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Field service is the name of the game. Mobile workers keep everything moving. When they’re productive, the enterprise is productive. Avalon Integration helps you keep productivity high by keeping you connected.

Avalon Integration combines expert, industry experience with leading-edge mobile tools, superior data capture, and automation software so you keep operations nimble and running smoothly with real-time data management and on-site flexibility.

  • Field Automation
  • Data Capture
  • Barcode Scanners
  • Mobile Computers & Tablets
  • Mobile Communication

Managing far-flung human capital is tough. It’s a constant battle to maintain profit margins, revenues, and quality of service. Enterprises are always on the hunt for cost reduction and ways to improve efficiency and accuracy.

Zebra gives your field operations access to technical specifications, inventory information, and direct customer communication on the go, to improve customer satisfaction and reduce repeat calls. 

Handheld Computers for Field Service
TC72 is a handheld device built for field service

So much to do – deliveries, equipment repair, plumbing, electrical, parcel delivery, yard maintenance, to name just a few – so little time. And so many competitors ready to serve your customers if you slip. They may look like popular smartphones but they’re powerful handheld computers that make field people faster, smarter and help to satisfy more customers.

TC51/TC56 Touch Computer Series

TC51 and TC56 being used in Field Service

Rugged industrial design that looks and feels like the most popular consumer-style smartphones but armed with Zebra-only enterprise-class features, power, security, and manageability your business requires.

Mobile Printers for Field Service
Mobile Printers can be used for Field Service

Rugged wireless mobile printers tailored to what you do and how you work. Printers range from those ideals for occasional use, to rugged machines that feature a range of latest connectivity options and robust functionality that keeps you operating in the most difficult situations.

IMZ Series

  • Proof of Delivery
  • Receipts
  • Parking Regulation
  • OMNI-Channel Fulfillment
  • Fleet Management
  • Field  Sales
  • Field Service
  • Mobile Asset Management

Rugged Smartphones for Field Service
TC25 - Field Service

Zebra TC25

Field workers need reliable, remote access to real-time data. Personal smartphones, tablets, and laptops are attractive and easy to use but, they don’t have the durability or functionality necessary for a day in day out business use. Rugged Smartphones offer smarter, faster tools for business. Consumer smartphone cameras aren’t built for barcode scanning — rugged smartphones offer scanning technology designed for commercial grade point-and-shoot capture of any electronic or printed barcode in virtually any condition.

Zebra TC55

Field workers need reliable, remote access to real-time data. Personal smartphones, tablets, and laptops are attractive and easy to use but, they don’t have the durability or functionality necessary for a day in day out business use. Rugged Smartphones offer smarter, faster tools for business. Consumer smartphone cameras aren’t built for barcode scanning — rugged smartphones offer scanning technology designed for commercial grade point-and-shoot capture of any electronic or printed barcode in virtually any condition.

Welcome to the Future – the Internet of Things (IoT)

Tom using a Zebra Printer and Scanner to prep a box for shipping

When it comes to delivering superior customer service, having the right person, at the right place, at the right time, with the right equipment, is fundamental. Mobile devices have elevated field service dramatically. But the Internet of Things (IoT) is being adopted rapidly and is greatly expanding the capabilities of field mobility. With connected devices and IoT technologies, field personnel will gain actionable insights that enable them to interact and communicate better, faster, and more intelligently than ever.

Imagine a territory of vending machines that give you real-time updates on what’s in stock, what’s needed to be restocked and what needs immediate mechanical attention – all part of the real-time analytics that includes sales activity, broken down by day, hour, brand, etc.

Avalon and Zebra are bringing together real-time asset visibility, rugged mobility, and cloud technology to lead the way to a new level of efficiency, accuracy, and quality. By capturing data and turning it into actionable insight, companies gain Enterprise Asset Intelligence™ — resulting in more informed decision making and more efficient and accurate performance. The right assets, in the right places, at the right time – for the best outcome at the lowest cost.

High-Efficiency Field Service Implementation for You

Avalon’s experts are ready to help you maximize productivity from your field service team. We analyze your business and data management needs and tailor a system to fit the specific needs of your company. We specialize in process design, technical interface design, user interface design and construction, and developer training. Ask us how to keep you moving forward with expert implementation.

Industrie 4.0 is the next step in the evolution of manufacturing. While the term is just coming into widespread use, it is one that will soon achieve near-universal acceptance in manufacturing. Industrie 4.0 refers to the digital disruption of the manufacturing industry, and there are four converging factors driving the digitization in the manufacturing industry:

  1. The Rise in Data Volumes

The IoT has enabled companies to capture second-by-second information from machines and equipment, creating the ability to respond to production or demand changes in near real-time. This, in turn, brings greater agility to a company’s production process by being able to boost worker productivity and increase capacity – further striving to meet customer demands.

  1. Increased Computing Power

Advanced computers, virtualization, and wide-bandwidth networking capabilities have made operating data centers in the cloud feasible for every company. This has enabled companies to forge tighter relationships with customers and suppliers through the sharing of information across geographic and company boundaries and giving them the competitive advantage of being better able to meet (and exceed) customer requirements.

  1. Advanced Analytics and AI

Big data analytics engines have expanded capabilities to the point that they have enabled companies to take advantage of the data gathered from sensor-equipped machinery, point-of-sale insights and other seemingly unrelated data sets (such as weather forecasts or geopolitical sentiments) to hone forecasts and finely orchestrate global supply chains.

  1. Robotics, 3D Printing and Other “Advanced” Manufacturing Methods

The ability to transmit information from the digital to the physical in real time has changed the way companies design and build products. The power and value are moving from ownership of equipment that can make things, to the ownership of the IP that can control the equipment. Expect to see products entirely built by robots, and 3D printed cars, shoes and even houses in the near future. In fact, some even say that eventually retail malls may be replaced by 3D printer farms.

How to Prepare for Industrie 4.0

The recent publicity about massive data breaches that left millions of people’s privacy unprotected should be a hint as to one of the biggest challenges facing Industrie 4.0 companies. Finding ways to protect our data and networks should be a top priority for every company and the number one task on every IT team’s to-do list.

Along with security concerns will be data management concerns. The need for data scientists and skilled technicians who can assist with advanced data visualizations and augmented reality will become critical. Prepare now by recruiting skilled individuals if possible and training people already on staff in the emerging trends. The need for people with these advanced technical skills will be the top constraint on the spread of Industrie 4.0, and companies that don’t align their current resources with future demands will find it nearly impossible to catch up later.

Industrie 4.0 Advantages

Along with changes come unprecedented opportunities to develop new business models. New opportunities will emerge that will benefit the entire organization, as new intelligent products work to decrease energy consumption, optimize yields and improve the lives of customers worldwide.

Looking for advice to further enhance operations in your warehouse, DC or manufacturing facility? Interested in 3D printing technology? Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, and we’ll provide you with recommendations that include time-saving solutions to boost productivity and increase profitability.

Avalon Field Service Circle Image

I read an article recently in Forbes that said, “Data is the new electricity”. That really struck a chord because, in today’s world, it’s ALL about the data. Without data, we have no direction, no plan, no measurement of our success. We need the data, and today’s hardware and software help us get it. The Internet of Things (IoT) helps us make better, more informed decisions.

With access to data sets and the advanced capabilities of today’s devices, we can really differentiate ourselves from the competition when we put these resources to work. When it comes to connected devices, we think about our laptop or smartphone. But think about this: If we lose connectivity, we can still perform (albeit on a limited basis), but what about those critically connected devices that are helping save lives and keeping workers safe? It could literally be a matter of life or death if they lose connectivity.

Security of our Data
That’s where security comes in. By 2020, there could be as many as 50 billion connected devices on the internet, so security is going to be a huge priority in order for IoT to continue to be successful. The ways in which we generate data will also be a critical factor because in order to keep workers productive, more efficient, and safe we need to be able to access the right information from our connected devices.

Manufacturers like Honeywell, for example, are providing the market with tools that can maximize our capabilities, improve worker performance, and make reporting and analysis less cumbersome to manage.

The enterprise is facing increased competitive pressures every day. Warehouse, DC’s and manufacturing facilities are fighting to become more efficient and more accurate with the ability to increase capacity without increasing costs. Organizations are also looking for innovative ways to protect their supply chains from changes that will force them to re-develop software, update applications, and possibly even modify existing processes. They need solutions that have the flexibility to grow and adapt as their business grows.

Leveraging our Devices
Device connectivity brings so much value to your business. With all this valuable information, you can more easily predict shifts in the market, prepare for change more adeptly, and make decisions that will help drive future business plans. For organizations that choose to go the connected route, they will truly be able to differentiate themselves from the competition; driving success from their ability to predict behaviors and integrate functions that were once independent of each other.

The newly-found fame of connected devices opens up a number of opportunities for companies to re-examine their existing business model, develop innovative products and services, and eliminate the barrier that exists between the customer and the supplier. Gathering data from these devices, and then circulating that data through the organization results in more intelligent business decisions that lead to more innovative solutions that exceed customer expectations.

Tracking Assets
On a more tactical level, IoT can provide loads of support when it comes to efficiency. Asset tracking, for example, can offer a lot of value over a short period of time if the solution offers real-time access to information from virtually any device.   Whether you’re in the equipment rental business, have a field service workforce, or even remote-office workers, the advantage of being completely connected means you have more control of your assets and the value of those assets as well. Consider maintenance schedules, for example. Having service information about each device at your fingertips can save hundreds of labor hours tracking down devices, looking up paperwork on the history of the device, and so on. Connectivity, in this case, offers extreme value in terms of labor hours and unnecessary expenses (replacing lost devices, etc.).

Want to learn more about the advantages of IoT for your business? Contact us today.

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How the Internet of Things (IoT) is Changing the Way We Work

Internet Of Things iOTOf the many new technologies that have emerged in the past decade, the Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile computing are leading the way in allowing companies of all sizes to become more efficient and effective. As more and more companies embrace the idea of a mobile workforce, the IoT allows their workers to manage multiple tasks, access data in real-time, and embrace empowerment at the touch of a button.

Most industry observers say we are still at the very beginning stages of leveraging this incredible new age of automation. In manufacturing, distribution, and warehousing, the IoT can come alive on virtually every mobile computing device deployed. The Honeywell CT50 handheld mobile computer, for example, fits in your pocket but is designed for the rigors of a warehouse environment, giving users the ability to talk, text, access the company network, and much more. It can be as simple as developing a targeted mobile application and placing it into the hands of your mobile workforce.

Realizing a boost in productivity is the biggest advantage – which helps to control or even reduce costs, eliminates errors, and even improves worker safety. When your workers have virtually everything they need in the palm of their hands, they can move freely, save time and improve the quality of workflow processes.

What is the Most Prominent Emerging Technologies?

Further technologies are shaping the future of automation as organizations leverage the Internet of Things (IoT):

  • BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) – There is hesitation within the organization to allow employees to use their own devices, there are several devices on the market that can offer the features and functionality of a warehouse device, but with the sleek, modern design of a personal device.
  • Big Data – The technology further enables us to manage big data easily – giving companies greater visibility on many fronts. Flexibility in accessing data helps users become more informed, provide better customer service, and increase quality assurance.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Smart Homes – SIRI, OK Google, and Amazon’s Alexa can turn on your TV, turn up the volume, shut off the lights, add an item to your shopping list and do pretty much everything except fix breakfast. Where will this technology fit in our industry? Time will tell

What does the Future Hold for the IoT and Mobile Computing?

In their most recent Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, Cisco reports that mobile data traffic (over the IoT) has increased by 1800% in the past five years! Mobile computing has leapfrogged every other technology in terms of acceptance and we are not even close to realizing its full potential.

Every day there are new advances and we just seem to take them in stride. We can now talk to a device and have it talk back to us. Companies routinely recommend other things for us to buy based on past buying habits and the buying habits of other people like us.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the backbone of all the emerging technologies and providers are racing to get fiber to as many users as possible.  All those work crews you see on your streets are laying the network of the future and the information those networks carry are revolutionizing our world.

How do We Get Started?

Interested in further exploration of the world of mobile computing? Let us help you navigate the waters today so you can start realizing the potential of your organization with the advantages of mobile computing. Ask us how we’re helping other companies and the ways in which they’ve been able to improve workflow processes for better overall efficiency.

Contact us today for information.