Streamlined logistics is a top-of-the-list goal for many companies, but practical solutions have been difficult to realize and implement. Logistics presents multi-faceted challenges ranging from packaging and labeling through warehousing inventory and picking, to transportation and delivery.
Rugged tablets can provide accuracy, flexibility, functionality, and real time access to information and updates at every point in the supply chain. The ability of a tablet to be earmarked for a specific shipment or assigned to a loading dock or even a transport vehicle can help streamline operations and enable tracking of every item throughout the entire logistics process.
Former tablet solutions for logistics fell short of expectations, with software that didn’t integrate smoothly with inventory solutions, or hardware that couldn’t stand up to the harsh conditions of warehouse and transport use. Consumer grade devices quickly gave way to a new level of tablet – the rugged tablet for logistics. Rugged tablets can provide both purpose-built functionality and higher levels of durability required for continual use in warehouses, loading bays, trucks, and freighters.
The right match of software and hardware creates the ideal solution for real time positioning in logistics. 4 highlights of rugged tablet tech for this industry include the following features:
- Multiple ways to capture real time data, including keyed input; touchscreen and digital pens; barcode and RFID scanning; instant image capture; signature capture; payment card reader; and shipment / package release or delivery acceptance fields.
- Simplified digital mapping in-warehouse or on route during transit is simplified with rugged tablets. Handlers can quickly locate the right pallet, crate, or package, follow it step by step through the loading process, provide directions for shipment and delivery, and track each stop and transfer in real time until the cargo reaches its final destination.
- Communication is rapid and real time, with seamless integration between systems and instant updates. Both information input and access are supported with hand-held tablet tech, and notifications can be sent from the tablet in case of weather issues or traffic problems during transit for real time adjustments.
- Security and privacy can be ensured with encryption. Lost or stolen tablets can be tracked to locate them, or even wiped of data remotely in case of theft or accidental loss. With data transferred on the fly, backups can be scheduled, and information can be retrieved from multiple parties and collated for a full “big picture” view from central HQ.
Purpose built tablets can withstand rough working environments, be mounted to vehicle dashboards or static terminals, used in wet docks and ports thanks to weather and moisture resistant features, and read in almost any lighting condition from bright sunlight to complete darkness. For the logistics industry, there’s no innovation that has quite the same impact for real time positioning and information accessibility as the rugged tablet.