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We’ve been discussing the rising popularity of intelligent automation in today’s warehouses. However, while a vast majority of operations are enhancing teams with multi-functional hardware, many businesses still struggle to use new technologies since well over half of workforces are outsourced and/or cyclical. Outsourcing crucial workflows, such as picking and shipping, creates a challenge in user adoption since new hires must be constantly re-trained, halting productivity and order throughput.

While Android-based devices have been shown to decrease adoption rates through a familiar interface, workers may still face issues when it comes to other core applications such as inventory management, WMS updates, and communication channels. Studies show that almost half of warehouses experience IT breakdowns at least a few days a week, most stemming from:

  • Dropped connectivity
  • Inefficient scan engines
  • Missed software updates
  • Lack of standardization
  • Missed maintenance schedules

To prevent these issues from diminishing the impact of automation efforts, Zebra’s Mobility DNA applications offer an additional level of adaptable intelligence to modernized devices that’s easy to adopt by your changing labor force.

Competitive intelligence is built from the inside out

Designed with simplicity in mind, Zebra’s Mobility DNA apps tackle the pervasive problems of IT breakdowns by:

  1. Securing WiFi connectivity within the four walls – Connectivity is the backbone of unbroken uptime, which is why Zebra’s WorryFree WiFi delivers no-drop WiFi connectivity to protect productivity with near-instant response times.
  2. Integrating intelligent data capture – Digitization eliminates the failures of manual data entry, but applications like SimulScan and DataWedge go a step farther by enabling multiple barcode scanning and instant data transmission for minimized keystrokes and faster throughput.  
  3. Automatic updates and security patches – With the high prevalence of cyberthreats in today’s digital world, companies can no longer compromise on security. Zebra’s LifeGuard works alongside Android’s automatic OS updates with recurring 90-day security patches, extending device lifecycle up to 10 years.
  4. Converting legacy apps without backend modifications – Although touchscreen apps are more conductive for faster adoption, legacy green-screen apps are more familiar to the older workforce and contain a clear workflow layout. That’s where apps like All-Touch Terminal Emulation come in handy in order to convert TE apps right out of the box for immediate use without app rewriting.
  5. Facilitated remote device management – As the workforce grows, so does the need for more devices, which makes device management indispensable. Apps like PowerPrecision held track battery lifespan, virtually eliminating downtime from battery failure.

These are just a few of the benefits Mobility DNA brings. Download the full guide to see more.

Intelligent modernization takes many forms. Create a system that best adapts to your workforce with Avalon. Contact our automation experts for a close evaluation of your current solution to see how you can get started.

Efficient Mobile Computing

Despite the high demand for fast order fulfillment, warehouses nationwide continue to grapple with the increasing labor shortage since pre-pandemic years. As the older workforce ages out, warehouses struggle to retain younger and experienced team members, with 51% of employers citing outdated technology as one of greatest hurdles in keeping operational success. While familiar to a selected few, legacy devices can ultimately lead to:

  • Higher adoption rates for new hires
  • Increased likelihood of user errors
  • Longer processing times
  • Breakdowns in communication
  • Frustrated and/or disengaged employees

To prevent these issues and meet customer demands, Zebra’s latest mobile computers bring a new level of familiarity and ease of use to the supply chain, empowering workers to accomplish more in less time.

Meet a New Level of Efficiency

Built on a foundation of durable enterprise-grade devices and 2020’s demand for flexibility, newer mobile devices like Zebra’s rugged handhelds quickly adapted to eliminate repetitive tasks and workflow complexities by leveraging…

  • Android’s user-friendly interface – Unlike Microsoft’s outdated Windows OS, Android offers a familiar user platform that resembles consumer-grade smartphones, drastically accelerating adoption rates for fast and seamless deployment. Zebra’s EC50/55 takes familiarity a step farther with integrated push-to-talk capabilities straight out of the box for instant telephony functions and decreased TCO.
  • Digitized operational visibility – Inventory and asset identification becomes easier when paper-based systems are out of the picture. Automated data capture and intelligent scanning bypass manual data entry for updates and workflow notifications. This equips the workforce with near real-time visibility on stock counts, available personnel, and pending tasks all through one handheld device such as Zebra’s TC52.
  • Fortified data security – Besides beating consumer-grade devices in rugged durability, Zebra’s handheld computers also maximize security with government-grade encryption, two-factor authentication, and 90-day recurring security patches to keep devices up and running for as long as 10 years. Devices like the MC9300 combine design and computing strength to deliver one long-lasting mobility device that fits even in the most demanding environments.

As a Zebra Premier Solutions Partner, Avalon facilitates upgrades through the GO Zebra Trade-In Program. Simply upgrade mobile devices from any manufacturer and get cash back rebates towards your new device.

Modernized mobility can take many shapes. Find yours when you reach out to our modernization experts to see how you can enhance worker performance in your operations today with a new edge of enterprise mobility.

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Zebra’s latest Warehouse Vision Study illustrated a very clear picture: Automation has become the center focus of the modern supply chain. Over three quarters of warehouses across the globe have committed to embracing automation by enhancing the workforce with intelligent modernized technologies like rugged tablets and mobile computers. As newer technologies are released and redefine supply chain efficiency, new benefits and features are introduced to fast-paced operations. However, despite product variety, it is still crucial to expect the following benefits from your modernization solution:

  1. Enterprise-ready durability – Whether in the plummeting temperatures of a cold storage unit or the heat of an outside distribution yard, enterprise devices must be designed to retain high-performance functionality despite external conditions. Newer technologies do this by integrating greater IP ratings, condensation-resistant screens, greater drop specs above 5ft., and even disinfectant-ready casing to withstand constant antibacterial wipe downs.
  2. Future-proof operating systems – Without proper security patches and updates, Microsoft’s outdated operating systems can slow down operations while excluding important applications from your enterprise devices. On the other hand, systems such as Android for Enterprise protect uptime with automatic silent updates. Zebra’s Fortified Android goes a step farther by extending update lifecycles up to 10 years.
  3. Simplistic ease of use – Although new devices are capable of doing more than their legacy versions, they should still retain user-friendliness in order to facilitate onboarding and deployment with minimal downtime.
  4. Quick adaptability to change – Whether it be increased labor turnover rates or sudden product demand, adaptable technologies and software can accommodate change through maximized ease of use and/or open app ecosystem. This minimizes disruptions within workflows, protecting productivity rates.
  5. Trustworthy security parameters – For obvious reasons, cybersecurity has become a vital necessity within the Digital Age. Once again, Zebra’s fortified Android exemplifies aggressive data security with recurring security patches, government-grade encryption, and tiered authorization levels for a variety of mobile devices.
  6. Dependable connectivity – When changes occur, the whole supply chain may be affected, which is why sustainable connectivity is key to keeping all departments updated in real-time.
  7. Increased visibility – Lastly, modernized technology should be committed to optimizing operational visibility in order to prevent surprise downtime, bottlenecks, and extraneous costs. For example, mobile computers contribute to enhanced visibility by eliminating manual data entry from receiving and loading docks, boosting inventory accuracy for minimal out-of-stocks.

Come Take the Closer Look

As a Zebra Premier Solutions Partner, Avalon will take the next few weeks to dive into the expanding benefits Zebra’s latest technologies bring to the modern warehouse in addition to the ones highlighted above. From new printing standards to a whole new tablet interface, discover a new level of modernized efficiency when you contact our modernization experts today to learn more.

 

Unlike traditional enclosed workspaces, field service and T&L operations grapple with a unique challenge: sustaining workforce visibility. As field and transportation teams venture into farther locations, mainstream solutions fail to sustain end-to-end visibility, causing communication breakdowns, delays, and worker stress. Zebra’s latest Field Service Vision Study depicts the growing push for stronger visibility as real-time locationing, blockchain, and 5G technologies drive major field operation investments. Ultra-durable technologies have emerged to support these initiatives, yet rugged tablets like Zebra’s L10 Android Tablet, have proved to go a step farther than popular mobile devices by addressing the following challenges:

  1. Certify customer expectations are met at point of service. Zebra rugged XPAD tablets are equipped with intelligent scanners and high-resolution cameras to quickly capture data to verify shipments and tasks were completed successfully within their stipulated timeframes.
  2. Pinpoint worker location. Remote work has become a foundational part of the post-pandemic world. Rugged tablets integrate locationing software that targets team-members for better accountability and resource planning. Furthermore, the L10’s 13MP rear camera facilitates split-second capture for proof of condition/deliver/service directly on site.
  3. Update task completion in real-time. Flexible connectivity options incorporating NFC, WiFi, cellular networking, 5G, and other options keep teams connected to in-office teams, so statuses can be regularly updated in real-time of any changes and bottlenecks.
  4. Assign and prioritize routes based on outside notifications. When changes happen, rugged tablets enable quick notification dispersion thanks to flexible connectivity options, keeping entire teams unified to overcome changes. Moreover, drivers can see notification and routing updates on their vehicle mounted tablets at a glance thanks to a bigger screen, preventing accidents.
  5. Protect communication channels despite increased distances. Enterprise-grade devices are able to sustain exposure to harsh environments such as snowy temperatures and high heat. This averts device breakdowns while on the road, securing continuous performance for sustained workflow visibility.

Elevated efficiency fits on the field and anywhere else you need it.

Following a line of previous flexible devices, Zebra’s Rugged Tablets further minimize deployment stress by adapting to high-demand workflows both in and out of the warehouse, facilitating standardization across the supply chain. Harness the power of maximized workflow visibility along with:

  • Greater data security backed by Android’s recurring updates and security patches.
  • Up to 24 hours of battery power delivered through hot-swappable batteries.
  • Lightweight magnesium frame to withstand subzero and heat exposure.
  • Long-range WiFi connectivity supported by Zebra’s WorryFree WiFi DNA application.

Dive into the future of expanded field visibility with Zebra’s Rugged Tablets with Avalon’s new digital experience.

For more information on Zebra’s Rugged Tablets, contact Avalon’s modernization experts for a free demo.

Imagine one day being able to offer same-day delivery across the country, from California to New York. For many transportation and logistics teams, this imagination has become a nightmarish reality. While fast delivery timeframes can bolster customer loyalty, last mile delivery is still considered the most inefficient step of the whole supply chain for over half of T&L companies. Inefficiency often stems from:

  • Lack of status visibility
  • Fluctuating labor and fuel costs
  • Inadequate delivery routing
  • Sudden changes such as vehicle breakdowns, product shortages, etc.

Studies show that 49% of global T&L companies cite outdated technology as a common factor hindering last mile efficiency, resulting in delays, missed sales, and lost customers. As a result. Over 58% of field operations see mobility investment as a top priority, yet when it comes to field services, durability must extend beyond design.

Assessing functional durability in your field-ready devices

Field teams have little time or money for additional repair expenses and slowed processing power, which is why suitable enterprise-grade technologies should incorporate the following strengths.

  1. Secured data storage – Filed teams must be able to access data remotely which means durable cybersecurity is crucial to maintain accessibility without risking breaches. Unlike Windows Mobile, Android for Enterprise equips mobile devices with government-grade protection and recurring security patches to prevent leaks.
  2. Long-range connectivity – High speed connectivity and flexible network options allow teams to remain connected to the rest of the supply chain while on the road. Zebra’s Workforce Connect bypasses the need for additional telecom services, enabling two-way communication and messaging via your enterprise device.
  3. Real-time status insight – Because more customers expect to track orders in near real-time, tracking technologies such as RFID locationing have become popular to pinpoint location of in-transit orders.
  4. Ultra-rugged design – Lastly, mobile devices must continue to be rugged, handling drops, dust, exposure to heat and cold, humidity and scratches without affecting performance. Devices such as Zebra’s Rugged Tablets exemplify superior durability by adapting to various different environments without compromising productivity.

As a Zebra Premier Solutions Partner, Avalon empowers field teams with purpose-built field-ready technologies through the GO Zebra Trade-In Program. Upgrade your mobile device from any manufacturer before December 31st and get cash rebates up to $250 per handheld device towards your upgrade. Simply…

  1. Buy your new mobile device
  2. Turn in your reclaim form
  3. Trade in outdated devices for cash rebates

Download the program details for the full list of eligible devices.

Empower your field teams with mobility solutions built to thrive in the last mile and beyond. Contact Avalon today for a free assessment of your mobile devices to get started.

 

 

While the healthcare crisis certainly affected supply chains worldwide, it did not replace previous challenges and risks within warehousing. For example, over 1000 data breaches still took place in 2020, costing as much as $500,000 per incident. Labor turnover rates continued to reshape distribution centers, and as expected, the demand for fast order fulfillment has not relented. Maintaining undisrupted productivity continues to be a challenge faced by small and large warehouses alike. To address these issues, businesses are encouraged to unify their teams through:

  • Reliable digitization since it increases data availability across the supply chain while diminishing the risks of manual data entry errors. Digitized storage allows teams to update inventory counts, manage incoming shipments, and verify outbound orders in real time through a handheld device, so when changes do occur, the whole workforce can be readily notified and connected. This helps teams quickly adapt to disruptions without impacting productivity in and out of the warehouse.
  • User-friendly enterprise mobility that integrates familiarity into an enterprise format. By reducing learning curves and adoption times, user-friendly mobile devices can accelerate worker connectivity, allowing them to be productive on their first day and to navigate through warehouse operations without confusion.

Integrating Mobile Digitization with Zebra Technologies

To establish end to end connectivity within the workforce, Avalon partners with leading manufacturers like Zebra Technologies to simplify digitization with intuitive enterprise-ready devices. Future-forward systems like Zebra’s Workforce Connect can be combined with rugged Android devices to:

  1. Streamline crucial workflows through one platform – replace 2-way radios and handheld scanners by combining them both in one Zebra mobile computer.
  2. Certify task completion – Use Workforce Connect’s task manager to assign and manage workflows remotely throughout your operations. When changes occur, simply notify teams via their handheld to minimize disruptions.
  3. Connect groups through secured communication channels – Zebra’s Fortified Android protects sensitive data with recurring security patches and government-grade encryption, so your team can integrate push-to-talk capabilities within their devices without security risks.
  4. Unify field teams – Track delivery status to verify shipping accuracy and driver productivity. Plus, notify field teams of rerouting changes when needed to avoid delays.

To see how zebra’s workforce connect enhances the modern supply chain, download our brochure here.

In unifying teams through seamless connectivity solutions, operations are able to prevent breakdowns, bottlenecks, and costly shortages that impact the customer experience. Reach out to our modernization experts today to explore more connectivity solutions that set your teams one step ahead of change.

 

 

Following a steady pattern for over ten years, warehouses have continuously grown to meet the new high demands pressured by the e-commerce boom. Today, it is estimated that nearly 64% of warehouses operate in spaces larger than 25,000 square feet, and studies only forecast growth in the years to come. Facing more demands within larger spaces, warehouse teams need reliable communication channels to keep operations running efficiently from door to dock. Without team connectivity, operations may face…

  • Missed delivery timelines
  • Inefficient maintenance reporting
  • Complicated workflow paths such as long delivery routes or slower pick paths
  • Slower customer support
  • Poor visibility into labor resources
  • Lost revenue due to unforeseen bottlenecks

Since omnichannel fulfillment is only expected to rise, growing warehouses must adapt communication systems to turn challenges into opportunities. As a Zebra Premier Solutions Partner, Avalon Integration recommends empowering operations with Zebra’s Workforce Connect.

How to expand your mobile computer’s functionality with Workforce Connect

Simplistic enough to assist in high-demand environments such as healthcare centers, Workforce Connect can empower frontline workers with crucial connectivity between other vital departments within the supply chain – all through your current Zebra handheld. Deployable without extensive backend modifications, Workforce Connect unifies teams in and out of the warehouse by enabling…

  • Instant push-to-talk communication or secured text messages that resemble consumer-grade systems for fast adoption.
  • Verifiable worker safety as emergency calls and alerts can be deployed through any device at any time.
  • Voice commands to accelerate simplistic tasks.
  • Proactive task management that assigns individual workers or teams to specific tasks in need of assistance.
  • Secured device sharing protocols catered to every user ID, so workers can share devices without sharing sensitive information.
  • Remote worker tracking to keep field teams accountable while preventing delays and wasted labor.

To see how Workforce Connect is empowering supply chains from manufacturing to retail, download our brochure here.

The warehouse landscape is rapidly shifting with every new demand. New challenges call for new technologies, which is why Avalon integration makes modernization simple and seamless with adaptable solutions that complement your current systems. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your current workflows to see how Workforce Connect can sharpen your competitive edge.

 

 

With supply chains operating at unprecedented speeds to meet increasing demands, several novel digitized solutions have arisen to help set businesses ahead of change. However, not every modern device delivers the same results. When it comes to optimized enterprise printing, warehouses commonly seek the traits outlined below:

  • Printing Speed – This is an obvious factor due to the growing demand for faster order fulfilment. A modern printer should operate practically invisibly, delivering identification labels with little to no wait time. Mobile printers and powered workstations take this a step farther by eliminating travel time and bringing efficiency directly where you need it.
  • Dependable Security – Cyberattacks have become all the more prevalent in the past decade since they can target any digital device, including printers. As a result, printing security must now be optimized to ward off unauthorized users from viewing past printed data.
  • Quick Flexibility – Change can happen at any given moment, which is why printers should be able to easily adjust between high and low demand without impacting label quality. Configuration -and reconfiguration- should be doable for your teams without involving extensive IT visits in order to minimize downtime.
  • Durable Build – When operating in more stringent environments, such as manufacturing plants and field service, printers must be designed to withstand environmental challenges such as constant dust, icy temperatures, condensation, and abrasion.
  • Reliable Printing Support – After printers are installed, companies still expect dependable tech support in the event of any future issues. This puts pressure on resellers to provide both instant and knowledgeable assistance to keep printing solutions running smoothly.

How Avalon does it all with Zebra Technologies

As a Zebra Premier Solutions Partner, Avalon has been consistently equipping supply chains with these benefits through Zebra’s enterprise-ready printers. From lightweight mobile printers to heavy-duty industrial printers, eliminate inefficiency from your workflows with printers designed to optimize the factors listed above plus:

  • Quick deployment – To minimize training time, Zebra’s printers sport a user-friendly touchscreen with simplified navigational tools and easy media loading. Moreover, quick tap-and-pair Bluetooth connectivity can help printers seamlessly connect to mobile devices to enable remote printing.
  • Optional RFID encoding – Reduce RFID costs with optional RFID encoding that fits directly onto your industrial printer.
  • Expanded printing visibility – Leverage Zebra’s Visibility Services application to monitor printer performance remotely via a cloud-based system. This can help prevent breakdowns and costly downtime.

Check out our full range of enterprise printers here.

As customer demands continue to increase worldwide, Avalon Integration remains committed to empowering operations with solutions built for triumph. Reach out to our printing experts today to see how you can start accelerating throughput in your operations with next-generation printing power.

 

 

As long as new technologies continue to be released, modernization will continue to be a redefining trend in the enterprise landscape. However, efficient warehouse modernization doesn’t have to be complex or involve drastic changes to the workflow. Small adjustments in crucial tasks such as product labeling can eliminate inefficient, costly patterns while freeing up the workforce to concentrate on other bigger areas of optimization. Although there are many ways to modernize warehouse labeling, three key components stand out as central to ensuring labeling efficiency:

  1. A printer made for sudden high-volume – Changes in demand can happen unexpectedly. As a result, warehouse printers should be ready at any notice to work longer hours without compromising label legibility or continuous uptime. Furthermore, high-volume seasons may also cause the workforce to grow, which means selected printers should strive to incorporate some form of user-friendliness to their functionality in order to lower adoption rates for new hires.
  2. An intelligent scanner – We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: Manual data entry leaves room for error. On the other hand, intelligent scanners can automatically transmit one or more barcodes to your warehouse management system without paper-based reporting, essentially establishing near-real-time accurate inventory visibility. This allows warehouses to sort, pick, and move inventory based on verified stock counts reported on their inventory management system.
  3. An enterprise-ready label – Standing at the center of your optimized labeling solution, the actual tag itself must be developed with both application and storage requirements in mind. Labels that fail to do so can end up fading before time, peeling around the edges, and unsticking when temperatures change. All of these issues eliminate product identification, leading to missed delivery timeframes, order inaccuracy, product spoilage/depreciation, and overlooked compliance codes.

Where to start?

As a Zebra Premier Solutions Partner, Avalon simplifies optimized labeling by pairing your workflows with enterprise-ready printers, scanners, and labels, creating a future-forward system that…

  • Survives in rough work environments. Whether it be high heat or cold-storage’s freezing temperatures, Zebra’s industrial printers and ultra-rugged scanners are designed with a tough exterior and intelligent productivity applications to safeguard uptime under pressure. Likewise, Zebra’s Certified Consumables can be customized from over 300 pre-tested materials to develop a tailored label that matches application and storage environments.
  • Lessen deployment time. Efficient modernization shouldn’t be disruptive. With this in mind, Zebra’s next-generation printers leverage a touchscreen interface and easy media loading to simplify deployment. Scanners, both handheld and hands-free, streamline deployment with simplistic tap-and-pair and WiFi-Friendly connectivity to get devices productive from day one.
  • Are easily upgradable without overstepping budget constraints. Zebra’s printers and scanners are available with cash back rebates up to $550 per device when upgraded through the GO Zebra Trade-In Program. Simply trade in devices from any manufacturer and submit your reclaim form to qualify. As for labels, Zebra’s Printhead Protection Program helps drive down operational costs by offering free printhead replacements when you make Zebra’s Certified Consumables your exclusive label of choice.

Reach out to our labeling experts for a free preliminary assessment of your workflow to target optimization opportunities in your current operations.

 

 

In the modernized supply chain, value should outweigh cost. Although cheaper modernization routes can initially diminish expenses, inadequate solutions usually end up being more costly than their expensive counterparts. In no place is this more accurate than inventory labeling. Cheaper enterprise labels can save operations a great deal of money at face value, yet they also impact:

  • Scan speed – If operators take more than 5 seconds per order, they can spend over 3 hours per day scanning barcodes. Fading and peeling labels increase scan time since employees must rescan, increasing wait time and risks of delays.
  • Printing speed – Quality labels with smooth surfaces tend to leave less build-up on the printhead, mitigating future jams and slow printing speeds. On the flipside, poorly made labels often sport a sandpaper-like surface and tightly wound rolls that slow down printing speeds with more leftover debris.
  • Printer performance – Not only do sandpaper-like printers slow production, they can also directly contribute to premature printhead failure, resulting in downtime averaging $10,000 lost per hour.
  • Media loading time – Labels rolled outwardly create slack, which impacts printer performance if not installed correctly. As labels require more time to be properly installed, they take away from assembly time, further contributing to inefficient workflows.
  • Order accuracy – Incorrect shipments are the second most cited reason customers return products, adding to the increasing return costs that already surpass $350 billion since 2017 in the U.S. alone.
  • Inventory tracking – When inventory isn’t accurately accounted for, warehouses risk out-of-stocks, which drive customers to seek services elsewhere. Inaccurate inventory counts also lead to overstocking, which has led many retailers to markdown over 70% of their products.

Whether in the warehouse or in the storefront, inferior printing supplies dramatically impact productivity and profitability. To prevent these issues and more, Avalon recommends feeding your printer quality consumables such as Zebra’s Certified Printing Supplies.

How Zebra’s Certified Supplies Eliminate the Costs of Inferior Enterprise Labels

Developed to secure maximum uptime, Zebra’s certified consumables are subjected to a stringent 23-point inspection to certify dependable performance in a myriad of application and storage environments. As a result, every label is built to…

  • Secure printhead performance with smooth surface that prevents printhead scratches and adhesive build-up.
  • Survive in extreme environments such as high heat, condensation, and cold storage without peeling or fading, ultimately reducing the need for rescans.
  • Easily fit into your printer with loading complications for minimized wait times.
  • Meet compliance requirements to ensure your inventory moves smoothly from the warehouse to the retail shelf to the checkout lane.

Contact Avalon’s labeling experts today to discover a Zebra label that best matches your application and storage requirements to see how you can integrate the best value into your operations for the best return of investment.