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.

 

Rugged Tablets Provide for Autonomous Material Handling in Warehouses

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With the booming progress of the eCommerce industry, many online retailers have begun shifting their focus towards automating their necessary processes. While we’re a long way away from completely automating all of our warehouses and deliveries, giving human employees better tools is a step in the right direction. Rugged tablets can eliminate paperwork, reduce downtime, and boost productivity, all while streamlining existing processes and making it easier for employees to do their jobs.

Here’s a few reasons many warehouses are switching to industrial-grade tablets, and why they’re better off because of it.

Faster, More Efficient Repairs

Machines will fail, it’s inevitable. But with the proper equipment to maintain them, repairs can become easier and more efficient. Once a machine breaks down, tablets can be used to notify employees, contact the necessary help, and identify the issue.

Tablets can also be used to monitor machines and their efficiency, so problems can be identified and dealt with before production comes to a halt. No more downtime, and no more scrambling to bring production back on track.

Better Tracking 

With the amount of product moving from one place to another, keeping track of merchandise is important. RFID tags and barcodes can be used to mark and sort shipments, and rugged tablets make scanning and tracking easier. Customers can stay updated on the status and location of their orders, and warehouses can stay organized.

With the added mobility of tablet computers, any unsorted package can be quickly scanned and identified by any tablet-carrying employee. No more confusion, and no more lost products. It’s the ideal set-up for busy logistics operations with multiple hubs.

Industrial-Grade is Industrial-Strong

While consumer-grade tablets can be easy to acquire, they can be harder to maintain. A consumer-grade tablet isn’t designed for hard use, especially within a warehouse. Rugged tablets are protected against drops, falls, and other forms of shock damage.

Protection against extreme temperatures, water, and dust/sand is also included, making them hardier than your average tablet. Along with being physically strong, purpose-built tech is designed to last. Both easy to maintain and update, these tablets can survive years of hard use and resist obsolescence.

How DT Research Can Help

Trusted by the US Army, Navy, and Air Force, DT Research has spent years designing the perfect rugged tablet. Military standards ensure that these devices are up to the test, and constant innovation means that newer, better products are being put out every year.

Slim and portable, these tablets can resist almost all forms of physical damage while still maintaining better runtimes and functions than most laptop computers. Rugged tech is built for hard use and warehouses are the ideal environment to showcase their benefits.

 

Implementing Forklift Mounted Rugged Tablets for Warehouse Use

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Warehouses serve as the base of operation for many companies, which also makes organization most necessary in these places. Information regarding inventory, employees, and clients must be kept in order to prevent mistakes. Systems made up of several different types of equipment can make it difficult to keep track of and update information, and employees are burdened with various handheld scanners, touch screens and printers making mobility more challenging.

Workers must be able to do their work quickly and efficiently to meet deadlines and fulfill delivery orders, and they require real-time communication and updates to do their jobs productively. If there is a change in plans, an adjustment to the deadline, or an unexpected job order, workers need to be informed. Tablet computers can make that easy by offering all the needed information in one place.

When used with mounting devices in place, purpose built tablets can be implemented and used nearly everywhere. Rugged tablets are designed for hard use, so there is almost no limit to where they can be placed. Mounting them in forklifts can allow for seamless integration of the systems, easier tracking, and organization. This can streamline processes that used to take longer, and reduce the likelihood of human error.

With rugged tablets, managers and companies can begin utilizing barcodes and RFID for increased organization and data collection. Forklift mounted tablets can be used hands-free, or be taken from their mounts for up-close inspection. With rugged tablets, the benefits far outweigh those of a paper based or multiple –device system. Here are a few of the benefits:

  • Inventory. What a shipment contains, where it should go, and what client it belongs to.
  • Outdoor use. Purpose-built tablets are designed for outdoor use, so the screens don’t give off glare. They stay readable, no matter the lighting.
  • Reduction of human error. Tablets can help workers identify mistakes faster, and they can be fixed or reported before they become issues.
  • Organization. Shipments can be scanned as they are loaded or unloaded, matched up to other shipments, or designated to specific areas for delivery or pickup.
  • Increased productivity. With tablets to assist workers, forklift operators and other field operators can work more efficiently. Less downtime, fewer mistakes, and real-time communication makes it easier for workers to do their jobs.

We are just beginning to understand how we can better utilize tablets in our workspaces, warehouses, and ports. Barcode and RFID scanning is one of the steps in making the most of portable technology like tablets, and many more features can be brought to bear on warehouse efficiency as well.

 

 

Rugged Tablets’ POS Applications

For POS applications across a wide range of verticals, mobile computing is fast supplanting other methods of enhancing customer interactions. The point-of-sale and point-of-service options provided by a rugged tablet PC can streamline processes in almost any customer-facing industry, increasing productivity and efficiency while eliminating lags in service.

Rugged tablets are durable enough to stand up in almost any working environment, and can be utilized to simplify operations across the board, with a vast toolbox of solutions for familiar issues and the flexibility to adapt to different environments. Whether the setting is a restaurant, a casino, or a hotel the tablet bears up under constant, rigorous use, and in the retail sector there is no device that compares for convenience and customer satisfaction.

Retail

Employees can use the tablets’ built-in RFID readers and barcode scanners to quickly bring up product information on screen and check available inventory. Tracking tells the employee exactly where the item is for easy, fast retrieval. Encrypted MSR and EMV smart card readers for payment allows the checkout process to begin immediately, eliminating long lines at the register. Out of stock items can be verified in stock elsewhere, purchased, and delivery arranged on the spot.

Hospitality

Rugged tablets can be used at the front desk for sign in, on carts for room service, and at checkout to settle the bill. Internally, linen inventories can be checked, rooms slated for cleaning marked off and notes kept for special instructions by room number. The durability of the tablet can stand up to drops or other shocks, and long battery life means they last the whole shift. Wireless capability allows for mobility and communication with adjacent restaurants or casinos for a seamless process.

Restaurant

Tablets used for at-table ordering speed up the process, immediately transferring orders to the kitchen, allowing more secure payment in front of guests and faster turnover. The check can be requested and handled at the customer’s convenience, and completed transactions can notify management that a table is opening up for faster clearing and reseating. The tablet is spill proof and durable, even for family style dining.

Compared to consumer grade tablets, or PCs at fixed points requiring repeated visits to the specific location, rugged tablets bring flexibility and mobility to the world of retail and hospitality. As a POS solution, tablets are rapidly outstripping more traditional options, with benefits that are unmatched by other devices.