topVOX Limited specialise in speechbased solutions for efficient and ergonomic work processes such as Pick by Voice and Check by Voice.
Apart from standard applications in logistics, topVOX’s software suite, Lydia®, is gaining popularity in production, mobile maintenance and other fields of mobile data capture. The hands-free / eyes-free approach guarantees maximum attentiveness of workers enabling them to focus completely on the task at hand.
topVOX offers customised, premium solutions as well as ready to install Plug & Play packages for smaller businesses. No matter how you manage your processes, topVOX can design an efficient mobile voice application, tailored to your specific requirements, to create a leaner and smarter workflow.
WLN – As a leading supplier in the Order Picking category, what has the last year been like for your business? How about for the rest of your sector?
2015 was really successful for topVOX. Again we saw a high demand for our Plug & Play solution in the UK. As a preconfigured out of the box package for voice picking Lydia® Plug & Play was the first choice for small and medium sized companies. Moreover we gained new customers who have selected topVOX as the technological leader of voice directed workflows again.
WLN – What are your best-known products and services?
topVOX is best known as a leading provider of Warehouse Voice Solutions. Our Lydia® Voice Solution comes with the worlds most advanced Voice Recognition Engine.
Lydia® can be either Speaker Dependent or Speaker Independent depending on what the customer needs. These can even be combined in a single operation although 99.9% of customers stay with the Speaker Independent option.
Lydia® ‘adapts’ to the user’s voice as they talk. As such if you get a cold the system will adjust to keep recognition levels very high.
Therefore there is no ‘retraining’ of either ‘Voice Templates’ or ‘words.’
No buttons are required other than the ‘On’ button. If you want the system to get louder, softer, faster, slower, or need ‘help,’ all these are performed by Voice as well as other standard voice commands that are built in. All you need to do is speak.
We can operate on Android, iOS and Windows and these can even be mixed in the same operation.
We have the only direct connection with SAP. This is developed in the Kernel version of SAP so as SAP updates their system the Lydia® Speech Connection is also updated. This is the easiest and simplest way for any SAP user to deploy voice.
In terms of services we provide a highly flexible Support Model. When appropriate we even train customers to write their own solutions providing they have the skillsets.
WLN – What makes you the first choice supplier in your field?
We offer our customers and partners ‘Freedom, Flexibility and Reliability.’ This is what makes topVOX ‘The Choice for Voice.’ We use our own Voice Recognition Engine ‘Lydia®’ which is being continually developed and is the cornerstone of our business.
WLN – What new products and services have you introduced?
We introduced Lydia® VoiceWear® to the market. Lydia® VoiceWear® is a new ‘vest like’ wearable system for Pick by Voice. All the technical components for voice-activated picking are included in the wearable system, and are protected from environmental impacts. This enables an increased freedom of movement, a distinct advantage particularly in warehouses where heavy lifting is part of the daily routine.
WLN – What industries are your customers in?
At topVOX we focus optimising the customer’s processes via voice, whoever they are. One focus is logistics, but we also receive many enquiries from the industrial, maintenance, production, security and automotive sectors.
WLN – How do your products and services help customers become more efficient, greener or work safer?
Today’s supply chain focuses on on-time deliveries, reliable warehouse management systems as well as fast adaption to continuous shifting demands in the industry.
Innovative and flexible solutions for fast and error-free handling of all intralogistics processes are key requirements for an efficient supply chain. Lydia® Voice Solutions help our customers to increase productivity, reduce errors and improve safety.
WLN – How important is e-commerce as a focus for you?
There is a huge growth in the number of e-commerce operations, many have grown from one person operations starting off in their house and growing into their garage then into a small business unit with a small number of staff. It is a key area of focus that we are really trying to engage with. These growing operations are working it out as they go along and need real help to manage and control their costs and also to improve efficiency and accuracy and help them grow into the giants of the future. We have a few of these types of operations where growth has been phenomenal and we are very proud to have been a part of that growth.
WLN – Is there a recent or current project that stands out as a showcase for your company? Can you tell us about it?
There is one project I would like to mention. Skoolkit, a small retailer of school uniforms which they supply through their own shops, direct to schools and direct to home. They also do their own ‘in house’ embroidery of school badges.
They deployed our Plug & Play solution as it was very low cost and very quick to deploy and train whilst offering huge benefits in efficiency and accuracy.
80% of their annual turnover is between mid-July and the start of September. They deployed on July 15th anticipating the need for several temporary staff and actually used none.
Their shops stopped checking deliveries at the end of the first week as the numbers of errors were negligible. They increased their volume over the previous year by about 30% in the same period.
WLN – What were your company’s biggest achievements in the last 12 months?
We saw a huge demand for our Plug & Play solution in the UK as well as some huge projects such as one of the largest international parcel delivery companies who are now one of our customers proving that we cover the whole spectrum of service offerings from very small companies through to major multinationals and can deliver these with equal quality and focus ensuring our customers are not just happy but truly delighted with our service.
To cap an outstanding year, topVOX received the Logistics Business IT Awards in London for the Lydia® Plug & Play in two categories:
• “Wearable Devices & Voice Technology in Logistics” for its application at Seiko Optical UK.
• “Logistics IT in the Retail & Wholesale sector” the voice application at Skoolkit.
WLN – Are you currently investing in the business, taking on staff or going into new markets or countries? If so, how’s it going?
We are constantly developing our key partnerships all over the world as we consider this to be a strong basis for growth and innovation.
Also, we are always developing new solutions such as our Lydia® VoiceWear® and ‘Smart Watch’ solutions as well as the as the ‘Voice and Vision’ solution using Smart Glasses with a global partner.
WLN -What are you doing to bring on new talent and raise skills levels in your company?
Our team consists of experienced senior executives as well as young, well-trained software engineers and IT specialists. This combination of business and industry knowledge combined with the most modern and up to date IT technologies and trends results in innovative and efficient state-ofthe- art products that are suited to user needs and requirements. We have a formal relationship with Aachen university who are one of the 11 elite technology research centres in Germany and are part of their ‘Supply Chain Cluster’ working with over 30 other companies investing in future technologies and their real world applications. We are constantly ‘rotating staff’ with the university as well as using this as our ‘recruitment ground’ for developers and technicians.
All of this ensures that topVOX are constantly pushing the boundaries of Speech technologies in a way our competitors can only dream about.
WLN – What are the major issues facing the Order Picking category as we go forward? How is your company addressing them?
We will continue to see the growth of ‘Pick and Pack’ operations as businesses modify their models to allow shipment direct to end customer. We are experiencing a growing numbers of customers asking us to enable ‘Pick and Pack’ within their operations and this has been a built in option on our ‘Lydia® Plug & Play’ system for quite a while now.
We are also seeing a rapid change in demand from ruggedised devices to more lower cost more consumer devices which as we know have many weaknesses including battery life. This is something we are focused on with our solutions to extend and enhance battery life as well as protecting hardware for the harsh realities of warehouse operations which is something we will be releasing in the near future with a new variant of our ‘Lydia® VoiceWear®.’
WLN – Will you be exhibiting at any major trade shows in the coming year?
In 2016 you will see topVOX at IMHX and at CeMAT in Hannover, Germany.
We will also be exhibiting at events globally in the USA, Russia and the Far East.
Closer to home in the UK we will also be supporting our partners at other events, and hosting some roadshow events through the year which we will announce soon.
WLN – What other big news from topVOX can our readers look forward to reading in Warehouse & Logistics News in 2016?
We are now deploying solutions combing new hardware with the use of ‘Voice and Vision’. This is very much a reality now and I think it will be a big growth area over the next two years.
Customers are continually demanding more flexibility so we predict the use of Android and iOS in warehouse operations will be a very noticeable development as the hardware can be much lower cost than traditional ruggedized devices whilst at the same time offering far greater flexibility and functionality. As I said before the key here is ensuring the battery life is fully enhanced to last a full shift reliably.
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