Scanning Solutions Play a Major Role in Boosting DC Worker Productivity

Scanning Solutions Play a Major Role in Boosting DC Worker Productivity

Honeywell’s passion for productivity improvements drives our deep knowledge of distribution centers, and ensures that we’re focused on the issues that make a real difference to your business: Discovering new ways to achieve operational efficiency and productivity, while also driving down labor costs.

Honeywell research reveals that the average amount of unproductive time per 8-hour work shift can exceed 22 minutes. And, with approximately 134 mis-picks happening every week, the average company is losing over $459K per year.

When it comes to quantifying the value that gaining back mere seconds on unproductive workflows presents to overall efficiency, a DC with a minimum of 50 workers is losing close to 3,000 hours a year in productivity.

Honeywell has made a big difference for supply chain leaders around the globe – enhancing safety and productivity for over 500 million workers annually. Our data capture and workflow solutions have shaved over 6 hours off dock-to-stock times, leading to over $20 billion in savings for our customers.

Solutions for the DC Worker

Honeywell gives you technology that easily connects your people, assets, and processes to drive greater productivity, agility, and efficiency throughout your supply chain and DC.


The receiving process is arguably the most important process in the DC: All downstream workflows depend on the accuracies and efficiencies achieved during receiving. Accurate data entry at this phase is critical for preventing costly cascading errors. Honeywell helps make receiving both rapid and extremely accurate with scanning that ensures accurate first-time barcode reads, even for codes that are damaged or difficult to read. Likewise, Honeywell mobile printing enables workers to correctly label products and pallets without wasting time walking to and from printer stations. These types of optimizations ensure immediate action and accurate data from the start, safeguarding your downstream workflows as well as driving quality control and vendor compliance.


Picking is by far the most labor-intensive process in the DC and also the most error prone – which makes it an ideal workflow for operational improvements. As enterprises adopt multi-channel fulfillment practices, picking operations need the flexibility to both ship pallets to a retail store and ship individual items directly to a consumer’s doorstep. For fast-moving pallet picking, our industry-leading vehicle-mounted computers paired with our near/far imaging industrial scanners eliminate the root causes of inefficiency with large screens, powerful processors, and numerous industry-first innovations devised specifically for the DC. Likewise, for rapid case picking and/or piece picking, Honeywell technologies seamlessly incorporate Honeywell Voice Solutions, which are proven to dramatically improve productivity with unbeatable hands-free, eyes-free speed and accuracy.

Put-Away and Replenishment

A DC pallet's initial location influences all the processes that follow. A Warehouse Management System’s (WMS) algorithms for put-away and replenishment can only ensure location accuracy if the operator has the tools to accurately confirm the transaction by rapidly scanning a location label or speaking a check digit for the rack or floor location. Honeywell technology is specifically designed to drive speed and accuracy in this process with features such as aggressive scanning performance at virtually any distance and fully mappable device keypads. Even when a transaction requires an operator to change forklifts, Honeywell vehicle-mounted computers can be hot-swapped alongside the worker, ensuring that every second counts. Likewise, Honeywell Voice Solutions accelerate performance with unmatched speech recognition accuracy in noisy environments.

Inventory Control

Inventory-control practices throughout the distribution center are vital to the accuracy of overall inventory, which is monitored closely by auditors. By using mobile computers and/or Honeywell Voice Solutions to access inventory systems and perform counts, workers can conduct inventory in real-time, eliminating the notoriously costly efforts and errors of periodic manual counts that are conducted via time-consuming paper and data-entry processes.

Packing and Shipping

Packing stations and pallet-build areas require speed and precision to complete and ship orders. Desk space must be optimized, and scanning technology must be responsive, accurate, and ergonomic so that workers see these tools as essential, and not a hindrance to the process. Thanks to many years of experience in DC deployments, Honeywell scanning and printing solutions for the DC are proven to meet and exceed all these requirements, driving superb user acceptance and performance. Furthermore, Honeywell Voice Solutions enable workers to operate both hands-free and eyes-free, ensuring that associated tasks such as relabeling, repacking, and taping are completed more quickly and intuitively than with any other technology option.

Looking Closer at Honeywell Scanning Solutions

Let’s take a closer look at the scanning solutions that form the foundation of boosting worker productivity.

Honeywell scanners provide superior durability and reliability, with water- and dust-proof housings and rubberized to reduce damage from falls. Choose from laser, linear image, and area image industrial scanners for fast and accurate scanning, the first time and every time. Some of our scanning options include:

  • Granit™ 1910i (wired) and 1911i (wireless) area-imaging scanners are for businesses where arm's length 1D and 2D barcode scanning in harsh, unpredictable environments is the norm. And Granit scanners work seamlessly with Honeywell's industry-leading vehicle-mounted computers as part of a complete workflow solution.
    • Scan 1D and 2D barcodes out to 75 cm (29.5 in).
    • Bluetooth® Class 1 (version 2.1) radio in the Granit 1911i gives you wireless connectivity and unrestricted movement up to 100 m (300 ft) from the base.
    • Best-in-class durability with IP65-rated housing maximizes operator productivity in the harshest of environments and lowers overall cost of ownership. Built to survive 5,000 tumbles from 1 m (3.3 ft) and 50 drops to concrete from 2 m (6.5 ft) – even at temperatures as low as -30°C (-22°F).
    • Super bright LEDs, enhanced beeper volume, and vibrating tactile response counter loud machinery and poor lighting conditions, ensuring rapid feedback and eliminating redundant scanning.
  • Granit 1980i (wired) and 1981i (wireless) full-range area-imagers are capable of reading both 1D and 2D barcodes across a wide range of distances. From poor-quality 2 mil codes scanned at close range to 100 mil codes hanging from warehouse rafters scanned at ranges of 16 m (52 ft), the Granit series is built to perform.

    With an unmatched range and the option of wireless freedom, Granit 1980i and 1981i scanners maximize operator productivity in the harshest environments. They are packed with technologies that make them simple to use – like an integrated laser pointer aiming system with auto-illumination, omni-directional reading capability, and support for centering to take the guesswork out of scanning at extended ranges.

    Like the entire Granit series, the 1980i and 1981i scanners deliver best-in-class durability with an IP65-rated housing. In harsh distribution center and warehouse environments, these scanners maximize your team’s productivity and lower total cost of ownership.

  • The Honeywell 8680i wearable mini mobile computer is a compact, high-performance, hands-free cordless scanner designed to help businesses improve workflow efficiency with every scanning transaction, reducing operational slowdown and support costs, and improving productivity.

    Available in a Standard model for simple Bluetooth-paired data collection or an Advanced model for standalone operation in directed workflows, the 8680i wearable mini mobile can add efficiency and effectiveness to the most common tasks.

    The Standard version offers lightweight, ergonomic Bluetooth-wearable scanning with clear communication of wireless connection, battery status, and scan results. With Wi-Fi, a customizable user-facing display, and a two-button interface, the Advanced model enables streamlined workflows with a single device vs. a scanner and mobile computer combination. Key information can be presented to the worker on the display to enable task-specific responses (for example, confirm action completion or mark an exception).

    Flexible configuration options can be tailored to the work environment with a choice of a two-finger ring or a glove option, and slim or extended batteries to suit duty cycle, shift length, and size/weight priorities.

Combining Scanning with Other Honeywell Solutions

DCs around the world complete their Honeywell scanners with best-in-class solutions that include:

Voice Solutions
Honeywell Voice Solutions are innovative workflow performance technologies designed for the warehouse and DC. Honeywell gives you best-in-class voice-enabled workflow processes and streamlines your mobile workforce. The result? Higher levels of operating efficiency, helping you run a better business with voice.

Handheld and Vehicle-Mounted Computing
Built ultra-rugged for the DC environment, with industry-leading drop and tumble specs and cold storage environment options. With full touch and keypad form factors and near/far range scanning based on your application needs.

Fixed and Mobile Printing and Media
From desktop to industrial to mobile, the clear choice for a wide variety of labeling applications in the DC and in the field.

Workflow Software Solutions
We also feature a broad portfolio of workflow software solutions designed to automate critical DC processes. For example, our directed-work solutions are proven across thousands of customer deployments worldwide to increase worker productivity and reduce errors – with up to a 35% increase in worker productivity and over 99% improvements in task accuracy.

Honeywell Intelligrated
Honeywell Intelligrated provides intelligent material handling solutions that drive fulfillment productivity for logistics providers around the world. These connected solutions increase reliability, improve utilization, and maximize productivity, today and in the future.

Get the Job Done with Visibility, Accuracy, and Efficiency

Honeywell Supply Chain solutions help you know and drive your supply chain to optimal scalability, sustainability, and performance. They give you data-driven insights on inventory management, worker efficiency, and risk and loss control to grow your supply chain as well as optimize its size and profitability. Customers using these solutions have experienced:



  • 60% reduction in days of inventory supply
  • 99+% on-shelf compliance (vs. 96% industry average)
  • Improved inventory accuracy to >90%


  • Up to 30% increase in labor productivity
  • Up to 80% reduction in training time
  • Up to 90% reduction in errors

Loss and Risk

  • 50% reduction in waste due to freight losses
  • 75% decrease in claims processing effort
  • 40% faster turnaround of vehicles in maintenance
  • 10% decrease in deadhead hauls

Honeywell solutions deliver real-time contextual information to help your workers make faster and better decisions – benefiting your bottom line. Your workers will have actionable insights to increase their throughput, productivity, and safety. Customers using these solutions have experienced:


  • 25% reduction in compliance costs
  • Increased use of proper personal protective equipment
  • Better protection of workers when incidents do occur


  • 30% improvement in data capture speed
  • 40% reduction in error rate
  • Less paperwork for more task-focused work

Safety Costs

  • 40% reduction in lone worker incidents
  • $1 to $3 million avoidance of per-site costs from fewer incidents and fines

Honeywell Barcode Scanners and Scanning Systems

At Honeywell, make barcode scanning easy. That’s why Honeywell barcode readers are plug and play with industry-leading scan performance, making even the most difficult-to-read barcodes look good.

From retail checkout to hospital patient care to warehouse supply chains and manufacturing, Honeywell barcode scanners are purpose-built for the demands of your business. Learn More.

Barry J. Ewell

Barry J. Ewell is a Senior Content Marketing Communications Specialist for Honeywell Industrial Automation. He has been researching and writing on supply chain topics since 1991.