- arvato Systems develops game set for logistics
- Gamification approach offers variety and greater employee motivation for improved performance
So, for example, with order picking: The operational, manual processes are repetitive, often rather monotonous, but still must be carried out, day after day, with a high degree of accuracy. According to Jaschinski-Schürmann, "In our gamification modules, order-picking activities are turned into a game through the setting and achieving of goals or by receiving rewards in the form of points and rankings. This ensures variety and improved employee motivation.” The completed game options "Formula 1" and "Bundesliga Soccer" – as well as the new "Tour de France" option, which will be available from September – were independently developed and programmed by arvato Systems. It is also possible to design and simulate other types of sport. "In their design, logic and didactics as well as in their playing and scoring, the games are unique. New variations, therefore, have to be designed from the ground up each time."
Technically speaking, the games are designed to be compatible both with SAP and all other business software systems. The interfaces for the source data systems (ERP, scanning systems, WMS, etc.) are then modified as needed. Jaschinski-Schürmann: "To install the Game Center, the customer buys licenses from us. An important prerequisite is that he performs his order picking with scanning systems or Pick2Voice, Pick2Light or similar systems, because we need to have the assignment "pick to employee" and "order in real time" to be able to display the points systems and high score rankings." Also, error rates and other indicators can be integrated individually – but more in the sense of fair play rankings. For score rankings, this data plays only a minor role, because it cannot be accurately displayed in real time like productivity data can.
If a company decides to use the "Formula 1" race option in its warehouse, it is possible to complete the technical implementation of the game in three to five weeks. "It really depends on the number of sites and the statistics required", says Bernd Jaschinski-Schürmann. There is no limitation on the number of participants, but this arvato Manager says a reasonable lower limit would be about 20 people. "We can scale the system to accommodate higher numbers of participants."
Once everything has been put in place, decisions can be made about how the game is to be played. For the Formula 1 game, for instance, the employees in order picking are allocated to their respective racing teams. Mercedes, Ferrari or McLaren then act as the so-called avatars during the game. The dates and times for the qualifying heats and races for the season are then decided in advance. To ensure comparability between teams, a productivity target is determined for each team before the season begins. The countdown for the start of the race is then displayed to all the employees in the warehouse. The progress of the "race" can then be followed via a live ticker, depending on the requirements and equipment used by the employees in the picking area – be it computer, tablet or Smartphone. Once the race has been completed, the rankings are calculated, the top 3 winners announced and, after all the races have taken place, the winning team is proclaimed at the end of the season.
"Getting feedback on the results is an important game mechanism, because it ensures the order pickers receive recognition for their achievements during the game", says Jaschinski-Schürmann. Material rewards aren't the focus when using the gamification approach. However, that being said, the winning team would most certainly be happy to receive tickets to a real Formula 1 race. For Jaschinski-Schürmann, the important thing is that further similar measures are introduced so that the teams' motivation doesn't fizzle out: "We deliberately chose a variety of sports with different options for implementation. A Tour de France race, which runs over a period of three weeks, could, for example, be brought online to handle seasonal peaks, while the Bundesliga Soccer option is a perennial favorite. Using this schema, it is our desire to develop further, complementary games."