VISION PICKING REINVENTS WAREHOUSE TRAINING BY TAKING IT OUT OF THE CLASSROOM AND EMBEDDING IT INTO THE WORK ITSELF
Mention the word “training” in a warehouse and most people think of classrooms, handouts, long ramp up time and the inevitable re-training. This long resource-intensive process stands between every new hire and the productivity you’re paying them for. And at peak when it feels like the season is ending just as people finally master all they need to know, training can’t move fast enough.
The good news for DC’s is that training has profoundly changed. In fact, the entire concept of how training takes place is being transformed with Vision Picking via smart glasses.
Vision Picking provides access to intuitive, constantly-available instruction via the display in the smart gasses, or in some cases on RF terminals or other mobile screens. The result is training turned from a classroom event into an always-on part of the job. It’s a breakthrough capability for DC workforce development, where training is ingrained into every step of how work gets done.
Let’s explore the specifics of how Vision Picking impacts on-boarding and development within a DC, looking at how it makes training:
- Fast and obvious
- Constant and “always-on”
- Easy for complex tasks
- Simple for process changes, and
- Affordable operation-wide.
Training made fast and obvious
Vision Picking simplifies training by turning complex instructions into easy-to-understand visuals. For on-boarding a new picker, this converts intricate steps, routes, and actions into obvious choices understood a glance.
While minimizing text reading and speech learning, Vision Picking instead leverages intuitive cues to drive immediate responses. Workers wear a pair of Augmented Reality (AR) smart glasses to see instructions in their line of sight. It’s crystal clear to the worker what they need to do - along with where, when, and how. Compare this to the legwork needed to train a voice system to pick up accents and inflections, where workers must to remember to say “two-two” instead of “22” for commands to register.
Visuals eliminate this complexity and remove language barriers common in DC work forces thanks to universally-recognizable visuals understood by all cultures, such as a Red X or Green √ check mark. Workers are freed from memorizing steps to just following simple instructions, and become productive almost immediately with training that normally takes weeks cut down to minutes.
Training made constant and "always-on"
With Vision Picking, training never really stops. After workers learn something, their access to visual cues means they are always guided as if the trainer were still there with them, like a mentor on their shoulder. Everything that might need reinforcement is right there at all times, just a glance away.
This means not having to memorize the steps to do an complex exception process, since the system will walk them through it. And no need to remember when to scan the label before picking an item, as the system will stop them from moving forward until they do. Any missed step or incorrect action will be corrected immediately, resulting in ever-improving performance.
The key is: instead of training first, then going to work, now they’re always training. Learning extends far beyond the conference room and into their day to day reality on the job. This shift in approach is trans-formative for warehouses. The very nature of Vision Picking builds in a continuous improvement layer embedded in day to day work that was not possible before. Temp workers become immediately confident and in turn happier and more likely to return. Concurrently Operations Management can flex a trained workforce faster to be productive sooner, with best practices rooted at the source of how work is performed.
Training made easy for complex tasks
Does this sound familiar? “It’s not worth giving the temp staff this task. It will take me more time to explain it than to just do it.”
Delegating complex tasks to less-experienced workers is a common issue, burdening other parts of the operation until new hires gain competency. But with Vision Picking, supervisors can break down even the most complex tasks into achievable steps that novice workers can follow with little to no experience.
Team leaders are now empowered to confidently entrust work that may otherwise have been deemed too error prone for temp workers. From mission-critical tasks to intricate but rare procedures too difficult to memorize quickly, Vision Picking distills the complexity into simple, actionable instructions that anyone can follow. Broken up into digestible and intuitive steps, workers are set up to succeed, while supervisors have peace of mind that the system will continuously reinforce the desired process.
Training made simple for process changes
When processes inevitably require changes, aligning people to new practices takes a great deal of training and time. Vision Picking eases process changes and roll-outs by immediately guiding workers to the new procedures seamlessly while they work.
Instead of relying on all-hands briefings where trainers communicate and hope the information sticks, workers will be guided in exactly what to do as per the new procedure. They may not even notice a change has occurred. Following each step in front of their eyes, they don't question what to do, or make errors based on old habits. Aided by the visual-voice-scan combination, workers have a built-in check to overcome muscle memory or mind-numb mundane actions that can override new process information.
Vision Picking allows operations teams to update processes on the fly, knowing they will be rolled out automatically. It’s a dramatic way to reduce frictions and headaches associated with new SOP’s, a strategic change management tool that accelerates efficiency from the moment the change takes place. The effect is actually more profound the experienced workforce, who's speed is built on experience, but who make the most accuracy mistakes when new steps are introduced.
Training made affordable operation-wide
MMH reported that many DC’s increased their training budgets in 2019 to make better use of resources in response to labor shortages. This is a smart step, and Vision Picking will allow companies to maximize training investments even more by extracting immediate ROI. In the face of omni-channel pressures squeezing budgets and demanding more from everyone, Vision Picking provides a rapid upgrade to training without adding burdensome costs.
By the numbers, Vision Picking allows DC’s to:
- Cut training time from weeks to 15 minutes or less.
- Enable workers to be productive on Day 1, not Week 3.
- Change SOP’s an unlimited amount of times, with accuracy rates unharmed.
These are real benefits that warehouses are seeing by deploying Vision Picking today. What’s more, they’re achieving benefits like these without adding new trainers or taking workers out of production to go through training. Instead, it’s all happening as part of the job, while productive work continues without interruption. By targeting operational efficiency at the same time as reinforcing best practices within the work itself, Vision Picking is transformational change for warehouse labor on-boarding and training.
Upping the DC worker's game
Ultimately it’s the people that get the work done within the DC, and their performance hinges on their command of operational processes.
Vision Picking’s many benefits allow warehouses to establish continuous improvement built upon ‘always-on’ training that constantly ups the game of everyone on the team, including the temporary workforce. And with applications beyond picking such as packing, replenishment, palletizing and more, workers stand to improve and excel across the entire DC operation.