The state of warehouse operations is changing. High-volume fulfillment operations require more item-level picking and returns. There’s a growing demand for shorter cycle times; and with high workforce turnover and seasonal staffing, it puts a premium on training. Plus, widespread use of mobile devices has increased exposure to IT security breaches that threaten to disrupt warehouse operations. Add it up, and today’s warehouse or distribution center is no place for outdated technology.
If you need a cost-effective way to address these issues, updating your mobile devices is a good place to start, and here are five reasons to do it soon.
1. Avoid downtime due to the end of support for Windows devices.
Microsoft ended extended support for Windows Embedded and mobile operating systems on January 1, 2020 and will end support for Windows Embedded Compact on January 1, 2021. Going forward, the absence of technical support, bug fixes, and security patches will inevitably expose your legacy devices to security threats and lead to disruptive downtime—it’s not a question of if, only when. Migrating to the latest Android devices from Zebra now will mitigate those problems.
2. Improve security.
That leads us to security. The proliferation of mobile devices in warehouse operations is a boom for productivity, but every device is a potential opening that could expose your network and your data. Many older devices simply aren’t architected to handle modern-day security threats. A thorough security assessment of the mobile devices on your network—with upgrades at the weak points—will go a long way to securing your business against today’s threats.
3. Get a productivity boost.
Today’s mobile devices deliver new functionality to your operations, giving you real-time access to more information and enhancing collaboration in ways that can lead to big productivity gains. Advanced barcode scanning, hands-free push-to-talk (PTT), integrated video, and single sign-on device management are just a few of the capabilities that Zebra’s innovative mobile devices offer to help you make warehouse operations more productive.
4. Ditch the paper.
Technology has transformed the warehouse, but operations that continue to rely on paper-based systems and manual processes that are prone to errors lag well behind the competition. Upgraded mobile devices can be a key component in the adoption of a paper-free warehouse management system (WMS). Automated technology helps you optimize operations for maximum efficiency, allowing for better production, fewer errors, and happier customers.
5. Simplify training for new hires and seasonal workers.
The explosive growth of rapid fulfillment has made employee turnover and seasonal staffing more challenging than ever for warehouse managers. With more new workers and less time for onboarding, it’s essential to deploy easy-to-use devices that require minimal user training. By upgrading to the latest Android mobile devices, you’ll give new employees a familiar platform that streamlines adoption and speeds up the path to productivity.
From purpose-built handheld and vehicle-mounted devices, to rugged tablets, mobile computers and industrial barcode label printers that can withstand any warehouse environment, we often recommend Zebra’s lineup of innovative solutions because they make an immediate bottom-line impact to your warehouse efficiency. Contact MSM today to learn more.