Reviewing Your Options for Going Mobile

Choosing the right mobile devices can sometimes be a challenge, so it’s essential that you review the options available before making any decisions.  The Intermec white paper, 8 Steps to Going Mobile, suggests 8 steps and corresponding questions that can help you gather facts and determine what devices are right for your requirements.   The following is a brief summary of the 8 steps suggested by Intermec, but you can read the entire white paper at the link above.

1. Establish Clear Goals

  • What current processes need improvement?
  • Which current processes could benefit from a switch to automated data collection?

2. Determine Data Requirements

  • Do you require real-time access to data?
  • How often will data from your mobile workforce need to be transferred to the office?
  • Will you require GPS to track employees?

3. Determine What Data Will be Collected and Received by Your Mobile Workers

  • Will workers capture data with a built-in barcode scanner?
  • How much data and information can be pre-populated on the application?

4. Determine the Working Conditions of the Mobile Worker and Any Environmental Factors

  • Will the device be subjected to extreme environmental conditions such as hot/cold, rain, dust, etc?
  • Will the device be operated in low-light, sunlight?
  • Will your mobile worker need a keypad or touch screen mobile computer?
  • Will your mobile worker be on the move constantly, requiring a lighter weight design?
  • Do you require battery backup, batteries that charge separately from the device and batteries that can be hot swapped?

5. Establish Technology Requirements

  • Will you require middleware for the device?
  • Will you want to lock down the device so mobile workers can’t add software or delete information?
  • Will the device meet the requirements of the application in terms of operating system, peripherals and data storage?

6. Select a Supplier That Offers the Correct Amount of Support

  • Will your supplier offer on-site and off-site end-user training?
  • Do you need a supplier who offers purchase or lease options?
  • What kind of services will your supplier offer after sale?

7. Financial Considerations

  • What will be most cost effective for your business?
  • Will you require financing?
  • Always benchmark the success to determine your ROI

8. Consider Future Processes and System Upgrades

  • Will the system support any upgrades you’re planning in the near future?
  • Will your application outgrow your device too quickly?

Again, this is just a summary of the Intermec white paper written by Kristi Urich, for a more in-depth look at mobile computing considerations you should read the entire white paper.