Logistics and supply chain managers may need to prepare for the next crisis on the horizon. Agility is definitely a crucial prerequisite insists Axel Schmidt of ProGlove
Through the Covid19 pandemic, organisations want to be in a position that enables them to set up, relocate or redesign workplaces quickly and respond to market needs with agility. The same goes for the underlying processes.
A first key objective is to prevent employees from reverting back to old habits that could endanger them. Smart wearables can play an important role and enable social distancing onsite. Scanners, can for instance provide organisations with an app that detects when workers fall below the minimum social distance for too long. generating a message output as a combination of acoustic, haptic and visual warning signals.
In 2018/19 the UK lost 28.2 million working days to work-related illness and injury and in 2017/18, the estimated economic cost to Great Britain totalled £15 billion.
Worker fatigue is one element that can significantly contribute to increased risks of injury at work. Badly designed shift-working patterns and long hours that do not allow for sufficient rest can result in accidents, injuries and ill health. Hands-free wearable technology and ergonomically designed workplaces can benefit the safety of workers.
For instance, technology could immediately notify a worker of the next pick up location via their wearable device, rather than them having to trek back to retrieve this information from a central data point or computer.
ProGlove’s wearable scanners, for example, weigh 40 grams. They are up to ten times lighter than traditional bulky scanners. Thus, the weight saved can be as much as 1.5 metric tons per employee per day.
There is great potential for savings to be made by looking at the picking process, especially with regard to travel time that accounts for a third to half of picking time.
Long throughput times, underestimated forecast qualities regarding demand, or overfilled warehouses with semi-finished goods, are typical examples of the negative consequences that arise from a bottleneck ; it is crucial to analyse what the original problem is that is impacting on other areas within production and logistics.
A frequently recurring problem is also that semi-finished goods, or even tools, are store; but the location not recorded. The solution is to turn all tools, materials, machines, etc. into communicable objects by providing them with trackable stickers or similar.
Throughput is crucial in both production and logistics. However must be reviewed and optimised on an individual basis and unnessary ones within the value chain eliminated. By connecting the various departments and machines, waiting times can be reduced and transit times to terminals avoided.
One of the advantages of barcodes is that any information can be stored and transferred to the warehouse management system by means of scanning. Yet, even this method itself offers considerable potential for optimisation because information is often sent to a computer terminal that the employees first have to walk to.
An alternative to the classic barcode scanner gun is to use a glove scanner, which is also available with an integrated display on the back of the hand – more ergonomic and it reduces repetitive strain injuries too.
Technology, especially wearables, has an immense role to play in connecting the workforce and keeping it safe, productive and efficient; raising a question about whether ‘wearables’ is part of your future strategy as you seek to connect the workforce and digitise it?
Axel Schmidt is senior communications manager, ProGlove