From Warehouse Floor To Customer Door – Streamlining Logistics with Rugged Tablets

4-Benefits-of-Rugged-Tablets-for-Railway-Freight-Transportation-and-Logi...Managing supply chains in real time depends on having real time access to data. Customer expectations for the logistics industry have changed, with ever tightening delivery commitment windows; demands for full visibility into the progress of manufacturing, packing, and shipment; and minute by minute tracking from warehouse to delivery point. To meet these demands, a higher level of technology is required.

With mere hours or even minutes existing for transfers and documentation, rugged tablets have stepped up to fill the gaps left by older logistics practices. With the ability to enter, match, verify, and update data in real time, the challenges of the supply chain become manageable, speed and efficiency is increased, and human errors are minimized.

In the Warehouse

Picking, packing, and sorting in the warehouse is sped up exponentially by rugged tablets, which can operate as hand held devices, stationed in a wall cradle or forklift mounted for ease of access. Inventory tracking and management is streamlined with instantaneous recording and information transmission, while bar-code scanning for inventory management and tracking is fast and easy with fully integrated 2D scanners which can update records in real time. Restocking and rectification of inventory discrepancies can be managed smoothly, with package damage noted and items reassigned from “new” to “open box” status. Losses can be documented in real time and adjustments made.

In Transit

Shipping and receiving staff armed with tablets can do the work of six or seven using older documentation and record-keeping methods, speeding workflows during seasonal rushes or during high traffic hours. Item, pallet, and container-level tagging and management can completed swiftly, and transfer accomplished without lag using vehicles with mounted rugged tablets. Stop by stop tracking can be enabled, and traffic or delay updates sent in real time.

Delivery

Payment and signature capture options heighten efficiency at delivery points, allowing instant identity verification and confirmation of receipt. Real-time updating from tablet to HQ or dispatch keep the supply moving forward to the next destination, and helps plan routes for timed shipments for better productivity and higher customer satisfaction at the end of the line.

 

High end, purpose-built mobile devices with consistent connectivity lead to better outcomes in regard to successful delivery by relieving common pressure points and bottlenecks in the logistics flow. Rugged tablets for the supply chain enable more informed decision-making and improve order processing from the warehouse floor to the customer door.

Five Benefits Rugged Tablets Bring to the Table for Military Logistics

Key Features of Military Rugged TabletsMilitary supply lines need the ability to rapidly and efficiently transport goods from one place to another. Rugged tablets speed up this process and make it more effective, enabling better logistics and streamlining the entire process.

With rugged tablets, military officials can track their shipments from warehouse to final destination with real-time data and communication. The benefits are many and extremely high value:

Mobility

Rugged tablets for military logistics can be assigned to a location, a transport vehicle, or a shipment. Vehicle mounts provide an excellent way to enhance mobility, and handoffs can be quickly and efficiently completed. One tablet can follow a shipment throughout a journey, going from handheld to vehicle mounted to charging in an office or warehouse.

Communication

The ease of updating databases even from remote locations provides for easy handoffs with instant information transmission and confirmation from dispatch or a base. GPS can track the most efficient routes and shipment if required, to provide real time updates on progress and alert to issues or delays.

Durability

The sturdy design of rugged tablets ensures they can stand up to the harsh environments experienced in military supply lines, from extreme temperatures, mud, dirt, and rain to vibration in transport and impact from use in warehouse settings. Bumps or drops when loading/unloading crates and packages or during handoff can be withstood with military-rated devices.

Scalability

From a small, minimally staffed outlying base to a massive warehouse with hundreds of workers, tablets can be scaled to the operation in progress. The lifetime value of each device is extended by the fact that rugged tablets are built to resist obsolescence, and to remain compatible with rapidly changing software.

RFID Capability

Rugged tablets with RFID can read multiple tags, read at a distance, without direct line of sight, or even while tags are in transit, rewrite tags as needed, and integrate data with the latest information management software. RFID tags are weather- and tamper-proof, can hold more information than standard barcodes, and allow full automation with less manpower than is required for barcode systems.

Rugged tablets have been swiftly implemented into civilian and commercial supply chain logistics and are now delivering the same power and portability to military supply chains.

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.

 

Automating Warehouse Processes and Production with Rugged Tablets

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To an outsider, a warehouse may look like a hub for chaotic activity. You have employees sorting, organizing, and packing goods, while others monitor and move the products from place to place. In order to keep track of deliveries and shipments, a high degree of organization is required. With tablets, many of the necessary processes can be streamlined. Here are a few ways that tablets can automate functions within a warehouse.

Better Inventory Counts

Warehouses are used to store merchandise and goods, making them the halfway point between the manufacturer and the consumer. In order to keep track of the goods, they have to be carefully logged and transported every step of the way. Inventory counts can be simplified with rugged tablet applications, and employees can move freely with the mobile computer in hand. What used to be a time-consuming and bothersome task is now efficient, making time for other important things.

Increase Organization

When employees know where everything is, you save time locating and moving product from one place to another. RFID and barcode tags can be used to organize shipments, so employees don’t have to open it or locate paperwork to figure out what’s inside. Information about where the shipment is supposed to go can also be included within the barcode/RFID report, making it easy for the shipments to meet their destination.

Better Employee Management

Employees are the heart of any operation, no matter how much of the process is automated. With rugged tablets, you can give employees the tools they need to do their jobs faster, better, and more efficiently. Tasks can also be tracked and assigned digitally, making sure that there’s no confusion on the warehouse floor. By replacing stationary computers with tablets, employees can carry their work with them, making things easier on all involved parties.

Less Paperwork 

Paperwork is quickly becoming something of the past, and papers can easily become lost or ruined in a warehouse setting. When employees are constantly identifying, moving, and recording shipments, they cannot keep editing and printing out paperwork to match. With rugged tablets, all the necessary data can be kept safely on an internal hard drive and connected to the mainframe or the cloud. Protected against water, dust, and shock damage, rugged tablets are far more durable than consumer grade devices.

With purpose-built technology, warehouses can increase efficiency, reduce downtime, and improve both employee and customer experience. While we’re a long way from fully automating our warehouses, tablet technology is a step towards a simpler, more efficient system.

 

4 Points at Which Rugged Tablets Improve Supply Chain Efficiency

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Mobile technology has come a long way since its inception, and the advancements have made them the ideal tool for both manufacturers, retailers, and transport workers. Time is the most invaluable resource in supply chain operations, and rugged tablets can increase efficiency at every turn, saving time and money. Here are four ways that rugged tablets can optimize an operation, from the production floor to the retail department. 

Tablets for Manufacturing Operations

For manufacturers, putting out high-quality goods on time is the key objective. Rugged tablets can help manage machines and applications, keep track of employees, and keep customers updated on the status of their goods. Specific orders can also be handled individually via barcode/RFID scanning. Along with increasing organization, real-time updates help manufacturers identify a problem before it halts production, and they can use tablet applications to solve the matter quickly.

Tablets for Warehouse Use

Chaos in the warehouse can lead to mistakes, lost goods, and injured employees. Tablets can help improve organization and efficiency, saving time and preventing delays or interruptions in warehouse flow. Tablets can replace both mounted and fixed-station computers, and their barcode/RFID capabilities make them ideal for scanning, tracking, and managing orders.

By putting all necessary information on a mobile computer, companies have decreased errors and increased efficiency. The moment an asset reaches the warehouse, its contents and destination can be discovered via scan. From there, employees can manage the order accordingly before moving on.

Tablets in Transit

Transport and delivery are arguably the most hectic parts of handling goods, but tablets can simplify this process and make it easier for all parties involved. When mounted within vehicles, tablets can serve as GPS systems for drivers, and then easily removed for other duties. Companies can track their orders via GPS, and this real-time tracking lets them know when to expect delivery. No need for downtime, and no confusion over lost or late orders.

Tablets on the Retail Floor

While the retail environment is the destination, it’s not the end of the line for many products. Many retail stores are utilizing mobile devices to increase efficiency and organization in the workplace, and they can even be used for shelf management on the sales floor eliminating the need to print and post stocking images. Barcode/RFID scanning can be utilized here, as well. Employees can simplify inventory tracking by using barcodes and RFID tags to identify goods, and logs can be digitized for easy management.

Rugged tablets benefit the supply chain at multiple points and can streamline your logistic operation from manufacturing facility to the retail floor.