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All posts by Paula Heikell

Upgrading Your Warehouse Mobile Devices? Ten Factors to Consider

There is certainly no “one size fits all” when it comes to choosing the right mobile device whether its a full-blown computer, scanner or wearable device for warehouse operations. If you’re thinking about upgrading your devices for better performance, don’t miss this:

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There is certainly no “one size fits all” when it comes to choosing the right mobile device whether its a full-blown computer, scanner or wearable device for warehouse operations. If you’re thinking about upgrading your devices for better performance, don’t miss this:

(Note: You can also download this infographic here.)

As these factors indicate, as always, it’s important to do your homework. A good vendor will help you develop the right specification list to narrow down your choices and help you get access to demo equipment to try out in your operations.

It’s worth taking the extra steps, especially it’s been a while since your company has taken a look at the latest devices. Features and functionality continue to improve, often in new, unexpected ways.

The right mobile computing devices is just one way to increase warehouse productivity. Other technologies such as order packing and multi-carrier shipping software can also significantly reduce manual touches to packages during order fulfillment and dramatically increase throughput.

Questions? Logistyx mobile computing specialists are here to help. Contact us today.

Do Mobile Computers Increase Warehouse Productivity? Check the Facts Here.

Do Mobile Computers Increase Warehouse Productivity? Check the Facts Here. From the back of the warehouse to the retail floor, productivity has never been more important. Using the right devices in your warehouse can streamline your workflow and increase your workers productivity. If you’d like to see how the right device can have a postive […]

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Do Mobile Computers Increase Warehouse Productivity? Check the Facts Here.

From the back of the warehouse to the retail floor, productivity has never been more important. Using the right devices in your warehouse can streamline your workflow and increase your workers productivity.

If you’d like to see how the right device can have a postive impact in your operations, take a look at how our partner, Zebra Technologies applies ergonomic design and productivity-enhancing innovations in its devices such as the TC8000 handheld scanner:

Read this infographic to find out how the TC8000 mobile computer boosts worker productivity by 14%.

Having the right mobile computing devices is just one way to increase warehouse productivity. Other technologies such as order packing and multi-carrier shipping software can also significantly reduce manual touches to packages during order fulfillment and dramatically increase throughput.

Questions? We’re here to help. Contact us today.

Why Enterprise Mobility Users are Switching to Android

With Windows Embedded’s Limited Upgrade Future, Users Are Migrating to Android Mobile Computers Much of the enterprise mobile computing industry is migrating from Microsoft Windows to Android, and there are several big reasons why.  In this article, we explain what’s happening, why major device manufacturers are switching to Android, and how businesses can significantly benefit […]

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With Windows Embedded’s Limited Upgrade Future, Users Are Migrating to Android Mobile Computers

Much of the enterprise mobile computing industry is migrating from Microsoft Windows to Android, and there are several big reasons why.  In this article, we explain what’s happening, why major device manufacturers are switching to Android, and how businesses can significantly benefit from doing the same.

Addressing the End of Windows Handheld

Until now, Windows Embedded was the industry standard for enterprise mobile computing. But now Microsoft is ending support for all versions of the platform.

Microsoft has already ended mainstream support for all versions except Windows Embedded Handheld 8.1, which won’t receive extended support. For all other versions, extended support has ended or will end over the next two to three years.

Upgrading directly from these platforms to Windows 10 IoT won’t be possible because apps for Windows Embedded are not compatible with Microsoft’s newest mobile OS. The only option to remain with Windows is to take on the expensive and time-consuming process of reprogramming and migrating applications and databases.

Given the difficulties and problems this poses, most leading players in the enterprise mobile industry have decided to switch to Android.

Android developers

As the world’s most popular mobile OS, Android offers an easy-to-use and intuitive interface, along with many development tools and a global developer community that makes it much faster and easier to migrate applications or create new solutions.

Hardware manufacturers and businesses such as Home Depot and Whirlpool have seized the opportunity to take this simpler and less costly approach, giving workers a more familiar and user-friendly experience in the process

Minimizing Security Risks

Importantly, the end of support for Windows Embedded means no future updates or security patches. This would leave countless businesses vulnerable to data security threats, so migrating to a new OS is an absolute must.

Fortunately, Android now has enterprise-grade security thanks to its easy over-the-air updates and device management tools developed by our partners at Zebra Technologies.

Android security

Zebra’s Mobility Extensions (Mx) give businesses complete control over their Android devices, applications, and connections. Zebra’s LifeGuard for Android also provides up to 10 years of security updates and support, long after the standard Android consumer support period comes to an end.

Upgrading Mobile Productivity and Efficiency

Another Android benefit is its positive impact on worker productivity and efficiency. Android offers immediate improvements through its simple touch-based interface and its familiarity to many workers who use the OS on their home devices.

It also presents an opportunity to upgrade to the latest mobile computers while migrating to a new, modern OS. All major enterprise device manufacturers are switching to Android, and the end results are already making big waves in the mobility industry.

For example, Zebra’s MC3300 mobile computer has combined the simplicity of Android touch mobile computing with a keypad, push-to-talk, Wi-Fi communications, and advanced barcode scanning in a single device.

The MC3300 makes barcode scanning much easier and more efficient with four distinct form factors, including a pistol grip, turret with rotating head, straight shooter, and 45° angle. It can capture multiple barcodes with a single trigger pull and has a scanning range of up to 60 feet.

It’s just one of many new productivity-boosting Zebra Android devices.

Migrating to Android: Next Steps

If you’d like to turn OS migration into a productivity boost for your business, Logistyx can help.

We’ll help you develop an OS migration plan, evaluate the latest Zebra Android mobile computers, and outline all the steps to make a successful switch.

Contact Logistyx now to learn more and get started.

Take Warehouse Productivity to the Next Level with Mobile Computing

Mobile Computing Deployment Options that Improve Warehouse Productivity Many logistics and shipping operations still rely on desktop computers and stationary workstations to manage fulfillment. This means workers are often tethered to a workstation or need to go back and forth between warehouse aisles and a workstation to access orders, pick, pack, verify the order contents […]

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Mobile Computing Deployment Options that Improve Warehouse Productivity

Many logistics and shipping operations still rely on desktop computers and stationary workstations to manage fulfillment. This means workers are often tethered to a workstation or need to go back and forth between warehouse aisles and a workstation to access orders, pick, pack, verify the order contents and then print and apply shipping labels.

However, the reliance on fixed workstations and desktop computers is diminishing as today’s companies embrace mobile technology as the best path to a highly efficient warehouse. Following are some mobility options that are popular among Logistyx customers:

 

Mobile-Powered Warehouse Workstations

Today, we’re seeing a steadily growing trend among our customers to convert permanent packing and shipping workstations into mobile warehouse workstations.

A mobile workstation is a wheeled platform with shelves, a keyboard tray, and brackets that allow workers to move a PC, monitor, printer, and integrated barcode scanner to any location in a warehouse.

These solutions include batteries or hot-swappable batteries to power all the workstation’s devices without requiring access to an electrical power outlet. The workstations can easily be moved to wherever they’re needed in the warehouse, eliminating back-and-forth trips to shipping areas or other workstations.

As many companies are learning, the time saved by eliminating employees’ unnecessary steps in the warehouse equates to thousands of dollars and faster fulfillment. For an example ROI calculation actual savings, read our blog, “Improve Warehouse Productivity with Mobile Powered Workstations.”

 

Multi-Function Mobile Computers

Another option is to replace and/or augment desktop PCs and workstations with Zebra enterprise mobile computers. Zebra’s enterprise mobile computers are rugged, yet far more compact and lightweight than a PC. They can run mobile versions of the same warehouse, order management, or shipping software, but they’re multi-purpose devices.

 

 

Zebra mobile computers are multi-functional, powerful and fast. They can scan barcodes, provide voice and text communications, and capture pictures and video to verify the condition of goods.

They even have their own power source and come in a variety of designs and form factors to match your environment and requirements, ranging from Zebra’s TC51/56 smartphone-style touch computer to the MC9200 rugged gun-style mobile computer and the revolutionary TC8000 touch mobile computer, which takes labor-saving design and ergonomics to a new level.

 

Wearable and Hands-Free Technology 

An enterprise mobile computer can also be paired with a wearable mobile printer to print shipping labels and receipts on the go, without needing a workstation. You can also pair it with other wearable devices, such as ring scanners and headsets, to enable hands-free and voice-directed scanning, picking, and packing.

In fact, Zebra offers total wearable solutions including the WT6000 wearable mobile computer and everything you need to create a completely hands-free computing and printing system.

Ultimately, whether you choose handheld or wearable mobile computing, you can now minimize your reliance on fixed workstations and computers, and give your staff unprecedented freedom and mobility to get more work done, wherever it needs to happen.

Rather than going back-and-forth to a workstation, your workers can access an order or pick list, pick, pack, apply labels and close out the order with ease. And it all happens anywhere on the warehouse floor.

The end results are measurable and can help you fulfill more orders and achieve better productivity and efficiency without adding staff. Best of all, you can achieve these results at an affordable cost. Thanks to our partnership with Zebra Technologies, we can provide the latest Zebra solutions at the best available prices.

To learn more about converting to mobile workstations and mobile computing, contact Logistyx for a free assessment. Call 1-877-755-2374 or email us now.

Three Ways Incorrect Print Supplies Cause Operational Inefficiency

How to Avoid Costly Operational Issues Caused by Choosing the Wrong Print Supplies When you’re striving to maintain a high level of operational efficiency and profitability, printer downtime is the last thing you want to deal with. Improper selection of printing supplies is a common cause of operational delays and cost increases. Following are some […]

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How to Avoid Costly Operational Issues Caused by Choosing the Wrong Print Supplies

When you’re striving to maintain a high level of operational efficiency and profitability, printer downtime is the last thing you want to deal with.

barcode label with bandage

Improper selection of printing supplies is a common cause of operational delays and cost increases. Following are some common issues that result and how to prevent them.

How the Wrong Printing Supplies Create Disruptions & Increase Costs

Lesser-quality print supplies can slow down or halt business-critical processes and generate hidden costs in a number of ways, including the following:

bad barcode labels

Barcode Scanning Failure

Seamless barcode scanning, without interruptions in workflow, begins with sourcing labels and supplies that ensure good print quality and barcode scan-ability. For thermal barcode labeling, it’s crucial to use the right labels with the right materials and ribbon so that barcodes and other information are printed correctly on each label and can withstand the scanning environment.

smudged shipping label
Source: Endicia.com.

Otherwise, the outcome may yield unscannable barcodes that cause interruptions and delays in scanning operations, wasting time and incurring costs to reprint and rescan labels.

Label Adhesive Failure

Labels that do not adhere properly, fall off items making it difficult to correctly identify and scan them. This is a common problem, particularly in environments where a specialized label is required to withstand extreme temperatures, abrasion, chemicals or indoor/outdoor exposure.

Peeling barcode label
Source: Telaeris.com

It’s important to source high-quality labels that are spec’d to meet these demands. Labels of lower quality or incorrect adhesive may be the cause of interruptions in scanning, tracking and moving assets and shipments through the supply chain.

Premature Printhead Replacement

Are you certain you’re getting the most extensive life from your printheads? Premature printhead replacement is the single most expensive problem that can occur as a result of using incorrect or low-quality materials.

Printheads are consumables and inevitably need to be replaced from time to time. But this can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars across a printer pool, so it’s important to maximize printhead life and minimize replacement.

The key to minimizing replacement is to ensure that you’re sourcing the right label for the job.  If the label is not the right quality, or being used for the wrong application, print quality issues such as excessive print darkness may occur.

Another costly consequence is that your printer will burn through printheads much more quickly than need be. If you’re experiencing shorter printhead life cycles, this is a key area to check.

How to Prevent Inefficiency & Minimize Costs with Quality Supplies

The best way to ensure uninterrupted barcode scanning and minimize label reprinting and printhead replacements, is to choose the right high-quality supplies.

With decades of experience supporting print operations for our customers, we’ve seen the costs that are incurred by incorrect label selection along many points in the warehouse. We recommend pre-tested and high-quality printing supplies from our partners at Zebra Technologies.

Zebra has an impeccable track record of producing outstanding supplies based on ISO9001:2008 quality procedures. Zebra offers the industry’s best selection of quality supplies, including 500 stock options with over 1,000 possible combinations, plus an R&D team that designs custom supplies solutions for any application.

All Zebra supplies are rigorously pre-tested for print quality, adhesive strength and application requirements. They’re also available with guaranteed protection against premature printhead failure, if you use Zebra printers and agree to use Zebra supplies exclusively.

Logistyx print specialists are on hand to help you make the right choices. To learn more about Zebra supplies and get expert advice, contact Logistyx now for a free consultation.

 

What the End of Windows Handheld Really Means

By now, you’ve probably heard that Microsoft is ending all support for Windows handheld operating systems. It’s true, and if you’re running Windows on enterprise mobile computers, you need to have an action plan. Microsoft’s announcement that it will be ending all support for Windows handheld operating systems is going to have a dramatic impact […]

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By now, you’ve probably heard that Microsoft is ending all support for Windows handheld operating systems. It’s true, and if you’re running Windows on enterprise mobile computers, you need to have an action plan.

Microsoft’s announcement that it will be ending all support for Windows handheld operating systems is going to have a dramatic impact on mobile equipment asset management for many companies If your company is running Windows on enterprise mobile computers, it’s critical to have an action plan.

Data Security is a Top of Mind Risk

Once Windows reaches “end of life” for handhelds, there will be no more security patches. This means the devices will be vulnerable to any new security threats that emerge. More importantly, any business and customer data processed on these handhelds may be at serious risk.

To help you prepare, we’ve put together a quick rundown of Microsoft’s end dates and how it may impact your business.

  • Whenever Microsoft releases an operating system, it continues to support that version with security updates, bug fixes, design changes and warranty claims for five years. This is the mainstream support period.
  • When that five-year period comes to an end, Microsoft has historically pushed the OS into extended support. This means Microsoft stops adding new features and ends free support for that version. At this point, Microsoft still provides bug fixes and patches in the form of downloadable updates.
  • The extended support period usually runs for another five years, after which Microsoft stops supporting the version entirely. After this date, the company no longer provides bug fixes, patches or security updates to protect devices running the OS.

This is why the end of support for Windows handheld operating systems is such a big deal.

End of Life Dates to Know

Microsoft has already ended mainstream and extended support for all versions of its Windows Mobile OS, and mainstream support has already ended for all but one version of its Windows Embedded OS.

There’s also the larger issue of Microsoft changing its lifecycle policy with Windows Embedded 8.1. For this version, Microsoft won’t provide extended support.

This means all versions of Windows for handheld mobile computers have already reached their end of life or will do so by April 13, 2021.

Following is a breakdown of each OS and the end dates for mainstream and extended support:

Ultimately, anyone running Windows handhelds will need to migrate to a new OS and most likely upgrade to new handheld devices in the process.

Ignoring the Windows phase-out isn’t an option, due to inherent security threats. Also, the decision to run an outdated OS that will make it difficult or impossible to run future handheld mobile apps.

Migration Planning Tips

If you decide to migrate, here are a few key things to consider:

  1. If you have obsolete hardware that can’t run a new OS, you’ll need to upgrade to new devices. To future-proof your operations, we recommend upgrading to Android mobile computers from Zebra Technologies.
     
  2. Existing business apps and databases will need to be rewritten or reconfigured depending on their compatibility with the new OS. Switching to Android makes this much easier with an open platform, app store apps, and extensive developer resources.
     
  3. Migrated apps should be thoroughly tested to eliminate bugs or other issues that might get in the way once you move to your new OS.
     
  4. It may be necessary to retrain employees and potentially modify procedures, management and support processes accordingly.

If you need help in developing and executing the right OS migration strategy, our team at Logistyx is here to provide support as Microsoft exits the market.

We’ve helped many businesses develop a winning OS migration plan that ensures future device security while helping them achieve major improvements in mobile productivity and efficiency.

Contact Logistyx now to learn how to get the same results for your business.