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Wearables – the way forward for warehouse management?

This article, recently published in Supply Chain magazine: wearable technology in the supply chain is an interesting point for discussion and certainly a subject that raises some valuable questions.

There is a huge number of warehouses in the UK, with widely varying degrees of efficiency, some at optimum efficiency with very little time or resources wasted, all processes integrated with the company’s ERP and well-motivated, well managed staff.

However, at the other end of the scale there are still many, many warehouses still operating inefficiently, with manual processes such as entering data into spreadsheets and duplicating paperwork still taking up the lion’s share of the total man-hours input.

So is the discussion about wearables and mobile apps even something to be considered for the majority of companies operating warehouses, or is this just something for the top echelons of the scale?

With the cost of wearables going down at a rate of knots, they may be more accessible than you think.

More specifically, it occurs to me that the practicality of our mobile warehouse apps would increase, if the devices that they run on could be strapped to an operator’s wrist, rather than be carried in one hand.

The article focuses particularly on the pressures on supermarket suppliers but in fact, it’s relevant to any and every business with a warehouse operation.

In this increasingly competitive space, efficiency in the supply chain will ultimately mean the difference between success and failure, and no organisation can afford to sit back on its haunches.

Like it or not, mobile computing is the direction things are going and with hardware prices coming down, that is highly likely to mean wearables will play a part.

If your competitor is freeing up his staff to work with both hands, it’s worth considering whether you’d be stupid to keep yours with one hand tied behind their backs.