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Since Artex Ltd.began using a new voice-recognition technology in its warehouse, construction materials company Artex’s warehouse picking accuracy has been nearly perfect, operations director Martin Dodson says.

Using headsets to receive product picking instructions, instead of using handheld devices, warehouse workers keep their hands free to keep products moving, he adds.

The online Voice Management Suite from Voxware, helped Artex sustain accuracy gains of more than 12 percentage points above its previous paper-based picking system. “We set high, exacting standards for accuracy,” Dodson says. “Any order with 59 out of 60 items picked correctly would still count as a 100% failure. With Voxware, we were able to increase accuracy from an average of 87% with our paper system to 99.6%, contributing significantly to an improvement in customer satisfaction.”

Voxware’s VMS is a hands-free system that lets warehouse workers use headsets to receive order-picking instructions and then speak into the headset to confirm what they have picked and placed into a carton or tote. The system lets Artex automatically track how well workers have accurately processed customer orders, Voxware says. Voxware declines to comment on the cost of deploying its technology.

Artex, which manufactures and distributes materials and tools for such tasks as building concrete walls and installing plasterboard,  plans to deploy Voxware’s voice management system in other areas of its warehouse operations, such as order replenishment of fast-moving inventory, and stock counting, says Tony Worn, logistics performance manager at Artex.

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“We needed a solution that helped us ensure accuracy not just in the warehouse but also on the loading docks where we load and ship 600 tons a day,” Worn says.

Artex also is using Hamilton, NJ-based Voxware’s analytics tool, called VoxPilot, to gain insight into pick rates and assign pace rates for various items that have led to productivity improvements, Artex says.

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