How can AR glasses like the Google Glasses facilitate the job of our employees? That's also what they were wondering at VWR, a Leuven-based distributor of lab material. And so the company took the test and started working together with the German supplier Picavi using the Google glasses.

VWR International is part of Avantor and supplies products to laboratory and production customers, including the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors, in over thirty countries. “Goods that enter our warehouse must end up in the right bin, in the right cage, and in the right row,” explains process engineer Diet Uytterhoeven. “Our employees used to use hand scanners. But these smart glasses make the whole process a lot faster and easier,” explains Diet.

“The warehouse workers now have both hands free and they don't have to remember anything either. They 'see' in their glasses, as it were, where the product needs to go and they are warned if they make a mistake. The glasses are also used in the other direction when we have to pick orders from the warehouse to send out goods. That's why the entire glasses system is also connected to our internal SAP system, so that the glasses always 'know' where a particular item is located.”

no more expensive than manual scanning

It brings us to the question of whether the employees all praise the glasses. “Most employees were immediately appreciative of the glasses,” says Diet. We also had feedback that the device is very comfortable and that it works very efficiently.” An important question remains unanswered: what do these glasses actually cost? “The price per piece is as approximately what we used to pay for a good handheld scanner. And this system works much smoother and faster. We're already very pleased with it. We can now do better with the same number of people: the number of employees remains the same, but the quality of delivery to customers is much better.”

niet duurder dan manueel scannen

Het brengt ons bij de vraag of de medewerkers ook allemaal lovend zijn over de bril. “De meeste medewerkers waren meteen lovend over de bril”, zegt Diet. We kregen ook de feedback dat het apparaatje heel comfortabel zit en dat het heel efficiënt werkt.” Blijft nog een belangrijke vraag onbeantwoord: wat kost zo'n bril eigenlijk? “De prijs per stuk is ongeveer evenveel als wat we vroeger voor een goede handscanner betaalden. En dit systeem werkt veel vlotter en sneller. Wij zijn er alvast heel tevreden over. We kunnen nu beter doen met evenveel mensen: het aantal werknemers blijft hetzelfde, maar de kwaliteit van de levering naar de klanten is wel veel beter.”