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.

Benefits of Rugged Tablets for Logistics and the Supply Chain

BLOG 1 Five-Logistics-Verticals-that-Need-Rugged-Tablets-TodaySimplifying logistics is an ongoing challenge faced by packaging, warehousing, and transportation companies, with speed and accuracy being top priorities and customer expectations continually tightening. Hand off and deliver windows continue to narrow, and logistics operators need high-tech, purpose built devices to manage, especially in holiday season when everything reaches fever pitch.

Handheld out-of-the-box and consumer grade data devices don’t allow for the customization and module implementation required to create true solutions for logistics. Durability, connectivity, and usability falter in the face of harsh environments and the demands of fast paced inventory systems and rush orders. Rugged tablets bring a variety of options to the table in the form of real-time connectivity and integration with existing systems to streamline processes and keep the supply chain moving.

Packaging facilities, warehouses, loading bays, shipping venues and highways or railways are all rugged environments that need devices with the strength and resistance to keep working even after dust, moisture, vibration, or impact takes place. Rugged tablets move seamlessly from a warehouse workers’ hands to the truck drivers’, and can be passed off at check points and used to check inventory and delivery expectations all along the suggested route.

The right match of software and hardware combined with a wide range of optional modules makes rugged tablets the ideal device for jobs on the supply line. Data capture can be achieved with a detachable keyboard for traditional entry; via a touch screen with a digital pen or fingertip, or via barcode, RFID, or image based scanning that delivers accuracy and verifiability in a single step.

A package, pallet, or shipment can be tracked from warehouse to final destination with the help of a portable tablet. Each device can be made capable of being mounted at the packaging floor, on a forklift, or in a truck with ease and speed, and the tablet can go portable on demand for checkpoints and hand-offs. Signature capture, payments, and shipment or package release are simplified with card scanner options and digital secure signature features that make handing off and verifying delivery and / or payment confirmation a snap.

Mapping both at an in-warehouse level or on the road is also simplified with rugged tablets. Directions for shipment and delivery can be appended at time of order, even for customized shipments, and items added and ticked off until the entire order is assembled and ready to go – or delays and backorders marked and shipments direct from third parties registered to keep the entire order on track and customers notified about the tracking process.  For time sensitive deliveries around the holidays, there’s no better way to keep customers apprised and satisfied than with rugged tablets in the supply line.

Rugged Tablets Streamline Warehouse and Logistics Operations

Rugged-Tablets-and-Your-Supply-Chain-the-Logistical-ApplicationsRugged tablets are ideal for use in warehouses and logistics operations thanks to superior software, durable hardware, and a myriad of customization options. Their mobility, connectivity, mounting options and more make them an excellent solution for workflows that span entire supply lines from manufacturing to delivery

What Makes a Tablet Warehouse and Logistics Friendly?

Rugged tablets need several key features to be work well in supply line environments. From overall quality, processing speed, durability, and weather resistance to functionality, potential customization, portability, wireless capability, and optimal GPS quality, purpose built rugged tablets provide all the things sought by many companies that seek to manage warehouse and logistics routines.

Rugged tablets from DT Research have multiple benefits for supply line compatibility, including:

  • High quality, fully integrated reliable components and long battery life with multiple options for charging and swapping of units

  • A range of display sizes from 7 inches to 14 inches, with touch screen capability and adaptable indoor / outdoor readable displays

  • Wireless functionality, GPS options, security features and signature capture

  • Camera availability, bar code scanners and RFID readers

  • Impact, weather and temperature resistance

  • Competitive pricing and obsolescence resistant device life expectancy

The tablet can be fixed on a mount or carried by hand through a warehouse, gathering, storing, and transmitting information as needed.  From the time an item, box, pallet or truckload of product arrives until the moment it leaves the warehouse, it can be tracked, identified, registered, inventoried, labeled, and deployed readily with real time updates sent to all record keeping devices on the network.

Workers on the warehouse floor can scan codes bar or RFID codes, take instant images of items that require repackaging or document damaged goods, verify physical locations to update inventories, and share information with management or dispatch to streamline shipping expectations and keep the supply chain running at optimal efficiency.

Logistics can be effortlessly connected into the manufacturing and packaging systems processes, to better plan delivery schedules and meet seasonal needs. Incoming and outgoing shipments can be seamlessly recorded and automatic images taken of invoice numbers, security seals, and documentation to make all gathered data easier to verify and less prone to errors.

Rugged tablets can be mounted in supply chain transport, passed along with a shipment, returned to the warehouse, or carried by hand from loading bay to truck to delivery point and back again. Their usefulness and value to the supply chain cannot be overstated.

Rugged Tablets Deliver Unparalleled Efficiency to Logistic Operations

9-Benefits-of-Rugged-Tablets-for-Transportation-and-LogisticsIntermodal logistics companies can depend on rugged tablets for efficient cost-effective back-end transportation system management and container maintenance coordination within shipping yards and between check points, thanks to key features that deliver unmatched effectiveness and accuracy.

Tablets with unique, purpose-built design, durability and flexibility are required for today’s fast moving and complex logistics industry. Required features include obsolescence resistant software and hardware, multi-environment readability and usability, and the capability to run for hours without the need for a tablet swap or full unit recharge.

Companies with hundreds of trucks and integrated networks of smart depots need fully equipped rugged tablets to perform processes including tracking containers and chassis moving in and out of logistics businesses networks, with the ability to monitor and maintain across a wide range of efficiencies. Multi-service companies need tablets that can improve productivity in delivering results for expedited services and freight forwarding, customs and truck brokerage, chassis provisioning, warehousing, and secured container storage.

Logistics tablets must be durable enough to stand up to the rough environments presented by logistics and fleet management, to avoid valuable time lost to fixing broken attachments and dealing with dead batteries. Another concern is the poor wireless communication capabilities present in many tablets, which create frustration and delays due to lack of real time data.

Purpose built rugged tablets for effective fleet management deliver:

• Reliable WiFi connectivity, 4G LTE mobile broadband, and a 1,000 foot Bluetooth range to ensure that communications are constant and all data is immediately available to drive informed decision making.
• Hot-swappable battery packs that deliver 60 or 90 watts for up to 15 hours of mobile communications, which allows the tablets to remain working continuously and eliminate downtime.
• The versatility to easily go from handheld to vehicle mounted and back again, with a durable yet lightweight design that enhances portability, high powered processors, and up to 1TB of storage for full functionality in the field.
• Sunlight-readable LED backlit screens with capacitive touch, to make outdoor use in direct sunlight possible and transition to in-office use simple and fast.
• Compliance with the highest durability standards with an IP65 rating, MIL-STD-810G for vibration and shock resistance and MIL-STD-461F for EMI and EMC tolerance.
• Accessories including external antennas, a wide variety of data capture options, mountable cradles, detachable keyboards, and battery and vehicle chargers.

Rugged tablets for logistics and fleet management provide all of the features and benefits required for increased productivity, enhanced efficiency, and improved user experiences in harsh environments as well as fixed location hubs.

Streamlining Logistics with Purpose Built Rugged Tablets

Streamlining-Logistics-with-Purpose-Built-Rugged-TabletsSimplifying logistics is a definitive goal for the supply chain industry, but effective solutions have been hard to implement. Technological advances provide viable answers to the challenges that face packaging, warehousing, and transportation companies, and rugged tablets deliver flexibility and functionality.

Handheld out-of-the-box data devices don’t have customization, and consumer quality tablets have repeatedly failed to stand up to the demands of high energy logistics based environments. Rugged tablets are designed for both purpose-built functionality and durability, making the ideal solution for use in rugged environments, such as warehouses and loading bays.

Being able to assign a tablet to a dock, a vehicle, a shipment, or a specific vendor or delivery service can make tracking every item in a warehouse or system easy and effective.

Benefits of purpose built rugged tablets for logistics include:

  • Data capture via various formats, including keyboards, touchscreens, digital pens, barcode or RFID scanning, and image based instant code reading or image capture capability. Signature verification, payment or shipment / package release, onscreen input capture and card scanner options, and more.
  • Real time tracking and mapping, whether in the warehouse or on the road. Workers can track a crate, pallet, or box in the warehouse through the loading process, shipment, and delivery, all the way to its final destination. Multiple shippers are no problem, with updates on time or temperature sensitive deliveries and alerts about weather or traffic delays delivered instantly.
  • Communication between tablets and through a closed network to dispatch, vendors, carriers, and HQ are secure and private with encryption based on the latest technology. Lost or stolen tablets can be tracked or wiped remotely if required.
  • Documentation errors are minimized, data handoff seamlessly achieved, and duplication of work slashed to a minimum with immediate updates across systems.
  • Tablets can be handed off without fear of damage in rugged environments, mounted securely to vehicle dashboards or static terminals, used with docking systems for swift mobile to hand carry status, and even used in areas with high humidity, severe weather, and temperature extremes.
  • Screens that adjust to light availability allow easy indoor to outdoor transitions, and touchscreens, detachable keyboards, digital pens, and battery charging stations ensure the tablets can be used around the clock as needed.

Rugged tablets can be expected to keep providing superlative answers for the logistics industry, driving supply chains forward while improving productivity and speed.