Ultimate Guide to Mounting Rugged Tablets: Tablet Selection
Throughout my time at MobileDemand, I have developed a sequence of questions that I ask all of my customers seeking a mounted tablet solution. These questions create a productive dialog that ensures that their expectations for a mounted rugged tablet solution are met.
So, let's dive in and figure out which tablet would work best for your specific needs and environment.
Starting with the operating system. Sometimes, customers already have a specific OS in place, dictated by their corporate offices or IT team, and they can't change it. There are times when customers do not have OS requirements or are flexible, so we offer solutions for Windows, Android and iOS. Each offers its own advantages. For example, iOS has a user-friendly interface that many people find familiar. Windows allows for multitasking and running multiple applications simultaneously. And Android devices offer a lot of customization options. Any of these systems can be part of a mounted tablet solution so I advise my customers to select based on what works best for their unique business requirements.
Shifting gears a bit, do you use any mission-critical software? If so, we need to know the minimum and maximum technical specifications that will run your software. If you’re using lighter, web-based software, you might be fine with a lower-end, consumer device. These devices are also great for repetitive tasks like basic data entry. However, if you’re running a powerful, high ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system, then the conversation shifts to a device with a powerful enough processor to handle the constant connectivity and stream of real-time data being accessed by your ERP system. I would recommend staying away from consumer devices in this scenario.
Speaking of connectivity, does your facility have reliable Wi-Fi? And is it actually good Wi-Fi? I had a customer whose tablets weren’t working in the back areas of their warehouse. Turns out they just didn’t have a strong enough Wi-Fi signal. We can easily remedy that with a Wi-Fi module on a forklift itself, but it’s better to know if it’s needed before it becomes a problem.
What about scanning needs? Barcode scanning is everywhere these days and there are plenty of options available. Some customers may benefit from an integrated scanner, while others may need a corded or Bluetooth connected scan handle or a wearable scanner.
Now let’s talk about the severity of downtime. By that, I mean how costly is a non-functioning device to your company? This helps me to determine if a service plan will suffice or if additional back-up devices should be purchased right away. If you absolutely cannot continue working when a device is out of commission, then backups are a must. On the other hand, if your company can manage for a few days without a device, our xProtect service plan might be a good fit.
Each question helps us narrow down the options and find the best solution for you. Once we have the tablet figured out, we can move on to building a complete mounting solution around it. I'll cover that in my next blog post.
About the author: Amy Garman is currently the Northeast Enterprise Regional Sales Manager as well as head of International Sales for MobileDemand. With nearly 10 years at MobileDemand under her belt, she is the company’s mounting expert with a strong focus on forklift mounting.
Connect with Amy on LinkedIn.
Missed the other parts in the series?