22 May 2018
Handheld computers are helping warehouse and logistics
managers across the country to achieve greater operational efficiency. Better
data accuracy, real-time visibility and greatly improved job processes are
making many wonder how they ever managed with just pen and paper.
If you’re not already, you’ll no doubt want to capitalise on
these same benefits - but it’d be unwise to jump straight in with any old
hardware. It’s important that you consider your investment carefully, and we’re
here to help. Below are a few of the main factors to think about.
Your working environment
Consider the environment in which your equipment will be
used. If it’s a cold, harsh warehouse, you’ll need something tough enough to
cope with lower temperatures and the odd knock or drop. This is where rugged
handhelds come into their own – built with thick casing from scratch-resistant
materials, they’ll take pretty much anything your staff are likely to throw at
them in day-to-day use.
Try using a standard smartphone or something else without
the necessary protection in this kind of workplace and it’s unlikely to last.
That said, if you’re looking for something to use in more of an office kind of
environment, a lighter machine may be more appropriate.
What are you looking to achieve by implementing handheld
computers in your business? The answer to this question will determine what
software you should use, and that could in turn influence which hardware you go
Some of our handhelds run on a version of Windows, while
others, like the Honeywell Dolphin CT50, can be fuelled by Android instead. There will be different
applications available for both operating systems, so be sure to look into
what’s available before committing. The TouchStar team can help with this, so
get in touch if you have any questions.
Handheld computers come in a variety of shapes and sizes,
with different physical features designed to make using them comfortable and
easy in a range of situations. The rugged TS8000,
for example, has a full handle, making it ideal for fast picking in a warehouse
environment where scanning is the primary function. The aforementioned
Honeywell Dolphin CT50, on the other hand, is lighter and more discreet –
perfect for highly mobile frontline employees.
Once again, ruggedness will come into it too, so think about
how much your equipment will need to put up with.
Most handhelds have scanners built in these days, with
obvious reason, but not all have the same capabilities. Ask yourself what kind
of distance staff will be scanning barcodes and QR codes from – if they’re
expected to regularly scan items on the top shelf, a short-range device won’t
be much use. A scanner with long-range capabilities, however, could remove the
need for moveable steps, saving time and valuable warehouse space.
Lastly, consider your budget as these kinds of tools do vary
in price. Whatever you go for, it’ll likely help you save money in the long
run, but you need to be able to justify the cost to begin with.
If this is your first foray into handheld computing for your
business, consider focusing on getting the right models rather than trying to
kit out your whole team at once – there’s little point to everyone having a
computer to hand if it doesn’t help them work more effectively.
As mentioned, we’re here to help. Our expert team is ready
to discuss the handhelds we have available and explain how they could be used
to improve your operations. Get in touch to
find out more.