Reducing Rugged Device Maintenance & Support Costs
As today’s technology decision makers are quickly discovering, implementing a mobile communication system is never as simple as finding the cheapest device. More than a device’s initial acquisition cost, it’s important to consider the inevitable soft costs that arise when utilizing a consumer-grade laptop in a demanding field environment. Unfortunately, a recent VDC Research study found that 68.4 percent of people base their final purchase decision on hard acquisition costs while neglecting soft, lifetime expenses.
Consider the ways your “affordable,” consumer-grade laptop can drain your cash:
1. When transported frequently and used in a harsh industrial or outdoor environment, consumer-grade laptops and notebooks fail at rates of 30 percent or more (VDC, 2007). These failure rates bring with them lost revenue, wasted manpower and lost productivity—often to the tune of $100 to $125/hour.
2. While you hope that field personnel are treating your mobile devices with the utmost care, the reality is that units undergo daily abuse (both intentional and unintentional), transport vibration and exposure to the elements. It only takes one drop, shock or fall to put a consumer-grade mobile PC out of commission—and the damage is often beyond reparable. That means total device replacement, complete with the dozens of man-hours required to restore data, reload software and train personnel on a new device.
3. When it comes to field operations, robust wireless communication is critical to your business. Helping mobile workers stay “connected” to the home office via remote access allows them to update sales figures, check inventory, scan barcodes and obtain real-time data throughout the workday. Consumer-grade devices experience frequent data drops, since they lack access to the data and cellular networks used by rugged PCs. According to VDC, these dropped WiFi connections are more than just an inconvenience: they’re a recipe for 5-10 minutes of average productivity loss per drop, which quickly snowballs into “significant operational costs.”
Contrasting these alarming factors, a ruggedized tablet PC is built to:
(1) Endure daily transport and relentless environments without data loss, decreased screen visibility or reduced functionality.
(2)Maximize uptime and minimize repair costs by tolerating abuse and accidental drops due to its tempered glass screen, shock-absorbent hard drive and waterproof keyboard/peripheral seals.
(3) Provide superior connection performance with built-in wireless radios and vehicle-mounted antennas.
Affordably engineered to save you money, MobileDemand’s xTablet 7000 and xTablet 8700 are stringently tested for increased lifespan and reduced maintenance and support costs—even when deployed in the toughest environments. Contact the MobileDemand team for more information about rugged device TCO, or to inquire about industry applicability.
Do you have firsthand experience saving money with ruggedized PCs? We’d love to hear all about it! Share your stories here.