After the unprecedented events of 2020, long-standing consumer behaviors have been forever changed—many of which have greatly impacted the material handlingindustry. Industries that have typically seen the majority oftheir business come from in-person transactions are starting tosee a greater percentage of their revenue shift to e-commerceor are actively looking to mitigate risk by diversifying intoe-commerce fulfillment.
Consumers are now loading their digital shopping carts with
everything from groceries to medicine while expecting faster de-
livery at a lower cost. For instance, an estimated 3 billion packages
made their way through the nation’s shipping infrastructure this
past holiday season alone—about 800 million more than last year.
Due to this increased demand, warehouse inventory is expanding at an overwhelming rate, resulting in storage spaceconstraints, picking errors and stocking inefficiencies. Now isthe time for operations to invest in tactics like operator assisttechnologies to address these concerns and help their currentlabor force pick more accurately, comfortably and productively.
LEVERAGING OPERATOR ASSIST TECHNOLOGIES
Order-picking is the most labor-intensive and costly activityfor almost every warehouse, no matter the industry. In fact, upto 55% of warehouse operating costs and 70% of operatingtime are attributed to the order picking process. To addressthese challenges, it is important to recognize the opportunityfor increased picking accuracy and evaluate which operatorassist technologies best fit your operation.
An LED light system can streamline costly processes likesearching for orders by directing operators to the correct customer pallet quickly and efficiently—enabling them to efficiently move to the next pick with confidence.
A pick-to-light system can increase operator proficiency,accuracy and productivity—ultimately assisting in the optimization process by creating efficient labor processes. A pick-to-light system can help reduce picking errors by using LEDtechnology to visually reinforce product placement for orderfulfillment in batch picking applications. The system can maximize operator productivity by integrating with the customer’swarehouse management system (WMS) or warehouse controlsystem (WCS) and voice-pick receiver. The order-selectors aredirected by the voice-pick receiver where to go, what part topick, how many pieces to pick and for which customer order.Utilizing these combined technologies can greatly reduce usererror and result in fewer mispicks.
By utilizing operator assist solutions,operations can optimize their operation bycreating more space for product, increasing workforce productivity and leveraginglift trucks for the best suitable task—allof which, ultimately, drives cost savings.
ADDRESSING THE LABOR
With increased demand comes a need fora more efficient workforce. In addition to operator assist technologies, operations shouldlook for ways to enhance ergonomics andoperator comfort to help retain skilled laborers and reduce turnover. The learning curvefor new technology or equipment should beas small as possible to avoid costly delays.Investing in lift trucks that have intuitivecontrol panels will make operators’ jobsmuch easier and can go a long way towardachieving operational efficiency.
Utilizing the right truck for the right application is always imperative. However, ittakes proper training and confidence for operators to become comfortable and efficient
OPTIMIZING YOUR WAREHOUSING OPERATION FOR
Operator assist technologies can helpyour workforce pick more accurately,comfortably and productively.
By Erica Moyer
BIANCO BLUE | DREAMS TIME