Monday November 5, 2018
In 2016, DHL partnered with augmented reality (AR) hardware companies Vuzix and Google, as well as software provider Ubimax, to test AR solutions for logistics activities. After completing AR smart glasses trials at numerous pilot sites across the United States and Europe, the company noticed a 15 percent average productivity improvement as a result of greater worker efficiency and reduced error rates. DHL Supply Chain leaders therefore decided to expand the use of AR solutions across numerous industry sectors.
DHL found that AR offers unique solutions to tackle some of the operational pain points for warehousing and logistics and helps streamline work processes at the individual and enterprise levels. ABI Research conducted an analysis of the key advantages of using AR in supply chain management and developed this list of the top-five benefits.
A sixth, bonus benefit is available for certain devices: Some AR tools are able to guide employees anytime, anywhere. Many supply chain management activities happen in outdoor environments or while on the go. AR devices that are equipped with 4G or 5G connectivity offer extreme throughput, ultra-low latency and a uniform experience and are ideal for supply chain management experiences. Continuous connectivity in offsite locations also helps keep remote or traveling workers productive and prepared to handle the challenges of their jobs.
Supply chain vendors should consider working with mobile network operators or private network vendors to ensure service-level agreements that connect the factory floor, products, supply chain workers and end users. Ubiquitous connectivity is necessary for supply chain workers to interact with the surrounding environment and receive on-demand information anytime and anywhere. ABI Research believes new business models that can leverage connectivity capabilities and bring value to AR users wherever they are also can be developed once these cellular wireless AR infrastructures are in place.
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