s voice is speaker independent, and there is no need to carry out operator voice training. This is the key to its instant gains in productivity, which even extends to temporary workers. This shortened training time and the hands-free nature of the barcode scanning allows for one-touch pick and pack validation directly to shipping cartons.

Best of all, voice-directed pick, pack and ship fulfillment creates accuracy rates of more than 99.98 percent without the need for secondary inspection. As the worker pool continues to shrink, automation is a great way to keep productivity high without bringing on new workers.

This blog post was based off of an article from The Numina Group. View the original here.

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