From the assembly line to the last mile, it takes many teams to move inventory down the supply chain. The Digital Age has helped simplify this process by closing communication gaps with intelligent digitization; however, complex workflows such as reverse logistics, same-day fulfillment, and BOPIS have pressured supply chains to increase automation intelligence to deliver quality service. As newer traceability and worker safety challenges continue to reshape supply, the demand for dependable enterprise-ready technologies remains high. This explains why ultra-rugged devices like enterprise tablets are set to increase by 62% within the coming years. Taking the versatility of mobile handheld computers a step farther, tablets can expand ease of use and visibility to simplify deployment and streamline workflows. To determine if it’s time add rugged tablets into your mobility solution, look for the following signs:
- Your workforce is carrying multiple devices at once (i.e. scanner, a radio, etc.) Harnessing the familiar functions of a rugged handheld device, tablets can also integrate built-in intelligent scanners to transcribe data straight into your WMS. Push-to-talk capabilities similar to Zebra’s Workforce Connect also add a layer of extra versatility to tablets by securing two-way communication and touch-screen texting.
- Your inventory management system does not display properly on a small screen. When dealing with multiple SKUs and shipments, larger screens are more useful as they can display all your vital information at once at a glance, eliminating the need for extra scrolling.
- Manual data retrieval still plays a role in your operations. As stated before, manual data entry increases error risks, slows down operations, and fails to provide a real-time insight into your operations. When operating dynamic workflows, automated data retrieval can help accelerate productivity without compromising accuracy.
- Workers need to access a desktop terminal multiple times a day. Whether it’s to print labels or replenish dwindling stock, desktop terminals are vital to operations, yet they can lead to bottlenecks during high-demand seasons. In contrast, rugged tablets empower workers with quick accessibility to crucial data from anywhere in the warehouse.
- Outdoor audits and reports often come back with errors. Failed compliance codes and audits can slow down operations while preventing your inventory from leaving the warehouse. Rugged tablets can protect efficient digitization outside of the warehouse where working conditions may be more stringent in the event of snow, rain, high humidity, and even high altitude.
Selecting the right tablet
For the past years, Zebra’s rugged tablets have been in the spotlight due to their undisputable durability for indoor and outdoor use cases.
A viable enterprise tablet should incorporate the following traits:
- Durable design to endure extreme work environments
- Longer battery power for longer shifts
- Glove-friendly touchscreens
- Adaptable features such as built-in scanners and push-to-talk capabilities
- Secured long-range connectivity and flexible networking options
- Open app ecosystem to accommodate all your crucial applications without recoding
Before committing to any specific type of tablet, assess your current mobile solutions to target areas for optimization for a more realistic ROI. With careful planning and adaptable technology, modernized order fulfillment can be simplistic and scalable to meet your needs today and tomorrow.