Voice: Because Talk is Cheap and Time is Money

Speakeasy in Action

It’s obvious that companies only implement technology when it will benefit the business in some way.  Most often, it is the hope that technology yields some financial benefit – perhaps in the form of increased productivity and efficiency.  However, every technology vendor also recognizes this and therefore makes their sales pitch around the promise of some great savings.  But talk is cheap – so how best to separate the promises made in words, and those that are based on factual evidence?Speakeasy in Action

Selling technology has been tied to an ROI for decades, and today, nearly every company has an ROI calculator with which they can show how your investment in their product will put your business in the green.  What’s more credible?  Consider reference companies that already use the solution and explain the return on investment in their own terms.  Just as the reasons a business will choose to invest in technology may vary, so do the primary components of their own ROI calculations.

There are some industry-wide figures that help assess the benefits of voice-enabling mobile applications – typically in warehouse operations.  For example, voice-enabling picking applications can increase productivity by up to 35% versus paper, and increase pick accuracy up to 99%.  There are less-calculable benefits, such as reduced training times and enhancements to worker safety. These are not to be ignored, as they are relevant and important benefits to adding voice to mobile applications.  While these facts and figures justify investigating the technology, they don’t help much toward the next step – selecting your voice-enablement vendor.

Wavelink customers have provided their own ROI metrics for their deployments, and these can be found in our Case Studies.  It’s interesting to look at how each defines their ROI.  What made their Speakeasy implementation a success in their own eyes varied.  For example, Coleman Cable’s main distribution center in Wisconsin, USA would package 600-900 shipments each day, across 3,200 to 6,800 line items.  Their ROI: Significant productivity gains in flow-through and parcel processing.  Implementing Speakeasy and leveraging its scripting functionality reduced their flow-through labor requirement by 75%, from 16 man-hours down to 4 man-hours.  They also recognized benefits of reduced training times.  With Speakeasy, users were proficient within hours of first putting on their headsets.

Other Speakeasy case studies reflect different ROI measurements.  Goya Foods recognized the time savings when they could reformat and deploy their WMS screens in 15 minutes – where traditional voice solutions would have taken weeks because of their cumbersome middleware and server-based interfaces.  Cofares Group recognized their ROI on error reduction – witnessing a reduction from 20-30 errors over a day’s 1,200 orders before implementing Speakeasy, down to 0-2 errors with Speakeasy deployed.   3M recognized their ROI in the simplification of their picking process, the associated worker satisfaction with the simplified task, while stating that there is also visible financial ROI.

What’s your primary objective when considering voice-enabling mobile applications?  We’d love to hear what you have heard, experienced, and what defines your ROI.

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