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Streamlining Putaway With Rugged Tablet PCs

Rugged tablet PCs and ruggedized mobile computers have become invaluable assets in streamlined putaway processes for a growing number of industries. Putaway has historically been one of the more overlooked areas for businesses involved in shipping, receiving, and storage operations. Poor processes and technology resulted in paper-based tracking and large storage spaces—with personnel scrambling to react to orders and store pallets or products in the order they hoped each would be needed. With rugged tablet computers and accessories, the power and flexibility to execute a comprehensive, optimized putaway system has eliminated these time-consuming and resource-draining requirements.

Rugged Tablet PC for Shipping, Receiving, Warehousing, StorageRugged tablet PCs allow for the increased flow of goods by providing significant improvements to putaway processes. Two major areas of improvement are in the execution of staging and storage activities and in electronic tracking and advanced planning. When items in a storage facility must be moved, whether they are pallets or individual products, the effectiveness of the entire putaway operation is at stake. Rugged tablet computers are perfect for this environment. The tablets provide full Windows 7 functionality and can be used to run any warehouse management system (WMS) software. This gives managers a powerful tool to prioritize and control all staging, sorting, packing, and product movement activities.

For example, using rugged tablet PCs, a manager could identify permanent storage and pick-and-drop (PND) locations, assign employees to specific tasks, allocate floor space for staging areas, and set the order of activities to minimize space requirements and ensure maximum accessibility. Consolidating these processes into a streamlined, centralized putaway operation, executed through rugged tablet computers, allows businesses to eliminate bottlenecks and accelerate the flow of goods through facilities.

The streamlined flow of goods during putaway also relies heavily on accurate and timely tracking and advanced planning. While hard-copy documentation is the simplest method, it is also the most inefficient and error-prone tracking method used in warehouses. A single data-entry error on one sheet of paper can result in serious delays, especially if the error is not quickly identified. Ruggedized computers and their accessories provide an accurate and cost-effective alternative to pen-and-paper tracking.

Using barcode scanners or radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, rugged tablet PCs can quickly identify and track items anywhere in a facility. These automated processes also create electronic records of inventory that can be accessed in multiple locations, with every user knowing they have the most current data. This information can then be used to plan for upcoming customer orders, so at no point is a delivery delayed while employees scour the warehouse for goods, or move a stack of pallets to get to what is needed.

In putaway operations, the ultimate goal is to maximize resources and eliminate delays in customer deliveries (and thus, customer payment). Ruggedized devices and accessories from MobileDemand can be vital assets for businesses in achieving this goal.

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