Virtual and Augmented Reality in Logistics
For years, virtual and augmented reality technologies were linked with gaming and entertainment. Today, these new technologies are becoming more accessible and are being implemented in every industry, thanks to the benefits they provide.
During the past few years, developers and engineers have managed to build different apps and tools that would help business people and administrators run their operations efficiently. Augmented and virtual reality in business are changing the way new logistics employees are trained, warehouses are managed, and marketing plans are executed.
In this article, we’ll talk about the key benefits of using AR/VR technologies to improve the supply chain and logistics operations. We’ll also discuss some successful applications of these technologies.
What Are the Benefits of AR/VR Applications for Logistics?
In the logistics sector, accuracy is of extreme importance. In small and large logistics companies managing the warehouse is one of the key operations that should be planned, monitored, and executed successfully.
AR and VR tools and technologies have been successfully used by several industry pioneers to help them minimize errors and improve their presence in the market. Here are some of the advantages of using mixed reality technologies.
Boost the Safety of Personnel
Warehouse workers are prone to fatigue that usually affects their productivity and overall accuracy. According to government research, working for more than 12 hours per day leads to an increase of 37% in the rate of warehouse injury.
Since working in a warehouse is all about keeping accurate track of the company’s products, some companies use AR headsets to help monitor workers’ performance.
These headsets count the number of working hours and suggest break time, so workers can stay alert while working. Taking a break and staying focused has been linked to improved productivity and an increase in employees’ satisfaction.
Fast Fulfilling of Orders
The latest statistics show that the number of online shoppers in 2020 was equal to 2.02 billion people.
With the expansion of online marketing, companies had to develop ways that would allow warehouse employees to count the number of orders shipped while keeping track of any pending orders to avoid mistakes.
AR headgear sets can help warehouse personnel keep track of orders and manage the shipping process more efficiently.
These tools are also used to train new employees by allowing them to take part in the inventory process without having to go through a lengthy training process.
For a big company with huge warehouses in multiple locations, VR headgear sets can improve the work of managers and help them make better managerial decisions in real-time.
These VR tools create a virtual reality warehouse that would allow business managers to monitor business operations and make virtual adjustments that employees would later implement in the real warehouse.
Moreover, these tools enable managers to monitor work at multiple locations without having to be physically present. As a result, they can have more control over business operations, and they can respond more promptly to any issues.
Augmented reality and virtual reality play a crucial role in improving several steps in the supply chain.
For example, to improve the company’s delivery operations, an AR app can be used by drivers and warehouse managers to locate the nearest driver, provide real-time updates about drivers’ locations, and suggest the best route to decrease delivery time.
The app can also be used to provide valuable information about the cargo weight, estimated delivery time, and any information related to delays. Using this information, managers and employees can detect any problems within the supply chain to work on improving them in the future.
Successful Examples of Using VR/AR in Shipping and Logistics
In the logistics industry, timely and successful delivery are of great importance. This is why many companies in this industry are currently considering using VR and AR tools to help make their businesses run smoothly.
The following examples of augmented and virtual reality in logistics show how several successful companies managed to manipulate these technologies to improve their sales and minimize customer complaints.
1. GE Hired Better Candidates
The process of selecting and hiring the right personnel can be highly challenging for a big company that can’t afford any mistakes.
Without subjecting new employees or the company’s goods to danger, the logistics department can use virtual reality to hire the perfect candidates for the job, guaranteeing that they won’t make any mistakes.
GE wanted to hire skilled truck drivers who weren’t only trained to drive trucks but also had the ability to use the carton-clamp attachment.
These skills would allow them to transport and ship bigger appliances like fridges and washing machines without dropping them, thus reducing the companies’ expenses and losses. Moreover, they would be able to do their job in a shorter time.
Instead of a lengthy training process, the company used VR software that would engage users in a real-like experience. VR was used to speed up the training process and identify the right people for the job early on.
2. DHL Minimized Expenses
For a large-scale company like DHL, AR tools can provide an excellent solution to minimize expenses and keep track of all orders.
The managers at DHL realized that 20% of the logistics expenses are related to packing, storing, and putting away forms, while the task of picking order forms represented more than 60% of the overall warehouse business tasks.
The company decided to provide its warehouse employees with functional AR glasses that would help them navigate their way smartly, thus shortening the time they need to fulfill orders. Employees used barcode scanning to locate the necessary items.
At the same time, this technology was used to train new employees, thus helping them take part in business operations to increase efficiency.
3. Amazon Improved Management
As one of the world’s biggest distributors and retailers, Amazon has warehouses and distribution centers scattered across the globe. The company needed a reliable and practical solution that would allow managers to monitor business operations at different locations.
Using AR/ VR in the supply chain helped the company increase its sales and achieve a higher level of customer satisfaction.
Managers used different mixed reality tools and were able to look at any site in real-time to ensure that business processes were running the way they should.
These solutions can come in handy, especially in case of a natural disaster or other emergencies that can cause disruptions in the supply chain.
Just like every other industry, VR and AR are playing significant roles in improving logistics operation and the overall flow of the supply chain.
If this is your industry, you can contact an expert at WeAR Studio. Our specialists will develop an ideal VR or AR solution to implement in your business for the best results.