Warehouse Mobility Improved by New Technology
Mobile devices (mobile computers and tablets) are critical to an efficient, accurate, and connected warehouse. In the past, warehouses were able to manage these devices on a long-time schedule – with a refresh coming every decade or so.
Growing competition for labor and customers means that warehouses can no longer afford to manage mobile devices like other assets in their warehouse. Modern management of mobile computers requires an approach similar to consumer-grade devices, where updates and upgrades are much more frequent.
The overall shortage of warehouse space is also driving warehouse managers to find new ways to optimize their processes. Frontline mobility is at the heart of these efforts, and many companies are finding that outsourcing mobile device management helps them better meet their goals.
Mobile Devices Ramping Up User-Friendliness
User-friendliness is one of the main characteristics being sought right now, as ease of use can make or break a system even more so than cost. With Microsoft dropping support for its Windows Embedded CE 6.0 and Handheld 6.5 and 8.1, Google’s Android OS has become the top choice.
Barcoding, Inc. Vice President of Client Solutions, Greg Henry, was recently interviewed by Modern Materials Handling and stated, “Until something else comes along, Android by far will be the leading OS in the ruggedized space. The technology partner ecosystem is much, much bigger than we ever saw with Windows CE. The tools are better and third-party support resources are stronger than they have ever been.”
He added that switching from Windows to Android should be thought of as an enhancement, rather than a replacement of existing technology given how much of a step-up it is. Voice-enabled apps on Android are one example he gave, comparing their quality to that of landlines. In fact, these devices are now able to replace communications devices like walkie talkies, giving workers one less thing to carry around.
The camera tech, too, has really stepped up its game in recent times, with apps that can take pictures of damaged items—one example of an area where great strides have been made.
As device capabilities continue to grow, warehouses can expect to reach even greater levels of efficiency if they stay on top of the latest developments.
Read the full Modern Materials Handling article here.