Utility Field Workers are Driving Demand for Mobile Tech

How-Rugged-Tablets-for-Utilities-Streamline-Field-Operations

Businesses are mobilizing at a rapid rate to stay competitive in industry after industry. Tablets are a staple of today’s workplace, having become indispensable to certain workers during the BYOD revolution. Now, organizations in every vertical are making rugged, portable tech another budgeted for item, thanks to the demand for connectivity and mobility for workers on the go.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the utilities vertical. The tablet revolution is not limited to the office cubicle or the busy regional managers travelling constantly between locations. Rugged tablets are being deployed in field service industries in increasing numbers so field workers can interact with clients, perform diagnostics, collect data and communicate with both their home base and other workers in the field more effectively.

Utility worker use of tablet tech has led to improved productivity, better real-time information access and decision making, and reduced operating costs overall. This is a boon at a time when many smaller infrastructures are struggling to keep up with the demands of a growing grid.

Having tablets in the field requires choosing devices developed with challenging environments in mind, including temperature changes, drops from a height, dust and debris, and other hazards. Rugged tablets are only a wise investment if they can stand up to these harsh environments without quickly becoming unusable or obsolete.

The number one advantage of rugged tablets for utility workers is mobility; with dependable connectivity, weight and dimensions that encourage handheld use or vehicle mounting with ease, and superlative touch capabilities, tablet tech is proving ideal for field service workers who may need to transport themselves and their device to many different sites on a daily basis.

While the cost of outfitting an entire crew with rugged tablets may seem like a large expenditure, the payoff can be enormous. With the right tablet, productivity and efficiency can be exponentially increased, and with built in resistance to obsolescence, the need for replacement will generally take place long after the tablet has earned back its initial cost.

With long battery life and superior data entry functions, tablets can be taken by the utility field worker up a pole, in and out of vehicles, into customer service settings, and on the street to locate water mains and buried lines for telecom and power. The portable design of a tablet is integrated with specialized tools for field service applications that can be utilized for reading meters, accessing billing information and troubleshooting guides, managing work order and assets, and collecting diagnostic data live with results uploaded directly into a reporting system in real time.

For many utility companies, rugged tablets have become a key part of their field service team. Automated data capture, real time communication with other personnel, and improved customer satisfaction are signs that rugged tablet tech for utility use is here to stay.

Rugged Tablets Bring New Potential to the U.S. Navy

Rugged Tablets Bring New Potential to the U.S. Navy

As purpose-built tablets become more familiar to every branch of the military, new applications are being found on land and at sea. The U.S. Navy is turning to tablet tech to meet a variety of challenges, and rugged tablets are standing up to the challenge. Here are three important ways this particular type of mobile technology can change the productivity of this branch of our armed forces from the shipyard to the open sea.

  1. Recruit training at boot camp. In anticipation of wider adoption of tablets across the Navy, recruits at boot camp are being trained on the use of mobile tablets and introduced to important concepts using the devices’ compatibility with interactive training. Tablets have been used in a pilot program around the Great Lakes area to help introduce the idea of and inform recruits about human trafficking, to prepare them for situations that may involve such circumstances. In addition, all documents, manuals, and other important information normally supplied to recruits can be loaded on the tablet and studied in class or on the job.
  2. Potential for shipboard use. If such pilot programs continue to go well, the important issues of security and connectivity on board vessels will be addressed and tablets will likely become part of standard gear for Navy personnel. In time, most immediate communications and information delivery on board Navy vessels can be communicated using handheld devices. The potential for inventory reconciliation and base delivery is enormous.
  3. Destroyer maintenance. Tablets have already been pressed into service at administrative level when it comes to gathering maintenance information on board destroyers, providing a faster, more efficient way of handling admin-based maintenance tasks and creating more compact files with several layers of security and redundancy. The goal is to automate many procedures that formerly had to be done by hand when it comes to information collection, sorting, and retention. This can readily be translated to similar support for fleet maintenance including ships, planes, and other vehicles.

Overall, the Navy is planning on collating results from multiple programs involving wireless devices, and eventually merging them into a concerted push towards better connectivity and higher efficiency.  

Submarine based wireless technology, microwave antennae creating 4G networks, and tablet adoption are only three facets of a larger effort to improve and update the Navy’s use of mobile tech. As security fears are addressed and more options made available, sailors can expect to see tablets become part of normal shipboard routines.