Productivity improvements average at 15 percent, with higher accuracy rates and approval ratings by users

WESTERVILLE, OHIO - DHL Supply Chain, the Americas’ leader in contract logistics and part of Deutsche Post DHL Group, successfully completed its global augmented reality pilots and is expanding its “Vision Picking” solution in more warehouses around the globe, establishing a new standard in order picking for the industry. The smart glasses provide visual displays of order picking instructions along with information on where items are located and where they need to be placed on a cart, freeing pickers’ hands of paper instructions and allowing them to work more efficiently and comfortably. The international trials have shown an average improvement of productivity by 15 percent and higher accuracy rates. The user-friendly and intuitive solution has also halved onboarding and training times.

“Digitalization is not just a vision or program for us at DHL Supply Chain, it’s a reality for us and our customers, and is adding value to our operations on the ground. Customers have been very happy about the productivity gains and are equally excited about using innovative technology at their warehouses,” says Markus Voss, Chief Information Officer & Chief Operating Officer, DHL Supply Chain.

After having completed a pilot program across the U.S., Mainland Europe and the UK throughout different industries such as technology, retail and consumer, DHL has now established the Vision Picking solution for the long run. The technology has matured to become a standard, replicable solution for customers, allowing faster and easier implementation in their operations, helping them to benefit from productivity gains with increased speed of operations and better picking accuracy.

“As a result of the improved productivity and accuracy in our pilot sites in the U.S., we expect the Vision Picking solution to continue to be rolled out,” says Sally Miller, CIO, DHL Supply Chain North America. “DHL Supply Chain is now also adding new functionality to this augmented reality solution that will further enhance the value to our customers.“

Employees have been enthusiastic about being able to use state-of-the-art technology and are pleased with how light the smart glasses are, and how much more comfortable the process is now with hands-free picking. “We are very satisfied and happy that the pilot phase went so well and that we can now say augmented reality technology is one of our standard offerings at DHL Supply Chain,” Voss adds. “As one of the first logistics companies using the technology, we have truly established a new way of order picking in the industry.”

DHL has been working alongside three partners in the pilot phase. Ubimax provided the augmented reality software xPick, whereas the recently announced Glass Enterprise Edition and Vuzix M100 and M300 glasses were used as hardware. Further proofs of concept running in Asia and Australia with other partners show similar promising benefits. Following the success of its Vision Picking program, DHL is looking into additional applications for augmented and virtual reality such as trainings, maintenance, dimension calculations and more.