How enterprise mobility helps warehouse workers improve speed and efficiency
As the size of the modern warehouse has increased dramatically over the last several years, so have the challenges facing operations managers. Ensuring worker safety and efficiency on the job is more paramount than ever, as these mobile workers are experiencing fatigue, safety concerns, and overall job dissatisfaction, leading to higher turnover.
In a survey done by SafetyCulture, more than half of the frontline workers surveyed indicated they would leave their jobs – and the frontline altogether – if new opportunities became available. As we see across most industries post-pandemic, workers are continuously expected to do more with less, but instead of enduring negative work environments, workers are walking away and seeking out different opportunities.
So, what can be done in industries like warehousing to help improve the onsite work experience? Roughly 40% of workers polled by SafetyCulture said they would like to see their companies investing in technology that will improve safety, efficiency, and overall processes to make the job better. But, there are certain challenges facing warehouse management that make this process less than straightforward and simple. These key challenges include collaboration and communication, worker safety, and workflow efficiency.
Collaboration and communication
Warehouses are bigger than ever before. Workers are more dispersed from both each other and work stations where they traditionally would have access to phones or computers; therefore, keeping workers connected has become difficult. Workers are wasting valuable time rushing back to workstations to connect with Sales, Operations, and other departments via phones or computers when questions or concerns arise with orders, or to search for information about products and inventory. Plus, overhead paging can be difficult to hear, and bulky walkie-talkies are another tool workers need to carry on the job, weighing them down as they move about on their feet all day.
Warehouses are inherently dangerous environments. Heavy machinery like forklifts can be hazardous, and even the layouts themselves, with boxes stacked high, can prove to be obstacles. Add to that the simple risk of lifting, packing, unloading, and stacking heavy boxes all day, and a warehouse is an environment filled with potential hazards. With workers spread out so far, an individual could find themselves in a lone worker situation with no one near to help in an emergency situation.
With increasing demand on warehouse workers to pick and pack faster than ever, often while understaffed, workflows need to be optimized to decrease the amount of time it takes to fulfill orders or complete tasks while minimizing mistakes caused by human error. Systems for accurate inventory management become critical, and tools to help make scanning items and picking more efficient are becoming critical.
A UC-enabled enterprise mobility device like Spectralink’s Versity family series of smartphones in warehouse employees’ hands brings communication with them throughout the facility. It addresses these three big concerns with one solution workers can carry with them throughout the warehouse to scan barcodes, look up inventory information, communicate with teammates and other departments via chat, video, or email, and access shared folders for collaboration. Workers no longer need to carry multiple tools like scanners, walkie-talkies, pagers, or phones and instead have all they need with one enterprise smartphone in hand. Plus, enterprise smartphones like the Spectralink Versity 95 or 92 are equipped with one-touch safety features so warehouse workers can quickly and easily summon help in an emergency.
Click here to read about how a UC-enabled Spectralink Versity was able to bridge the communications gap and provide warehouse Logistics workers with a sense of safety on the job at Jenne, Inc.
And for more information on Spectralink’s Versity Series of enterprise smartphones, visit https://www.spectralink.com/products/wi-fi/.
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