Understandable work instructions create routine work in warehouse logistics – or so the theory goes. In practice, however, this often looks different: Work orders are communicated on the fly or via routing slips. In this case, the actual understanding of the employee is often questionable. But how can language barriers and tight time management in the warehouse be efficiently countered to still ensure a good briefing? The answer: visual work instructions.

Step by step, the user can follow work instructions – at the same time, key personnel is relieved.
Product and Equipment News | October 15th 2021 | 27
How to create clear work instructions with Visual Work Instructions

In practice, communicating work assignments in warehouse logistics is not as simple as it sounds in theory: warehouse managers often simply do not get around to communicating the tasks calmly in the stressful daily routine. Another problem is often the language barrier: A short briefing on a work process quickly turns into a tough process in which another employee has to act as an interpreter. The six-eye conversation eats up important working time. Recurring training and and legally required briefings exacerbate the problem. Accordingly, it is difficult for companies to establish a time-efficient yet high-quality solution.

Multilingual video content as a counter design

Due to this premise, there are mostly two ways to communicate work orders in warehouse operations: hastily shouted tasks down the rows of shelves or printed work instructions. While on-call work can be time efficient, the method fails many other criteria. Because of the abbreviation, tasks are not implemented with the appropriate know-how – if they are understood at all. The printout on paper also has shortcomings: Not only does the employee have to carry the paper with him at all times, he also has to understand the language of the printed instructions. In addition, all printouts have to be changed when a process changes. Visual Work Instructions (VWI for short) represent a counter design. In contrast to the inconsistent onboarding methods, these visual work instructions document processes step-by-step with visuals and little text. Sequenced learning videos allow employees to learn step-by-step what to do, what to look for, and what quality standards to maintain.

Visual work instructions: The benefits

Using sequenced videos creates many benefits for a company. Instead of always having to carry the briefing document with them, employees use an item they always carry with them anyway: the smartphone. At the same time, VWI can also be delivered via tablets in a controlled learning atmosphere. Instead of having to reposition and distribute multilingual slips of paper as processes change, visual work instructions enable individual steps in the videos to be swapped out or reordered. In addition, the company ensures that every employee is trained to the same level of quality across teams. The decisive advantage they benefit from, however, is the picture level. Instead of describing the process in theory, the employee sees how the task actually has to be performed. He can imitate the movements and processes. Because of the cinematic implementation, visual work instructions are effective even when language skills are lacking.

Multilingualism enhances learning effects

An even deeper understanding of the workplace and daily tasks in the warehouse occurs when the software can play back the text of the videos multilingually. With appropriate software solutions, not only can the videos be conveniently recorded and sequenced, but the program is also able to verify and automatically translate the text into dozens of languages. The learning effect is significantly enhanced via the read-aloud function during the videos and the possibility of queries in the selected language. With the how.fm software, these VWI can be implemented effortlessly. In addition, the software offers immediately usable learning units on topics such as occupational safety, fire protection, hygiene, diversity or correct lifting and carrying. This gives companies the opportunity to make their onboarding and recurrent training much more efficient. Depending on the requirements profile, the learning software can be implemented in a warehouse within one to two weeks.


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w: www.how.fm


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