GEFCO and ArtiShock launch augmented reality application to boost supply chain productivity

22 October 2019

GEFCO, a world leader in complex supply-chain solutions, has partnered with ArtiShock to develop an innovative new augmented reality (AR) application.

Referred to as “GEFCO Enterprise AR”, the new solution will be used by GEFCO’s Freight division to increase quality control and boost productivity in the cold chain packing process where accuracy and efficiency is of the upmost importance. 

GEFCO Enterprise AR is utilized through the Microsoft HoloLens headset and enables GEFCO warehouse employees to interact with spatial digital information, such as user manuals and work protocols. The application is custom-designed to enhance quality control and save vital time in the packaging process, particularly for critical medicines. 

The application was developed in less than a year with long-term partner ArtiShock, a full-service Augmented Reality company based in the Netherlands and led on GEFCO’s side by Omar van Geest, Logistics Development Director. The idea originated in GEFCO’s Innovation Factory, the logistics provider’s internal incubator that identifies and facilitates innovative ideas that can be turned into solutions to support business growth.

GEFCO Enterprise AR has already seen a successful pilot at GEFCO’s Schiphol warehouse, with some scenarios resulting in a productivity increase of 50% and delivering a number of indirect benefits including a reduction in training time for employees. 

Following the pilot ‘Proof of Concept’ phase, GEFCO intends to roll the solution out to its global network and business lines to further explore additional uses for the technology to support efficiency and quality for its customers across all industries and particularly for automotive clients.

Karin van den Brekel, Global Lead Life Sciences & Healthcare, GEFCO, said: “The packaging process is absolutely vital for GEFCO‘s Freight division, especially for the critical medicines that we distribute all over the world on behalf of our customers by air. This requires special packaging with instructions that must be followed stringently to ensure product integrity is maintained. 

“GEFCO Enterprise AR will be instrumental to increase productivity for this process, minimise errors and enhance our training processes. We look forward to exploring future use cases for the product and continuing our strong relationship with Artishock.”

Cristian Vorstius Kruijff, CEO, ArtiShock: “Augmented Reality revolutionizes how we relate to our environment and the way we shape our professional lives. The importance of spatial computing can be compared to the rise of the smartphone, it will gradually enter everyone’s lives and become a commodity within 5 to 10 years. Until then, organizations have the choice to unlock its potential and stay ahead of the game.

“This project with our partner GEFCO demonstrates how realistic it is to expect and actually accomplish a positive ROI when investing in Augmented Reality. The financial benefits can be direct and easy to compute like an increase of productivity and improving quality. Indirectly there are benefits such as increasing employee satisfaction and the ability to quickly train skills with new recruits.”