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Tablet PCs Help Achieve Operational Efficiency via Workforce Management

The watchword in the business world during the economic downturn and recovery has been labor productivity. Companies often invest most heavily in human resources and so when times get tough, it naturally follows that cuts occur to the largest budget expense. Operational efficiency then begins to erode as companies learn to "do more with less."

Thankfully, technological advances particularly in the tablet PC market have led to better workforce management and have made doing more with less much more efficient, streamlined and productive. It doesn't quite feel like you're doing more with less when you have the right tools to get the job done appropriately and you can actually increase labor productivity and operational efficiency. 

There are three key ways you can increase operational efficiency incorporating tablet PC technology: improve your warehouse management system, leverage standards and monitor productivity.

Rugged Tablet PC for WarehousingWarehouse Management
The number one way you can achieve operational efficiency in your warehouse is by digitizing work assignments. Instead of employees traveling between the warehouse and the office to pick up their next assignment, managers can send assignments directly to an employee's rugged tablet PC. This not only saves times but gives managers more leeway in assigning the right job to the right employee. This kind of dynamic task management can also help bundle work assignments into logical groups to maximize employee efficiency.

Voice enabled tablet PCs have a place in your warehouse management as well. Voice systems that direct employees' work frees up their hands and eyes to focus on the task at hand instead of shifting back and forth between instructions and work tasks. These simple changes to your warehouse management and the effective use of mobile technology hold great promise in boosting operational efficiency.

Leveraging Standards
Establishing a set of best practices, standards and methods is key to any company's success. Companies can gain additional labor productivity by using tablet PC technologies to leverage those standards in daily operations. First and foremost, having standards in place helps managers to know exactly how much time each task should take allowing for automatic forecasting and planning and sharing of those plans via mobile technology. Appropriate planning cuts down on employee down time and expensive overtime as managers react to operational changes.

Managers can also make quicker adjustments to the future work schedule and the day to day schedule by monitoring progress throughout the day. Mobile technologies allow for these changes and more importantly, communication about the changes, to happen instantaneously instead of over several hours or days. 

Rugged Tablet PC for WarehouseMonitor Productivity
Change for the sake of change doesn't boost productivity on its own. You won't know if changes to your warehouse management or the implementation of standards has boosted your operational efficiency until you monitor productivity.  

Tablet PC technology can allow managers to monitor productivity in real time and make instant adjustments either in addressing problems like congested aisles or low batteries. Managers can also keep track of employees' indirect time — time spent on breaks, cleaning workspaces, moving equipment — and help manage that time more efficiently or offer employee incentives for limiting indirect time. 

Labor productivity and operational efficiency will continue to dominate the industry in this long economic recovery. But, getting more done with less doesn't have to leave employees and managers exhausted and overworked. Instead, utilize tablet PC technology to better manage your warehouse, implement best practices and keep track of productivity to achieve greater operational efficiency. 

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