The Hidden Productivity Killer

Dropped sessions are a hidden productivity killer, dramatically affecting warehouses and the supply chain sector as a whole.

Warehouse dropped sessions disrupt the workflow of your workers, negatively affect their productivity, and reduce your profitability. Few realize their true cost or that they are preventable, as they are assumed to be a ‘normal’ part of using mobile devices. 

What Are Dropped Sessions?

A dropped session is the term for when connectivity is lost between the worker’s rugged mobile device and the backend warehouse management system (WMS), which causes the worker to lose the workflow task they were engaged in. The worker drops their session, loses their data, and has to start the task again.

If you are using terminal emulation in your warehouse, as over half of warehouses are, then you are almost certainly experiencing dropped sessions. However, you might not be aware of it because your workers are probably blaming these workflow disruptions on the device or the network. It’s also highly likely that your workers will describe dropped sessions in another way. You can see a variety of the terms that workers use to describe this issue in a recent report from StayLinked.
Whatever it is called, another reason you may not be aware of the connectivity issues that affect the productivity of your warehouse is that workers look busy trying to fix them. Dropped sessions are as much of an annoyance to them as they are a profitability killer for you.

Why Should I Care About Dropped Sessions?

Quite simply, dropped sessions cost you money.
Each time a dropped session occurs the warehouse worker has to spend time trying to resolve it – that is time they are not spending on the task they have been assigned. Additionally, the worker often needs to involve additional support to help them resolve it – whether that is from a manager or even a member of the IT team. All of this is increasing the cost to you.
Dropped sessions negatively affect warehouse productivity and profitability.

What is the Cost of this Hidden Productivity Killer?

An average warehouse can lose as much as $400,000 per year because of dropped sessions. This equates to around $3.2bn across the industry as a whole.
These figures come from a recent report that we published (which you can download here), following a first-of-its-kind survey with warehouse workers to understand the causes of warehouse disruptions and how they affect the productivity on the warehouse floor.
Workers revealed that their rugged mobile devices experience dropped sessions nearly every shift – 84% said they experienced a dropped session at least once per shift; over 30% said they experienced one at least every hour. And they told us how much time it takes to resolve – an average warehouse worker spends 50 minutes per day resolving them.
With that much time spent on this hidden issue, you can see how the costs in terms of lost productivity can quickly add up and how it could be costing you $400,000 per year without you even knowing.

What Can I Do to Solve Dropped Sessions?

The first thing you need to do is recognize that this is an issue. If your warehouse is using terminal emulation, then it is likely that it is.
The second thing is to identify the root cause of the issue. It’s not the modern warehouse device that your workers are using; it’s not the network; it’s certainly not the workers themselves. The cause is the software you are using to connect those devices to the WMS.
You need to deploy software that is designed to maintain session persistence – to keep sessions connected and not to drop them. Read more on Session Persistence and how it can help your warehouse.
And if you want to understand the true cost of dropped sessions in more detail, to understand what warehouse workers are saying about how the issue affects them, and how this can affect the profitability of your warehouse, then download our report “Dropped Sessions – The Hidden Productivity Killer.”