- Consistent operating processes as well as procedures;
- Labor standards based on standard operating procedures;
- An open channel of communication of standards and performance;
- Classroom and on-the-job training of standards and performance;
- Continuous improvement teams focused on day-to-day operations.
Keeping Up With Technology
Ackerman: Voice recognition technology is the most important technology gain that we've seen in the last quarter century. You have to go back to bar coding to have anything like it. There are a few reasons why I am enthusiastic.
One is a clear, demonstrated payback, usually less than a year, for most installations.
The payback is in greater productivity. We have a public warehouse client in Columbus that installed voice recognition for one of its customers. The installation was done a year ago. In the first full month they could track, there was a 10 percent productivity gain.
I'm sure they haven't hit their stride yet because people are still learning. So the productivity gain was virtually immediate and I'm sure will improve.
One of its greatest virtues is in a cold storage warehouse where you have to wear gloves. You don't need a pencil or have to take your gloves off. It's hands free. You just talk and listen.
Voice-recognition is not for everybody. It won't be justified in a low-volume operation because there's not enough volume to pay for it. It gets cumbersome in a situation where the SKU numbers are extremely long and you have to do a lot of talking. So it won't cure everything, but it's pretty close. I have yet to hear any significant negatives.