Active Ants has recently started using Google Glass to efficiently pick orders for online stores. It has developed a specific order picking App for Google Glass. Initial test results show that order picking is 15% faster with Google Glass, with 12% less errors.
Active Ants is an e-fulfilment company based in Lopik, The Netherlands, which works for more than 50 different online stores, such as Freshcotton.nl, Girav.nl, Planetxl.nl, Supersmart.com and Vpro.nl.
The company, which prides itself on its innovative approach, has pioneered a new application created for Google Glass to optimise the e-fulfilment process. Active Ants believes it is probably the only company in the world currently using Google Glass to pick orders in a logistics environment.
Traditionally, the pickers at Active Ants would walk around with pick lists specifying products, locations and quantities. This information is now displayed on Google Glass. The first benefit here is that both the picker’s hands are now free to access products in the shelves.
The second benefit is the step towards a paperless world. Lists no longer need to be printed, signed and bound. The third and probably the biggest advantage is the time saved by sending orders directly to the Google Glass, without first printing, signing and binding them.
The fourth benefit is error reduction. Since the orders appear one by one on the Glass, orders cannot be mixed or forgotten. The traditional paper pick list contains a long list of all orders, which increases the chance of mixing up or missing orders.
Jean Lahaye, managing partner at Active Ants, responsible for optimising business processes, said the first time he tested Google Glass, he immediately knew it was the right tool for order picking.
“I started rethinking our current order picking processes right away, with the power of Google Glass at the back of my mind. We now have a first working version that's running very well, but much more is possible. We are yet to make use of product images for efficient product recognition and error reduction. This will certainly be taken up in version 2.0.”
Active Ants had internally developed all intelligence for process flows in the Google Glass application, but did not have its own programming expertise. Here, Active Ants worked together with Raimo van der Klein from the company Glasseffect.
“The idea came up at the end of January 2014; mid-April we were cooperating with Glasseffect and the first test results came through,” said Lahaye.