Our AR Future – Augmented Reality Examples in Procurement

Our AR Future – Augmented Reality Examples in Procurement

Imagine a world where reality was augmented. Innovative technology would offer an increasingly informed layer of digital data overlaid on the physical world around us. It might sound like science fiction, but it’s the reality of our business landscape today.

Pokemon Go might have been leading the most recent charge of augmented reality(AR) in popular culture, but the benefits of AR go far beyond a little monster hunting. Projections by Orbis Research suggest the global augmented reality market will be worth US$165.32 billion by 2022.

Global Augmented Reality Market

2016 – US$5.24 billion
2022 – US$165.32 billion

Augmented reality might be a technology that seems like the future, but important areas of operations both in and around the procurement industry are already racing to embrace the opportunity today.

Augmented Supply Chains

How do you know that the item being delivered to your business is the key item your procurement team hoped to secure? In most cases we rely on our trust in our suppliers, and the packaging notes and bar codes which come with those goods. But this system often only provides a static view of a situation. At the same time checking important delivery notes can be time consuming, and tracking the wider supply chain isn’t always without flaws.

Augmented reality technology offers up the potential to integrate quick, simple AR procurement checking using smart glasses or mobile and tablet technology. Sensors in software can read transmitters within the packaging, helping you track and assess the progress of your orders. Once those orders arrive, overlaid AR technology can give you an easily assessed visual representation and data-driven understanding of your packages. Not only does this help save time, it contributes to a reduction in human error within your procurement function.

Augmented Warehouses

The key to a smoothly operating warehouse is data-driven efficiency. It’s all about knowing what you need, where it is, and the quickest way to retrieve that item. Now imagine a world where augmented glasses or smart integrated technology adds a digital layer of insight to drive that understanding.

This functionality is particularly helpful in large warehouses where significant seasonal worker turnover impacts key procurement needs. AR helps vastly speed up on-boarding of new staff, creating a more informed worker who is better able to meet crucial business demands. Logistics firm DHL piloted this technology in a U.S. warehouse and found AR software could help reduce picking time of items by up to 25%

Augmented Manufacturing

Procurement isn’t just about acquiring products, it’s about integrating supply chains with manufacturing and production to ensure smooth business operations. In an industry with as complex a supply chain as aviation that requires comprehensive strategic oversight and skill. Augmented reality technologies can not only help reduce turnaround on the side of logistics, but also identify and provide strategic insight on errors in manufacturing that feed back into essential procurement operations.

Airbus’ MiRA augmented reality system has helped the aviation giant radically cut down inspection time of critical parts from 3 weeks to 3 days, and reduced late-detection of non-compliant parts by 40%. This offers a much more efficient window of operations to ensure appropriate procurement of replacement parts and components where needed.

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