If the Glove Fits: Wearable Equipment Set to Improve Warehouse Operations

If the Glove Fits: Wearable Equipment Set to Improve Warehouse Operations


Battling low margins and supply chain disruptions, the warehouse industry has long faced a “transient” workforce that is either too bored, too “seasonal”, or paid too little to make training worthwhile. We do.

In response, companies are trying to bridge the gap with technology, including wearable devices.

ProGlove’s chief product officer, Ilhan Kolko, described his company’s wearable device, a scanner the size of a match, as an enabler of “micro-capacity”.

“When we put it on the back of the worker’s hand, the hands are free, the eyes are free,” he said. “You don’t have to look for it, put it on the desk… it saves you 4-6 seconds on every scan you do.”

Alan Parsons, director of Yodel Operations IT portfolio, said the device delivered better results down the warehouse — the most important indicator of good performance.

“We have a fairly transient workforce, as is the industry norm,” he said. “A lot of temporary workers, agency employees.

“Therefore, we run the majority of our last mile network on third party couriers and drivers.”

Mr Parsons explained that the device’s greatest strength was its ease, cutting down on training.

“By using ProGlove’s technology, we are able to cut costs and increase productivity,” said Mr. Parsons. “We’ve benefited from both visibility and productivity not from investing in similar sectors, but from investing really downstream in the supply chain.”

A survey report on the industry by ProGlove, which in August appointed former DHL Express CEO Ken Allen as its chairman, found that 71% of warehouse workers were dissatisfied with their pay, and 51% were requesting further training. Were were

“Workers on the floor and in management positions … more than half (51%) … see training as a path to higher satisfaction. This clearly requires technology to be easy to master and easy to operate. Otherwise, technology will be more a hindrance than a help to workers, ”the Proglov report determined.

Consistent and usable data can provide the foundation for an efficient operation, and wearables not only speed up processes for workers, but also optimize warehouse layout, Mr. Kolko explained: “Data points – in scanning Time taken, scan time, travel time, number of steps, path, are all very valuable data points that can be used for physical improvement [warehouse] The layout itself.”

But data is of value only if it is reliable enough to be properly analyzed and functioned, while technology implementation has not been problem-free so far.

Barcode scanning, or mis-scanning, was cited as one of the biggest problems generating these inaccuracies, ProGlove reports. “Improvement” [or] Replacing traditional barcode scanning is one of the top answers to fixing errors,” Proglov said. “The last resort to pick up errors is to provide reliable information for warehouse workers.”

According to Proglove, there were an average of 32 picking errors per workstation per week. “So down the supply chain, we need to make sure we have accuracy, visibility of the data that we collect, so we can understand it, and with both the consumer and the customer at all stages of the journey. Can share,” said Mr. Parsons.

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