Technology in the workplace must respect these core values.
Earlier in my career, I had the opportunity to discuss workforce management with many companies. Specifically, how were these enterprises measuring their hands-on workforce, such as warehouse, delivery, retail and even call center employees?
While many variations exist, three attributes recurred frequently enough such that I now consider them the central pillars of an effective hands-on workforce. As with any core principle, a company who values these attributes will measure, encourage, and continually strive to improve in these areas.
Simply put, they are: safety, accuracy and efficiency.
A significant aspect of the LogistiVIEW solution is enabling workforce excellence. The remainder of this post will examine each of these three pillars in more detail.
Why does it matter?
Safety is your commitment to your workforce. Most occupations are not categorized as hazardous, and workers have a right to expect their employer's commitment to a safe workplace.
Of course, workplace injuries create financial impact as well. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that, while rates are declining, the private sector reported over 2.8 million incidents of time lost due to injury in 2015. In warehousing alone, 5% of workers missed time on their primary job due to injury.
We will never even consider implementing a process or device which reduces workplace safety. We have carefully chosen VIEW devices which free up both hands for safer lifting and equipment operation. We deliberately design our displayed information to be useful without causing distraction.
We know that the LogistiVIEW devices are but one tool in an environment of moving pieces and machinery, not to mention a tool that is in use for the entire workday. Unobstructed vision, free hands and consideration for hygienics and long-term use are all absolute requirements.
Why does it matter?
Accuracy is your commitment to your customer. To illustrate, I will switch from high level statistics to a personal anecdote. My microwave is broken, and I have been trying to order a replacement circuit board. The first seller I chose shipped the wrong board completely - not even physically similar to what I ordered. The second seller shipped the correct board, but broken in two. Each shipment put my repair back by days and weeks as I await the third attempt. Both sellers are out the merchandise, labor and time it took to unsuccessfully fulfill my order. No matter how quickly they turned the original order around, they both lost money on the deal, while I added two vendors to my "do not buy again" list.
Sellers are continually pushed towards more flexible fulfillment and painless returns processing by a consumer base that no longer accepts delayed processing. While some percentage of returns are unavoidable, there is no reason to compound them with inaccurate or damaged shipments, either to consumers or stores.
With handheld scanning equipment, there is potentially some disconnect between the scanning action itself and the physical movement of the scanned product. This is especially true if the scanning equipment must be holstered or otherwise stowed before the physical task is performed. Alternatively, a voice-only solution forgoes electronic confirmation entirely for the sake of freeing hands.
A VIEW device combines hands free operation with positive electronic confirmation of data, using a camera directly aligned with the human's line of sight. Today's technology focuses on barcodes and QR codes, but OCR and object recognition capabilities continue to evolve.
Geographic tracking of the device, in either indoor or outdoor (GPS) contexts, can provide further validation that the human is truly in the correct place at the correct time.
Why does it matter?
Efficiency is your commitment to your stakeholders. An individual worker cannot dictate the volume of work or the complexity of tasks assigned. What they can control, however, is how efficiently they perform the work on their plate.
As illustrated in a previous post, when it comes to repetitive tasks, managing the detail level motions of each iteration can produce significant savings, dramatically impacting margins for the business.
When we design a workflow, we never simply translate the existing process onto our devices. There are often many opportunities to streamline steps or optimize for normal flow, if only the workflow engine allows for it. This flexibility is core to our design.
Secondly, we take advantage of our ability to display instruction and capture data non-intrusively, limiting the required motions to just the natural instincts of the human performing the task. We call this the Effortless Human Interface™.
All Together Now
An unsafe process is a non-starter. A very fast process that produces sloppy results is its own punishment. A process bogged down by cumbersome steps is non-competitive.
Safety, accuracy and efficiency are an organization's commitments to its employees, customers and shareholders. Any technology introduced into the workplace must not compromise these obligations, and in fact, should demonstrably improve upon them. At LogistiVIEW, ensuring our technology meets this criteria is our commitment to you.