Every day, over a trillion people, products, and materials around the United States are transported and processed. The system of workers handling persons, goods, and materials is the backbone of the manufacturing industry, and the source of a large chunk of the country’s wealth.
Here are five logistic verticals whose workers could benefit from the usability, versatility, and durability of rugged tablets.
- The Trucking Industry. According to national estimates, there are over 8.7 million people in the trucking industry in the United States alone. Trucking makes up much of our transport of goods, raw materials, and industrial equipment. With a rugged tablet, both drivers and handlers alike can keep track of shipments, adjust schedules, and find the best route possible while on the road.
- Railways. Trains contribute another large amount of the country’s transport of both materials, manufactured products, and even people. In the hands of a railroad conductor, a rugged tablet can keep up with the strict scheduling, car management, and the often harsh environments of the industry to speed up and simplify everyday processes.
- Airlines. Tablets may become a staple in airplanes worldwide, and for good reason. Basically for managing luggage, and from ordering drinks, watching movies, playing games, and even purchasing extra features on the plane, tablets can deliver most of the on-board entertainment in an individualized experience with back of the seat mounting options. Their durability make rugged tablets ideal for use in a busy, ever changing environment, and they’ll easily stand up to everyday use.
- Warehouses. Workers in a warehouse definitely know what it’s like to be on a schedule. From paperwork to routine deliveries, a warehouse manager or floor hand may be constantly working around the clock to make sure that products go out at the right time, get on the right truck, and go to the right place, as well as moving pallets and boxes within the warehouse and tracking change orders and inventory locations. Rugged tablets can help with scheduling, inventory, and with recording information on each delivery.
- Labeling/Packaging. Like the warehouse industry, labeling and packaging are filled with day-to-day routines. Tablets can help employees track and record every step of the packaging, labeling, and preparation for shipment process, and withstand hard use and harsh environments along the way.
The logistics industries will continue to find ways to implement rugged tablets into everyday routines, for productivity, efficiency, streamlining, and automation.
Simplifying logistics is a primary goal for many companies, but practical solutions have been scarce. The advent of technological answers to the multi-faceted challenges faced by packaging, warehousing, and transportation companies is accentuated by the rugged tablet, which provides even more flexibility and functionality.
Handheld data devices in the early days of logistics related applications fell short on various levels. Out-of-the-box solutions didn’t have customization, and consumer quality tablets failed to stand up to the stresses placed on them by logistics based environments. Rugged tablets provide both purpose-built functionality, and the durability required for continual use in rugged environments, including warehouses and loading bays.
The right match of software and hardware makes rugged tablets unbeatable as a logistics solution. Benefits of a rugged tablet for logistics include:
- Data capture on multiple fronts; keyed, touchscreen or digital pens manual entry, barcode scanning. RFID, and image based instant code reading or image capture capability via a camera with automatic download and storage. Signature capture, payment or shipment / package release with card scanner options, and more are all available.
- Mapping on a road or in-warehouse level is simplified with rugged tablets. Workers can seamlessly go from tracking down a crate, pallet, or box in a warehouse to following that item through the loading process, providing directions for shipment and delivery, and tracking it to its final destination. Coordination with other shippers or transport options and quick hand off in or out of the system can be accomplished and reported. Alerts and notifications can be sent from the tablet in real time, and data shared on time or temperature sensitive deliveries in case of weather issues or traffic problems en route.
- Communication is seamless, with connectivity between tablets and through a closed network both options to take advantage of depending on the situation. Security and privacy are ensured with encryption based on the highest levels of currently available technology, and lost or stolen tablets can be wiped remotely if required or tracked for their location.
- Tasks can be streamlined and data transferred on the fly, without the need for constant stops to hand off documentation and less error due to manual input and copying of important information.
- Tablets can be assigned to a location, a vehicle, or a shipment, as needed, handed off without fear of damage in rough working environments, mounted to vehicle dashboards or static terminals in bays, docks, or warehouses, and even used in ports with weather and moisture resistant features. Screens that adjust to light availability make tablets easy to read no matter what the conditions.
Rugged tablets can be expected to keep developing new process driven functionalities for the logistic industry.