Augmented Reality in SCM: Everything you need to know

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality (hashtag#AR) refers to the integration of any kind of digital information with a particular environment in real time. Leaving aside the technical jargon, in simple terms, AR is basically an interactive hashtag#experience that merges real world and hashtag#computer-generated inputs which can be auditory, visual, haptic, olfactory, and somatosensory.

Why is AR important?

  • Creates Unique Experiences- It seamlessly blends both physical and digital worlds that result in unique user experiences and it doesn’t even require any kind of special equipment or software to do so.
  • Reduces the Cognitive Burden- A lot of times, people are faced with situations where they have to handle a lot of information and process it which leads to a ‘cognitive overload’. This problem is eased by AR as it not only presents information in an organized and easy to comprehend manner but also aids in processing it.
  • Competitive Differentiation- In this era of globalization, a plethora of products are easily available in the market, providing consumers with plenty of choices and ease of access to their preferred choice of product. In such a scenario, it has become more important than ever for brands to stand out and attract customers and AR can help achieve that by positioning them uniquely in a crowded market.
  • Extensive Training- Companies bear a lot of costs to adequately train their employees to undertake specific tasks. AR helps design appropriate training tools which don’t need the kind of massive equipment and budget that conventional training techniques do, thus cutting costs and providing unique, interesting, practical and effective ways to train employees.
  • Real-Time Analytics- AR has been proven to be one of the most effective tools that help one integrate real-time analytics on-site for organizations. It also enables operators to monitor system performance in real time and if needed, make alterations.

What is Supply Chain management?

Supply Chain Management (SCM) is a term that refers to the process of managing all the steps of production from procurement of raw material required to the delivery of the product at its final destination. It refers to managing the flow of goods, data and finances related to a particular product or service, from the start till the end.

How can Augmented Reality be used in Supply chain Management?

  1. Warehouse Optimization- SCM includes a lot of warehouse activities such as packing, storage and put-aways. AR software eases this process by ensuring a faster order picking process by providing all the information required in real time such as what items to pick next, how many of them to pick and where to pack them.
  2. Transport optimization- AR enabled scanners and sensors help hashtag#companies to scan and hashtag#document errors and damages for regulations and hashtag#compliance. It can be used for container loading and reducing the need for physical cargo lists and load instructions.
  3. Maintenance and Repair- AR can be handy in detecting machine breakdowns in sorting and repackaging of goods as well as preventing major malfunctioning and delays in supply chain by identifying any issue using its enhanced image recognition capabilities and allowing the issue to be fixed in real time.
  4. Aftersales Services- AR brings in higher efficiency in aftersales services as it provides a 3D imaging of the product and can map defects and the customer can then leverage the database to fix the defects. This reduces the repair costs and time.
  5. Improved Inventory Visibility- AR can provide greater knowledge and control over what is on the shelves, what’s moving and what’s not and what customers are purchasing. Having such control and visibility makes SCM more efficient and responsive to the ever-changing market for goods and services.


It has been three decades since the term Augmented Reality was added to the tech world’s dictionary. It was first introduced by Boeing as an internal tool to aid designing and since then its popularity and applications have grown by leaps and bounds.

One of its most significant applications lies in Supply Chain Management, the backbone of today’s globalized world. As more and more hashtag#SCM companies realize the potential hashtag#AR has, it is likely to be widely used in the same, thus leading to a multitude of gains for the world economy.

hashtag#supplychain hashtag#supplychainmanagement hashtag#augmentedreality hashtag#augmentedintelligence