In the Office, On the Road – Rugged Tablets Bring Mobility to Logistics

In-the-Office,-On-the-Road---Rugged-Tablets-Bring-Mobility-to-LogisticsWhile off-the-shelf produced tablets are cheap and easy to acquire, the benefits of rugged technology far outnumber the pros of their consumer-grade counterparts. Industrial-level tablets are not only built to withstand the stresses of many fields – from trucking fleets to airplane maintenance and logistics – but they also offer a number of purpose-built features unique to their design.

Rugged Tablet vs Smartphones

Smartphones have recently gained in popularity, so much so that they have nearly become required to keep up with news, social media, and even business. Chances are, almost every person in the United States has extensive experience with consumer-grade products already. While casual smartphones may feel like the obvious option, many logistics fields are adopting tablets as their device of choice.

Rugged Tablets Provide Versatility

With their slate-design, easy-to-read display, and user-friendly format, they are both high-functioning and easily adapted to, unlike smartphones, which may be too small or complicated to work with comfort. Tablet-computer technology is more compatible with a number of existing systems, and easily the higher functioning device when compared to a smartphone. They are also less cumbersome than laptops, and do not require as much time and effort to use.

Rugged Designs are Purpose Built

Where consumer-grade tablets may fall flat in terms of durability and functionality, rugged, purpose-built tablets are designed for serious use. Whether it’s by customers answering a survey, construction crew on a site, or a surveyor trying to access on-the-go information, tablets are the natural next step in advancing technologically in the logistics field. Their portability and functionality are ideal for pairing with traditional methods of inventory tracking.

Rugged Tablets are Tough

Rugged tablets are designed for sturdy resistance to dust, water, extreme temperatures, and even vibrations. This makes them ideal for hard-use, especially in logistics situations where the shipping dock worker may be working through bad weather and tracking over long distances. Their extended battery life and drop-resistance also makes them worth the added attention, and ruggedized cases and hot-swappable batteries can add to these features.

Rugged Tablets can Adapt over Time

While older ruggedized devices may already be used in many fields, the technology can become outdated and uncomfortable to use in comparison to modern technology. It’s only natural that purpose-built technology should update alongside consumer-grade tech, so ruggedized devices are getting an upgrade with the latest and fastest updates in a form that allows for long term use and compatibility with progression.

Sleek designs and data capture features, as well as user-friendly functionality, are becoming standard requirements. Rugged tablet tech may well spawn the devices we see used in logistics verticals for decades to come.

Using Rugged Tablets for Effective Military Logistics

Using-Rugged-Tablets-for-Effective-Military-LogisticsThe military faces a unique issue when it comes to the need to establish In-Transit Visibility (ITV) for consignment logistics.  Significant time, money and manpower savings follow full interoperability, and the key to success leans heavily on the adoption of RFID labels, readers and software.

Purpose built rugged tablets can put instant data capture capability directly into the hands of logistic personnel all along the military supply chain. The DOD is the world’s most immense wireless cargo management network, and requires the ability to automatically collect shipment identification data and track consignments across hundreds of nodes globally.

The DOD puts military rugged tablets equipped with a combination of RFID and GPS to good use, enabling real time information capture and transmission with complete visibility regardless of physical location, something which can be mission critical even for the most basic of shipments.

The adoption of RFID-based coding systems allows US military personnel at any point on the supply chain to see exactly what the consignment is, where it is currently, and what the ETA is for reaching specified checkpoints and arriving at its destination.

RFID readers can be readily utilized to augment standard barcoding, providing fast, accurate, detailed information to enhance shipment security and facilitate interoperability. Rugged tablets with GPS and RFID can:

  • Read multiple tags almost instantly
  • Read tags at distances up to 100 meters
  • Re-write tags as necessary
  • Read tags in transit, even in fast-moving rail cars or trucks
  • Read tags even without direct line-of-sight

RFID tags are weather- and tamper-proof, hold more information than standard barcodes, and require less manpower than barcode systems for full automation. Since data is easily integrated with information management software, personnel can make decisions more quickly, based on the latest, most accurate data

Rugged tablets were swiftly implemented into civilian and commercial supply chain logistics thanks to power and portability. The security options for military grade tablets ensures their appropriateness for use in military settings, with the added benefits of in-the-field versatility, resistance to military and shipping environments, and hours of constant operation.

For the military, In-Transit Visibility has improved logistics efficiency and accuracy. Rugged tablets make ITV even easier, and provide extra layers of confidence that only come with purpose built devices.

 

 

4 Reasons Rugged Tablets are Perfect for Telecommunications Workers

4-Reasons-Rugged-Tablets-are-Perfect-for-Telecommunications-WorkersThe telecommunication industry has many hurdles when it comes to continued customer satisfaction. Employees with field jobs know how hard it can be to keep up with and fulfill customer demands, especially if workers aren’t equipped to solve them. While strides have been taken to improve training, equipment, and customer satisfaction, many sectors have a long way to go before their units are cohesive, quick, and functional.

In the telecommunications industry, there are two areas that are key to success: communication and speed. However, from faulty equipment to slow response times, it can be difficult to help a customer properly when an employee doesn’t have the needed tools.

In these cases, rugged tablet technology can go a great way in making sure that employees are prepared and ready to take on whatever problem a customer might have. Here are four reasons why a telecommunications worker might benefit from having the added advancements a tablet might offer:

  1. Response time. Establishing connection with a customer quickly and efficiently can go a long way in improving both the employee and the client’s experience. Being put on hold for a long period of time can irritate the customer into leaving before they get help. Once a customer and employee are connected, the problem-solving process can begin properly.
  2. Repair time. Quick and efficient repairs can be easy with rugged tablets. Locate the problem, troubleshoot, take steps to fix it, and disconnect. The process is simplified and takes less time, leaving the customer feeling satisfied.
  3. Clearer communication. Grainy calls, slow connections, and accidental hang-ups can completely ruin the customer’s experience. With rugged tablets, text-communication is made easy, and even voice calls can end up clearer, improving communication on both ends and reducing irritation.
  4. Customer satisfaction. Arguably the most important part of the entire process. All of these factors connect to make sure that the customer is pleased by the time they end the call. An experienced, friendly employee equipped with the proper tools, customer satisfaction can vastly improve.

With rugged tablets, telecommunication centers are finding new ways to streamline their processes and make it easier for employees and customers alike to end a call feeling productive. Tablets are made to keep up with the job every step of the way, making them more versatile than laptops and smartphones.

 

Using Rugged Tablets to Initiate Six Sigma in Field Service

Using-Rugged-Tablets-to-Initiate-Six-Sigma-in-Field-ServiceDuring the process of communicating with clients, speaking to employees, planning, billing, and getting the work done, a lot of time can be lost between the beginning and end of a job assignment. To completely finish a job satisfactorily, both parties have to know that they were treated fairly every step of the way.

Building a relationship with clients is a good way to get repeat business, and clear communications is a key part of the relationship. Many companies are combating miscommunication by initiating the ‘six-sigma’ process.

Commonly used during manufacturing to simplify processes and prevent defects, the six-sigma system is made to track work every step of the way, and religiously record what has been done. This can clear up any problems during billing, and let customers and workers alike know that the work has been done fairly.

While six-sigma was originally intended to be done on paper, electronic records make implementing six-sigma even easier and more effective than ever. With the help of modernized technology, every step of six-sigma implementation can be recorded, documented, and shared between employees, superiors, and clients. Digitally, there’s no need for paper and clutter, and documents can be created, shared, and stored with ease.

This process can help establish timelines, show transparency, delegate responsibility and ownership of each task, and direct how billing should be handled – all ways to contribute to the degree of trust between client and company.

In field service, it can be difficult to both keep up with work and record every step, especially when the only electronics available are desktops, large laptops, clumsy netbooks, or small screen smartphones. Tablet technology combines the usability of computers and the portability of smartphones to create a more effective mobile device, one that can keep up with work both physically and digitally.

Rugged tablets last through their intended life cycle, reducing the need for repair and replacement and increasing ROI. The investment in purpose-built tech is clear: not only are they useful and innovative, but sturdy and durable for years of service.

Employees work best when they have every tool they need, and clients are happier when they know that every step of the way, their job was handled satisfactorily. Purpose built rugged tablets make implementing this concept easier than ever.

Four Reasons Field Service Technicians Prefer Rugged Tablets

Four-Reasons-Field-Service-Technicians-Prefer-Rugged-TabletsAs smartphones, computers, and real-time internet utilization is integrated into every aspect of our lives, companies are finding new ways to utilize technology in business contexts. Whether it’s a new version of PowerPoint in the office or a bar-code scanning smartphone, it’s becoming easier to use tech professionally.

With all of this growth comes to need for sturdier electronics. It’s no secret that smartphones and laptops are easily dropped and broken, and buying consumer-grade products isn’t always a great investment when employees are in the field and traveling. With many products, it can be difficult, expensive, or even impossible to ‘upgrade’ the devices and make them usable.

In cases like this, purpose-built technology is always better. Ruggedized tech is built from the hardware up to be durable, cohesive, integration compatible, and user-friendly. Here are four distinct functions field service agents need in rugged technology.

  1. Simplicity. No matter who’s working, the systems are made to be user-friendly and integrate with existing applications. This reduces any training period, and the familiar formatting can make it ideal for agents who don’t want to learn complicated processes and methods to keep doing their job.
  2. Functionality. Unlike laptops, tablets are durable yet lightweight. There’s no easily-broken hinges, and the screens are reinforced to take a beating. The large screen also makes it easier to read and work, so there’s no need for overly-complicated methods and applications for smartphones.
  3. Integration. Already have existing systems? Rugged tablets aren’t stuffed with bloat-ware or constricted to brand-only applications. Adding and designing custom applications is easy, and rugged tech can always be upgraded in the future. It’s made to be backwards and forward compatible, so they don’t become obsolete.
  4. Automation. Papers upon papers, ticket stubs upon ticket stubs. The clutter and hassle of manual work can easily be taken over by devices. From recording data to completing payments, tablets can be valuable and time-saving when it comes to simplifying daily processes.

Rugged tablets have become the go-to device for many professionals. Their resistance to damage and their upgradable features make them perfect for in-field jobs. They can withstand impact, vibration, extreme temperatures, humidity, and water, and can even be mounted within vehicles for easy transport and GS capabilities.

Rugged tablets are designed for portability, durability, and usability. Field service technicians are always on the move, and having purpose built devices that can keep up with them is vital.