With the knowledge that its customers’ supply chains are growing more robust, Honeywell Scanning & Mobility has bolstered its own operation to match. Last year, the company completed the acquisitions of Intermec and Vocollect to expand its portfolio and further its evolution as an end-to-end supply chain solutions provider.
“Our business is divided into deployment environments so some products and solutions are geared toward transportation and logistics, some are geared toward the direct store delivery or DSD environment, some toward field service, healthcare and in-store retail,” explains Bruce Stubbs, director of industry marketing. “The distribution center is our biggest deployment environment from a supply chain standpoint and a large amount of focus is centered there. But we are an end-to-end solution, from manufacturing and sourcing solutions to solutions for the end-user in the store and all transportation modes in between.”
Honeywell Scanning & Mobility is a leading manufacturer of high-performance image- and laser-based data collection hardware, including rugged mobile computers and bar code scanners. It complements its innovative products with advanced software, service and professional solutions that enable customers to effectively manage data and assets. Stubbs says the company’s recent acquisitions have broadened its expertise.
“Intermec brought additional scanning and mobile computer expertise to the business as well as printing and media, which are new to Honeywell,” Stubbs says. “We also have a new RFID focus, which is also complementary to the Honeywell portfolio. And with Vocollect, we’ve added voice-directed solutions. What we’ve done is really expanded the portfolio so that we can approach any client and talk about an end-to-end solution.”
Honeywell Scanning & Mobility works with customers from a variety of industries, such as retail, healthcare, grocery, consumer packaged goods and third-party transportation and logistics providers. With each innovation the company develops applications that answer specific challenges faced by its individual clients while also addressing overall trends seen in the supply chain industry.
For example, Stubbs says the company is seeing an overarching trend in the “consumerization” of IT. He says the supply chain industry is gravitating toward more user-friendly products, meaning companies want the devices used in the supply chain to support natural human interfaces. This trend is supported through the Honeywell User Experience (HUE), a corporate objective within Honeywell. Supply chain professionals are also seeking systems that can work in various channels – technology, for instance, that can be modified for direct-to-store or direct-to-consumer delivery processes. Another megatrend happening in the industry is the leveraging of supply chain tools to collect data and, as a result, greater business insights.
“People are looking for more and better information from their own data,” says Jay Blinderman, director of product marketing. “They are looking for business insight that can help them do things more effectively and efficiently.”
All of these industry trends influenced the development of Honeywell Scanning & Mobility’s newest suite of products under its Vocollect brand. Last year, the company launched its new flagship suite the Talkman A700 Solution. The solution combines, mobile devices and a wireless headset driven by a robust software system that improves worker and operational efficiency in distribution center processes via voice-enabled solutions.
Now We’re Talking
Major highlights of the Talkman A700 Solution include SoundSense Technology, which reduces unwanted noise insertion by 50 percent to provide superior voice recognition for greater worker productivity. Also, TouchConnect allows seamless pairing between the mobile computing device and wireless headset to reduce shift start-up processes from minutes to seconds. The new solution also integrates voice and hands-free scanning in a single ergonomic solution to improve user productivity and create an exciting worker experience. The suite includes three purpose-built mobile devices.
Vocollect’s Talkman A730 device contains an integrated short-range scanner, which enables workers to use both voice direction and scanning to fully optimize the work process. The imager is equipped with a red scanning line and highly visible pointer to facilitate successful scans in darkness or full sunlight.
The Talkman A720 is a voice device with two Talkman Connectors (TCO connectors), identical to those used on prior generation Talkman devices. This is the best solution for customers who prefer a Talkman A700 Solution that includes support for wireless or wired peripherals including Vocollect headsets and wired scanners when long-range or frequent scanning is needed to support the work process.
The Talkman A710 is a wireless-only device for voice-only workflow environments where operators are using Vocollect Bluetooth-enabled headsets and peripherals. The device is also ideal for vehicle-based solutions.
In addition to its primary functions, the Talkman A700 Solution also includes a number of value-added features that help streamline its customers’ supply chain operations.
“It reduces the amount of time a supervisor has to train new employees,” Blinderman says. “If you think of the holidays, where companies ramp up temporary staff, this training software enables them to get trained and working much quicker, and they can do it in a way that they are accustomed to, which is interacting with a mobile device.”
Another added feature is the report function that allows workers to report issues they are having directly to supervisors without interrupting their workflow.
“By using the voice function, they can log problems on the fly,” Blinderman says. “It auto-logs when the issue was reported and backtracks a bit to capture data and send it to the supervisor. They can see it and it enables them to triage a problem without interrupting the worker.”