Bringing warehousing into the 21st Century without lock and key

Bringing warehousing into the 21st Century without lock and key

If you stop and think about it, most lockers you see when you are out and about are pretty archaic. Clunky old metal boxes that are locked and unlocked with a key, nothing more, nothing less. So it makes complete sense that lockers have become the next item to become smart – and with eLocker they’re not just smart – they’re really smart.

One area where eLocker has brought company processes on leaps and bounds is in warehousing. Device management in warehousing to be precise. Let’s explore first of all how device management takes place in warehouses – without eLocker.

Old style lockers: under lock and key
Staff walk into the warehouse and begin to line up to collect their handheld devices. These are usually all locked up with a key – often in a cage. The queue takes a while to get through and the time that could have been spent working has just been wasted waiting to collect a device. That’s if the device is there at all! Some devices get left on pallets that get taken elsewhere or staff keep or hide their preferred devices so they can use them the next day. Handheld assets could be all over the place! And if that’s the case, they’ll be lost forever (worst case scenario) or just end up with a flat battery (best case scenario). Handing in devices at the end of the day is also a time-consuming process. More queueing and locking up devices – only to go through the same thing – day in, day out. One well-known luxury online department store was spending 1.5 days a week searching for devices – yes 1.5 days per week.

Bringing warehousing up-to-speed
With the introduction of machine learning, Big Data, analytics, AI, sensors and 3D printing – and more innovations to drive greater efficiencies in warehousing – it was only a matter of time before the humble locker received a technological overhaul too. The understated locker has a lot more to give than just being a tin can where you can store your belongings. eLocker explored the possibilities of a standard locker in warehousing, and in doing so, has created a solution that overcomes time-consuming processes, ensures workforce devices are never lost or stolen, and that they are always fully charged. That’s not all…

eLocker: the top three benefits
By partnering with Zebra Technologies, eLocker is able to bring you the following benefits for warehouse environments.

  • Insights
    Using Zebra Savanna Data Services, eLocker can show you everything you need to know about your warehouse devices: from where they are, to who used them last, to how charged up they are – ensuring business continuity and increased productivity – alongside total visibility of your estate of devices.
  • Accountability
    See who checked out a device, how long they used it for and when/if they checked it back in. Give staff a four hour grace period before you track them down! Ensure no staff member can take out more than one device at a time and hold workers accountable for the devices they are using.
  • Security
    Picture a well-known supermarket retailer – using 35,000 lockers (and 61,000 keys) and consider just how unsafe this was! Not to mention that physical locker keys are very easy to copy. Now picture eLocker: totally keyless, wireless, and effortless. Staff working at this supermarket retailer now use assigned access cards to collect assets with ease. They simply touch their card against a locker and collect the asset. To return the asset they simply touch the RFID tag on the lock and the user card. The whole process takes seconds. It’s all totally secure – and totally trackable.

With eLocker, there’s no collection kiosk or cage, and no associated queues. There’s no need to go searching for workplace devices that have gone astray for hours on end, and there’s no need for any devices to run out of battery. eLocker makes light work of warehouse device management for the 21st Century – reducing bottlenecks and increasing productivity, every day. Plus, if you need support for a business case to move forward with eLocker, just let us know. We work closely with our clients to put business cases together, along with all the statistics and evidence you need to get eLockers (and bespoke eLocker solutions) installed in your workplace.

Posted on April 23, 2020 
by eLocker

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