Dropped sessions emerge as major hidden productivity killer in warehouses - CILT(UK)
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Dropped sessions emerge as major hidden productivity killer in warehouses

12 June 2024/Categories: Industry News, Freight Forwarding, Logistics & Supply Chain, Operations Management


A new research report has exposed the significant impact that dropped sessions are having on productivity and costs in warehouse operations.

Dropped sessions occur when the connection is lost between a worker's mobile device and the warehouse management system (WMS).

The report by StayLinked, titled 'Dropped Sessions - The Hidden Productivity Killer', reveals over 30% of warehouse workers experience at least one dropped session per hour.

Each incurs an average of 50 minutes of lost productivity daily resolving these connectivity issues.

With the average cost per dropped session standing at £13.02 per worker, the toll soon racks up.

For a warehouse employing 50 workers, dropped sessions equate to £650.91 in lost productivity every day - a staggering £162,727.61 annually.

Justin Griffith, StayLinked's Chief Technology Officer, stated: "Dropped sessions cost warehouses significant amounts in lost profitability.

“That’s what this report, which is the first look at the impact of dropped sessions from a warehouse worker’s perspective, tells the market.”

“It also reveals that warehouse operations managers are not fully aware that dropped sessions are a single identifiable problem that is impacting efficiency, driving up hidden costs, and eating away at the bottom line, he added”

The impact goes beyond just productivity losses. When connections drop, workers often lose workflow task data and have to re-login and restart, risking missed service level agreements and financial penalties.

These hidden costs around dropped sessions don’t just affect warehouse workers. For example, StayLinked’s report reveals that 33% of warehouse workers said they need to enlist the help of costly and valuable IT support to regain connectivity.

“Warehouse managers may have overlooked dropped sessions as being a prolific productivity killer because ‘dropped sessions’ is not a term used by warehouse workers when experiencing connection issues,” continued Griffith. “Workers refer to program crash, black screen, system crash, power failure, glitch, mobile device outage, and many other descriptions, which makes it challenging for warehouse managers to identify dropped sessions as being the major cause of workflow disruptions.”

Worryingly, the report found warehouse managers and workers alike view dropped sessions as inevitable issues that 'just happen' with terminal emulation software used in over half of warehouses globally.

According to the report 47% of respondents even believed drops were caused by mobile device hardware itself.

"Dropped sessions shouldn't be a regular daily disruption. They are not caused by hardware but can be resolved through the right terminal emulation software that enables persistent sessions residing on a server, not the mobile device," explained Griffith.

He concluded: "The average 50-worker warehouse could boost profits by over £160,000 by eliminating these drops. Across the entire industry, a staggering £700 million could potentially be saved."

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