For purposes of the innovation project, a separate pick process was identified in advance together with Sennheiser. This way, processes can be carried out in a controlled environment and evaluated with precise time measurements. The objective is to use the smart glasses to increase productivity and quality and to identify the optimal process workflows for the new technology. Initial feedback from employees on the operational side of the business is positive: the new pick technology is easy to learn and intuitive to use. Furthermore, the smart glasses are very comfortable to wear during the movement-intensive work in the warehouse.
"We set ourselves the task of providing the best possible support for supply chain management generally and for warehouse employees in particular. With our pick-by-vision solution, the pickers have both hands free and their eyes on the current process steps at all times – in contrast to the work with hand-held devices. Instead of relying on the tiring voice commands of pick-by-voice systems, our system inserts data directly into the field of view of the worker in real time," says Dirk Franke, CEO of Picavi. "We're currently working with Arvato on additional augmented-reality features that provide intelligent support to processes aside from classic order-picking."
In the coming weeks, the collected data will be carefully compared and evaluated. During this time, the Arvato employees will continue to wear the mobile WLAN smart glasses in order to get used to them and be as prepared as possible for the coming peak season of growing order volumes. Meanwhile, Arvato and Picavi are already working on an expansion of the system. They have now identified another field of application that could profit from the new technology: since the glasses allow warehouse employees to have their hands free when stacking the pallets, errors can be minimized when the outgoing goods are scanned, which leads to significant gains in productivity and quality.
The future of order-picking
The project was initiated at Sennheiser in the framework of the current innovation strategy for the supply chain, which sees innovations as a key factor for success in products and services. "We're very pleased to have a service provider like Arvato at our side, one that not only shares our point of view with regard to innovation and development but also invests in the actual implementation," says Günther Maaß, Global Logistics Manager at Sennheiser. The demand for new technologies and processes in the logistics sector is growing constantly – after all, they are the key to successfully managing future challenges. "Innovations are not ends in themselves; they are absolutely necessary to realize competitive advantages and further growth," says Patrick Manders, VP Global Solution Design in the business unit Hightech & Entertainment at Arvato SCM Solutions. "Targeted innovation management helps companies increase their competitiveness, efficiency and sustainability."
About Arvato SCM Solutions
Arvato SCM Solutions is an innovative and international leading service provider in the field of supply chain management and e-commerce. Partners come together with industry specialists in the fields of Telecommunication, Hightech & Entertainment, Automotive|Bank|Insurance, Healthcare, Consumer Products and Publisher. More than 14,000 employees work together to provide practical and relevant solutions and services worldwide. Using the latest digital technology, Arvato develops, operates and optimizes complex global supply chains and e-commerce platforms, as the strategic growth partner for its customers. Arvato SCM combines the know-how of its employees with the right technology and appropriate business processes to measurably increase the productivity and performance of its partners.
Arvato SCM Solutions is part of Arvato, a leading international service provider. Approximately 70.000 Arvato employees in more than 40 countries design and produce innovative solutions for clients from all over the world, covering a wide range of business processes. These include CRM, SCM, financial, and IT solutions as well as digital marketing services. Arvato is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bertelsmann. For more information, please visit www.scm.arvato.com
Audio specialist Sennheiser is one of the world's leading manufacturers of headphones, microphones and wireless transmission systems. Based in Wedemark near Hanover, Germany, Sennheiser operates its own production facilities in Germany, Ireland and the USA and is active in more than 50 countries. With 19 sales subsidiaries and long-established trading partners, the company supplies innovative products and cutting-edge audio solutions that are optimally tailored to its customers' needs. Sennheiser is a family owned company that was founded in 1945 and which today has 2,750 employees around the world that share a passion for audio technology. Since 2013, Sennheiser has been managed by Daniel Sennheiser and Dr. Andreas Sennheiser, the third generation of the family to run the company. In 2015, the Sennheiser Group had sales totaling €682 million. www.sennheiser.com
Picavi is the first company in the world to have developed order picking with smart glasses – so-called vision picking – into a market-ready solution.
Based in Herzogenrath in Western Germany, the company was founded in 2013 as a high-tech start-up under the name Logcom GmbH, and combines many years of experience in IT and intralogistics. Picavi used this expertise to turn smart glasses into a practical solution for the internal flow of goods and material. Following a two-year period of product development, since mid-2015 more and more businesses rely on Picavi smart technology for warehouse processes, from goods receipt and order picking to dispatch and inventory. www.picavi.com