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MICA: A mobile support system for warehouse workers

: Prause, C.R.; Jentsch, M.; Eisenhauer, M.


Hu, W.C.:
Mobile and handheld computing solutions for organizations and end-users
Hershey: Information Science Reference, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4666-2786-4
ISBN: 1-4666-2785-9
ISBN: 978-1-4666-2785-7
ISBN: 978-1-4666-2787-1
Aufsatz in Buch
Fraunhofer FIT ()

Thousands of small and medium-sized companies world-wide have non-automated warehouses. Picking orders are manually processed by blue-collar workers; however, this process is highly error-prone. There are various kinds of picking errors that can occur, which cause immense costs and aggravate customers. Even experienced workers are not immune to this problem. In turn, this puts a high pressure on the warehouse personnel. In this paper, the authors present a mobile assistance system for warehouse workers that realize the new Interaction-by-Doing principle. MICA unobtrusively navigates the worker through the warehouse and effectively prevents picking errors using RFID. In a pilot project at a medium-sized enterprise the authors evaluate the usability, efficiency, and sales potential of MICA. Findings show that MICA effectively reduces picking times and error rates. Consequentially, job training periods are shortened, while at the same time pressure put on the individual wo rker is reduced. This leads to lower costs for warehouse operators and an increased customer satisfaction.