VIDEO | Why Putting People in the Centre of Devices Pays Off

News Video Interview Warehousing

The pressure on the logistics industry to perform well is greater than ever. Labour shortages and increased costs are affecting the economy and supply chain issues all affect how logistics is doing. Despite the challenges however, there are many opportunities for growth. Automation, AI, different types of picking solutions and digital solutions as a whole are driving a real change in the industry.

We spoke to James Summers, Founder and CEO of Conker about the opportunities wearable devices offer and how to make the best choices.

‘Although they’re broadly speaking, often a computer of sorts, they’re not really bought in the same way as a computer because they’re not on someone’s desk. But where people start is does it have the function that we need? Does it have the specifications we want and will it work in the environment we operate in?’ Summers explains.

Making it work

A proper trial is something that devices need. No matter how smart a machine is, people need to test it and learn how to make the most out of it. it’s a really big step, not just because you’re trialling the device’s functionality, but because of the user adoption piece.

‘Great processes that aren’t used aren’t good processes and great devices or great software that aren’t used aren’t really good devices and software,’ Summers underlines.

The way companies purchase such devices has also changed and nowadays they have the option to pay as a monthly subscription. Companies are always advised to have a support system in place and ask the hard questions during the trial period.

Getting the right data
KPIs are another important element of utilising devices to their fullest. What happens behind the scenes can be monitored by software.

‘The software should hopefully give them that data. If it doesn’t, then it’s very tricky,’ Summers continues. ‘A human can also impact productivity by working hard or not and it is important to know how much of this is up to the device itself.’

So what does the future hold for hand-held devices? According to Summers data will be the king.

‘Going forwards there will be a rising tide of better use of data,’ he explains. ‘Smaller companies will now have a Head of Data. If before it was reserved for, let’s say, a £50 million business, now it will be £10 million.’

Specifically looking at the area Summers is involved in he predicts: ‘The major change that we’re seeing is moving either to much smaller devices and then ultimately into wearables.’

Wearables have been around for some time but it seems as if really this past 12 months has seen this big spike in interest in moving devices onto the hand, onto the wrist, onto a peaking trolley, and onto multiple, multiple places where it’s more accessible, sometimes even headsets. ✷

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