Speech Technology Magazine

 

Voxware Helps Food Banks Streamline Operating Costs

Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and Harvesters in Kansas City implement Voxware 3 for voice picking.
Posted Nov 24, 2009
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Hunger in the U.S. is a growing problem, and it is especially tough during the holidays. Voxware, a provider of voice-driven warehousing solutions, is lowering costs for two local food banks so that more funds are available to give to people in need.

Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and Harvesters Community Food Network have implemented the Hamilton, N.J.-based company's Voxware 3 software product. Both non-profits are members of Feeding America, one of the nation’s leading hunger relief charities.

“We implemented Voxware to gain additional cost benefits,” says Bill McKnight, director of operations at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. “Unlike a for-profit company with a product to sell, we are in the business of giving food to people who need it. All of our operating costs are donated and have to be raised each year, so we have very slim margins.”

“We’ve seen a 10 percent increase in productivity and think we can do even better,” adds Norm Bowers, chief operating officer of Harvesters. “We’re very happy with the system and believe it will help us to continue our tradition of keeping our costs as low as possible.”

Both McKnight and Bowers serve on the Operations and Technology Consortium, a group that identifies and recommends promising technologies for the Feeding America network. The Voxware 3 solution was deployed at the distribution facilities of both organizations in Oklahoma City and Kansas City. “We chose Voxware because we wanted a versatile software product with an open design and a roadmap for the future,” said McKnight.

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma distributes food and related products to nearly 700 schools and charitable feeding programs in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. Since its inception in 1980, the Food Bank has distributed more than 321 million pounds of food to feed Oklahoma’s hungry.

Harvesters is Kansas City’s only food bank. Covering a 26-county area of northeastern Kansas and northwestern Missouri, Harvesters provides food and related household products to more than 550 not-for-profit agencies including emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, children’s homes, homes for the mentally disabled, and shelters for battered persons. Agencies in Harvesters’ network provide food assistance to more than 60,000 different people each week. 

“Hunger in the United States is a bigger problem than most people realize,” said Scott Yetter, Voxware's CEO. “These two food banks serve over 120,000 people every week, and we’re proud that Voxware’s software is lowering cost so that more funds are available to give to people in need.”

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