BUSINESS LOGISTICS REPORT WSJ LOGISTICS REPORT Alexa Heads to the Warehouse

ShippingEasy will make e-commerce fulfillment operations available through Amazon’s voice assistant, bringing more consumer technology into logistics

Alexa is going to work in the warehouse.

E-commerce technology company ShippingEasy is integrating its shipping software with Amazon.com Inc.’s AMZN  -3.05%  Alexa devices, making it possible to manage orders, print labels, check postage rates and handle other order-fulfillment tasks hands-free.

Many warehouses already use voice-directed technology, which gives verbal instructions to workers picking orders through headsets tied to warehouse management software.

But commonly available consumer electronics like iPhones, voice-activated personal assistants and other products from big technology companies are finding their way into industrial operations as workers have become more accustomed to the devices in their personal lives.

Supply chain and logistics operators say the use of familiar technology has grown as high shipping demand has put more stress on distribution networks and the available labor supply has tightened. With the busy preholiday shipping season underway, warehouse managers are looking for technologies that speed up training for temporary workers and boost overall productivity.

ShippingEasy, a subsidiary of Stamps.com Inc., is a cloud-based platform for small to medium-size e-commerce sellers. It gathers orders from Amazon, eBay Inc., Etsy Inc.,Walmart Inc., Shopify Inc. and other sources, then helps manage inventory and automate and track shipments.

The Austin, Texas-based software firm has been testing its “conversational user interface” with 17 Austin businesses and a handful of other operations elsewhere in the country.

The interface will be available to download to Alexa-enabled devices this week.

Source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/alexa-heads-to-the-warehouse-1539000126

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