There is a computing technology that’s changing the way work gets done in fulfillment centers and distribution centers and transforming traditional approaches to warehouse automation. It’s a technology that has the potential to increase the efficiency of your workforce, enhance the productivity of your warehouse, and lower the costs associated with fulfillment and distribution center operations.
Sound too good to be true? It’s not. And what’s more, it’s not one of those technologies that’s looming out there on the horizon somewhere just out of reach. It’s here now.
Instead of having to hold a tablet, laptop, radio, or smartphone, workers are now able to gain access to, and interact with, rich data, graphic visual displays, audio, video, and, depending on the device, even live remote expertise — all while going about their normal operational activities.
Wearable computing technology enables workers to interact with body-borne devices through the use of vision, voice, gesture, and/or minimal touch, depending on the task and application.
That means workers are being empowered with greater accessibility to information and knowledge without the burdens of traditional computing technology. As a result, wearable technology is enabling workers to:
- Accomplish tasks with greater efficiency.
- Achieve higher levels of accuracy in executing tasks.
- Use greater flexibility and mobility in completing tasks.
- More easily acquire the information needed to accomplish a task correctly.
- Complete tasks in less time than traditional methods allowed.
Wearable technology is also enabling management to better:
- Visualize and monitor operations without having to be on the floor.
- Anticipate and tackle problems that might affect productivity.
- Communicate and collaborate with workers in the process of completing tasks.
- Adapt to continuing improvements in technology.
Wearable Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) Solutions
To understand how wearable technology is affecting the world of intralogistics, think about how warehouse operations have improved through the years with the addition of visual and voice directed technologies. Pick-to-light, put-to-light, voice, and RF have all improved worker efficiency and accuracy. Receiving, stocking, sorting, and shipping have benefited from visual and voice directed solutions as well. Now, ponder the kind of improvements that can be made when you replace or complement existing warehouse automation technology with wearable technology.
At Invata, we see potential for efficiency and accuracy improvements in all of the following areas:
- Incoming receiving, item identification, and PO reconciliation
- Sorting, staging, palletizing, and transportation to storage
- Directed and non-directed inventory put away Inventory management, lot control, and serialization
- Forward replenishment and pick line slotting
- Order management and pick line optimization
- Order selection either by order or by batch
- Outbound consolidation, unit sortation — either automated or manual
- Packing, void fill, and collateral materials insertion
- Transportation management, shipping labeling and manifesting
- Sortation, shipping, staging, and carrier loading
- Inventory management including cycle counting
- Quality control
As a result, we’ve considered many ways a workforce could utilize wearable computing devices to aid in warehouse automation activities and expedite tasks associated with fulfillment and distribution center operations. In the process, we’ve adapted the task directed functionality of our FastTrak® Warehouse Execution Software to be delivered via apps to be used in conjunction with wearable technology.
These FastTrak Wearable WMS Solutions apps are easy to use, easy to learn, and have multi-lingual capability. They work on a host of Microsoft based wearable devices and enjoy the same 24/7/365 support the rest of our systems do.
Combined with vision, voice, gesture, and touch controls (depending upon the device and application), they allow hands free operation, while delivering rich data anywhere it is needed in automated fulfillment center, distribution center, and warehouse operations.
To learn more, contact us, and we’ll be happy to share our thoughts on how to put wearable technology to work.