65% of floor workers and 75% of managers are concerned about maintaining productivity levels in the warehouse, according to a new report commissioned by wearable scanner manufacturer ProGlove.
The investigation surveyed over 800 warehouse professionals including managers and team leaders as well as staff in entry-level and intermediate roles, giving an insight into the problems facing modern warehousing and what workers believe to be the best potential solutions.
The top challenges in the warehouse were reported as poor use of space, staff exhaustion, and inaccurate inventory. The data also suggests that 32 picking errors are made per workstation in an average week. In these instances, errors often led to delays, reduced customer satisfaction, and returns.
The majority of staff surveyed identified having the right people, improving processes and workflows, and optimising the warehouse layout as the top requirements for maintaining or improving productivity.
ProGlove’s products are an example of the ways in which technology can be used to assist distributors in improving efficiency. It claims that the gloves can save up to six seconds per scan and allow workers to have both hands free while scanning. One of its most interesting features, though, is its data collection. Information like time per scan and time in between scans is recorded and anonymised to provide real-time feedback.
ProGlove Chief Product Officer Ilhan Kolko says that the products “collect homogeneous datasets”, that should better inform managers and team leaders. Kolko explains that while “none of us lack data”, he feels that there is a “data quality issue” within the industry- something ProGlove seeks to address with its technology.
Alan Parsons, Yodel’s IT Portfolio Director, said that the company’s implementation of such technology has made a big difference and notes that he has seen “results further down the supply chain” as a result of the investment.
However, when it comes to shorter-term solutions, workers raised other issues that they feel need to be addressed. 71% called for an increase in staff pay and 51% said that training was amongst the most important changes that need to be made to improve productivity within two years. The need for content and capable warehouse workers is a common notion that seems to be shared by those surveyed.