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In and around the warehouse, there is always a need for assistive hardware devices to help get tasks done and ultimately keep parcels moving throughout the supply chain. Though that’s the main goal of the job, there is so much to ensure that employees are happy with their workload and strenuous tasks can be simplified if necessary. Wearable devices are compact and lightweight mobile computer and barcode scanners that can be directly worn an employee’s clothing/body. Warehouses and distributors typically aren’t strangers to the array of accessories that these devices are made available in, including ring scanners, wrist scanners, voice-assistive headsets, and even in some advanced settings, the usage of “smart” glasses. All of these “fashion items” are utilized to help warehouse workers to better succeed at their jobs and provide operational efficiency and even accuracy for all.
Aiding Pandemic Efforts
During the worst of the pandemic, many businesses were forced to shut down to keep their employees safe, and as many are coming to be open again, their supply chains have been working to continue safely executing operations. This is being orchestrated through social distancing measures and proper communication patterns. Strategies like voice picking tactics and were adopted to keep departments connected and in sync enough to continue moving onward.
It’s in the Voice
Some warehouses are doing away with handheld conventional scanners and adopting voice-activated technology instead to improve warehousing workflow processes. Multi-modal approaches involve a scenario where a worker picks an item and feeds its information to a headset via WMS. These multi-modal voice systems can improve accuracy which can lead to higher customer satisfaction and higher profits. When considering warehouse operations of any type, at times it can be dangerous work. Box cutters, heavy objects, and machinery can be difficult pieces of equipment, so that’s why it’s imperative that workers have their hands free at all time, eliminating the possibility for potential injuries and damages to the products being handled. At the same time, voice picking solutions have an interface that’s very user-friendly and intuitive for workers, providing a more satisfied employee basis.
Sensors on the Scene
From a safety standpoint, social distancing is a such a large component in ensuring that employees are keeping safe and parcels are still handled appropriately, and due to that factor, many manufacturers and distribution centers have begun to adopt more proximity-based sensors to stay connected and alert each other, consistently. These sensors can be implemented via wearable devices so that they can avoid potential collisions with their coworkers or machinery, such as forklifts and driverless vehicles. These on-person sensors will keep employees alert at all times, to prevent accidents and mishaps.
All of these hands-free, personal wearable devices are utilized to take the place of shared equipment and with that being found, these hardware devices make picking tasks and inventory management a much simpler solution. Not only do these wearable devices help to protect against the spread of diseases and viruses, but they also leave a worker’s hands more readily equipped to handle tasks that couldn’t be handled by a piece of hardware.
The TEConnect Podcast crew linked up with Savant’s Chris Jackson and our very own Kevin Thomas to further discuss the importance of embracing the modern distribution center. Chris walks Dean and John through the status of robots, RFID, AI, and wearable devices and where they fit in the grand scheme of this and how users can secure the supply chain from future crises that could potentially occur. If you haven’t listened to that episode, yet, be sure to head over to wherever you get your podcasts and even watch the full video here.