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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workforce ages out, warehouses struggle to retain younger and experienced team members, with 51% of employers citing outdated technology as one of greatest hurdles in keeping operational success.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  • Android’s user-friendly interface – Unlike Microsoft’s outdated Windows OS, Android offers a familiar user platform that resembles consumer-grade smartphones, drastically accelerating adoption rates for fast and seamless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.

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.

 

 

It’s a fact that not every label is suitable for your operations. Even the most stringently tested consumables may not be developed to address unique application requirements such as cold storage or high heat. As stated before, cheap inferior labels do more harm than good since they can…

  • Scratch your printhead and cause premature printhead failure
  • Leave behind debris pileup that leads to a jam and costly downtime
  • Lose adhesive strength in rough conditions
  • Fade overtime, compromising inventory and asset identification

Over time, these implications will slow down productivity, increasing operational costs and diminishing customer loyalty. In other words, while labels account for a small portion of your business, they greatly affect profitability. Therefore, businesses are encouraged to search for the following ten qualities in their labeling solution in order to certify maximum productivity from their operations.

What to Expect…

  1. Smooth surface – Rough surfaces made from inferior materials can damage printheads over time as they leave behind label debris with every print job.
  2. Heat-resistant adhesive – Effective thermal printing hinges on heat to produce crisp long-lasting barcodes. If labels aren’t able to handle to heat, barcodes will fade before their time, impacting product identification, stock counts, and inventory management.
  3. Environment resistance – In addition to high heat, labels can face numerous environment challenges such as freezing cold, dust, chemicals, condensation, and abrasion.
  4. Tested material – To ensure environment resistance, label material should be as stringently as the label itself.
  5. Consistent quality – If your labels begin to underperform overtime, it may be because label materials have been changed during production. To secure consistent print quality, you must secure consistent label composition.
  6. Fast replenishment – When labels themselves are out of stock, your inventory runs the risk of being misidentified, improperly stored, and wrongly shipped. Fast replenishment through programs such Zebra’s ZipShip eliminate these dangers by restocking labels in less than 24 hours from one of Zebra’s four label converting facilities.
  7. Environmentally conscious – Discarded labels directly contribute to paper waste along with used ribbons and liners. Eco-friendly consumables such as Zebra’s Linerless Label or 8000D Dissolvable Labels reduce paper waste while continuing to provide crisp barcodes and accelerating order processing.
  8. Label configuration – Labels should be wound outwardly in order to fit your industrial printer without causing slack.
  9. Required certifications – Whether it’s an FDA seal or RoHS compliance, labels can be tailored and customized to meet specialized requirements, eliminating the risks of your products being recalled.
  10. Committed to lower costs – In addition to preserving customer loyalty and inventory identification, Zebra’s certified labels can further lower costs through the . By exclusively purchasing Zebra’s Certified Consumables, your operations qualify for free printhead replacements, virtually eliminating costly downtime from poor print quality and damaged printheads.

Compare Zebra’s Certified Consumables with traditional non-tested labels to see the benefits in our video:

As part of our push for seamless and cost-effective modernization, Avalon is committed to assisting businesses in optimizing workflows with solutions that surpass expectations. Contact us today for a free labeling assessment to find the consumable solution that best fits your needs.

Connectivity, security, and efficiency are the pillars of modernized supply chains, yet as workflows become more dynamic, maintaining all three of these aspects can be complicated. A disconnected warehouse can lead to communication breakdowns and missed deadlines. Lack of data security can result in costly data breaches averaging up to $8.19 million per company. Inefficient workflows directly contribute to high employee turnover, recurrent downtime, and customer dissatisfaction. Although several devices can be used to uphold each individual pillar,  Zebra’s Rugged Tablets meets all goals at once while expanding productivity inside and outside the four walls. 

See how it’s done. 

From Manufacturing to Field Service, Expect More from Your Mobility Solution

Because every business is inherently unique, there can’t be a one-size-fits-all mobility solution. As result, solutions built with Zebra’s Rugged Tablets can easily adapt and grow in a variety of workspaces, ultimately providing six indispensable benefits:

  • Optimized maneuvering in smaller workspaces – Thanks to its versatile mounting options and form factors, Zebra’s tablets can be easily integrated into smaller workspaces without compromising performance. 
  • Android’s enterprise-ready operating system – Combining the ease of a user-friendly interface with the security strength of an enterprise OS, Android delivers faster onboarding times along with an open app ecosystem to run large applications, multiple connectivity options, and crucial programs to streamline inventory and warehouse management through one platform.  
  • Complete workforce connectivity – Equipped with flexible networking, Zebra’s Rugged Tablets connect your teams in and out of the warehouse with real-time alerts, inventory counts, and task lists. Built-in cameras and high-quality voice systems further optimize cellular connectivity for field teams. 
  • Rugged touchscreen for harsh environments – Unlike consumer-grade devices, enterprise-ready tablets sport rugged touchscreens perfected for gloved use and legibility in direct sunlight. Moreover, Zebra’s tablets increase productivity with dependable battery performance lasting over 24 hours with hot-swappable batteries for unbroken uptime. 
  • Digitized data processing and reporting – Eliminate manual data entry errors and hurdles such as accessing crucial data on the go by digitizing reports for easy sharing and storing. As less time is spent recording data, workers have more time to focus on other more important tasks. 
  • Adaptable data entry options – In addition to its modernized touchscreen, Zebra’s L10 X-SLATE and 2 in 1 X–BOOK Tablets can also come with built-in intelligent scanners and rugged keyboards to provide adaptable data entry that matches your needs. 

Dive into the full benefits of the ultimate enterprise tablet when you download our fact sheet.

 Make the Switch with the GO Zebra Trade-In Program 

As a Zebra Premier Solutions Partner, Avalon simplifies optimization through the GO Zebra Trade-In Program. Experience the power of Zebra’s rugged tablets firsthand when you upgrade your mobile devices from any manufacturer. Plus, get cash back rebates in three steps:

  • Purchase your eligible device
  • Submit you reclaim form within 90 days of your invoice date
  • Trade in legacy devices for cash rebates up to $100 per tablet. 

Start optimizing your operations with technologies designed to thrive in the most challenging environments. Reach out to our modernization experts today to see how you can bring the power of Zebra’s tablets into your workforce for dependable connectivity, security, and enterprise-ready efficiency.  

In any given industry, workforce labor is both the biggest expense and the largest asset to a company. From the production floor to the retail storefront, your workforce keeps operations running smoothly to create a seamless supply chain. However, as demands continue to reshape the enterprise landscape, labor may not be appropriately distributed in the workspace. Whether it be in warehousing or retail, ill-distributed labor can lead to:

  • Higher turnover rates
  • Missed delivery dates 
  • Overlooked compliance codes and worker safety
  • Inaccurate order fulfillment 

To accommodate changing workforce sizes and evolving customer demands, several warehouses have turned to the popular and versatile modernization solution: RFID technology. 

What can RFID Bring to your Operations? 

According to Zebra’s 2019 Warehousing Vision Study, RFID technology was expected to grow by 6%, yet post-pandemic demands for both speed and safety have accelerated adoption in warehouses and retailers alike. Next-generation RFID solutions such as Zebra’s MotionWorks can expand operational visibility while increasing workforce productivity by…

  • Providing real-time operational visibility – Unlike conventional barcodes, RFID technology can be used to track in-motion inventory and assets all in real-time, providing you with a clear view of where your workforce is at any given time. 
  • Complying with worker safety protocols – New worker safety initiatives such as Zebra’s MotionWorks Proximity allows you to trace exposure risks and integrate social distancing protocols into your handheld device by tracking high-density workspaces in real-time. 
  • Tracking labor-intensive workflows – When demand increases suddenly as it normally does for peak holiday seasons, RFID data capture can help track intensive workflows and guide employees through multiple pick paths at once, eliminating superfluous wait times. 

See how Zebra’s Savanna does it all and more in our video

Whether you’re tracking assets, inventory, or your workforce, expect dependable visibility when you optimize operations with Avalon. Contact our automation experts today for a free evaluation of your workflow to get started. 

At the core of dependable food safety is efficient cold chain management. Whether it be in pharmaceutical manufacturing or food factories, cold storage units can prevent costly spoilage and damaging recalls by keeping inventory within an acceptable temperature. However, studies suggest that nearly a quarter of all food products is thrown away every year as a result of fluctuating temperatures, leading to a $750 billion annual loss. 

Because cold storages are one of the roughest industrial environments, even common enterprise-grade devices may not be suitable for the dropping temperatures. This is problematic once inventory must be transported down the supply chain. Tracking devices must be ultra-rugged for durability, yet ideally adaptable for increased mobility. Facing rising demands for mobile temperature tracking, several businesses have sought to enhance connectivity and device durability in order to expand operational visibility for time-sensitive inventory traveling outside the warehouse. 

Connectivity and Durability Lead to Visibility 

Not only must ultra-rugged devices survive low temperatures, but they must also remain functional in the event of a sudden temperature change such as moving in and out of freezers.  As a Zebra Premier Solutions Partner, Avalon highlights the following three devices both durable and adaptable options to enhance temperature tracking:

  1.  Zebra’s New Electronic Temperature Sensors – Designed to simplify temperature tracking, Zebra’s newest electronic sensors can be added onto your storage unit to record temperatures in real-time and update data onto the cloud for easy remote access. Moreover, the EDGEVue tracking app can be deployed on any device, eliminating the need for a complete restructuring of your mobility solution.
  2.  Long-range push-to-talk connectivity – While temperatures are monitored in real-time, your field teams also require a way to communicate with little delay in the event any temperature changes must be made. Connectivity solutions such as Workforce Connect empower field teams with real-time task assignments, location history, and actionable insights delivered onto your Zebra handheld. 
  3.  The freezer-grade MC9300 mobile computer – Built on a legacy of tested durability, the MC9300 can be altered to meet the demands of cold storage with a freezer-rated battery, condensation-resistant screen, integrated heater, and higher IP ratings. 

Regardless which technology you choose to implement, the goal should always be to expand inventory visibility to protect temperature-sensitive products. Failure to do so has commonly resulted in:

  • Recalls that half productivity
  • Negative publicity that discourages brand loyalty
  • Legal action, fines, and missed compliance fees
  • Future recurrent audits
  • Disruptions in the supply chain that cause further delays

To prevent these from happening, Avalon recommends that you evaluate your temperature tracking system. Reach out to our automation specialists today for a step-by-step assessment of your current workflows to see where you can start expanding visibility within your operations.