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Eliminate Supply Chain Blind Spots with Rugged Tablet PC

Highly-publicized food recalls have fueled growing concerns about food safety and public health. Businesses all along the food supply chain, from farmers to retailers, are understandably concerned about potential legal liability as well as health issues.

Obviously blind spots in the “farm to fork” supply chain continue to exist, and there’s a pressing need to eliminate them. Global sourcing exacerbates the situation, creating even-more-cumbersome traceability issues.

No wonder innovative technologies such as mobile computing devices are becoming popular tools in the war against blind spots in the food supply chain. In particular, rugged tablet PCs offer exceptional opportunities to improve visibility of harvesting, processing, transportation, storage and delivery practices as well as overall business management benefits.

Rugged Tablet PC for AgricultureUsing technology to improve traceability.

The FDA currently requires “one up-one back” traceability, but for best protection the entire supply chain needs to become fully transparent to everyone involved.

Field workers can use handheld computers such as a rugged tablet PC to record farm and field information, date, crop quantity, quality rating and other details -- literally right on the ground -- attaching labels or tags on the spot. Adding pertinent data at each successive step accumulates comprehensive, detailed information.

The ability to electronically capture and instantly upload this information via the “cloud” communicates the data to every point along the food supply chain, virtually eliminating blind spots. 

Immediately-available data facilitates faster, healthier supply chain flow. Those farther down the line can see what’s coming and when, to be better prepared. It can deter or track down theft, by showing just where and when products “disappeared.” Perhaps most importantly, instant data availability can help identify the source of contamination, if it’s found, to quickly isolate potentially affected foods and help investigators determine the cause.

To be truly effective, traceability solutions must address the fact that vastly different processes and technologies are currently in use. Warehouse management systems (WMS) need upgrading and standardization to incorporate cloud-based technologies that support integration and collaborative data-sharing.

Why are rugged tablet PCs valuable?

They’re specifically designed for real-world working conditions, providing broad-based advantages including:

  • The powerful functionality of a laptop, with the light weight and small size to literally fit right in your hand.
  • Customizable features to support any size operation in any food supply sector.
  • Ability to work where you do -- built tough for dependability even in harsh conditions, with screens that are easy to see, even outdoors. 
  • Ability to work when you do -- 24/7 access and connectivity means you can work, or direct work, any time from anywhere.
  • Straight-forward usability that enables workers at all levels of sophistication to feel comfortable and confident.

Rugged Tablet PC in the WarehouseIncreasing food supply chain complexity means innovative technology is essential to establish best-practice health and business solutions. Businesses can use new technologies to help establish workflow plans, efficiently direct processes and instruct workers in the event something unusual happens or problems occur.

Streamlining processes by adopting the right technology especially something as useful as a rugged tablet PC, can significantly improve overall efficiency, productivity and profitability. It can simplify compliance and eliminate blind spots, providing peace of mind for the public and for the food industry businesses that serve them.

How are you using technology to combat blind spots at your point in the “food chain?”

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