In a recent episode of the Enterprise Mobility Roundup podcast, Greg Henry, from Ivanti, discussed how technology can make warehouse workers more efficient. Greg has a background in supply chain management solutions and is currently part of Ivanti’s Wavelink division, which focuses on Telenet emulation for mobile devices.
They also offer an industrial browser that improves the mobile worker experience by modifying screens and keeping workers focused on their tasks. Ivanti has recently launched a new cloud-based product called Neurons MDM, which supports rugged devices and handles enterprise devices of various kinds.
The Employee Turnover Challenge
Currently, there is a lot of turnover in the warehouse and supply chain industry, with many people leaving their jobs. This turnover creates challenges for employers in tracking and incentivizing employees, as well as significant costs for training and onboarding new hires.
Ivanti aims to address these challenges by improving and simplifying technology to onboard new employees quickly and provide them with tools they enjoy using. Enterprise management usually invests in backend infrastructure, such as replacing outdated warehouse management systems, which is a significant investment in terms of money and time.
Modernizing Legacy Systems in Warehouse Environments
Ivanti’s products, like the Telenet web client, focus on making operational improvements without the need for a complete overhaul of the backend infrastructure. It optimizes workflows and emulates the steps that workers are familiar with, providing a modern interface on the front-end.
This can significantly improve the worker experience and reduce training costs without requiring a huge investment in infrastructure.
Modernizing legacy systems can be costly, depending on the number of screens and processes involved. However, Ivanti suggests starting small and focusing on key applications to make incremental improvements.
By removing unnecessary steps and processes, significant productivity gains can be achieved. For example, one customer was able to remove 14 steps from a process and improve productivity by 24% per employee, resulting in two free hours per day.
Voice Technology in the Warehouse
Voice technology, like voice picking, is also a valuable tool for improving efficiency in warehouse operations. It seems that voice picking technology is becoming more advanced and popular among end-users. It provides a hands-free solution for tasks like picking in various environments, ensuring safety and spatial awareness.
Voice technology works well across different platforms and devices, including Android, and can significantly improve workflow optimization. Instead of using traditional keyboards and function keys, touchscreen devices offer an intuitive and visually pleasing experience.
Key Areas to Focus
When it comes to investing in technology, several key areas are being focused on. These include optimizing workflows, reorganizing order data using heads-up display technology in harsh environments, as well as leveraging robotics to augment human workers and remove repetitive labor-intensive tasks.
While robotics is still in its infancy, there are already applications that assist workers with tasks like heavy lifting and product transportation. In addition to robotics, the maturation of IoT technologies is also becoming important, allowing robots and devices to leverage data from sensors for improved efficiency and automation.
For example, shipping companies use IoT to track pallets and ensure proper handling to prevent damages, streamlining the shipping process. Environmental sensors are another area of interest, aiding in waste management and energy efficiency.
The first place to start in optimizing workflow is to reduce the number of steps and improve efficiency. When it comes to data optimization, people are starting to look at using machine learning (ML) to optimize tasks and use analytics. There is still a lot of opportunity to take advantage of this technology
Overall, focus on modernizing workflows, leveraging advanced technologies like robotics and IoT, and optimizing processes to enhance efficiency and productivity.
There is always room for improvement, and constantly looking for better ways to optimize the environment, use data, and utilize devices with better analytics is key.
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