4 Ways Rugged Tablets Support Real Time Positioning for Streamlined Logistics

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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.

6 Problems Rugged Tablets Resolve for Supply Chains

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The ability to work and manage supply chains in real time depends on having access to the right data. As customer expectations for the industry have changed, delivery commitment windows continue to tighten. When next week turns into next day or even next hour, customers expect and demand full visibility into the status of their shipment at all times, from stop to stop in every phase of the supply chain.

This can make the various steps to complete the process run up behind one another with mere minutes or seconds to spare instead of hours. Speed, accuracy, and dependability are key when it comes to solving these 6 problems or pain points. Rugged tablet tech can meet the challenge:

  1. Barcode scanning for inventory management and tracking is fast and easy with tablets that have fully integrated 2D scanners and can update records in real time.
  2. Inventory tracking and management also benefits from instantaneous recording and information transmission in regard to warehouse stock and in transit goods.
  3. Picking, packing, and sorting in the warehouse speeds up with hand held tech, and rugged tablets can also be forklift mounted for ease of access.
  4. Shipping and receiving is exponentially faster with handheld tech – two staff with tablets can do the work of six or seven with clipboards during rush jobs or seasonal heavy shipments.
  5. Restocking can be smoothly integrated, rectifying inventory and noting any package damage or reclassification of items from new to open box.
  6. Item, pallet, and container-level tagging and management can be rapidly completed from a forklift or vehicle with a mounted rugged tablet, which can then be handed off to other personnel as needed.

Rugged tablets and other handheld, purpose-built devices have become necessary tools for moving goods through the supply chain while increasing efficiency and heightening productivity. Quality control becomes easier, tight delivery windows can be met, manufacturers and retailers can maintain accurate inventories. Mobile devices enable real-time operational visibility, lead to better informed decision-making, and improve order processing from the warehouse to the final destination.

On the consumer side, customer service and satisfaction are increased with real time information that informs them of their expected delivery’s status at every point along the supply chain, leading to better outcomes in regard to successful delivery to the right person at the right place at a time that can be planned for in advance.

Rugged tablets for the supply chain relieve these pressure points and provide for satisfaction at all junctures of the supply chain from warehouse through logistics to final delivery.

Logistics Operations Demand Mounted Rugged Tablets for Efficiency

the-6-top-mobile-transportation-applications-for-rugged-tablets-2From long haul truckdrivers to railway conductors to airline personnel and port authority workers, rugged tablets are driving improved efficiency across all logistics verticals. High powered, durable, commercial and industrial solutions that can remain viable long term are required, and mountability is swiftly becoming a major selling point for purpose-built devices. Logistics operations demand mobility, and tablet tech delivers.

Unlike consumer grade tablets, rugged tablets are built to withstand the rough environments which exist in the transportation and logistics industry. Consumer-level products may have a lower cost of acquisition, but must be replaced so often that any potential gain is eliminated over time. In contrast, rugged devices reduce the total cost of ownership with durable, obsolescence resistant hardware and software that can provide years of use, with updated software that can be supported for the life of the device.

Logistics fields such as transportation see mobile devices used more than ever, with the smartphone remaining the go to device for navigation purposes, but purpose-built tablets being the devices of choice for data-intensive tasks. Mounting a tablet inside a truck cab, in an airliner cabin, or on a forklift makes these larger devices more accessible and increases their usefulness to logistics workers.

Mounted rugged tablets can provide multimedia entertainment, food and beverage purchasing options, reservations, travel guides, and interactive informational dissemination on airliners, buses and trains. These potential uses increase passenger satisfaction and can also be used to generate independent revenue streams.

Mounted tablet tech can also benefit the trucking industry. These devices are ideal for maintaining electronic log books, receiving real time routing updates, and planning routes Small vibrations, speed bumps and weather extremes are regular occurrences n the trucking industry, and a mounted rugged tablet can withstand them all.

Finally, tablets mounted on forklifts and other machinery at docks, in warehouses, and along other key points of the supply line can track movements, reconcile inventories, and authenticate bills of lading. Purpose built, mountable rugged devices help maintain a workflow that leads to increased efficiency and productivity, cuts costs, and improves every aspect of the user’s experience.

Tablet tech comes with advanced features that can streamline tasks and keep personnel on every segment of the supply chain connected and mobile. Modern touchscreen technology, voice command enablement, and receiving capability make mounted tablets the perfect tool for logistics workers. As the world of transportation shifts towards more automation, these tablets become tools that can maximize safety and efficiency.

How Rugged Tablet PCs can Improve Fleet Management

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When working with a large fleet, it can be difficult to keep track of every single vehicle, their drivers, and their cargo. Disorganization can be a serious issue, especially with multiple vehicles in multiple locations.

Many fleet managers are integrating rugged tablet technology to improve the organization of their team. With better communication, tracking, and management, companies can improve a fleets overall efficiency and safety in the field.

Rugged tablet PCs are the ideal device for this job. Mobile and reliable, they can be mounted within vehicles for easy use by the driver and staff. They are protected against extreme temperatures, vibration, water, dust, and humidity, making them perfect for use in many conditions.

Improving the efficiency of an entire fleet can be as simple as installing a tablet in each vehicle. Here are a few of the ways purpose-built rugged tablet computers are changing the future of fleet communication and tracking.

  • GPS capability. There’s no need for additional devices when a vehicle is outfitted with a mobile tablet. The large and all-light viewable screens allow them to be used as high-end GPS systems anytime.
  • Better communication. With real-time messaging, audio/video calling, and internet connectivity, these tablets can be the primary device connecting drivers to one another and the office. With the tablet mounted in the vehicle, there is no losing or misplacing this device.
  • Driver performance. Mounted tablets can be programmed to alert managers when a driver is over-idling, or drives recklessly.
  • Vehicle performance. Mounted tablets can keep track of engine hours, odometer readings, and possible issues with the vehicle’s performance. Drivers can also log down issues with the vehicle for maintenance before they become serious issues.
  • Real-time updates. Drivers can be alerted about accidents in the area, weather updates, and other real-time information that may pertain to their job. This kind of situational awareness can encourage safety on the road.

With the addition of mobile tablets, fleet managers and drivers can have all the tools they need at their disposal. Communication, efficiency, and safety are more easily attained, and managers can keep track of their assets every mile of the way. Built-in options like RFID scanners, barcode scanners, and other data collection can be added, making the mounted tablet a central hub for any driver, and management of the entire fleet becomes more effective and reliable.

4 Benefits of Rugged Tablets for Railway Freight Transportation and Logistics

4-Benefits-of-Rugged-Tablets-for-Railway-Freight-Transportation-and-Logi...With the utilization of digital data management, some processes have been complicated beyond paper-based systems. While these digital methods are faster and more effective, there are few field options for data entry. Smartphones may not have the necessary processing power, while laptop and desktop computers are harder to transport and handle, which complicates their use.

This presents a problem for railway mechanics and technicians. They need a device that can easily collect data, sign off on forms, and generate work orders. While many of these workers still use clipboards and simply transcribe the data when they return to their work station, this process can be simplified for efficiency. With a rugged mobile tablet computer, they can accomplish nearly all of their tasks in one spot with one device.

Wireless Connectivity

With wireless connectivity, purpose built tablet computers can pick up a signal almost anywhere. The built-in WiFi and high-speed data connections allow a technician to go mobile and still remain connected, so they can easily update documents, send them back to the office, and access files.

Easy Data Entry

Whether they are using the tablet itself or attaching a portable keyboard extension, tablet computers make it easy to enter data into forms and work orders. By skipping the transcription step, they can avoid mistakes in their work and avoid delays in communication. Tablet computers can be used anywhere, both on the move and in the workplace, so there’s no need to travel back and forth between an office and the repair site.

Added Mobility

With a sleek, lightweight slate design, tablet computers are the perfect middle ground between laptops and smartphones. They have the processing power to complete almost any task, but they can also be carried, passed around, and mounted into vehicle cradles. Wherever the technician goes, their mobile computer can follow.

Rugged Design

For a device to last in the freighting industry, it requires a degree of durability against a number of factors. Dust/sand damage, vibration damage, and water, just to name a few. Rugged tablets can take the heat, both literally and figuratively. Protected against everything from extreme temperatures to impact damage, these tablets are purpose-built for hard work.

Railway technicians are required to move quickly, efficiently, and complete jobs with a precise accuracy. The longer a railcar is out of commission, the more revenue a company or private owner is losing. Maintenance standards must be met for the car to travel, and many mechanics work on thousands of railway cars over the course of their career.

A device that fits their line of work is a necessity, especially in the wake of the tech boom. The earlier workers become accustomed to working with new technology, the better they can adapt to their jobs.