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Know Where Your Assets are with Help of a Rugged Tablet PC

It sounds obvious, but keeping better track of your assets and inventory can help retain your competitive edge. Industries across the spectrum and government agencies, too, are using electronic coding and tracking in conjunction with a rugged tablet PC to see exactly where things are at any given time.

Regardless of what industry you’re in, better asset visibility can significantly improve operational productivity and accuracy that can save you money and help you stay more competitive.

A tablet PC and RFID technologies were made for one another.

Barcoding has proven valuable for many operations, but there are situations where barcoding cannot be used for a variety of reasons. Radio-frequency (RFID) tagging is far more versatile. It’s useful at greater distances and in any indoor or outdoor environmental conditions, even when items are packed into large cartons or shipping containers.

Passive UHF RFID, in particular, is rapidly growing in popularity. It’s less costly and easier to use than active RFID and smoothly interfaces with other systems. Tags are updatable, making passive UHF equally valuable for reading to locate items or writing to create or change data. Tags can be rigid, flexible labels or hang-tags and “choke points” such as gates or doorways, conveyors or dedicated read zones can be outfitted with fixed readers.

Using a rugged tablet PC with a mobile reader, personnel can locate assets and transmit data instantly. That’s an asset around the warehouse or on the move, especially outdoors. GPS can identify precise locations in the field. Since tablets can be handheld, vehicle-mounted or convertible, forklift drivers can use them to confirm delivery of shipments, including items packed into containers, and track entire pallets as well as individual items.

rugged tablet pc warehouse inventoryYour inventory and assets represent a considerable investment.

With narrower margins at every turn, refining your processes is more important than ever. You must be flexible and prepared to make last-minute changes in routing, volumes being shipped, etc. to meet customer or shipper demand. And everyone along the supply chain, especially the initial shipper and the final recipient, needs to accurately inventory shipments.

Instituting passive RFID and using it with tablet PCs enables you to gather the complete, accurate data necessary to evaluate current operations so you can identify and correct gaps or problem areas to capture additional savings. Better, more timely information supports better, more effective decisions from the field to the CEO’s office as well as supporting compliance reporting requirements. No longer do you have to rely on anecdotal information or approximate inventory tracking.

The US Navy used to need three people and 24 hours to inventory a single 5x5-foot carton of supplies and spare parts; now it takes a half hour and results are more accurate. One kaiten-style sushi restaurant switched to RFID monitoring of plated servings, greatly improving detailed tracking of food to assure freshness, improving both food quality and profits.

You can get results like these, too. With passive RFID and a tablet PC in hand, your operation can track assets more comprehensively and gain a host of other benefits from better productivity to faster, more accurate logistics and billing. You’ll never wonder where things are or how many you have. These improvements will make you stronger internally and they’ll help build stronger customer relationships, too. 

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