Utility Field Workers are Driving Demand for Mobile Tech

How-Rugged-Tablets-for-Utilities-Streamline-Field-Operations

Businesses are mobilizing at a rapid rate to stay competitive in industry after industry. Tablets are a staple of today’s workplace, having become indispensable to certain workers during the BYOD revolution. Now, organizations in every vertical are making rugged, portable tech another budgeted for item, thanks to the demand for connectivity and mobility for workers on the go.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the utilities vertical. The tablet revolution is not limited to the office cubicle or the busy regional managers travelling constantly between locations. Rugged tablets are being deployed in field service industries in increasing numbers so field workers can interact with clients, perform diagnostics, collect data and communicate with both their home base and other workers in the field more effectively.

Utility worker use of tablet tech has led to improved productivity, better real-time information access and decision making, and reduced operating costs overall. This is a boon at a time when many smaller infrastructures are struggling to keep up with the demands of a growing grid.

Having tablets in the field requires choosing devices developed with challenging environments in mind, including temperature changes, drops from a height, dust and debris, and other hazards. Rugged tablets are only a wise investment if they can stand up to these harsh environments without quickly becoming unusable or obsolete.

The number one advantage of rugged tablets for utility workers is mobility; with dependable connectivity, weight and dimensions that encourage handheld use or vehicle mounting with ease, and superlative touch capabilities, tablet tech is proving ideal for field service workers who may need to transport themselves and their device to many different sites on a daily basis.

While the cost of outfitting an entire crew with rugged tablets may seem like a large expenditure, the payoff can be enormous. With the right tablet, productivity and efficiency can be exponentially increased, and with built in resistance to obsolescence, the need for replacement will generally take place long after the tablet has earned back its initial cost.

With long battery life and superior data entry functions, tablets can be taken by the utility field worker up a pole, in and out of vehicles, into customer service settings, and on the street to locate water mains and buried lines for telecom and power. The portable design of a tablet is integrated with specialized tools for field service applications that can be utilized for reading meters, accessing billing information and troubleshooting guides, managing work order and assets, and collecting diagnostic data live with results uploaded directly into a reporting system in real time.

For many utility companies, rugged tablets have become a key part of their field service team. Automated data capture, real time communication with other personnel, and improved customer satisfaction are signs that rugged tablet tech for utility use is here to stay.

Why City Governments Can’t Afford NOT to Adopt Tablet Tech

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As day-to-day processes become increasingly streamlined by mobile technology, one of the best places to push faster, more efficient process is at the levels of city government. The initial outlay in tablet technology is quickly recouped by savings from the office to the field, and years of service can defray replacement costs when purpose-built tablets are designed to resist obsolescence.

Rugged tablets are currently being used by the military, logistics companies, first responders, law enforcement, utility companies, and healthcare facilities. The ability to stay connected and input, store, retrieve, transmit, and update information can cut administrative task times significantly, and nowhere is this more apparent than when it comes to bureaucratic centers.

The arena of municipal government work is a natural place for rugged tablets to shine. Mobile tech can make it easy to stay organized from office to the field and back again. With built in durability, functionality, security and privacy measures, and options like 4G LTE, GPS, and CAC readers, mobile tablets can make a massive difference in the efficiency of city employees and contractors.  

With all of these benefits available, city governments simply cannot afford to ignore the advantages of tablet tech. Purpose built tablets can be used for:

  • Training, instruction, and review of documents, information, processes and more. Instructors and trainees can efficiently complete their tasks with no lag in communication and easy access to all materials.
  • Public safety workers need the ability to communicate and develop plans on the move, shifting to accommodate changing situations. Law enforcement and first responders can particularly benefit.
  • Maintenance crews require up to date mapping and the functionality to update on the road or in the field as needed. GIS positioning, maps, blueprints, and more can be reviewed onsite, as dirt, mud, moisture, impact and vibration are no problem for rugged built devices.
  • Public transportation can be a nightmare logistically and administratively, mounted tablets can improve passenger experiences, and streamline important processes like scheduling and rail changes.

The advantage of tablet tech at the city government level is unmatched when it comes to mobile devices. As city, county, and state governments adopt newer ways of increasing efficiency and productivity, the need to move forward with tablet tech will only become more apparent, and the benefits will far outweigh the cost of initial implementation.   

Implementing Rugged Tablets for Water / Waste Management Operations

Implementing-Rugged-Tablets-for-Water-Waste-Management-OperationsWater and waste treatment plants were some of the first utilities to adopt technology into their line of work. Whether these devices were being used to log data, test samples, or keep track of schedules, the use of technology is vital for the success and safety of these operations.

However, there is always room to improve, and the integration of new systems can encourage progress.

Integration

When it comes to introducing new devices to an existing system, a lack of compatibility can stop progress before it starts. Many consumer-grade tablets may run on incompatible systems, and they are often crammed with bloatware and do not allow for reprogramming.

Purpose-built tablets are focused on the most necessary functions, and they are equipped with high speed processing power. They can be wiped and reprogrammed for seamless transition into a select field, allowing them to be used for almost anything.

Versatility

Rugged tablets can move with a worker, whether it’s from one room to the next or between treatment plants. Equipped with powerful processors, they can be used just like laptops to collect data, communicate, and run large applications.

These capabilities can be important when a worker needs to stay mobile, but needs to run applications that aren’t compatible with devices like smartphones. Purpose-built tablets are also designed with input/output capabilities. Output ports can be used with water testing devices, making data collection easier and more efficient.

Durability

When investing in devices like laptop and tablet computers, the goal is to make money in the long run. This can be difficult when the device breaks or malfunctions on the job. Rugged tablets are built to last, and have specialized protection against environmental dangers. These tablets will continue to function even after being exposed to water, extreme temperatures, and drops.

Designed for hard work, rugged tablets can withstand the elements while still carrying the same workload as a laptop. The added mobility and versatility makes them the perfect device for any field agent who needs something that can work on the move. Purpose-built tablets are investments that last, reducing the overall costs of doing business.

Rugged tablets can boost productivity, reduce man-made mistakes, and withstand the pressures of their work environment, all while still remaining mobile. With top quality processing power and the mobility of a smartphone, rugged tablets are the perfect device for any working water or waste management technician.

 

 

 

Benefits of Purpose Built Rugged Tablets for Oil and Gas Utility Workers

Benefits-of-Purpose-Built-Rugged-Tablets-for-Oil-and-Gas-Utility-Workers...Oil and gas utility workers have very specific requirements for their line of work, and it is difficult to find tools and products that cater to their needs. Many employees and managers working in the oil/gas industry need a device that is both mobile and reliable, but it can be difficult finding the right fit for this field. Laptops may be too heavy, fragile, and cumbersome, and smartphones may not have the right size/specifications to fulfill their requirements.

In these cases, a purpose-built device is necessary. Professional-grade rugged tablets are designed to fill this niche. Their innovative slate shape makes them easy to use, carry, and mount, but this sleek design does not reduce their efficiency. With Windows OS and the hardware capabilities of a high-powered laptop, these tablets have the technical requirements needed for field work.

While consumer grade tablets may be able to complete some of the tasks, they are not built with hard use in mind. They often fail to integrate with existing systems, and adapting them for use in a professional situation may be difficult. Shock-proof cases and covers may not protect them against the physical stresses of the job, and they may end up broken or damaged over the course of their use.

Rugged tablets are built to withstand harsh working environments, and they are protected against everything from water damage and vibration, to dust and drops. An investment should reap a long-term benefit, and these tablets are both built to last and easy to update.

Purpose-built tablets can be used indoors and outdoors under almost any lighting conditions. They can be used by both gloved and ungloved hands, and they come with a number of built-in features that aren’t found in consumer-grade tablets. Barcode scanners, increased security, and smartcard readers are a few of the design choices limited to purpose-built tablets.

Rugged tablets can be carried by workers, passed around, and even mounted within cars or trucks. They can be modified for use within a specific line of work, and hot swappable batteries keep them going continuously. Their input/output abilities make them valuable tools for data collection, inspections, and other uses.

In today’s industry, every company is looking for the next cutting-edge product that can help them get ahead of their competitors. A purpose-built rugged tablet may be just what a business needs to boost productivity, efficiency, and safety. A proper C1D2-certified device is one of the most valuable supplementary tools available for employees both on and off the field.

How Rugged Tablets for Utilities Streamline Field Operations

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Field operations often need to move quickly, especially when they can be stalled by rain or traffic, or impeded by clashing deadlines. There’s no time to waste, and workers need to be able to work quickly, efficiently, and reliably until the job is done. Whether paving a road, building bus stops, or installing/repairing utilities, field workers are responsible for keeping the world running. If their devices cannot keep up with their pace and offer the help they need, they’re practically useless.

Computers can be used to store information, communicate with others, and keep track of scheduling. But they are even more valuable in the hands of field workers, especially when they are purpose-built to help them during their day-to-day operations. Tablet computers are built for portability and functionality, and professional-grade tablets are designed to withstand with the hard work.

Here are just a few of the ways rugged tablet computers can be used in the field to boost productivity, organization, and communication.

Pictures, video, and notes can be taken quickly and efficiently with handheld tablets.

  • GPS and geo-tagging. Whether the operation is on the move or working in one specific area, location-tracking capabilities can help pave the way. Photos can be geo-tagged for organization, and there’s no need to double up on devices when a tablet can do everything that a GPS-only device can.
  • Who is working, where they are working, and what they are doing can all be recorded for easy hours, payout, and organization.
  • Real-time collaboration. Managers and workers alike can access the same document at the same time, make changes, and hold discussions over the content. The sleek slate design of the tablet also makes it ideal, as it can be passed from person to person without effort.
  • With a purpose-built tablet, jobs can be recorded and kept organized. What has been done, when, and who the order should go to is in one spot, and accessories can be added for easy billing.
  • Sensitive information is safe, especially when the tablet is encrypted and used with additional security. Both physical intruders and digital ones can be safeguarded against.
  • On-hand information. News about accidents, emergency contacts, worker information, and real-time weather updates can all be accessed via rugged tablets both on and off the field.

Rugged tablets can handle the physical aspects of intense use, including shock damage, extreme temperatures, and impact damage. Not only that, but they can be used to streamline field operations in a way never seen before when it comes to portable devices.