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How Is Virtual Reality Driving Innovation In Supply Chain Training? 4 Examples

Virtual reality (VR) is elevating supply chain training by increasing product efficiencies, decreasing safety incidents, and increasing employee engagement. Through hands-on learning, employees gain a realistic sense of their job duties and work environment, leading to more efficient operations and confident employees. 

Check out 4 real-life examples of using VR for supply chain training:

  1. Recruit And Attract Potential Talent Through Realistic Job Previews
  2. Train Leaders To Effectively Guide Their Teams
  3. Learn Safety Protocols To Avoid Costly Mistakes And Injuries
  4. Practice Operating And Repairing Equipment

Did you know that 61% of supply chain organizations plan to invest in retaining and reskilling their workforce with a focus on technical skills and health and safety? 

With the continued demand on the global supply chain, organizations are looking to become more resilient, efficient, and collaborative than ever before. Investing in employee training and development is a great way to do so, especially with programs that use future learning technologies, including virtual reality (VR). 

At Roundtable Learning, we partner with supply chain organizations to implement custom training solutions that drive measurable results. With these programs, we’ve helped organizations improve efficiencies and better engage their learners through advanced technology.  

This article will define virtual reality training, provide the key benefits virtual reality brings to supply chain training, and explore 4 examples of virtual reality across supply chain training topics. 

How Does Virtual Reality Benefit Supply Chain Training?

Virtual reality (VR) elevates traditional supply chain training by simulating any workplace setting you can imagine, from small retail stores to expansive warehouses. With VR, learners are given opportunities to develop their skills and encounter true-to-life scenarios without facing real-world risk. VR creates an environment that uses pre-recorded video or full simulations.

The possibilities are virtually limitless with VR training. Your organization can develop a shared experience for your remote team, let learners interact with virtual scenes and hazards, and provide a safe space to practice hands-on work.

In the context of supply chain training, VR comes with the following 4 benefits:

  1. Faster time to proficiency — VR is proven to reduce employee training times through immersive experiences. Expertly crafted activities are designed in such a way that learners retain more information in a shorter period of time, which leads to more products being moved at a quicker pace. 
  2. Increase employee efficiencies — With VR, learners can practice complex processes and learn from mistakes, leading to increased efficiencies and greater accuracy when working in real life. 
  3. Reduce safety incidents — VR decreases the likelihood that costly safety incidents occur by increasing employees’ awareness of safety protocols and warning signs. 
  4. Increase learner engagement through hands-on tasks — VR provides a unique opportunity for learners to complete hands-on interactions as if they were real with objects in their virtual environment. 

Read More: 6 Best Practices To Get Started With A Virtual Reality Training Program

4 Examples Of Virtual Reality Across Supply Chain Training Topics

Recruit And Attract Potential Talent Through Realistic Job Previews

VR can provide potential hires with an interactive job preview that helps them determine if they’re interested in the job and capable of doing the required work. For example, a potential supply chain employee can put on a VR headset and is instantly transformed to a warehouse environment through full VR

Within this environment, the potential hire can complete the following tasks:

Upon completion of the VR activity, the learner can reflect on their experience and decide if they’re a good fit for the role. This way, organizations can ensure they’re hiring the right talent and retain their workforce long-term, ultimately reducing employee turnover and associated costs. 

Train Leaders To Effectively Guide Their Teams

Through 360° VR, learners develop soft skills that help them manage and lead their teams with confidence. With this technology, learners are placed in a fixed location where they have the ability to look around themself in all directions to view the video. 

For example, supply chain managers can complete a 360° VR coaching activity where they consult a team member who is struggling to work with others. As the employee expresses their concerns, the team leader must evaluate the situation and select the proper responses that guide their employee in the right direction. 

Read More: The Future of Virtual Reality for Soft Skills

Learn Safety Protocols To Avoid Costly Mistakes And Injuries

Full VR places learners in a completely simulated warehouse environment where they can learn proper safety protocols. These safety training tasks could include:

  • Identifying potentially hazardous situations
  • Learning proper protocols to address a fire emergency
  • Practicing sheltering in place or evacuating
  • Addressing and preventing workplace violence

Compared to other training modalities, these VR scenarios more effectively induce active learning. This requires learners to physically complete actions as if they were real, triggering a physiological response. This reaction helps learners retain more information and walk into their role feeling more prepared. 

Practice Operating And Repairing Equipment

With highly realistic 3D models, learners can practice operating and repairing complex pieces of machinery. By simply putting on a headset, or accessing the activity through their smartphone or computer, learners can actively practice completing intricate tasks on the 3D models. 

These models can be something as simple as a barcode scanner to more complex machinery, such as a forming machine on an assembly line. This training comes with the following benefits:

  • Learners can take risks and learn from mistakes without jeopardizing real-life equipment
  • Organizations can track learners’ progress with an extended reality system (XRS)
  • Cuts back on travel time and accommodation costs for employees at different locations

Are You Ready To Innovate Your Training With Virtual Reality?

This article has covered the basics of VR for supply chain training, from the benefits that VR brings to supply chain training to 4 real-life examples of using VR for supply chain training.

Ready to explore the ways VR can transform your supply chain training? Our supply chain experts are eager to help. Schedule a meeting with one of our experts or book your very own immersive learning demo today!

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