Wearable Technology

Wearable Technology and Multi-Modal Picking Solutions

The explosive growth of ecommerce and omnichannel operations obviously has a tremendous impact on every business that is involved in direct-to-consumer fulfillment. But elevated expectations for rapid fulfillment and ever-increasing volume of small shipments are factors that affect almost every warehouse and distribution operation. In many cases, the only way for warehouse managers to keep up is to adopt new tools that enable better accuracy and more efficient workflows.

One solution that has been adopted by many operations is voice-directed picking (VDP). With VDP, pickers respond to voice-based directions that help them complete orders more quickly. VDP is a proven way to reduce cycle times, but massive increases in shipment volumes have many warehouse managers looking for tools that will drive even higher levels of productivity. Enter wearable computers and multi-modal systems.

Multi-Modal Picking Solutions

Multi-modal solutions that add different input modes to voice-directed systems are proving to be an effective solution for many fulfillment operations. Multi-modal systems still rely on voice-directed prompts to guide workers, but they integrate additional input methods that provide more flexibility. For instance, in addition to receiving verbal directions to the next pick location, a worker might also use the display on a wearable computer to access a map to the exact location. Or, instead of speaking to confirm an item has been picked, an integrated barcode scanner or RFID reader can be used to confirm picking accuracy.

The goal of multi-modal systems is to shave precious seconds off repetitive workflows, allowing warehouse operations to complete more orders in less time without increasing the footprint or overhead of the operation. That’s exactly what Zebra Technologies witnessed when they conducted a side-by-side study of voice-only and multi-modal solutions. Multi-modal picking improved everything from pick rate to order accuracy and on-time delivery.

That could explain the relatively rapid adoption of multi-modal systems. As recently as 2015, fewer than 1 in 5 warehouse operations were using multi-modal systems but, by 2020, it was estimated that nearly 60% would be doing so.

Zebra’s WT6300 Wearable Computer

The heart of Zebra’s total wearable solution is the WT6300 wearable computer. It’s a lightweight, rugged device that delivers desktop-level performance and drives new levels of worker productivity. Add a Bluetooth or corded hands-free ring scanner to boost productivity by up to 30%. Pair it with Zebra’s HD4000 Head-Mounted Display and you can enable real-time dynamic work orders that can increase productivity by as much as 24%. And that’s just scratching the surface of the many ways Zebra’s hands-free WT6300 can enable warehouse workers to handle today’s volumes with ease.

ScanTexas is an industry leader in innovative warehouse solutions. To learn more about multi-modal picking solutions and Zebra wearable computers, contact us today.

Wearable Technology