The holiday season is approaching again, and for many warehouses servicing retailers, anything that can help speed up the sending and receiving process is important. Many things can increase warehouse efficiencies such as using the type of metal shelf or plastic racks you use, layout, and mechanical picking.
However, technology can also help you achieve better results. One great way to improve your processes is to consider equipping your workforce with industrial grade tablets.
What Is an Industrial Grade Tablet?
An industrial grade tablet can withstand the demands of working in an active warehouse environment. These types of tablets incorporate characteristics similar to those military-grade devices have.
Industrial grade tablets have powerful PC capabilities but in a more rugged and usable frame.
Some of the features of industrial grade tablets include:
- Lightweight so employees can carry them throughout a shift if necessary without experiencing fatigue.
- Waterproof rather than water resistant.
- The casing should have some degree of resistivity to chemicals or hazardous materials.
- Built-in RFID scanners.
- Long battery life.
- Plenty of memory and ability to use whatever software programs the facility has.
- Great Wi-Fi.
The warehouse should have a reliable Wi-Fi server that reaches throughout the warehouse, even in the most isolated parts.
Technical Benefits of Using Tablets
Tablets can help you integrate all aspects of your warehousing operations seamlessly. Most industrial grade tablets use Android or Windows, something that virtually all your employees have used before and hence require little training.
Using Windows 10, for example, lets your operators have full access to the suite of applications generally found within a Windows PC.
The RFID scanners permit the operator to read and enter data from your barcoding system, keeping your inventory instantly updated as product moves in and out of your facility.
Industrial tablets allow operators or warehouse owners to customize the tablets to meet the bespoke needs of the facility.
Space is always a problem in a warehouse. Equipping the appropriate employees with tablets can free-up space in your building.
Instead of an office or section of the warehouse filled with PCs, by allowing managers to carry a PC with them, you can reconfigure the PC space for product storage.
If you operate a manual picking facility, tablets can save your employees time and effort.
With an industrial tablet, the location of any product is instantly available. The picker can determine the quickest route to the item’s location, improving efficiency significantly over time.
The picker can immediately scan the item into or out of inventory, with no lag time between reorders.
This also improves over-all customer experience by instantly updating product status.
Time management is simple using industrial grade tablets. Instead of manually clocking a worker in an out of the warehouse, managers can use tablets to do the job.
Workers going on a break can log themselves out.
Tablets can keep track of where a worker may be inside a warehouse, allowing mangers to determine the employee’s location, and decide who to use to accomplish what task.
For example, you may have an unexpected delivery. Rather than waste time looking for workers to lend a hand in offloading and inventorying, a supervisor can check the locations of each employee and determine who to task.
Tablets allow managers to respond to crises more efficiently. If a machine breaks down or a problem develops, carrying a tablet allows the right person to receive an instant notification so he or she can react accordingly.
The supervisor can then institute whatever response will best address the issue.