Körber launches Pay-as-you-Go Android Voice solution to cater to today’s subscription society

As Körber launches a new Pay-as-you-Go version of its popular Android Voice solution, we explore the rise of subscription services and the benefits of this new offering from the global supply chain experts.

In the consumer sector, subscription services have never been more popular. From food to music, to clothes, to household items and media, a new study estimates Australians have almost 37 million subscriptions to entertainment services alone.

Amazon, the American e-commerce giant, recently revealed a continued uptake of its Prime and subscription services in its financial results, with subscription revenues rising to $90.9 million from $35.4 million.

The subscription economy isn’t a new concept, with many generations familiar with making regular payments for newspapers, magazines and smart phones. But its success has seen businesses adopt this new route to market. By creating a lower barrier to entry and the potential for more customers to access leading and cutting-edge technology, this trend is set to continue.

On the business side, subscription services are also on the rise. Xero, HubSpot, DocuSign and many other software subscription solutions experienced record growth in 2020, as businesses had an appetite to scale up and improve their operations without the requirement of a large injection of capital.

This feature first appeared in MHD’s March edition.

In response to an increasing market demand for scalable, flexible, rapid and low barrier to entry opportunities for supply chain and retail operations, international technology group Körber has developed a new disruptive solution by enabling a Pay-as-you-Go service for its popular Android Voice offering.

“We’ve solved the complexity of investing in voice by simplifying the entire solution with a low capital investment option that’s scalable and flexible. No multi-year commitment or heavy deployment and integration costs just simple monthly and annual subscription options,” Nishan Wijemanne, Managing Director APAC at Körber Supply Chain says.

Addressing a gap in the market for high-tech solutions at a fraction of the cost, Pay-as-you-Go Android Voice enables Australia’s supply chain and retail organisations to take the next step in conquering supply chain complexity.

A tried and tested solution

Körber’s Android Voice solution maximises investment in Android devices and improves workflows using voice technology, with beneficial features such as image capture and comparison. Currently, Körber has the largest global footprint of Android Voice deployments worldwide.

Based on the principles of voice-guided technology, Android Voice has the power to optimise and simply operations across retail and logistics, including goods receiving, picking, replenishing and putaways.

“A major advantage of Android Voice is the ability to scale the solution to include not only picking. With Android Voice you can use one device to reap productivity benefits across a variety of functions in the warehouse, including replenishment, cycle counting and putaways,” Paul Phillips, Senior Business Consultant at Körber Supply Chain APAC says.

Android Voice offers scalability and flexibility that previous voice solutions could not provide. “With earlier voice solutions, if you wanted to utilise the hardware elsewhere in your operation, you needed to redesign the solution itself. But with Android Voice, and especially with our new subscription cloud-based solution, you can adapt the solution very easily to see efficient benefits elsewhere in your operation and get even more out of your hardware investment,” Paul says.

All it takes to be able to utilise the benefits of Android Voice elsewhere in the operation is to share data with the Körber team and they are able to get the devices up and running for a variety of different functions in the warehouse, providing further efficiency gains.

Kmart case study

In July last year, major retailer Kmart deployed Körber’s Android Voice solutions across its fulfilment operations to meet increased customer demand. The large-scale deployment supports the leading retailers’ shops and new KHub stores.

The Android Voice solution provides Kmart operators with major productivity gains. By giving operators more freedom to carry out their tasks efficiently and productively.

Users are no longer required to spend time looking at picking slips but can instead listen to order details while they continue to pick and pack.

The voice solution also provides the user with more information around location and order details, offering the picker an image of the product which is proven to enable them to make faster and more accurate decisions.

“Our goal is to ensure our customers enjoy a great shopping experience, with our stores well-stocked which is achieved through faster and more efficient picking and packing times instore as well as for our e-commerce customers. By partnering with Körber, we have been able to increase productivity, accuracy and efficiency across our fulfilment operations,” Oliver Blombery, General Manager – Supply Chain at Kmart Australia says.

Plug and play

Training operators on Android Voice solution takes as little as 30 minutes, and a typical Android Voice deployment for a fulfilment centre can be completed in less than four weeks. This can be as little as two weeks if a customer has an existing voice solution with traditional talkman devices.

Providing a “plug and play” solution that empowers retailers to maximise and deliver on the increased demand experienced since COVID-19 is a major priority to the Körber team’s commitment to conquering supply chain complexity.

Ideal for coping with peaks in demand, the Pay-as-you-Go solution is available from as little as 10 users and can scale up accordingly.

Starting with a monthly subscription per user for a ready-to-deploy trusted voice powered solution, there are also further savings, value-driven and essential add-ons on an annual subscription.

“You can add Android Voice users rapidly with an 80 per cent less investment compared to traditional voice,” Rizan says.

It’s a simple investment option that is based on a subscription timeframe and number of users and has the capability to improve productivity by up to 35 per cent as well as improve accuracy and reduce errors by up to 50 per cent.

Tarryn Edelstein, Client Executive at Körber Supply Chain ANZ training users in Android-based voice.

The subscription option includes everything required to be up and running on Android Voice. Featuring world-class software and headsets, charger systems, headset accessories and a choice of Android-powered new-generation mobility devices.

With Pay-as-you-Go offering a rapid return on investment, it’s an attractive proposition for small to medium size enterprises as well as major retailers or logistics providers who need to scale up quickly.

Local support from a global partner

With local experts on the ground here in Australia, the specialist Körber team are able to offer further add-ons such as site health checks, fulfilment analysis and training.

Kmart’s Oliver Blombery, General Manager – Supply Chain says by working with Körber’s inhouse software development team, the Wesfarmers-owner retailer has a much greater ROI on its equipment.

“Körber’s Android Voice solution is the perfect fit for us, offering us a rapid increase in our productivity and faster order fulfilment and store replenishment,” he says.

For Nishan Wijemanne, Pay-as-you-Go Android Voice presents a new era for flexible and scalable solutions for retailers and logistics providers. “This never seen before investment model is ideal for retailers and 3PL providers who tend to experience various shifts in demand,” he says.

“From medium to large distribution centres currently operating with minimal tech, to retail fulfilment centres or online fulfilment centres to larger retailers and 3PLs with a low budget, this solution is a great fit,” Nishan says.

It can also be utilised to carry out in-store retail fulfilment, a strategy that is set to grow with the projected increase in online order volumes throughout this year.

A further benefit from working with Körber is the ability to tap into a fully integrated portfolio of supply chain solutions. “Having a sophisticated Warehouse Management System (WMS) that drives and makes the mission critical operational decisions to ensure the Android Voice-enabled work-flow is optimised is key. A WMS that is correctly and easily configured to prioritise the work according to the business requirements allows you to truly maximise the Android Voice potential,” Jamie Sterling, Director of Sales Software at Körber Supply Chain APAC says.

Within the Körber portfolio, the international technology provider offers a number of WMS solutions fit for SMEs right up to the Enterprise level organisations.

“Each of these can be bundled as part of the of the subscription offering to compliment the offering and Körber has all the deep expertise to tie this all together,” Jamie says.

Upgrade or renew

By offering Android Voice as a Pay-as-you-Go service, the opportunity to improve productivity by 35 per cent is available at the fraction of the cost. “Whether you’re already using voice, or still working with legacy systems, it couldn’t be a better time to consider Android Voice,” Rizan says.

Android Voice is the technology of choice for operations well beyond just the warehouse. Some additional applications of Android Voice include retail workflows in stores as well as dark stores and in inspection and maintenance.

“Businesses are taking advantage of their existing fleet of Android devices and working with us to convert them to speedy and cost-effective productivity tools that are scalable beyond just picking,” Nishan says.

With the uncertainty of COVID-19 and the rapid change in consumer behaviour, peaks and trends will be hard to predict in 2021.  With Körber’s Pay-as-you-Go model, Australian retailers and logistics providers receive a bundle of hardware and software topped with the leading technology provider’s advice and integration experience, giving businesses the power to scale up during peak times and reduce licensing costs when not needed.

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