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Get Revolutionary Growth In Warehouse Productivity

Posted by Amanda Honig

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April 28, 2016 at 7:00 AM


How do organizations judge the success of their warehouse and distribution center operations? They judge them on how streamlined work processes combine with fast and accurate worker output to meet and exceed customer expectations in today’s highly competitive, high-volume omnichannel marketplace. In other words, they judge them on productivity. 

What do customers expect?

In the current Internet-driven retail environment, customer expectations are evolving. A fast-growing number of customers now prefer to shop online, which can have significant implications for warehouse productivity. During the 2015 holiday shopping season, for example, sales on mobile devices exceeded in-store sales for the first time ever.

But here’s the rub. Whether they’re shopping in-store, online or on their smartphones or tablets, today’s customers are as demanding as ever. Two-day or three-day shipping used to be the norm. Not so much anymore. Today’s shoppers want one-day shipping and even same-day shipping. This places a severe strain on backroom and supply chain operations, and requires substantial gains in warehouse productivity.

The TC8000: omnichannel game changer

When it comes to increasing warehouse productivity, Zebra’s new TC8000 handheld computer is a game changer. The TC8000:

  • Simplifies operation and ease of use.
  • Automatically upgrades the user interface from
    traditional green screen to an all-touch interface.
  • Operates the way workers use their own mobile devices.
  • Saves time and effort by eliminating the non value-added
    “tilt-and-verify” actions of traditional dual plane gun-style handheld computers.

Single plane vs. dual plane design

The TC8000 handheld computer’s innovative single plane design eliminates much of the physical work—and time—it takes to fulfill orders. That leads to faster shipping and increased customer satisfaction. Featuring a new scan angle that significantly reduces worker motions by 76%, or from 9.2 to 2.2 wrist movements. It also reduces errors and fatigue, providing for substantial new gains in warehouse productivity.

Exhaustive testing

The TC8000 underwent extensive human-factors testing—by Zebra and by third-party organization US Ergonomics—under real warehouse and supply chain conditions. The results of the research are highlighted in Addressing Productivity Barriers in the Warehouse. Observational testing was conducted to help understand real-world warehouse worker needs. Usability testing was used to document how to improve ease of use. Ergonomic evaluation revealed how to minimize the physical stresses associated with task execution.

As documented by user-centric industrial design research—based on a pick and pack workflow at a scan rate of 11 to 12 scans per minute—the TC8000 Touch Computer stands alone in a new category of productivity-enhancing warehouse mobile devices, reducing time-to-task completion from 180 seconds to 153 seconds.

Outstanding metrics

The TC8000’s revolutionary product design delivers significant productivity gains. Objective metrics included muscle effort and wrist deviations for scan and verify tasks, and time-to-task completion. Overall, the TC8000’s metrics show it boosts productivity by 14% over typical gun-style warehouse devices.

Saved: one hour per worker, per shift

What exactly does that double digit increase in productivity add up to? After all, it only takes a little over a second to tilt a device up to see the screen, then back down to scan. But when multiplied by the number of picks per day, times the number of workers in the warehouse, times the number of warehouses for businesses with multiple locations, the result can be millions of wasted motions every week. That’s a shocking drain on time, effort and productivity.

It all adds up to saving an average of one hour per worker, per shift. That’s substantial and much more. It borders on revolutionary.

To find out how the TC8000 can help you increase warehouse productivity, read the white paper Addressing Productivity Barriers in the Warehouse. 

Amanda Honig is the Americas Product Marketing Manager for Handheld Enterprise Mobile Computers at Zebra Technologies. Amanda works closely with Zebra’s product development and global marketing teams to introduce new mobile computing solutions to customers across all industries.

Topics: North America, Warehouse Management, TC8000, Warehouse, Productivity