You can hardly pick up a supply chain trade publication without being assaulted by advertisements promoting the benefits of voice recognition in the warehouse. And while the payback track record of voice solutions has indeed been impressive, what is often obscured is the high cost of these systems. On the face of it, and compared with other technologies commonly deployed in distribution centres, voice has traditionally been expensive and complex. The argument seems to be: "Who cares how much it costs or how complicated it is if the payback is so strong?" People should be asking: "How much more could we save with a reasonably priced voice solution?" Let's take a look at the underlying causes of the high cost of voice in the supply chain, and why open SOA-based software – specifically Voxware 3 – is the key to reducing that cost and unlocking additional benefits from voice technology.