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5 examples of VR Training in Warehousing & Supply Chain

If you agree that there aren’t enough hours in the day, your friends in distribution centers feel your pain. Luckily, VR is the perfect match for the biggest challenges of the warehousing industry. Proven to be anything but niche, virtual reality (VR) has emerged as a core learning reinforcement tool that takes training to the next level.

In distribution centers, pace is everything. Whether it’s injury, skill gaps, or workforce shortages–interrupting the flow of goods is the Achilles heel of warehousing and supply chain operations. One area where VR makes an impact is getting folks up to speed. Time to proficiency is an essential measurement for training. New hires are eager to understand their job roles, and VR provides a realistic simulation of those hard-to-replicate and, at times, dangerous experiences.

Let’s take a few steps back and look at how far the learning industry has come. Digital learning transformed corporate training and adult learning. Then came extended reality (XR) learning. Organizations can now shape the experiences that directly impact employee performance by immersing learners in interactive digital environments.  

Immersive learning environments allow new hires to rehearse their future day-to-day roles in an organization. This not only impacts retention but creates a more dependable and confident workforce. VR training benefits organizations by teaching proper protocols, ensuring safer work habits, and fine-tuning employee efficiency. All of these factors combined help to streamline supply chain operations.

To keep a competitive edge, more and more organizations are moving towards adopting digital learning tools to move the needle at their organization. Virtual reality training is also an effective pre-hiring tool that provides realistic job previews.

In the same way that 3D animation must complement engaging storytelling to produce an epic film, VR training programs are made effective by pairing an immersive, interactive digital world with the principles of learning. The benefits are transformative!

Key Benefits of VR in Warehousing

Reduced Turnover

Plain and simple – unskilled workers are more likely to leave. Employees stick around for two reasons: investment and opportunity. VR creates strong retention rates by building the confidence of the workforce and investing in their capabilities.

178,000 transportation, warehouse, and utilities employees cut ties and quit their jobs in May 2023. A good portion of this turnover can be attributed to safety and performance concerns.

Providing a realistic view of the work environment is one of the leading strategies for improved retention. VR provides an immersive training environment that closely simulates real-life scenarios, helping employees and new hires determine if they are fit for the role. It’s all about transparency!

New Standard of Safety

Warehousing has some of the highest injury rates of any industry. Slips, trips, falls, and equipment-related injuries don’t have to be an ongoing battle for the warehousing industry. VR allows learners to practice technical skills in a safe environment while promoting safe work habits. A safe workforce is a win-win for everyone.

VR decreases the likelihood of costly safety incidents. By taking dangerous aspects of job duties and recreating them in VR, learners can safely experience high-risk situations and see firsthand what consequences occur if they take the wrong action. This helps to build the memory they need to perform safety protocols. On a neural level, learners remember which actions to avoid based on the empirical knowledge they gain in VR training. In simple terms, there’s a reason why we tip-toe around ice patches in the winter – our brain remembers the experience of slipping for the first time.

Optimized Onboarding

Time may be the single greatest barrier to streamlining warehouse efficiency. VR accelerates onboarding with immersive learning that prepares new hires to walk onto the floor with confidence and proficiency. In VR, their learning is rooted in experience – they’ve already lived it!

Optimizing your onboarding means optimizing your operations. By cutting the time to onboard, organizations maximize safety compliance and clearly communicate performance expectations by providing impactful learning opportunities.

Enhances Employee Performance and Closes Skill Gaps

Skill gaps create all kinds of inefficiencies inside a warehouse. Injury, error, and even turnover can all be attributed to low morale and performance issues. VR engages learners to upskill and contribute their new skills with confidence.

According to The American Upskilling Study, the opportunity to upskill is one of the top benefits sought after when selecting new employment. Imagine how this demographic would respond to the opportunity to hone new skills in a VR headset!

Let’s do a deep dive into VR training with 5 examples of essential VR training in warehousing and supply chain.

5 Examples of VR Training in Warehousing and Supply Chain

Lockout, Tagout

Lockout, Tagout is one of the most common protocols to avoid harmful hazards. Powered equipment is here to stay with the evolving automation of the warehousing industry. Lockout, Tagout procedures can be practiced in VR to prevent serious injury.

In a recent 7 Steps of Sanitization VR training program, lock out tag out was an essential step. Learners practiced turning off machines before maintenance or repair, ensuring that the equipment was powered down. This critical step is one that learners retain better through VR training, as they can experience the consequences of missing a crucial step.

Pallet stacking

Pallet stacking is a repetitious task that requires precision. VR training helps employees improve their attention to detail and perform the entire task from start to finish as many times as they need. This is an example of where productivity is imperative.

Gathering VR training metrics from an extended reality platform like Mercury XRS can help provide trainers with performance data that will address specific job functions in subsequent training. For example, if a learner has low scores on brick layering or column stacking, VR has training software to track and address skill gaps to optimize employee performance.


A person learning how to operate a forklift needs to be anything but passive. Forklift operation training is a top use case for VR because it eliminates the never-ending list of resources required for traditional forklift training while promoting top-tier learning engagement.

Organizations cut major costs associated with forklift training with VR while avoiding potential damage to equipment. VR’s technology replicates highly realistic environments where learners can practice dangerous tasks safely.

VR enhances learning engagement by allowing employees to participate and practice the focus and concentration required to operate high-risk equipment. Pre-trip forklift safety inspections are just one example of how learners can identify potential hazards prior to operating equipment in VR.

VR training systems can even provide real-time performance assessment feedback to learners to help them identify and correct mistakes, enhancing their overall learning process. Take a look at this forklift driving demo!

Order Selector / Order Filling

VR simulates every sensory aspect of a hands-on role. Depending on your system, VR can replicate RF guns and wrist wearable devices. 

By mimicking the Vocollect audio system, for example, learners gain real-life experience by receiving commands on navigating the warehouse, which products to pick, and how many. After practicing these skills in VR, employees walk on with greater preparation for device usage and troubleshooting.

Truck Loading

Experiential learning transforms employee skill sets. In VR training, learners can practice safe lifting practices, how to make the most of the space they are given, and how to improve their efficiency. By physically acting out their tasks in a simulated environment, employees engage with learning objectives and are more likely to retain knowledge.


Traditional training methods require a plethora of resources. From physical setups and expensive equipment to your most seasoned employees absent from the work floor, organizations can skip all of the above and eliminate training costs with VR. There’s no runaround, just a simple and scalable deployment.

Replicating a warehouse is now an attainable feat with VR technology. Now that you’ve seen examples, it may be clearer than ever. VR saves organizations time and money while delivering cutting-edge learning opportunities to their workforce. No wonder why retention skyrockets after employees hop in a headset!

Human error is inevitable, and people have their off days in any industry. VR delivers consistency that ensures all learners gain the same quality experience during onboarding and training. That’s a guarantee that every employee receives the same information and directions to follow their SOPs. Talk about a unified workforce!

Remember, employee performance depends on the quality and effectiveness of training. VR characterizes the future of learning by training technical skills through muscle memory and spatial awareness. With practice and repetition, employees get up to speed 4x faster.

The goal of attracting the new generation of the workforce involves providing better resources. Empower them! Let new hires know you’re in for keeps by investing in their ability to contribute to your organization in a meaningful way.

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