What Is Pick To Voice?

Pick to voice (also known as voice-directed picking, voice picking, and pick by voice) is a technology-driven hands-free, heads-up, paperless process of warehouse picking.

Instead of using printed, scanned, or digital picklists, the operator interacts vocally with the computer warehouse management software system via a headset for verbal instructions from the system and a microphone for operator responses.

Used correctly and under the right circumstances, pick-to-voice significantly improves the efficiency, speed, accuracy, and throughput of picking staff.


Contact ProSKU to book an introductory chat or demo on +44 (0)800 170 1161 or email info@prosku.com.

How does pick-to-voice work?

Whether for wave picking, batch picking, discrete picking, or zone picking, the picker is given verbal instructions through the headset and confirms the execution of the task verbally through the microphone.

Speech recognition software interprets the response and then validates the action; repeats or clarifies instructions. When the task is complete, the WMS software issues further instructions.

If the operator’s response is not correct or does not correlate with information in the system, the software verbally rejects the response, allowing the operator to check the data, try the actions again, and give the correct response.


What is the most important benefit of pick to voice?

Labour costs

Labour costs are usually the largest expense on a warehouse budget. Helping pickers work more efficiently, more accurately, more productively, and unsupervised, will not only make the warehouse more cost-efficient and profitable, it will enhance the reputation and standing of the business.

Greater efficiency and increased pick rate

It has been estimated that in some warehouses, pickers travel up to 12 miles in a single day to obtain instructions from supervisors, verify product details, report back, call for assistance, and rectify mistakes.

Automated warehouse picking software that can give verbal instructions and verify the picker’s actions, will drastically cut the need for travelling unproductively around the warehouse.

When a task is completed, the system assesses all the relevant information in respect of priority or locality to guide the operator to the next picking site without unnecessary travelling.

No need for supervision

Pick-to-voice interaction helps the picker to act independently of a supervisor and to get instructions on the headset at the picking site, with the opportunity for immediate feedback and verification of the actions carried out. If operator responses are incorrect, or further details are required, the operator interacts verbally directly with the WMS that employs artificial intelligence to provide additional information or instructions.


When the task is completed, the voice-directed system verbally issues new instructions for the next task, without intervention by a supervisor.

Better control

Pick-to-voice automation typically integrates with all the other warehouse management systems for real-time updating of goods and keeping an accurate record of staff activities, productivity, mistakes, and so forth.

Complete details of the staff activities and productivity, completed and pending picking tasks, stock levels and requirements, stock movement, and space utilisation are immediately and securely accessible by management.

ProSKU warehouse management systems provide secure and accurate validation of despatch, and integrate with the systems of key carriers, giving precise and up-to-date movement and delivery of orders.

Greater flexibility and multiple picking methods

ProSKU warehouse management system integration allows greater flexibility and interfaces with multiple picking methods for a complete solution.

Pick-to-voice can be seamlessly integrated with RF picking, pick-to-light, and barcode scanning. Each of these methods has its own benefits and by using them in combination with artificial intelligence, any limitations of the others can be overcome in the system integration process.


Intelligent batching

Pick-to-voice WMS evaluates information from orders, inventory, and location to determine priority, pick-location, proximity, travel cost, and product characteristics to apply the most effective real-time batch assignments.


As opposed to traditional FIFO (first in first out) batching, the ProSKU software employs AI-based algorithms to evaluate millions of potential combinations, determining the best grouping of work and optimising picking and batching strategies that are not the case with FIFO.

Pick-to-voice compared to RF scanning

Voice picking offers a large number of benefits and greater flexibility compared to RF scanning. Some of these advantages are:

  • It allows operators to do their work while looking at the items they are picking, rather than having to look down at a screen to get information and then compare it to what they see. This heads-up improves accuracy and safety because there are no distractions.
  • It keeps the operator’s hands free to do the work and avoid mishaps.
  • One can compare voice-picking to a hands-free kit while driving, while RF-type picking can be compared to reading and typing messages while driving.
  • Voice systems leave both your hands and eyes free to focus on the task in front of you, while the operator constantly has to look down and back up to compare or enter data.
  • Voice-activated picking is very simple to understand and use. This means it cuts down radically on having to train the operator to use the equipment, in addition to learning the requirements of the job.

Pick-to-voice compared to pick-to-light systems

Pick-to-voice systems match and sometimes exceed, the accuracy and picking rate of pick-to-light systems, but with considerably lower initial and ongoing costs.

Pick-to-voice systems are also easier to integrate with WMS and offer greater flexibility for future changes to operations and business expansion.

ProSKU WMS and pick-to-voice integration

ProSKU WMS integrates and interfaces fully and easily with pick-to-voice systems as well as other management software used by warehouse owners, such as ERP, order management, accounting systems, etc.

Depending on the capability of existing systems, ProSKU WMS offers bespoke multi-tier solutions for WMS and pick-to-voice integration. It easily interfaces with mobile applications and mobile equipment such as headsets and microphones.

Hosted on the cloud, ProSKU offers uninterrupted and secure access to information, with virtually limitless capacity.

Are pick-to-voice solutions right for your warehouse?

Carefully consider the benefits and possible limitations of pick-to-voice technology. We have already listed a number of its benefits, such as enhanced accuracy, improved picking rate, greater flexibility, ease of use, and relative cost benefits.

On the negative side, businesses and warehouses should be cognizant of the fact that verbal interaction is not accessible to staff with hearing impairments or speech impediments.

Current voice-recognition software may also incorrectly interpret various linguistic accents, articulations, and pronunciations.

Get in touch


Contact ProSKU to book an introductory chat or demo on +44 (0)800 170 1161 or email info@prosku.com.