Within the transportation and logistics industry, we have seen an explosion of technology being used to make companies more efficient and improve customer satisfaction. Not every company can tackle all aspects of their operations at once, but choosing the right technology will ensure a proper Return on Investment for years to come. Rugged Tablet PC equipment can be, and should be deployed inside your operations environment.
Today, compared to 5 years ago, there are many choices of hardware. What remains constant is the software you utilize and how that integrates into your ERP Systems. Rugged Tablet PCs specialize in “solution sets” that fit your needs, while focusing in on Windows 7 & 8 compatibility. No longer do you need middleware to run your business, and the tide is turning for companies to control their development and take advantage of cloud computing.
The cost of tablet computing has come down recently, while offering greater features to your deployment. The top 3 uses of mobility technology are identified below, and “rugged tablets” are becoming the defacto choice, where in the past you may have considered a ¼ screen hand held deployment vendor or traditional vehicle mounted solution.
Mobile Dispatch & Delivery: Rugged tablet PCs use real-time data to track and manage pickups and delivery. With so much memory and screen real-estate, you can integrate GPS solutions, scan packages, take pictures, turn by turn directions, and most importantly Pre and Post DOT inspections and EOBR requirements. Key advantages to tablets in the field are: accurate documentation, real time updates to dispatch headquarters and can integrate into your existing on board computer (OBC) vendor for a total solution.
Cross-Docking: Rugged Tablet PCs can be mounted on forklifts and hand carried. These tablets have I/O ports that allow you to interface into serial ports and USB connectors. Many companies integrate into weigh scales and attach Bluetooth or Serial scanners for accurate placement of pallets and products. The tablets can be removed off the forklift, and are battery powered for portable transactions. In the past, ¼ screens have been the preferred method, and a lot of middleware with specialized SDK’s. All of that is in the past, as you can utilize cloud computing in your warehouse, and no middleware using Windows applications and in house security features.
Yard Management: Rugged tablet PCs can be used for gate-in and gate-out applications. Asset tracking & utilization is the key for any transportation company. The use of integrated imaging technology and RFID can quickly identify those assets coming into the yard, placement of assets on the yard and assets leaving the yard. These tablets usually have outdoor readable screens and survive outdoor extremes and multiple 5 foot drops to hard surfaces.
In conclusion, look at rugged tablet PC systems for all 3 applications, and lower your Total Cost of Ownership. All 3 of these applications can use the same tablet. IT professionals like that the tablets are full blown Windows OS devices, which means no need to invest in costly middleware solutions or months of integration into their existing ERP solutions. Tablet computing is very cost effective today compared to traditional vehicle mounted technology and hand held vendors. If you are looking to upgrade your technology this year, now is the time to search for your rugged tablet PC.