Data Insights from Wearable Devices

Posted on: August 8, 2018

We are experiencing an explosion of data being created from internet-connected devices. Wearable devices are starting to gain a foothold in the market, and they can provide new insights into how work is being performed in the warehouse, manufacturing plant, or out on the road.

Although wearable data by itself can provide useful information, its value increases exponentially when combined with other disparate data sources. As an example, wearable data might indicate that an employee walked 20,000 feet that day, or did 52 deep knee bends and 37 overhead lifts, but when combined with other data sources like WMS scans, it can provide insight into which processes and which customers those actions applied to.

One new technology that we are excited about is a wearable belt from Modjoul. Their sensors capture data on walking, bending, twisting, sitting, exertion, etc. While their focus is primarily on reducing injuries, we see tremendous value from combining their data with information on time clock hours, WMS scans, and Job Code entries.

A few examples of how these combined datasets can provide managers with a new level of insight are:

  • Picking for Customer A requires 40% more deep knee bends than the average customer.
  • The cost of Picking for Customer C is 22% higher per carton, primarily because this customer averages 250 feet of walking per carton versus 180 feet on average.
  • John Smith is only averaging 83% of the labor standard when Case Picking, but his exertion level (Metabolic Equivalent) is already at the upper end of the desirable range. Therefore, his supervisor should focus training on efficient work processes and not on the need to increase work effort.
  • While Susan Smith is achieving the labor standard when Putting Away pallets, her impacts, hard starts, and hard acceleration while performing that process needs to be addressed.

The combination of data from multiple systems provides the insight needed to overcome the biggest pushback most managers have about using analytics from a single system, whether it be Time Clocks, Warehouse Management Systems, Telematics or Wearables – “How can I easily make fair and accurate management decisions based on the data?” Easy Metrics has the unique ability to combine these different systems together to provide managers with consistent visibility into employee performance and the information they need to make data-driven decisions on process optimization and profitability.

We are excited about the new insights that data from wearable technologies will be able to provide to forward-thinking managers in the Distribution, Manufacturing and Transportation industries.

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