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E-commerce was expected to contribute up to $4.1 trillion in sales by the end of 2021. As of 2020, it has already yielded $3.53 trillion. Past studies did not account for the sudden health pandemic, which has added a new set of rules and regulations in distribution centers and warehouses nationwide. As operations become more complex and demands increase, workflows must adapt quickly to rising costs and increased labor turnover. With picking expenses accounting for more than 50% of total operation costs, modernizing order picking stands as one of the primary ways to stay ahead of demand.

While RFID tracking has long served as a popular option for warehouse modernization, its high cost makes it difficult for warehouses to adopt it. On the other hand, hands-free and voice picking technologies have been shown to… 

  • increase productivity up to 20%
  • accelerate onboarding by 90%
  • reduce picking errors by as much as 39%

To broaden possibilities without increasing TCO, we are exploring the three major components in developing an effective hands-free solution with Zebra’s wearable devices. 

Building a Future-Ready Picking Solution with Zebra Technologies

As with any other solution, your hands-free system should be stringently tested to survive in tough environments which normally characterize today’s warehouses, such as extreme temperatures, larger drops and tumbles, humidity, and altitude changes. Along with these components, we also recommend:

  • A malleable wearable computer 

Tailored to adapt to a variety of arm shapes, a malleable wearable computer such as Zebra’s new WT63000 serves as the foundation of your hands-free solution. By streamlining crucial data processing applications, scanning capabilities, and touchscreen ease-of-use, you can equip your team with timely updates and greater range-of-motion through one device. Lastly, Zebra’s wearable computers are equipped with Android for Enterprise to further decrease onboarding time with a familiar intuitive interface your employees recognize. 

  • A high-precision ring scanner

To accelerate data capture with quick tap-to-pair and faster scanning speeds, ring scanners like the RS6000 empower pickers with up to 70,000+ scans per charge along with automatic triggering and zero Wi-Fi interference thanks to Zebra’s Wi-Fi friendly mode. Like wearable computers, Zebra ring scanners also adapt to the worker while providing a hygienic mounting option, made for proper disinfecting between uses. 

  • An enterprise-grade headset

Ready for indoor and outdoor use, the HS3100 delivers HD audio quality and noise cancellation technology to sustain crucial speech-driven applications and voice communication anywhere in the warehouse. Equipped with a 15-hour battery life cycle, the HS3100 allows you to switch batteries without losing Bluetooth connectivity, giving your team more uptime in demanding situations.

In addition to proper hardware, user-friendly software and applications can further simplify deployment. However, because every business is unique, there is no one-solution-fits-all option. To see how you can pair your hardware with a software solution that best matches your operations, contact our modernization teams for a comprehensive assessment of your workflow goals and start accelerating order picking without compromising accuracy or efficiency.

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