6 Ways Rugged Tablets are Improving Package Handling

BLOG 1 Five-Logistics-Verticals-that-Need-Rugged-Tablets-TodayRugged tablets for warehouse use can take package handling to the next level, streamlining processes up and down the aisles increases efficiency, boosts productivity, and creates smarter ways of working.

Workflows for warehouse, package handling, and delivery tasks can be made more efficient with rugged tablets, making more productive and freeing up time for high-priority tasks. Rugged tablets with multiple features for warehouse use can help cut time, reduce paperwork, decrease the incidence of accident, injury, or errors, and improve overall efficiency of warehouse process from top to bottom.

Industrial grade, purpose built tablets are ideal for the harsh environment of the warehouse floor. Forklift mount options can keep tablets securely docked and carrying cases enable hands free transport. Rugged tablets are also built tough, to provide protection against drops, falls, and other forms of shock.

Military standards regarding extreme temperatures are adhered to, meaning there isn’t a situation in which heat or cold will be likely to cause malfunction in a warehouse. Resistance to water, dust and sand is also up to military specifications, for a tablet that will withstand hard use and rough environments with ease.

Tablets can be utilized to monitor and diagnose package moving machinery in the warehouse, reading codes and sending messages to appropriate personnel in case repairs are required before checking to see where the closest replacement equipment is located or altering schedules to account for a limited range of options.

Problems can even be spotted ahead of a malfunction, noting a decrease in efficiency and prompting a check which could result in a fast recalibration or repair and a return to full steam – eliminating costly downtime and keeping manufacturing at full production.

Tablets are also invaluable for tracking packages, using barcodes or RFID tags to swiftly inventory packages, check for verification, sort and distribute, and prepare for shipment as needed. Every package can be tracked in this manner in real time, and consumer side advantages include the ability to find out where their package is and track it to themselves.

Tablets can be used to scan unknown packages, contact other members of the workforce, report to superiors, and capture signatures and visual data. They are the perfect device for enhanced package handling in times of high volume production.

Slim and portable, these tablets can resist many forms of physical damage while still performing effectively, giving reliable performance for logistics and handling.

Purpose-Built Tablets for Warehouse Logistics

Implementing-Forklift-Mounted-Rugged-Tablets-for-Warehouse-UsPurpose-built tablets are an excellent choice for use in warehouse environments, thanks to the matching of superior software and durable hardware. The addition of a mobile cart can make purpose-built tablets the take-anywhere, do-anything solution for warehouse workflows that require mobility, functionality, and the ability to track individual items, boxes, pallets and truckloads from the time they enter the warehouse until the moment they leave it.

Purpose-built tablets need several key features to be warehouse-friendly. Battery life, overall quality, durability and reliability are vital, while wireless capability, optimal GPS quality, and drop and water/dust protection are crucial criteria for when choosing a tablet for a warehouse and logistics environment. Tablets can deliver multiple benefits for such functionality, including:

  • Long battery life, with hot swappable battery options to keep the line moving without interruption
  • High quality, fully integrated and reliable components both in regard to hardware and software, for obsolescence resistant devices that can be in service for years
  • A range of indoor/outdoor readable display sizes and touch screens as well as keyboard, touch, or digital pen input options
  • Wireless functionality, GPS and Bluetooth capabilities, and multilayered security protections
  • Camera availability and barcode and RFID scanners

The cart-mounted tablet can be moved quickly through the warehouse, doing inventory or picking, as it creates a trail that consists of data that is recorded, stored, and transmitted as needed to various other devices or storage points in the network. Every step of any unit’s journey can be documented, as it is tracked, identified, registered, inventoried, labeled, and deployed.

Warehouse floor and bay workers can scan bar or RFID codes, take real time pictures of damage or mislabeled goods, note if repackaging is required, verify location in the warehouse and inventory counts for bulk items, and share all information seamlessly with others in the supply chain.  

Incoming and outgoing shipments can also be recorded, streamlining logistics and shortening time spent at checkpoints by allowing fast, secure verifications of shipment numbers, invoices, packing lists, truck seal numbers, and other vital pieces of documentation. Signatures can be recorded easily with signature capture and every action is time and date stamped for later reference. All data and documentation is less likely to contain errors and more readily searched and retrieved as required.    

Purpose-built tablets are designed to increase efficiency and productivity, and can be the turning point for warehouse and logistics overhauls.

Rugged Tablet Carts for Order Fulfillment can Streamline Warehouse Picking

Rugged-Tablets-and-Mobility-in-Warehouse-EnvironmentsOrder fulfillment may not typically be a fully automated process, and often requires employee action to ensure accuracy and speed. Robotics are starting to be seen in larger warehouses, but picking and packing is still typically handled by actual employees who can utilize rugged tablet technology to improve efficiency and accuracy, become more productive, and create new ways to do standard tasks.

Rugged tablet related items like hot swap batteries, cart accessories, holsters and cradles combine to create the perfect solution for warehouse and major retail spaces. These additions enhance the usability and convenience of rugged tablets for order picking and allow employees more mobility on the floor and in the warehouse.

A major grocery store chain uses a cart to quickly and accurately pick items for online grocery order fulfillment, making it easy for employees to work up and down the line and complete orders for pick up or delivery. This method is convenient and non-disruptive to in-store shoppers, as the cart has a smaller footprint compared to using pre-existing carts for order fulfillment.

The battery holster also prevents downtime by allowing a second battery to be carried along. This permits the tablet to continually be charging, instead of needing to be plugged into a charging outlet. The battery holster expands the operational worktime for each tablet and can keep order fulfillment on track even during the busiest times to meet deadlines for shipping.

The tablet cradle and mobile stick cart are ideal for warehouse picking. The employees doing order fulfillment in warehouses can use the cradle to carry the tablet around with them and then place it in the stick cart to follow the order by rolling it around the warehouse floor. The result is a faster picking pace, less chance of setting the tablet down and having to retrace steps to retrieve it, and the ability to instantly check off items as they are added to the cart until the order is fulfilled.

If the inventory data and location of every item is stored in the rugged tablet, employees can even have their route through the warehouse mapped in advance for speedier completion of each task. Tablets also offer real-time communication, so employees can ask for help if an item is unavailable or has damage. Since support can be reached immediately, a solution can be found promptly using the tablet for information relay.

Rugged tablet systems can transform warehouses by improving existing systems and helping to input newer, more efficient routines. When workers are given the tools they need, they can do their jobs faster and more efficiently. Rugged tablet accessories like carts, cradles, and supplemental battery holsters can transform the way orders are picked whether on the grocery line or in the back end of a major retail warehouse.

Clicking, Picking and Packing – 5 Ways Rugged Tablets are Transforming Warehouses

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Order fulfillment requires a number of processes that cannot be handled entirely by machine. Picking and packing may be handled by actual employees or with the help of robotics, but that does not mean technology cannot improve upon either system. Mobile devices like tablets are making it easier for employees to improve efficiency, save time, and become more productive.

Rugged tablet systems are ideal for these situations. Along with being the most durable option for this setting, they can transform warehouses into a well-oiled machine of its own. By offering employees the blueprints they need, tablets can improve existing systems and help input newer, more efficient routines.

Here are five ways that rugged tablets are transforming warehouses.

  1. More comprehensive data collection. Without the need for reports, data can be easily collected and assessed at the end of the day. Checks and balances can be created to make sure every step of the work process is completed, and digital records are much harder to lose.
  2. Increased productivity. When workers are given the tools they need, they can do their jobs faster and more efficiently. Tablets can determine the most productive route to take, what needs to be done, and keep track of packages.
  3. Better assessments. Because tablets are always collecting data, managers can assess employee performance and productivity easier. Problems with the system can be ironed out quickly, and improvements can be identified much faster.
  4. Increased accuracy. Employees are less likely to make mistakes when they have all the necessary resources at their fingertips. Having tablets on-hand can give them the guidelines and reminders they need to avoid or identify mistakes.
  5. Better communication. If something goes wrong, more than one set of hands is needed to fix it. Tablets offer real-time communication, so employees can call in a problem right when it happens. The necessary support can be reached immediately, which creates less downtime.

While many warehouses have been trying to phase out traditional packing lists, many mobile devices have not stood up to the task. Rugged tablets are purpose-built for hard use, and can withstand almost any potential damage. They’re designed with protections against drops, falls, and impact damage.

Rugged tablets can handle any warehouse workload. Having a digital record-keeping system also prevents data loss, so companies can always keep track of their assets. Rugged technology is changing warehouses across the world, and it’s only a matter of time until tablet-based picking carts replace their predecessors.

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.