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Retif Improves Order Delivery Times and Accuracy with Upgraded Multi-Modal Picking Technology

Posted May 20, 2015

Motorola WT41N0 Handheld Computers

The Challenge

Industry leader RETIF already knew the value of utilizing voice in its picking application — the wearable voice-picking solution that had been in place since 2006 had provided a 10 percent increase in the productivity of the warehouse picking workforce as well as a significant reduction in errors. The original solution had already been replaced in 2010. In 2014, the devices were ready for replacement again. As RETIF began the process of selecting a new device, several issues led to the identification of new device criteria. The TekSpeech Pro multi-modal picking solution and the WT41N0 wearable mobile computers from Zebra Technologies were chosen as the next generation solution, since VoCollect could not satisfy the new criteria.


The current speaker-dependent hardware required every user to spend a minimum of 30 minutes training the device to recognize his or her voice. In order to accommodate accents, voice speed and more, users needed to repeat a list of 50+ words multiple times. The company wanted to switch to a speaker-independent solution that would eliminate the need for users to train the software for their specific voice — but Vocollect did not offer a speaker-independent option.

Lack of multi-modal input

While pure voice input had served the company well, RETIF realized that adding a display would help further streamline the picking process for a multitude of reasons.

  • Some users weren’t comfortable with voice only. The ability to read the information on screen would not only provide the versatility to meet the needs and preferences of the entire picking workforce, it would also help users become more comfortable with voice commands more quickly, reducing errors as well as the learning curve.
  • Exception processing procedures were challenging. Users were forced to remember which sequence of words were required to delete or change an item. A touchscreen would give users the flexibility to complete exceptions with a few taps on the screen or the press of a few keys on the soft keyboard.

In addition, while the existing voice-only devices did a great job, they could only be utilized for one thing — voice picking. The company was interested in a multi-function device that could improve other warehouse processes. For example, bar code scanning would allow users to process incoming and outgoing shipments faster and more accurately. In addition, additional functionality would improve device utilization — and provide a faster return on investment. But the mobile devices available from the current provider didn’t offer this flexibility.

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Improving Your Distribution Center Efficiency with Honeywell

Posted March 2, 2015

distoHoneywellYour distribution center operations are complex – from picking, packing and shipping, to receiving, putaway and replenishment. Slim margins and fierce competition leave no room for error – and the race to improve never ends. So what separates the best-in-class from the rest? Honeywell. Only Honeywell offers a complete portfolio of integrated workflow solutions to deliver what your business needs: Total DC optimization – and the results to prove it.

Deliver Unmatched Worker Productivity and Accuracy

Honeywell’s passion for productivity improvements drives their deep knowledge of distribution centers, and ensures that they’re focused on the issues that make a real difference to your business: Discovering new ways to achieve operational efficiency and productivity, while also driving down labor costs. Honeywell enables you to achieve these gains through comprehensive solutions that integrate purpose-built data collection devices, Vocollect Voice  solutions, and end-to-end data management.

To discover the ways that any operation can achieve best-in class performance, Honeywell commissions research into how real distribution centers operate – including a global survey of 250 senior supply chain and distribution center managers. Based on this study, a few of the many challenges DCs commonly face are presented at right.

As Honeywell customers can attest, they help businesses throughout the world address these challenges by optimizing the workflows that are key to their operations. First, each solution is designed from their comprehensive portfolio of integrated products, applications, and services. Then they tailor the solution to meet your specific business needs, refining your workflows to deliver unbeatable user preference and cutting-edge bottom-line results.

Click on the accompanying chart for a breakdown by application use of Honywell’s scanner and mobile computers designed for distribution operations.

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