How Rugged Tablets and the IoT Can Affect the Future of Utilities in Smart Cities

5-Ways-Rugged-Tablets-Benefit-City-Planners

As cities and communities shift closer and closer to an IoT enabled reality, utilities are one of the main sector poised to streamline their functions and become the most technologically advanced backbone available. Millions of metering and sensing endpoints are ready and waiting to be accessed by project managers, IT specialists, and operations and analytics personnel.

Rugged tablets connected to the IoT can deliver long-term investment protection for city planning initiatives, positioning utilities for success and profitability whether they are introducing new plans for an emerging area, expanding networks for growing city centers, or updating old and aging infrastructure to meet new compliance standards.

Surveying

GNSS enabled tablets can use data collated from maps and blueprints to accurately define the parameters and locations of previously set lines, cables, and pipes. This data can be used to help plan expansions or complete replacements without causing issues due to cut lines or planned routes for new utility related builds.

Inspections

There are not enough inspection professionals in place in most cities to do more than a cursory check years apart on the thousands upon thousands of utility lines. Rugged tablets can help digitize and collaborate information, allowing inspectors to get more value out of their time and increase their productivity and efficiency.

Repairs

Utility workers in the field work faster, better, smarter, and safer when they have reliable, technologically advanced tools at their disposal. Rugged tablets are portable, lightweight, and able to be carried one handed or in a shoulder harness as well as mounted in a vehicle or on a utility crane or lift. Repairs can be completed swiftly even in adverse conditions like a weather event or widespread outage.

Monitoring

Monitoring and managing the real-time and near real-time data from smart meters and IoT sensors now being added to utility communications can be simplified with rugged tablets. Data capture, transfer, and storage is streamlined with data flow prioritized to systems and personnel required to utilize the information.

Smart cities require a public sector equipped with the tools, software, and devices they need to analyze and improve the design and operation of city and county services. The answer is an adaptive, obsolescence-resistant computing platform facilitated by purpose built hardware and software. Together, they can launch the utility industry into a bright new future powered by rugged tablets and the IoT.

 

Warehousing and Logistics – Rugged Tablets for the Supply Chain

Rugged-Tablets-and-Your-Supply-Chain-the-Logistical-ApplicationsReal time management of supply chains is dependent on real time data access. The increasing demands for faster delivery are being enhanced by trends towards small batch fulfillment, and delivery commitment windows continue to narrow in order to satisfy customer expectations. The parameters for the logistics industry will never be the same, and a higher level of technology is the only way to sustain the breakneck speed at which warehouse to consumer door shipment is now anticipated.

Rugged tablets can provide transparency and real time updates for items, pallets, and truckloads of product making their way from the production facility to a storage warehouse, from the loading dock to their final destination. The progress of manufacturing, packing, and shipment can be made visible across all segments of the supply chain, and deliveries accomplished with a level of trust and verification that is enhanced by digitized confirmation.

Inventory in a warehouse can be accomplished and updated with rugged tablets that are forklift mounted or kept in a shoulder harness. Incoming pallets can be recorded and stored according to RFID and barcode data, categorized, separated, repackaged, and shipped to the next stop of the chain with ease. With every step digitized, errors caused by manual entry across multiple mediums (clipboard, scanner, and PC) can be avoided and time saved while accuracy is increased.

Once a shipment or package has left the warehouse, the rugged tablet technology can continue to play a part whether assigned to the shipment, the truck, or the destination. Handoffs are possible with long lasting batteries, multiple battery chargers, and vehicle docks and mounts. Network enabled tablets allow for open communications for quick verification if a package is on schedule or change routes if a transport needs to be diverted due to traffic or weather.

Package damage at any stage of the journey can be noted and items reassigned as losses can be documented in real time and adjustments made to ensure customer satisfaction. Shipments being delivered by rail can be tracked and even confirmed in real time with scanners that work on moving rail cars. Item, pallet, and container-level tagging and management can be managed minute by minute and all related documents or personnel updated instantly.

Delivery and confirmation can be accomplished seamlessly with rugged tablets that have signature capture options and even payment can be handled as a point of sale if required. Instant identity verification and confirmation of receipt can be forwarded in real time to dispatch and plans for timed deliveries and secondary attempts built into upcoming schedules if needed.

Utilizing high end, purpose built devices is the future of the logistics and distribution industry. DT Research is committed to providing companies with the tools they need to stay competitive and compliant.

New Year, New Goals, New Processes

Connection-Between-Effective-Time-Management-and-the-Rugged-TabletAs January marches forward, consider the resolutions you made for your business. If you decided that 2019 is the year you are going to improve your business processes, it’s time to find the tools you need to make that goal a reality.

Rugged tablets can be integral to the achievement of streamlined business operations. Improving the technology you use in your business can change the way all of your internal procedures are completed, by aligning every piece of data and using automation and communication to make your bookkeeping dovetail with your production, inventory, shipping, and billing.

Rugged tablets that are designed for business use can include the following features to make your company processes speed up and become more accurate.

Systems Integration

With a rugged tablet that houses the latest in operating systems and the most flexible outlook when it comes to compatibility with other key programs, you can sync your accounting, inventory, employee tracking systems and more. When everything from your schedule to employee schedules, accounts payable to accounts receivable, payroll, shipments, and more are brought together in a mobile device, you’ll have an up to date view of business at all times. The tablet can also be carried from location to location to check inventories and reconcile accounts in the field.

Efficiency and Productivity

With rugged tablets, processes become more efficient and employee time becomes more productive. Tasks can be completed in a fraction of the time, and synced across all platforms, reducing repetition and redundancies as well as cutting down on multiple requirements for data entry or report sending and downloading. Departments can work together seamlessly to share, analyze, and take action on data captured via bar code or RFID scanners, and end point actions like delivery confirmations and signature capture become as easy as ensuring each employee in the field has a tablet on hand.

All of your business tasks can benefit from the integration of rugged tablets into your company plan, and 2019 can be the year you make the huge leap in effectiveness that frees your time for expansion and growth while you increase employee and customer satisfaction. Whether your company focuses on retail, telecommunications, hospitality, construction, transportation or logistics, healthcare, or management, rugged tablets can make both running your business and improving your impact a reality over the coming year.

 

What Does Purpose Built Mean in the Rugged Tablet World?

BLOG 7 What-is-a-Purpose-Built-Rugged-TabletIn the world of modern technology and rugged, portable devices, purpose built means our clients get custom designed tablets that are built based on their needs. Instead of visiting a brick and mortar or virtual store and choosing a pre-established tablet model, DT Research customers can define precisely what their needs and specifications are.

This is a huge step forward for device implementation and deployment across a wide range of industries and organizations. Each industry, vertical, and individual organization can select and specify their unique requirements for rugged, mobile devices.

Military Branches

Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines can benefit from rugged tablets for critical missions, with security options that prevent breach of crucial data in cases of tablet sharing or theft, and communications options that expand range and keep field teams in close contact with base command.

Government Entities

Federal, state, county, and city level employees can utilize tablets for cohesive management, from smart city planning to oversight for agencies with massive reach and requirements. Vehicle mounts and chargers make mobility simple.

Manufacturers and Warehouses

Production, picking, packaging, and labeling is streamlined with purpose built rugged tablets which can be paired with shoulder straps for mobility, kept stationary with wall mounts to help monitor conveyer belts, or mounted on forklifts and equipped with barcode scanners to enable quick inventory reconciliation on the floor.

Logistics

Packages and shipments can be tracked end to end throughout entire supply lines, handed off at each checkpoint or mounted in trucks for continual monitoring during entire long haul trips. Signature capture modules even allow delivery confirmation.

Transportation

Ticketing, scheduling, and changes can all be tracked across complex and intersection transportation routes with rugged tablets, and cards or tags scanned with ease, making transport of people or goods by bus, plane, or ship more effective

Retail

Tablets can be employed in stores and shops or at events and trade shows to check inventory, read credit or debit cards for payment in line or on the floor, and track customer satisfaction with integration for reviews and survey taking.

Hospitality

Restaurants, hotels, cruise ships, and movie theaters are all deploying purpose built rugged tablets to take orders and instantly send to the kitchen, provide convenient payment and tipping options from any location, sign and manage waivers, tally room service expenses, and even track luggage with RFID technology.

Healthcare

Hospitals, clinics, home health and telemedicine providers can all benefit from devices which provide quick easy communication and file sharing while protecting patient data and privacy. Long lasting batteries and bacteria-resistant casings make tablets the ideal option for healthcare providers from the ER to the ambulance.

Public Works

Workers devoted to utilities ranging from electrical grid to water to gas to telecom can stay connected, receive service orders, and effectively handle outages. Sharing information can be accomplished in real time whether working in a waste treatment plant or on an electrical pole.

First Responders

Vehicle mounts, card readers and more make tablets an integral part of a first responder’s tool kit; firefighters, police, EMT, search and rescue, SWAT, and other crucial teams can provide aid more quickly and communicate safely across secure networks in times of crisis. Multiple battery chargers ensure everyone always has access to a spare and shift change managers can implement policies to keep everyone on full charge.

Construction and Surveying

GNSS modules allow on-site use with integrated blueprints and existing maps for highly precise surveying. Drone compatibility means even crash sites or rough terrain can be quickly and accurately recorded and facts established without endangering personnel.

Are your ready for purpose built tech? Contact us today to go over your specific needs and we can build a tablet that stands head and shoulders above the rest.

How the Navy Benefits from Rugged Tablets for Fleet Maintenance

Rugged Tablets Bring New Potential to the U.S. Navy

The U.S. Navy is using DT Research purpose-built rugged tablets for fleet maintenance, helping to streamline processes, improve workflows, and increase productivity.

Handheld devices have quickly become the mode of choice for immediate communications and information delivery on board Navy vessels. Tasks from inventory reconciliation to standard checks on board can be swiftly completed and confirmed.

Rugged tablets provide a card reader for secure CAC access. Depending on a servicemember or officer’s authorization level, authorization can be swiftly granted and files or data kept on any tablet unlocked for viewing or editing based on permissions and level of access based on their clearance.

A key benefit of shipboard rugged tablets is the advantages they grant to the fleet maintenance crews. Rugged tablets make fleet maintenance more efficient by streamlining processes and workflows among crewmembers and at administrative levels.

Tablets have already been put into service for gathering maintenance information on board destroyers and other vessels by:

  • Providing faster, more efficient way of handling admin-based maintenance tasks
  • Creating more compact files with several layers of security and redundancy
  • Automating many procedures including information collection, sorting, and retention

All of these improved processes can be translated to similar support for fleet maintenance of other types, including tanks, trucks, and planes. Multiple programs involving wireless devices are being analyzed and data collated in the Navy’s effort to achieve better connectivity and higher efficiency. As security fears resolve and wireless technology continues to advance, ensuring fleet maintenance crews and administrators can reap the benefits of proven methods and device deployment for increased productivity.

Specific areas in which tablet technology can aid in fleet maintenance and other ship-board operations include:

  • Technical maintenance management
  • Warehouse inventory control
  • Field testing, training, and data oversight

The U.S. Navy can continue to depend on DT Research rugged tablets for the technical excellence required to improve productivity and increase efficiencies across a range of field-to-office duties.