Honeywell Helps Distribution Centers Meet New Challenges

During the health crisis, distribution centers (DCs) and warehouses are keeping the supply chain vibrant and moving for retailers, manufacturers and end users alike. DCs experienced challenges that required them to innovate, adapt and improve operations. Among the many challenges with which DCs are faced include:1

  • Increased eCommerce traffic. DCs are working near or exceeding peak levels of ecommerce orders. They are focused on how to process more packages with the same size or smaller workforce.
  • Rethinking the DC floor and operations. DCs will be modifying workflows and workstations to make sure they align with new safety protocols and enhance employee safety throughout the DC. The key question to keep in mind, is how to make these changes and still maintain the focus on accuracy, speed and productivity. There is a restructuring of how employees move in the DC to adhere to social distancing norms such as in reduced seating in break areas/cafeterias and pattern flows into the common areas of the building. Social distancing protocols are being enforced in traditional warehouse workflows such as inventory counting, order picking and cold storage environments.
  • Fewer workers per shift. Because of the new focus on safety protocols, DCs have transitioned to staggered or split shifts to accommodate these changes. Work team sizes have been reduced to comply with social distancing. With fewer staff on-site, team members need to be cross trained in DC workflows.
  • Improved cleaning procedures. To comply with safety protocols and government guidance, DCs are implementing new procedures that call for cleaning during and between shifts with increased focused on workstations, handrails, desks, equipment, lifts and anything that is frequently touched by workers. Special attention is given to make areas safer and contactless like breakrooms, restrooms and anywhere where workers gather. Some DCs are implementing single-use assignment of mobile devices and lift equipment to specific users per shift or per day to minimize the spread of infection.

These changes are an opportunity for DCs to reevaluate processes and procedures and develop operations that will be able to sustain growth and create safer and healthier workplace. They will require very specific solutions that address cleaning procedures and device chain of custody to maintain their operations and increase productivity.

Honeywell Distribution Center Solutions

Honeywell understands the shifting demands of the DC operation. In response, we have launched a comprehensive effort to quickly develop solutions that address our customer needs with device and software innovation, applying technology advances in new ways and leveraging our global partner network.

These solutions will help to address social distancing and new cleaning procedures, while maintaining a focus on employees’ productivity – without compromising accuracy and speed. Our commitment is to work with you within your DC to help you operate within the ‘new normal’. These solutions include:

Software to Address Health and Safety of the Workforce. Honeywell has expanded the feature set of Operational Intelligence with ability to support the needs of mobile workforce.

Operational Intelligence software is a remote asset management platform that helps DCs keep their mobile-equipped employees productive, while helping them respond to local site health and safety compliance requirements. New health crisis response features give employees control to act quickly, increasing productivity and decreasing device downtime, while reducing frequency of contact or touch. The features include:

  • Social Distancing Proximity Detection allows organizations to prioritize and monitor social distancing practices. The feature monitors the proximity between Honeywell devices and logs alerts, allowing frontline workers to promote social distancing and adhere to safety guidelines.
  • Check Out/In assigns unique devices or assets to a specific user, creating a chain of custody that provides managers device tracing data. This will provide real time visibility to each device’s location throughout the DC, thereby eliminating the additional costs and hassle of ‘devices that go missing’.
  • Device Cleaning Management gives you the ability to set-up configurable cleaning protocols for each asset. Configurations can be per employee on an hourly, daily or in-between shift basis. Each cleaning event will be logged with the user, time and date for reporting. In addition, the feature can also send alerts to clean other assets and areas of the worksite.
  • Remote Control and Remote Wipe give IT administrators the availability to quickly take control of a device in any location to investigate and fix issues remotely and digitally wipe devices to original factory settings, allowing IT professionals to maintain social distances.

Honeywell Smart Talk for DC Communications. Honeywell Smart Talk is a true voice-enabled unified workforce communications application for the DC environment that tackles the problem of fragmented communications. You receive enterprise-grade security for voice calling, text and media messaging, and user presence.  Smart Talk can be added to Honeywell CK65 Mobile Computer Mobile Computer or to most types of mobile devices workers already carry. Device-enabled employees are always connected, without the need for team or huddle meetings, thus helping to maintain social distancing guidelines.

You enable smarter communications for the entire team from a single mobile device. One device to manage and maintain. One device replacing the need to support and buy consumer mobile phones.

Honeywell General-purpose Devices with Disinfectant-ready Housing. Honeywell is introducing a broad range of its most popular scanners, mobile computers, and printers with disinfectant ready housings (DRHs) for general-purpose applications.

This is the same DRHs that Honeywell designed to withstand the regular cleaning protocol required to address the emerging needs of the healthcare industry. Disinfectant-ready housings have been proven to be durable in more than a decade of use in the healthcare industry.

These devices can be used throughout the warehousing, logistics and retail fields with the same ease of use as standard Honeywell products but can promote a healthier work environment for employees and customers.   For more information see: Honeywell Announces Complete Line of General-purpose Devices with Disinfectant-ready Housing

Honeywell CK65 Mobile Computer. The Honeywell CK65 Mobile Computer is designed for heavy workflows in of the DC/Warehouse environment. DCs are looking at ways to utilize these technology solutions to address varying new workflows that have been established. The Honeywell CK65 features the new FlexRange™ imager which combines advanced opto-mechanics with no moving parts. It can scan long ranges from a few inches to 30+ feet (9+ meters) without compromising accuracy or speed while maintaining maximum productivity. The CK65 can withstand 10 foot (3 meter) drops to concrete making it durable even in the toughest and coldest DC environments. This can help improve productivity, decreasing picking time with extended battery life that supports a three-shift cold storage operation on one charge 2.

The CK65 is part of the Honeywell Mobility Edge family of devices that offers an integrated, repeatable, scalable approach to workflow automation that is based on a common hardware and software platform. Designed for Android™, it delivers a unified platform that all software solutions are based on. Businesses can develop and deploy faster while reducing development costs. Honeywell is deeply committed to the longevity and quality of the Mobility Edge platform. Honeywell ruggedized devices on the Android Mobility Edge platform offers the longest lifecycle in the industry with support through seven Android releases. The following products are built on the Mobility Edge platform: Honeywell™ CT40, CT60, CN80, CK65, and Thor™ VM1A, and VM3A.

Manage Honeywell Enterprise Mobility. Honeywell Enterprise Mobility Services offers a comprehensive set of solutions that addresses every phase of the mobility lifecycle – from device selection to security concerns – while enabling your employees to work from any device at anytime, anywhere in the world. The Honeywell Enterprise Mobility Services are designed to improve operational efficiencies within the DC through managing spare pools including the repair and commissioning of devices, improving asset management and providing multi-tier support for the applications within the DC.

Honeywell Edge Services. Honeywell Edge Services provides the DC with a variety of solutions that support your devices throughout the life of your devices. With Honeywell Edge Services, you get a full-service solution or the ability to customize a solution that fits your exact requirements. Our offering also gives you the confidence of having leading-class technologies combined with service and support plans that are designed to keep you operational for longer. In fact, extending device lifecycle from 5 to 7 years reduces the total cost of ownership by over 50% by reducing training, deployment and acquisition costs3.

Honeywell Offers A Full lineup of Distribution Center Solutions. Honeywell’s distribution center solutions are utilized by DCs and warehouse facilities worldwide. Our innovative solutions allow for faster, smarter and more effective work to be done throughout the supply chain and specifically within the DC. The solutions are simple to integrate with existing IT infrastructure, shortening ramp-up times and getting critical technology in place to meet today’s demand. Honeywell offers a full lineup of DC solutions, including mobile computers, printers, scanners and software.

For more information, visit Honeywell Distribution Center Solutions or Contact Honeywell Solutions Experts today! Call 1-800-934-3163.

Top 10 Operational Impacts to Distribution Centers During COVID-19

2 Actual battery life may vary depending on usage and other factors

3 Source: Honeywell Internal Research.


Consult these articles for more information.

  1. DC’s Have A Lot to Consider When Planning their Future
  2. 10 Questions Defining the Various DC Picking Workflows
  3. Faster Picking Through Wearable Scanners
  4. 8 Considerations When Using Rugged Mobile Computers in Cold Environments
  5. Is Your DC Hiding Something? The Cost of Unproductive Time
  6. 19 Reasons Why It Is A Really Bad Idea to Keep Running Legacy OS Ruggedized Devices
  7. 4 Reasons Why Honeywell Mobility Edge Should be Your Android Platform of Choice
  8. 6 Considerations when Replacing Legacy Windows OS Fleets with Ruggedized Android Devices