Voice Technology

Voice directed / speech recognition, hands-free warehouse and distribution center computing, voice in the warehouse, voice technology and voice systems. Voice Directed Picking and Voice-enabled workers wear a headset connected to a small wearable computer.

Voxware Case Study : Mission Health

Voxware Case Study : Mission Health
Mission Health has provided superior health care to Asheville, North Carolina and the surrounding region since 1885. Today, the organization manages seven hospitals that offer services in over 50 medical specialties including neuroscience, cancer, cardiac care, orthopedics, women’s health, and a dedicated Level II trauma center.

The Mission Health distribution center handles all non- pharmaceutical and nonfoodstuff supplies to enable their clinicians to provide the highest standard of care throughout the healthcare network. Almost 3500 items are picked a day and shipped by a team of materials operations technicians. Effi cient and accurate item selection is important in every industry, but there are few places where it’s more critical than healthcare. For Mission Health, failure to deliver correct items on time could impact the care they provide to their patients.

Why Voice?
Until recently, Mission Health relied on a paper-based picking process. Not only was the process ineffi cient, but it created many picking errors that further slowed productivity. The combined effect of ineffi ciencies and errors forced work orders to remain open at the end of a shift.

The material operations team at Mission Health knew they had to come up with a solution to operate more effi ciently—and they knew they would face constraints to meet their goal. To address this challenge, one option would have been to hire more staff. Unfortunately, like many distribution operations, the Mission Health team is continually asked to do more with less and hiring more staff wasn’t an option. Instead, the team began a search for technology to replace their outdated paper-based processes.

First, they experimented with a handheld scanning system that came built-in as an option with their WMS before discovering it was not an ideal solution for their operation. “We started using the handheld system that came with our WMS software, but our team members found it cumbersome. We knew we needed a hands free technology,” said Bobby Robinson, Manager of Ridgefi eld Operations, Mission Health.

Why Voxware?
The Mission Health team spoke with a number of voice providers about their needs and found that improved efficiency was a commonly cited effect of implementing voice. “We knew if we deployed voice we would be able to take on more work without having to add more staff,” said Robinson.

Mission Health ultimately decided on Voxware because of the Cloud VMS application and the powerful configurability of the system to precisely address all of the organization’s requirements. “They were a great partner from the start,” said Robinson. “They did what they said they were going to do, and the implementation was one of the easiest and most professional implementations that’s ever been done at Mission Health.”

Mission Health calls the decision to implement Voxware’s flagship Cloud VMS product a no-brainer. “We use other cloud-based systems, so we knew a cloud-based voice solution would give us the same flexibility without needing to have a server on site,” said Bill Myers, Executive Director, Materials Management, Mission Health.

Before implementing Voxware VMS, Mission Health frequently found there were not enough hours in the day to fulfill all the orders placed by clinicians, especially during weekly peaks on Mondays and Tuesdays and seasonal peaks such as flu season and holidays. After implementing Voxware VMS, the team can close more pick orders in shifts than before. “Thanks to Voxware, we can actually accomplish a day’s work in a day and our closed orders are more organized and complete than they’ve been in years,” said Robinson.

Mission Health’s materials operation team adapted quickly to the new technology and completed the training process rapidly. Myers explains, “Within a week, folks were moving from beginner to expert mode. Being able to see results in real time with VoxPilot has also created competition within the staff to drive productivity improvements.”

The organization has also seen order accuracy improve for both outgoing orders and cycle counts, which means Voxware VMS contributes to more efficient fulfillment and inventory management. “Within the first four months of using Voxware, we’ve noticed accuracy improve by 30% and we know that it’s going to continue to improve,” said Robinson.

In addition to improved operational efficiency, Mission Health has also leveraged VoxPilot to see what’s happening in the picking pipeline in real time. “The dashboards have been especially powerful and enable supervisors to assign priority jobs to a particular person to make sure they’re completed in time,” said Myers. “Voxpilot for us has been instrumental in giving us a visual we did not have before. To be able to see pick rates graphically so the staff can see how productive they really are has been extremely helpful.”

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