Smart glasses by DHL Supply Chain to improve order picking productivity by 15%
August 02, 2017: DHL Supply Chain successfully completed its global augmented reality pilots and is expanding its "Vision Picking" solution in more warehouses around the globe, establishing a new standard in order picking for the industry. The smart glasses provide visual displays of order picking instructions along with information on where items are located and where they need to be placed on a cart, freeing pickers' hands of paper instructions and allowing them to work more efficiently and comfortably. The international trials have shown an average improvement of productivity by 15 percent and higher accuracy rates. The user-friendly and intuitive solution has also halved onboarding and training times.
"Digitalization is not just a vision or program for us at DHL Supply Chain, it's a reality for us and our customers, and is adding value to our operations on the ground. Customers have been very happy about the productivity gains and are equally excited about using innovative technology at their warehouses," says Markus Voss, chief information officer and chief operating officer, DHL Supply Chain.
After having completed a pilot program across the US, Mainland Europe and the UK throughout different industries such as technology, retail and consumer, DHL has now established the Vision Picking solution for the long run. The technology has matured to become a standard, replicable solution for customers, allowing faster and easier implementation in their operations, helping them to benefit from productivity gains with increased speed of operations and better picking accuracy.
Employees have been enthusiastic about being able to use state-of-the-art technology and are pleased with how light the smart glasses are, and how much more comfortable the process is now with hands-free picking. "We are very satisfied and happy that the pilot phase went so well and that we can now say augmented reality technology is one of our standard offerings at DHL Supply Chain," Voss adds. "As one of the first logistics companies using the technology, we have truly established a new way of order picking in the industry."
DHL has been working alongside three partners in the pilot phase. Ubimax provided the augmented reality software xPick, whereas the recently announced Glass Enterprise Edition and Vuzix M100 and M300 glasses were used as hardware. Further proofs of concept running in Asia and Australia with other partners show similar promising benefits. Following the success of its Vision Picking program, DHL is looking into additional applications for augmented and virtual reality such as trainings, maintenance, dimension calculations and more.