Voice Picking Tips

Voice picking headset.

If your distribution center is anything like mine you’re probably using a voice picking terminal such as the Vocollect Terminal for taking orders.

Compared to RF scanning, voice picking can be faster and more efficient since you’ve got both your hands and eyes free to just do the selecting.

There are a couple of hacks you can use to make your voice picking a much more pleasant experience.

Ensure That the Terminal Battery is Fully Charged

Make sure the terminal battery is fully charged every time before you start using it.

If it’s not, the terminal may power off during an order leading to interruption and time wastage.

Optionally, have a second battery in your pocket if you can to change it when necessary.

Keep Retraining Words

Sometimes the voice terminal does not recognize words even after you have already trained it.

This has happens more often if you’ve just started an order selector position. It means that the system hasn’t optimally been trained on your voice yet.

Take the time to retrain it when it doesn’t understand a word or number. I know it takes from your time but it beats having to go get a replacement as I see people do every time they face this problem.

Ultimately, just retraining the system will save you more time in the long run than having to keep changing your devices.

Increase Your Speaker Speed

How fast the terminal speaker is will have an impact on your picking speed.

I always set mine at the maximum speed. For those new to picking, this might seem like too fast and impossible to hear anything.

Trust me the more you use it the more you’ll realize that this is the speed you want it to be at.

When you get used to it, the speed won’t seem that fast at all.

Increase Volume

Distribution centers are loud places. There’s constant buzzing of machines and climate systems.

Since your headset only goes to one ear, you won’t be able to hear very well if you set it at low volume.

You’re going to keep having it repeat instructions which takes a lot of your time during picking.

Embed a Piece of Plastic on the Headset Connector

Embedding plastic on the headset connector hinge to keep it tight.
Embedding plastic on the headset connector hinge to keep it tight.

If you use a wired Talkman headset for picking, its electrical connector tends to get loose with time.

Loose terminal connectors make the terminal disconnect and/or go into sleep mode. Frequent interruptions like this just take up your time and add stress to your work day.

To tighten the connection between the headset and terminal, embed a piece of plastic, you can get it from shrink wrap, onto the prong of the electrical connector.

Initialize the Terminal in the Warehouse Environment

If your warehouse/distribution center uses the Vocollect picking system, then you have to cycle in every time before you start using it.

During the cycle process there is a part where it asks you to say the words “one”, “two” and “three”. Do this part inside the warehouse.

The system takes into account the environmental sounds when initializing. When you do this in a quiet environment and then use it in a noisy warehouse, it will have trouble understanding your words.

You need to initialize it in the same environment that you will be using it.

Keep a Headset Foam

If your distribution center keeps all earpieces in one place then they can be quite unsanitary from being used by multiple people.

I suggest keeping your own foam for the earpiece or cleaning it with disinfectant, for example.

The earpiece also protects you from pain and discomfort since the earpiece is usually very tight on your ear.

Keep the Headset Cord Inside Your Coat/Shirt

Have the earpiece cord go inside your t-shirt or bid overalls. This prevents it from being caught up by your pallet jack or items.

Ever time you have to disentangle it from where it’s been trapped eats into your allotted picking time and adds stress to your day.

Clean Your Terminal Connector Regularly

Sometimes you get wired headsets that have issues with picking up what you are saying. This is sometimes a problem with corroded or dirty terminal connector pins that lead to poor electric current transmission.

If you are assigned a headset that you get to keep at your warehouse, you can remedy this by getting a brass cleaner to polish those pins.

Common Vocollect Talkman Commands

The following is a list of common commands used by the Honeywell Vocollect system in case you happen to use this particular system in your warehouse.

Location – tells you the location of the next pick.
Talkman back up – tells the system to start over the previous instruction.
Say again – for when you want it to repeat the current instruction.
Repeat last pick – repeats the instruction for the previous pick in terms of slot number and quantity.
Break pick list – prematurely halts the picking process for the current order.
Talkman sleep – puts the terminal into sleep mode.
How much more – the system tells you how much more product and slots are remaining.
Talkman wake up – used to wake the terminal from sleep.


  1. Hi I’m a vocollect voice picker ,I was wondering how do u get a good performance wen picking the order ,I was told by someone at work the other day that if u increase the speed on the talk man it will give u a good performance of over a hundred is that true, wats the secret pls

  2. Hi Rob, that is correct. Increasing the speed of the Talkman increases your picking rate too. In fact, most experienced order selectors set it at maximum speed.

    Hope that helps!

  3. This was good stuff and helpful look fwd to any new tips or stories about order selecting the speed increase was a great tip.

  4. I believe there are dead zones in my warehouse where my Talkman loses connection and beeps for almost 10-15 seconds, and after almost every pick. To say the least, this was highly agitating, so I’m hunting for a DIY solution until things get solved by the corporation. Wish me luck!

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