As mobile devices become more capable, sometimes business owners think that using consumer-grade devices is a great way to save money while still increasing workforce productivity with a mobile solution. In many cases, however, using consumer-grade devices ends up costing more than an enterprise-grade device. This, in turn, leaves the business vulnerable to risks of additional downtime, increased errors, security issues and sub-optimal productivity. Here’s why.
Enterprise Devices Focus on Durability
There’s a reason people put their mobile devices in protective cases the instant they buy them. Consumer-grade mobile devices are inherently fragile, subject to shattered screens and damage from moisture, dust and other contaminants. They are designed for personal use, not a fast-paced, industrial (and often dusty) warehouse, distribution center or manufacturing plant.
Enterprise-grade devices are designed to stand up to the rigors of these environments. Industrial mobile computers, barcode scanning devices and rugged tablets can withstand falls onto concrete floors, and are sealed to withstand moisture, dust and temperature extremes that would destroy a consumer device in no time.
The cost of replacing broken consumer devices, not to mention the lost productivity, will quickly outweigh the upfront cost of purchasing a more rugged device that can stand up to your environment.
The Wi-Fi components in most consumer devices are good, but enterprise-grade devices are much better. They are designed to stay connected in motion even in areas with tall shelves, high ceilings, and high concentrations of metal or corrugated materials —two substances known to wreak havoc with Wi‑Fi signals.
Better connectivity and fewer dropped signals ensures that your transactions go through more predictably and information is easily accessible to your workers. Increased productivity and reduced investment in costly network equipment and repeaters are benefits of working with enterprise-grade devices.
Devices best suited for fast-paced environments were designed to accommodate long work shifts with battery life to match—and in some cases, exceed—with multi-bay charging cradles and user-swappable batteries. They are also designed to be used by multiple users, so they can have many logins to help with transaction audit trails and accountability.
Many enterprise-grade devices come with device management solutions pre‑installed for enhanced security. Remote management lets you:
- diagnose failures or reset devices remotely
- wipe sensitive data from lost or stolen devices
- easily add VPN software
- incorporate two-factor authentication
- install other security features that are a hassle on consumer-oriented devices
Strange to say, but consumer-grade devices are designed for a short life cycle. The consumer device industry thrives on frequent replacements, knowing that most consumers will not keep their devices more than a year or two. Enterprise-grade devices are designed for longevity and durability. They can take hard use over a longer life span than consumer devices are expected to endure, because the manufacturers know that a business is depending on the equipment. Heavy-duty usage is considered and expected during the design phase, so most devices are engineered to ensure that the equipment stays in service longer and offers excellent ROI.
A Wider Range of Accessories
Consumer-grade devices rarely need to work with high-quality scanning devices such as ring scanners or long-range scanners necessary to ensure productivity in a commercial environment. Commercial-grade touch screens will have higher conductivity so they can be used with gloves or stand up to drops and bumps or even extreme temperatures.
Don’t sell your business short by choosing consumer-grade devices to manage your business. Enterprise-grade devices are a much better investment and will improve productivity and reliability.
Contact us today for information.