Over the last 15 years, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of organizations adopting automated processes to increase efficiency in the warehouse, factory floor and distribution centers. Most recently, the Internet of Things (IoT) has encouraged the same organizations to adopt the use of smart phones and other connected technology to maximize their capabilities across the enterprise.
All of this has allowed for significant improvements in the automation of daily tasks to further increase worker productivity and reduce errors associated with paper-based or partially automated processes. Wearable technology has become a large part of these efficiencies; in fact, research firm Tractica predicts more than 66 million wearable devices will be shipped annually for use in enterprise and industrial environments by 2021, growing annual worldwide investment in enterprise wearables from $218 million in 2015 to $6.3 billion on 2020.
If your organization has been considering the use of wearables to increase the productivity of your workforce, or simply make workflow processes more efficient, here are 4 ways wearables can make life easier for your organization:
1. Inventory Management
When many organizations are operating across multiple channels, inventory is turning faster than ever before; placing increased pressure to do more in less time. Users can experience productivity boosts of 10+% simply by being able to perform the necessary tasks at the point of work. Improved efficiencies and reduced errors resulting from wearable-enabled processes may offer an increase in sales of >15% due to reduced stockouts and fewer inventory errors.
2. Picking and Put-Away
According to a recent study conducted by Zebra, the use of wearable technology, when paired with voice command, yielded an 18% increase in picking productivity; and 14% faster in terms of identifying pick locations. Order fulfillment as a whole resulted in a 15% increase in productivity. This translates into workers picking and sorting more items per day and capturing more information about those items — without increasing cycle times.
Wearable technology streamlines the receiving process and can reduce errors. It also offers users greater inventory visibility, which can improve worker productivity by eliminating congestion at the dock door. It can also help increase the speed at which the put-away process is conducted.
Product replenishment becomes more efficient when workers implement wearable technology because they can respond more quickly to line requests; this keeps the manufacturing line running smoothly and eliminates costly, unplanned production shutdowns and other production-related delays.
Choosing Wearable Technology for your Warehouse
If you’re looking for a wearable computer with enterprise-class performance, the Zebra WT6000 Android Wearable Computer offers a unique set of features that provide user comfort, warehouse durability and proven productivity improvements. This device is smaller, lighter and more rugged than other wearables on the market. It also offers a large touchscreen for Android’s highly intuitive graphical applications, an all-in-one cradle system for the terminal and RS6000 ring scanner without having to remove the batteries. Programmable softkeys also allow workers to complete complex, multi-step processes with the press of single button.
The Zebra RS6000™ 1D/2D Bluetooth Ring Scanner is the industry’s most advanced and rugged ring scanner for enterprise-class barcode data collection applications. The advanced scanning algorithms allow it to scan virtually any barcode — even dirty, scratched or poorly printed labels. It can scan faster and nearly 4x farther than the competition, and battery life offers over 70,000 barcode scans per charge. This device may be small, but it’s built for the warehouse — drop proof, spray proof and dust proof for most any environment.
Considering wearable technology to improve processes in your warehouse? We can help you select the right models based on your unique requirements. Simply email us or call 937-498-2700.
Not quite ready for wearables but need to take steps toward automating existing processes? Contact us to learn more about successes we’ve seen and how to take steps toward greater operating efficiencies in your environment.