The Challenges

The need for increased visibility, accuracy and efficiency within warehouse environments is stronger than ever.

The role of today's warehouse is changing; gone are the days where a warehouse is simply a space to store inventory and exchange goods. Warehouse operators are working in fast-paced and often decentralized environments and under time-sensitive schedules, to keep up with consumers' 'need it now' culture and meet their service expectations.
Consumers' expectations are shifting; they expect to be able to place an order with a retailer and receive overnight delivery, or collect the order at their local store the next day. This growing demand for overnight order fulfilment requires faster order picking to meet delivery expectations, resulting in increased pressure for businesses to maintain both accuracy and consumer satisfaction standards.

According to a study by Roy Morgan, Australians spent $41.3 billion on e-commerce last year, and 79% of Australians prefer purchasing goods online (in comparison to traditional in-person shopping). This growth of e-commerce brings increased complexity for warehouse operations, shifting from shipping cases of items to a store, to delivering individual items to consumers' homes. This is estimated to result in a 60% increase in warehouse SKUs by 2020.

Warehouse process complexity is going to amplify with a predicted 74% increase in the volume of items shipped over the next five years, and a 64% inventory turnover annually, resulting in an increased need for inventory visibility, accuracy and efficiency.

To compete in today's hyper-competitive market, accuracy is more critical than ever, as anything less than perfection in order fulfilment can result in a lost customer. As a result, businesses are constantly on the lookout for productivity and accuracy enhancing solutions for their warehouse and distribution centres to achieve competitive differentiation within the market.


The Solution

Visualize a warehouse where operators are able to freely move around and perform their duties more efficiently, without the constraints of a desktop computer or tethered scanner. A warehouse that is able to process and ship more orders per day- without adding staff. Where the correct items are delivered on time, satisfying consumers' expectations and as a result, increasing consumer satisfaction and loyalty. This is all possible with wearable technologies. While warehouse operators have been using wearable computers for years, we are now seeing a new generation of wearable technology. These devices offer a new standard in enterprise wearable technology that not only delivers superior hands-free mobility, but also provides in-depth information to direct users to a pick item or show them how to lift an item safely. In addition, the advancement in the device ergonomics, superior manageability and intuitive interface empowers users to work smarter and faster by receiving real-time updates and instructions with the aid of hands-free devices.

The Advantages

Wearable devices can enable businesses to achieve increased productivity in daily operations, and offer flexibility in building a solution you can mix and match to meet your budget, technology and performance needs. Often referred to as 'wearables', these devices are either worn autonomously or in conjunction with other devices worn on the body. Start with the wearable computer and add customised accessories such as ring style scanners, headsets and multi-modal speech-directed solutions.

A recent survey by VDC Research found that 85% of users are motivated to invest in warehouse wearable initiatives in order to increase employee productivity. Benefits also include improved operational efficiencies, increased order accuracy and delivery times, simplified processes for employees and improved workplace health and safety - resulting in increased employee and consumer satisfaction.