Smaller Workforce, Larger Demand: Vision Picking Proves the Automation Answer

Smaller Workforce, Larger Demand: Vision Picking Proves the Automation Answer
Smaller Workforce, Larger Demand: Vision Picking Proves the Automation Answer

As experienced and tenured employees age out of the workforce, there is a significant  gap within the skilled workforce. While constraints loosen, the workers that are returning to the job market have very different expectations of an attractive and fulfilling work environment.

Hiring for and retaining employees in the logistics industry is a herculean challenge compounded by complex workflows, hackneyed modalities, and cumbersome devices, it becomes seemingly impossible to fulfill the most basic positions. There is no choice; industry must rapidly adopt new automation tools to attract workers.  

According to Zebra Technologies' recent Global Warehousing Vision Study, 92% of associates surveyed agree technology advancement will make the warehouse environment more appealing to workers, and 83% expect the business software applications and hardware devices their employer provides to be as easy to use as a personal smartphone. Vision picking provides a modern user automation experience familiar to the generation of new employees with an ROI calculated in months.

Hands-free vision picking within days

Handheld devices display text with heavy information, requiring wasted motions and remember-and-recall – resulting in hours of lost productivity. USB connected heads-up displays upgrade virtually any handheld device to automated vision picking. Only with a simple and familiar interface, reducing training time by 90% can the promise of employee engagement and retention be realized. Persistent display of relevant information in the user's field of view, reduces cognitive load, and improves pick rates by 15-25%. Vision picking solves two significant problems in warehouse operations. First, by persistently displaying only relevant information in the user’s field of view, vision picking eliminates the heavy cognitive load that is required for “remember – recall,” reducing fatigue, and improving pick rates by 15-25%.

Second, according to Carsten Funke, CEO with Picavi US, many leading companies have achieved accuracy rates of 99.9% since adopting the new automation modality. 

Funke insisted that, “Adapting new technologies in capacity constrained operations is always a challenge. The length of time it takes to select, test, verify, migrate, provision, and train, causes deficits in productivity which are progressively becoming harder to justify. The need for modernization persists. Lockdowns and restrictions caused a drastic increase in eCommerce, forcing the logistics and manufacturing industries to keep up. This need for speed calls for rapid automation modernization. What was once considered ‘nice to have’ is now a necessity.”
 Funke asserted that the automation data metrics most needed in vision picking must include the following:

Vision picking works seamlessly with most WMS solutions allowing for real-time integration into existing operations in days, without interrupting the current workflow. Ultimately, all the data is captured with further automation best practices throughout a manufacturing plant floor or distribution center with digital twin automation.

About The Author

Thomas R. Cutler is the president and CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based, TR Cutler, Inc., celebrating its 24th year, and the founder of the Manufacturing Media Consortium, which covers trends in manufacturing, industry, material handling, and process improvement including African manufacturing, Colombian manufacturing, Gen Z workforce, and Food & Beverage. Contact Cutler at [email protected].

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