Industry: Small Parts Inventory
Challenges: No way to do annual Inventory Audits during pandemic, nor simple maintenance on essential equipment
Solution: Hands-free Remote Assist solution from E2 Solutions
Equipment: E2 Vision Smart Glasses with Remote Desktop software
Are You Seeing What I’m Seeing?
How to get your Subject Matter Expert On-Site Without Buying a Plane Ticket
Challenge: Perform Inventory Audits with No Auditor Present
Our client, LeMans Corporation, is the world’s largest distributor of aftermarket products and accessories in the powersports industry. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, auditors would travel to each of their facilities across the nation performing cycle counts—an auditing process that involves selecting random boxes and observing as an employee does a count of those items.
“Typically, we had three auditors come into the building,” says Gary McManus, LeMans Director of Operations for Warehousing. “We would pair up those three auditors with our warehouse staff. The auditors would provide us with a list of part numbers they wanted to see cycle counted and we would proceed to count those individual areas.”
During these audits, safety was always our highest concern – especially since the counting needed to be performed on an order picker.
“Sometimes the counting would take place on the floor, but it’s just as likely we’d have to hike the auditor up 20 feet in the air with an order picker,” says McManus. “We’d have to belt the auditor up and put him on a product picker, move him to the right location, then hoist him up so he can monitor the counting of those items.”
There was also equipment maintenance that had to be done on equipment and normally there is one person who travels from facility to facility when needed.
Now, with new travel restrictions, social distancing and other safety and health concerns, this is no longer feasible. Looking for a new, safer solution for their auditing process, LeMans turned to E2 Solutions.
Solution: E2 Solutions Augmented Reality Glasses
Utilizing an existing remote desktop platform, E2 Solutions provided McManus and the team at LeMans with several pairs of their Vision Smart Glasses.
Pairing E2 Vision with Remote Desktop software allowed their warehouse employees to send live, hands-free video back to LeMans HQ where auditors could observe product counts from the safety and comfort of their own offices.
Subject Matter Expert’s Time Maximized
“The device itself is quite simple,” says E2 Solutions CEO Erik Easton. “You wear the device like a pair of glasses. One side of the frame is the technology with a viewfinder, the other side is the battery. The viewfinder is positioned in front of the user’s eye. What the user sees is very similar to your smart phone, only the best part is your hands are free! Thus way more effective and efficient. On the receiving end, the subject matter expert (SME) can annotate using an arrow or virtual pen to educate or instruct. If they’re looking at a motor, the expert can circle the wire and say, ‘grab that one,’ then virtually watch the user grab it, and walk them through making adjustments by using audio and visuals. It’s basically like the SME is right there looking over their shoulder, watching what they’re doing, guiding them through the process.”
Travel Cost Eliminated
With E2’s Vision Smart Glasses, the cost of traveling from location to location was eliminated.
“I can safely say that the glasses have already paid for themselves,” said McManus. “The expense of the glasses is insignificant compared to travel cost and wasted time. And we no longer deal with the additional safety risk of hoisting auditors 20 feet in the air. Now they’re front and center with the Remote Assist feature.”
In addition to the added savings of reduced travel time and labor costs, the simplicity of the E2 Vision Smart Glasses makes implementation a breeze.
“The glasses are so stinkin’ easy to operate,” says McManus. “You just put them on your face and turn them on. The training was more for the individual on the receiving end. I was going to create a sheet of standard operating procedures but decided not to bother with it. They’re that easy to use.”
The Result: Increased Savings, Increased Productivity, Endless Possibilities
The travel and time savings for LeMans Corporation were immediate and clear—but in solving their auditing challenge, they’ve learned that it was just the tip of the iceberg for what the E2 Solutions Vision Smart Glasses can, and likely will, do for them in the future.
With this new technology, they can have top-level engineers quickly assess problems and provide virtual step-by-step assistance with repairs, from hundreds of miles away, without impeding a local warehouse engineer’s ability to work. It’s a hands-free, lightning fast, simple solution to a wide variety of potential issues.
“I think we’re just scratching the surface of what we can do with these glasses,” says McManus. “We can use them for any type of inspection period, if we have a problem with a vendor shipment, if we have an HVAC type of scenario, a networking issue… whoever the expert is, they don’t have to go on-site anymore.”
The key idea is that with E2 Solution’s Vision Smart Glasses, a warehouse can get up and running sooner rather than later. When you consider the time and cost involved in flying or driving an expert in, assessing the issues, then making repairs, your workflow may have been interrupted for days, resulting in massive loss of profit. Considering the versatility of E2 Solution’s Vision Smart Glasses, the savings for your business could be extraordinary.
“The whole thing is about speed,” says McManus. “If I’m down, I’m losing money immediately. When a control panel goes down, the loss number is big and has a lot of zeroes after it. The quicker we can get back up, the better we’re going to be. And now, instead of somebody having to hop on a plane to go out and resolve the issue, we’re able to troubleshoot issues through the glasses. Really the savings are ongoing with the versatility of the Smart Glasses and Remote Assist.”
To learn more about E2 Solution’s Smart Vision Glasses or other ways to Future Proof Your Supply Chain™, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or call E2 Solutions at 612-225-1961.