How are AR and VR changing supply chains? by Abhilasha Satpathy, DCMME Center Graduate Student Assistant

AR improves the order picking process

By using smart glasses, employees can see exactly where items should fit on carts while they are picking orders. In addition to this, these smart lenses keep the picking lists in view of the order picker at all times, and shows them the most efficient route through the warehouse. This is a vast improvement over the commonly used process where order pickers use a piece of paper or hand scanner to hand select products and place them on carts.Not only does using AR reduce errors and increase order picking speed, it also reduces the need for intensive on the job training.

VR and AR for predictive modeling

Large retailers, and other distributors often have manufacturing facilities, distribution centers, and warehouses spread across the country and even have facilities overseas. At any given time, managers may not be on site. In spite of this, they still need to be on top of things. By using any number of virtual reality or augmented reality tools, managers can get a real time look at any site at any time to ensure that processes are running as planned. This is particularly important when issues have caused supply chain management disruptions.

VR can make the delivery process safer and more efficient

Delivery drivers are tasked with ensuring that products make it to stores, offices, homes, and distribution centers in a timely manner without damage done to products. Current processes include using navigation systems and manually checking cargo. With temperature controlled loads, things are even more complex. These solutions are often time consuming and distracting. The latter increases the chance for accidents. VR can be used to significantly improve this part of the supply chain process. For example, VR can be used to superimpose important information directly onto the windshield. Without glancing at a handheld device, drivers can see alternate routes, blocked roads and traffic snags. Even information about the load itself can be seen without the need to stop, climb into the back of the truck, and see what’s going on. VR even plays a role when drivers arrive at the point of delivery. Packages can be encoded with scannable images for drivers and unloaders. These can provide information such as package weight, contents and handling instructions. This means that before they even place their hands on a particular package the employee will know that a package is exceptionally heavy, fragile, requires a signature and is to be delivered at the south entrance.

Improved secured delivery options

When it is especially important to ensure that packages are delivered to a specific person, the current method is to verify identity and collect a signature. With customer cooperation and approval, VR can make secured delivery and identity verification even easier. A picture of the customer can be scanned into and stored in the company’s databases. Then, upon delivery, VR and facial recognition technology can be used to match the customer’s face with the picture in the database. As a result of this, it becomes easy to ensure that the recipient is the one intended to receive the delivery. This is a much more secure alternative to using picture IDs or signatures, both of which can be easily forged.

Questions:

  1. How is VR and AR making supply chain better?
  2. How is VR and AR improving secured delivery?
  3. How are AR and VR helping in predictive modeling?

Reference:

Arnold, A. (2018, March 24). How AR And VR Are Revolutionizing The Supply Chain. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewarnold/2018/01/29/how-ar-and-vr-are-revolutionizing-the-supply-chain/#630a572e4cbf

 

 

 

 

 

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