Chapter Two of Vocollect's eBook 'The Talking Warehouse' Now Available for Free Download!

PITTSBURGH AND CHICAGO (March 23, 2011) – Vocollect, Inc., a business unit of Intermec, Inc. (NYSE:IN) and the world leader in voice-centric solutions for mobile workers, in conjunction with the 2011 ProMat trade show in Chicago March 21-24, today announced the availability of chapter 2 of its new e-book, The Talking Warehouse: Unleashing Higher Business Performance in Product Distribution through Voice.

Authored by Roger Byford, co-founder and chief technology officer of Vocollect, and supply chain journalist David Maloney, the e-chapter “Demystifying Voice in the Warehouse” examines the unique technical properties that voice technology harnesses to generate productivity and accuracy improvements in distribution environments.

According to Byford, “Different types of speech recognition systems exist that vary widely in their abilities to process information and provide desired accuracy. In this chapter, we look at how a computer understands speech from a human. To carry on a conversation, the computer obviously has to be able to speak to the human as well.  We’ll review how the various pieces of the voice puzzle work together within the distribution environment to provide a system that is highly accurate in its ability to recognize a user’s speech, using the attributes of speech interaction to build a productive workflow – thus driving increased business results,” he says.

The Value of Good Speech Recognition Technology in a Voice System: A Customer’s Perspective

Headquartered in Ankeny, Iowa, Vocollect customer Perishable Distributors of Iowa (PDI) is one of the largest food distribution companies in the United States, with 2010 sales of more than $835 million. Senior Vice President of Warehousing Jim Brandt commented, “At PDI, we have more than 5,000 SKUs and operate in a primarily batch-picking environment.  Superior speech recognition quality in our voice system is a must for achieving our operational goals.  In fast-paced distribution environments, seconds matter. Wasting time due to having to say unnecessary words and constantly repeating words because of poor recognition quality definitely has a bottom-line impact – both for an organization as a whole, and for the individual workers in distribution operations who count on gaining extra pay for surpassing their quotas.”

“Voice from Vocollect has helped us achieve productivity improvements of over 45 percent, 99.995 percent accuracy, a significantly safer work environment due to the hands-free/eyes-free aspect of voice, reduced training time and a one-year return on investment. But we couldn’t achieve these results if our workforce didn’t embrace the voice system in the first place, and that’s why speech recognition technology quality is an important factor to consider,” said Brandt.   

Topics in “Demystifying Voice in the Warehouse” include:

  • Why the speech recognition technology used in warehouse-based voice systems is significantly different from consumer applications such as those for dictation and over-the-phone.
  • How each voice system is built to recognize various sizes of vocabularies, numbers of speakers, and types of environment (e.g., noisy versus quiet). 
  • How some speech recognition systems are built on sounds within words, while others use words themselves as the building blocks.
  • What techniques builders of warehouse voice systems use to create recognizers with very high accuracy, and why some systems have higher  recognition rates than others.
  • How hardware, software and computer platforms can affect how well a speech recognition program functions.
  • How companies can attain tangible and considerable cost savings when deploying the most progressive applications of speech recognition  technology.

For a free copy of “Demystifying Voice in the Warehouse” – Chapter 2 of The Talking Warehouse – visit

About Vocollect
Vocollect, Inc., a business unit of Intermec, Inc. (NYSE:IN) business unit, is the leader in creating and providing voice-centric solutions for mobile workers in distribution and warehouse environments worldwide.  The speech recognition software and extreme recognition accuracy of in-vocabulary speech helps customers achieve a higher level of business performance through voice.  Every day over 300,000 workers worldwide use Vocollect’s comprehensive voice solutions to distribute more than $3 billion in goods from distribution centers and warehouses to customer locations. A global team of over 2,000 supply chain reseller and channel partner experts supports Vocollect Voice offerings. Vocollect VoiceWorld Suite integrates with all major WMS and ERP systems, including solutions from SAP AG, and supports the industry’s leading mobile computing devices. For more information, visit

Vocollect®, Vocollect Voice® and Vocollect VoiceWorld Suite™ are trademarks of Vocollect, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Intermec
Intermec Inc. (NYSE:IN) develops and integrates products, services and technologies that identify, track and manage supply chain assets and information. Core technologies include rugged mobile computing and data collection systems, bar code printers, label media, and RFID. The company’s products and services are used by customers in many industries worldwide to improve the productivity, quality and responsiveness of business operations. For more information about Intermec, visit or call 800-347-2636.