The Growing Role of Augmented Reality (AR) in Warehouse Operations

  • 03 May 2024
  • 6 Min Read

‘A stitch in time saves nine!’, this age-old adage sums the very essence and purpose of Augmented Reality in Warehousing in the times of gradual escalation of hybrid shopping.

With the emergence of eCommerce, warehouse operations enhancement is required to ensure accuracy and efficiency in carrying out warehousing in the shortest possible time for improved order fulfillment and enriched customer experience. It improves the processes of picking and packing while simplifying warehouse management operations. Adopting smart warehousing solutions avoids errors and streamlines the entire operation from start to finish.

Future of Warehousing with AR

Warehousing has witnessed technological transformation in phases and at each, there has been a value addition in its efficiency and accuracy. The latest being augmented reality or AR, which is the integration of technology with the practicality of the real world. AR is a technological wonder; it has an interactive layer and reaches even to corners where Virtual Reality or VR fails. It optimizes supply chain operations by alerting them about any impending crisis in the warehouse. Some of the significant features of AR through which it is revolutionizing warehouse operations are—

  • The essence of AR is its versatility to adapt and optimize warehouse operations.
  • With IoT integration in Warehouse AR, it is instrumental in providing visual 3D configurations along with real-time data interpretation, providing scope for better execution of work.
  • Integration of AR Technology in logistics management of order fulfillment and customer relationships has become a lot more synchronized, efficient, prompt, and transparent.
  • The AR-driven Supply Chain Optimization guides management and aids in taking pre-emptive action against any expected hurdles.
  • AR for efficient order processing as warehouses have better layout strategies, integrated applications for inventory management help in real-time decision making, and improvised methods for order picking and packing. This brings down the chances of returns due to delays or wrong order delivery.

AR is futuristic, so far, its realms were only limited to gaming but it holds more potential than imagined. It is transformative and combines virtual and real-world situations for enhanced comprehension and efficiency, required for order processing.

Purpose for Transforming Warehouses with Augmented Reality

Globally online retailing has seen a sudden rise, putting a challenging situation for warehouse managers as they struggle to meet order deadlines and successful completion of orders. Warehouse operations require a system to get a continuous and real-time update on inventories, their location, logistics, shipment, and space utilization for accuracy.

Cutting-edge Logistics Technology and enhanced order fulfillment with AR provide accurate information that gives an edge to a business over competition. Under smart warehousing solutions, augmented reality is becoming one of the fascinating game changers. The spatial configuration of AR guides about exact location of items, expedites work, brings down the time required to track objects, lesser time taken for inventory accounting, minimizes errors, and thus enhances accuracy.

Advantages of Augmented Reality in Warehousing

  • Enhanced Navigation and Operations— Every minute is crucial in the process of order fulfillment. And, an important role in this chain is played by warehouses, from where order is picked, packed, and sent for further processing. Any enhanced technological system that can minimize errors, cut down run-up costs, and speed up the picking process of items is welcome. AR is a 3D navigator, the digital overlay aided by headsets or glasses assists with precise locations and other specific details required for order fulfillment. It guides workers with the fastest routes to reach the shelf in the shortest time by reducing errors. This eventually improves operations management as workers are navigated to the exact place for picking the order and taking stock of the inventories.
  • Accuracy in Picking and Packing– AR in a warehouse with visual overlay helps workers with picking the right quantity with accurate specification. It is not a standalone feature and is connected with the entire supply chain system for feedback and data sharing. This brings accuracy and reduces human errors as data is shared in real-time and AR is the blend of virtual and real-world.
  • Layout Optimization– The digital spatial configurations optimize layout planning by maximizing space utilization. Through AR, digital models can be visualized in the real world with AR headsets and glasses. Many companies like IKEA give this experience to their customers for sales optimization. Similarly, businesses can get a layout planned for optimum utilization of space for storage, installing machinery and other equipment for optimal functioning of warehouses.
  • Optimized Inventory Management– AR applications for Inventory Management equips management with visibility and real-time data as AR-powered devices scan RFID and barcodes on items for retrieving details about products as expiration dates and quantity of products at a warehouse. These are crucial information pieces as they can further help in deciding requirement, replenishment, distribution, or repacking of stocks and future demand forecasts. It reduces human errors and the time taken for such repetitive work as such details about inventories require regular updates.
  • Timely Maintenance and Safety– Augmented Reality can identify problems and send alerts on required maintenance of machinery for the safety of workers. AR can troubleshoot by displaying diagrams, helping technicians by identifying problem areas, and speeding up the repair work. On-time maintenance provides safety and security to workers. This builds their trust in the management, which eventually boosts production.
  • Efficient Workflow– AR augments seamless exchange of communication among the warehouse workers even with those working remotely or stationed at different warehouses. This real-time sharing of information optimizes workflow as employees can share insights related to routes for order picking, performance metrics of individual items, priorities in order fulfillment, required changes, and other information that can contribute to better productivity and profitability.

AR for Efficient Order Processing with Advatix Cloudsuite™

Augmented Reality is an advanced technology that has the potential to enhance customer experience for order processing. AR in warehousing brings operational efficiency, increases accuracy, and streamlines order processing. However, to achieve and install AR for efficient order processing, one must evaluate conditions and procedures to integrate with existing operational software of supply chain management. It has to be smooth, and frictionless for a clear exchange of data with real-time visualization.

Advatix Cloudsuite™ experts understand the nuances of AR and how a smooth transition with existing software can revolutionize warehousing. To know more about us…