Enhancing Warehouse Efficiency: The High Cost of Dropped Sessions

People walking through a warehouse.

A recent report highlights the significant financial impact of dropped sessions in warehouse operations, revealing an annual loss of over £160,000 for the average facility due to connectivity issues.

The Price of Connectivity Issues

A new study has brought to light the costly repercussions of dropped sessions in warehouses, where interruptions in the connection between mobile devices and the Warehouse Management System (WMS) lead to substantial productivity losses. The report, commissioned by StayLinked and conducted by The Essential Agency, surveyed warehouse personnel across the US, Canada, and the UK in March 2024. Findings indicate that more than 30% of warehouse workers face dropped sessions at least once per hour, resulting in an average of 50 minutes of lost productivity daily.

Calculating the Cost

The financial toll of these disruptions is not trivial. With an average daily cost of £13.02 per worker, a warehouse employing 50 workers could incur daily losses of £650.91, amounting to an annual deficit of £162,727.61. StayLinked’s Chief Technology Officer, Justin Griffith, suggests that eliminating dropped sessions industry-wide could save a staggering £700 million.

Underlying Issues and Industry Impact

Griffith points out the widespread reliance on terminal emulation within the industry, with a significant percentage of warehouse workers using this technology. The study reveals that dropped sessions are a frequent occurrence, often attributed to hardware issues by the workers themselves. Nearly half of the surveyed workers blame their mobile devices for productivity losses, while some perceive management to view the problem as a minor inconvenience.

Awareness and Morale

The report underscores a lack of awareness regarding the true causes and effects of dropped sessions. This misconception extends to management strategies, where nearly a quarter of workers believe that a tech refresh is the preferred solution. The frustration stemming from these connectivity issues not only affects productivity but also staff morale, potentially exacerbating employee retention challenges in the logistics sector.

Technological Challenges in Logistics

Dropped sessions can lead to data loss and have a tangible impact on business operations. The issue is particularly acute in remote logistics environments like ports and container ships, where maintaining stable connectivity is inherently challenging. The report emphasizes the need for increased awareness and technological solutions to mitigate the high costs associated with dropped sessions in warehouse operations.