in The Warehouse
Wearable technology is revolutionising warehouse operations to keep up with the new industry focus of customer-focused supply chains.
The rise in consumer expectations and mobile technology are leading more retailers to embrace the ever so popular omnichannel experience, which calls for warehouses to advance their operations with wearable technology.
With the success of mobile technology in retail, such as iPads for ordering items in to store, it’s also becoming more frequently used in warehouse operations. Tablets, smartphones and wearables help encourage warehouse staff productivity through better communication and warehouse management.
It’s as simple as when consumers use wearables to track their steps and daily health; warehouse staff use them to measure and monitor the health of warehouse operations. Managers can keep track of movements utilising this technology to receive updates in the warehouse and can even locate employees whereabouts to improve production orderliness.
Relying on wearable technology in regular tasks such as picking will help reduce warehouse mistakes. Wearables and the apps that come with them have been available for years. But the increasing evolution of the technology and its potential for improving warehouse operations is becoming increasingly valid.
Augmented reality – Smart glasses
Augmented reality is all the rage, and now you can incorporate them into your warehouse operations. In 2016, DHL, the global logistics business, said it had measured a 25 percent efficiency increase by using Augmented Reality (AR) glasses in a warehouse trial in the Netherlands. (*source)
Smart glasses for the warehouse include intelligent computing back ends that can scan barcodes, provide directions, and make it so that your order list is always in view. All hands-free.
Speak up – voice technology.
Most people already use voice technology in their day to day lives with the likes of Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. The amount we rely on them increases as time goes on and it has started to become a staple in warehouse operations. Convenience and efficiency are merely a few advantages of using voice activated processes.
While this type of technology isn’t brand new information, newer customisations offer options beyond picking. General warehouse operations and customer information are now a possibility.
Over the past few years, wearable technology has provided businesses with operational improvement, increased flexibility and efficiency along with significant cost savings. With so many wearable devices now available, 3PLs, warehouses and distributors are making the most of voice-directed headsets, smart glasses and handsets.
Although it will take time for the trend to become a must-have in the warehouse, we predict that companies will undoubtedly rely on this type of technology as a permanent solution within the next five years. They would be silly not to, it provides some benefits and allows elimination of tedious procedures, such as quality assurance. And while implementing them remains expensive and time-consuming to begin with, the devices will improve packing and shipping time and keep operations in check at all times, including busy seasonal periods.
get in touch
To find out more about how Bray Solutions utilise technology and how we can help your business, please contact the team at Bray Solutions.