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Warehouse Operations: Tablet PCs and a Whole Lot of Barcode Scanning

No matter how well-designed, warehouses can present a difficult working environment. Inventory is about storage, but your warehouse is also inherently one of your most mobile environments. And while it may be a hub, it’s only part of your operation.

The bottom line is that warehouse operations have to run as smoothly as the proverbial well-oiled machine. Anything less costs you money. Mobile devices, especially rugged tablet computers, are revolutionizing warehouse operations.

A rugged tablet is much more than a bar code scanner.

Barcoding has streamlined supply chain data gathering, making work faster and more accurate. You can be better organized and more confident all is in order within your warehouse.

rugged tablet pc for warehouse operationsRugged tablet PC systems offer versatility to help get the work done, but only if they’re tough, because the warehouse is no place for sissies. The best rugged tablets conform to military-level standards for resistance to shock and other potential environmental hazards such as dust or moisture. Yet they put full-size computing capability right in your hands.

That’s especially important, because top-quality rugged tablet PCs enable you to read emerging 2-dimensional bar codes that house far more data than traditional 1-dimensional laser-scan codes. New coding technology lets you process far more data, right on the spot, because there’s no need to transmit data to a central database for decoding. 2D bar codes use:

  • High-density symbols for small items.
  • Medium-density symbols for larger boxes and pallets.
  • Retro-reflective symbols and labels for longer-distance scanning.  

Enhanced imaging capability means you can also use your rugged tablet to capture signatures, identify damaged or incorrect merchandise or handle other inspection or other quality control needs.

Barcoding streamlines every step of warehouse operations.

You get reliable, comprehensive tracking to ensure nothing goes astray, including:

  • Shipping and receiving – scan as items are loaded or unloaded, to confirm they match bill of lading, inspect items, etc.
  • Pick-and-pack – track items as you break up large containers into smaller groupings or individual pieces and move them to packing areas.
  • Inventory management – forklift operators scan location markers on floor, walls, hung from the ceiling or on shelving, to quickly find things and make sure everything is placed or replaced in correct spot.
  • Outdoors – scanners work in bright light if inventory is stored outside.  

You can immediately identify problems or mistakes, and count on easier traceability for internal or government-required compliance.

A rugged tablet is simply the right productivity tool for the job.

rugged tablet pc forklift warehouse inventoryMobile tablets are deliberately designed for high performance in warehouse conditions. They can be mounted on forklifts, trucks, etc. for easy access or can be taken in hand if necessary. They’re accurate up close and at long range, in varied and variable light conditions.

You can instantly decode scanned data or retrieve information from a centralized database, a desktop or other source. Anyone in your warehouse or elsewhere – literally anywhere – can obtain real-time information, 24/7, to keep things on track and make best-informed decisions. And you can improve communication, to streamline your supply chain and reverse logistics processes.

We’re just beginning to understand the true value and multiple uses of enhanced scanning. Electronics are getting smaller and smarter as new innovations come on the scene, bringing even better bar coding options.

There’s no doubt rugged tablets enable warehouse managers and personnel to take full advantage of these opportunities to improve efficiency, productivity and profitability.

What’s the smartest way you’re using rugged tablets to improve your warehouse operations?

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