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Compared to ten years ago, today’s warehouse operations are starkly different. Not only did 5,000 new warehouses appear in a span of 5 years, but e-commerce sales have skyrocketed over 300% way before the global health crisis. Thanks to globalization and the internet, the high demand for specific products and fast order fulfillment has revolutionized operations, leading to one of the biggest business trends helping and hindering operations: SKU proliferation. 

As companies adapt to cater to customer preferences, they create new product varieties, giving way to new SKU numbers to identify different types of the same kind of product. This is a natural progression for any growing business, yet without crucial visibility, SKU proliferation can lead to:

  • Increased carrying costs as you’ll need more shelf space and labor to accommodate more products
  • Increased manufacturing/production costs for slow-moving inventory
  • Added order cycle times since workers take more time to compile orders
  • Missed predictive analytics since collected data does not apply to larger segments of your operations

However, when done correctly, SKU proliferation sharpens your competitive advantage by allowing your business to fulfill a customer’s immediate and secondary needs. Therefore, Avalon Integration outlines three ways your distribution plan can leverage intelligent visibility solutions to best manage varying SKUs.

Bringing Insight to Where it’s Needed Most

When modernizing inventory management, Avalon suggests the following areas to start:

Analyze purchase patterns in conjunction with customer interactions

Zebra L10 Tablet to Analyze Purchase Patterns

Zebra’s L10 tablets provide ample screen space, processing power, and integrated scanning capabilities

Obviously, one of the most common causes of SKU proliferation is customer demand. For example, a shoe company selling back shoes may notice the sudden popularity of red shoes and decide to sell them as well. While this may be competitively smart, one must not forget to continue monitoring current stock performance. In our shoe example, that would mean managers would still need to accurately track the number of black shoes in stock, how often they sell, and where they’re located in addition to trends in demand.

To properly analyze stock performance without increasing cycle count times, Avalon recommends streamlining data capture and mobile computing to eliminate data entry. Mobile devices such as Zebra’s L10 tablets provide ample screen space, processing power, and integrated scanning capabilities to empower workers to manage data on the go, creating an undisrupted inventory management system.

Connect workers to real-time stock updates

MC3390R RFID Real-Time Stock Updates

Integrate real-time visibility with RFID tracking solutions

Customer preferences can change within a day, sometimes in a matter of minutes. Moreover, research shows that customers are more likely to abandon carts if they’re unable to fulfill 100% of their needs in one place. That means every decision your workforce takes matters.  To avoid wasting labor efforts, integrate real-time visibility with RFID tracking solutions, such as Zebra MotionWorks, to manage multiple inventory identifiers all once. Inventory counts and location can then be shared with your workforce via their mobile device to accelerate picking by guiding them to the correct location faster.

Protect communication channels across the whole supply chain

Zebra TC77 Touch Computer Communication

Zebra’s TC77 touch-computer for high-speed and long-range connectivity

Disruptive communication channels such as Blockchain Technology are already redefining the way supply chains communicate by allowing enterprises to monitor inventory before it reaches the receiving dock. That means connectivity has now become a driving factor in enhancing competitiveness since it also allows customers to track their orders, a benefit sought by 97% of online shoppers. While there are many ways to establish communication channels between teams, Avalon continues to prioritize streamlined productivity and flexibility by recommending Zebra’s TC77 touch-computer for high-speed and long-range connectivity that keeps field teams and warehouses connected while also providing mobile computing and data capture capabilities.

As a Zebra Premier Solutions’ Partner, Avalon Integration makes sure to connect you with durable enterprise-ready solutions. Contact us today to discover new ways you can get a better handle on SKU proliferation with solutions tailored to your workflow.

Today’s supply chains are fast, but in a world where you can have designer shoes delivered by a flying drone in less than 30 minutes, the question remains: How much faster can the modern workflow get? Between new delivery services, changing social platforms, and revolutionary technology, the on-demand market becomes increasingly more demanding as customers expect faster service.

Serving a wide range of clients across the U.S., Avalon Integration is well aware of the increasing demands made on today’s warehouses. Integrating solutions in businesses both big and small, we can share tips and hints on how warehouses across the globe are turning fast into faster.

Peel and Present Labels Faster

Every Change Counts

Since there are several shapes and sizes to today’s warehouses, it’s only natural that several optimizing strategies have gained popularity worldwide. A few common strategies include:

  • Moving closer to customers – While costly and generally reserved for larger enterprises, moving warehouses and distribution centers closer to customers drastically reduce shipping times, giving companies a higher competitive edge. Furthermore, changes within the U.S. economy (import tariffs, lower tax rates, etc.) have also driven companies to consider new warehouse locations, possibly contributing to the 3372 new private warehouses built within the last decade alone.
  • Investing in automation – Reducing inaccurate order processing from picking to shipping, automated workflows can save companies millions of dollars from return fees, lost assets, and human error. Automation leader, Zebra Technologies reports that 61% of warehouses are already equipping workforces with automated processes designed to maximize accuracy and productivity without overworking employees. Moreover, less worker stress leads to lower turnover rates, saving operations from costly downtime and employee burnout.
  • Expanding inventory visibility – Integrating small changes, such as environment-resistant labels or large-scale RFID solutions, allows workers to quickly locate assets. This ultimately decreases wait times while capturing actionable data. From long-range readers to the latest RFID on-metal solutions, Avalon partners with Zebra to provide an end-to-end visibility solution that elevates productivity.Peel Labels Faster and Present Them
  • Maximizing worker mobility – Faster supply chains mean your workers are moving faster throughout the warehouse. Consequently, crucial warehouse technology much is ergonomic and versatile enough to preserve mobility. Devices such as Zebra’s MC9300 or TC77 are perfect examples of how multiple functions can be combined into one ergonomic device, helping workers complete different tasks without hauling several devices with them.
  • Simplifying “easy” operations – Lastly, in a supply chain, every little task counts; therefore, efficiency should never be spared. In other words, just because something works doesn’t mean it can’t be better. For example, small tasks such as label application can be optimized to cut time spent labeling. Want a closer look? Check out the video below:

Innovation always continues to move forward. While we may not be able to build a brand-new warehouse, Avalon Integration can build optimization strategies centered on your workflow challenges. Stay ahead of the on-demand market when you start your optimization solution with the leaders in efficient innovation.

You put your field workforce out on the road to increase agility and give your customers the rapid response they expect. But to make sure every driver and field tech can do their jobs without delays, you need to keep them connected—with the office and each other. Avalon Integration is always on the lookout for mobility solutions that bridge the gap between the mobile workforce and the office. The new Zebra TC77 touch computer handles that task quite nicely.

When Zebra introduced the TC77 as the next generation of the best-selling TC75, our tech staff decided to examine it to understand how it would benefit our customers. We saw that this new rugged handheld has maintained the sleek look of a smartphone (which we like) but provides more memory, speed, and mobility than its predecessor— which is saying a lot because the TC75 set a new standard in mobile workforce computing.

 

So, what can the TC77 handheld computer do for your Mobile Workforce?

TC77 Captures Delivery Confirmation at an airport

Capture delivery confirmation. Zebra enhanced the data and image capture features to allow for scanning a barcode, signature, text, checkboxes, and even an entire document in one scan, using Zebra SimulScan, which is pre-installed on the TC77.

TC77 can Validate any Condition

Validate proof of condition. The new mobile computer features a 13MP camera, and this adds great value to the device. Eliminate any questions by using the high-res camera to record a detailed image of any product or package with a date stamp.

Review schematics and other detailed documents with the TC77 from Zebra

Review schematics and other detailed documents. The device delivers speeds of up to 866.7 Mbps and features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 octa-core processor. When field service techs need diagrams, manuals, and schematics on-site, the TC77 is powerful enough to rapidly download the information and even run multiple apps at once.

With the TC77 the Mobile Workforce can do Video Conferences with ease from anywhere

Videoconference with colleagues. Your mobile workforce can use the video camera to provide close-up images of equipment problems or other issues to share with co-workers and help service techs in the field with diagnostics or troubleshooting.

TC77 Communicates Instantly with the Mobile Workforce

Communicate instantly. The Zebra TC77 also enables push-to-talk (PTT) for immediate response to questions and inquiries. PTT instantly connects co-workers and makes it easier to get answers quickly.

The TC77 Reduces Downtime for any Mobile Workforce

Reliable performance reduces downtime. Working remotely requires hardware that’s designed to handle tough environments. The TC77 has an 8-foot drop spec, withstands water, snow, ice, dirt, dust, and thousands of tumbles. The touchscreen and imager window is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass for the best prevention of scratches, cracks, and shatters. Plus, the PowerPrecision+ high-capacity battery delivers up to 15 hours on a single charge. But, if needed, the user can swap the battery without powering down the device, minimizing interruption.

The TC77 Simplifies route accounting for your Mobile Workforce

Simplify route accounting. As a purpose-built, rugged industrial computer, the TC77 features the functionality of high-performance computing in a smartphone-styled handheld. Data is easily entered and retrieved from the day’s activities as well as the backend system. At the end of a shift, the worker is no longer juggling piles of paper—manifests, work orders, invoices, sales transactions, and other documents. Instead, an accurate, fully updated report can be done in a fraction of the time.

Consider These Three Scenarios.

We want you to send your workers into the field with equipment that makes their jobs easier and more efficient. Click here to watch a full review of the Zebra TC77. Then contact Avalon Integration to find out how the TC77 supports your goals and delivers both a rapid ROI and lower total cost of ownership.

There’s no question that purpose-built mobile devices are the right fit for the workplace. Not only are they tough enough to take hits without breaking, but they also include features and manageability that consumer-grade devices just don’t have. The new Zebra TC77 touch computer is a strong example of the value of upgrading to leverage this type of performance. Avalon Integration studied this rugged handheld computer so we could answer our customers’ question, “What does the next-gen TC7X deliver?

Just like its predecessor, the TC75, the TC77 touch computer looks like a smartphone and maintains the Zebra’s renowned ruggedness: 8-foot drop spec, IP 65 and IP67 sealing, and Corning Gorilla Glass on the display and imager window. This device is impervious to water, dust, and dirt, and continues working in the searing heat and freezing cold. Also, like the earlier version, the TC77 allows touchscreen input with a stylus, finger, and gloved finger.

Zebras TC77 Touch Computer being used in the Workforce

What Are the Improvements for the TC77 Touch Computer?

We admit that both the Avalon Integration team and the customers who adopted the TC75 have been impressed with that device. We weren’t sure that it needed to be improved—until we saw what Zebra did.

Rapid processing. The TC77 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 octa-core, 2.2 GHz processor, a significant step up from the 1.7 GHz dual-core processor.

Increased memory. Zebra quadrupled the memory capacity in the new generation handheld computer, going from 1GB to 4GB of RAM and 8GB Flash to 32GB, so the new computer can handle today’s graphics-intensive apps without storage issues.

Faster data speeds. While you had been getting up to 150 Mbps in the earlier device, the TC77 shifts up to 866.7 Mbps.

TC77 Showcasing it's improved data speeds

Greater network flexibility. Zebra also improved the power of connectivity by incorporating simultaneous support for two carriers. The aggregated carrier support allows for faster upload and download speeds.

Better Bluetooth performance. Bluetooth 5.0 and BLE gives this device a greater range while using less power, which extends the battery cycle time.

More power The PowerPrecision+ high-capacity battery delivers up to 15 hours on a single charge, and the battery can be swapped without powering down the device.

Higher-resolution camera. The front camera on the TC75 offered a 1.3MP resolution. Zebra sharpened the view by going to a 5MP camera while keeping the rear camera at a razor-sharp 13MP autofocus, ideal for capturing proof of condition and other images that require more detailed definition.

TC77 being used by a Utilities worker

Zebra’s TC77 is the Next Gen of Touch Computers

The way apps, data, and users keep advancing, we need technology with the speed and intelligence to maximize the opportunities to work more efficiently. The TC77 definitely reflects these dynamics.

You can see and learn more about the Zebra TC77 touch computer with the video demonstration we developed. See what you think, and then contact Avalon Integration to schedule a demo.

How long do you hold onto your hardware before it’s outlived its value? Yes, it’s hard to keep up with the advances that seem to come in a steady stream from the manufacturers, but you should at least be aware of your options. Avalon Integration doesn’t believe you always need to switch just because a new version has been released. Instead, you should be aware of how your technology is supporting your goals for operational efficiency because it directly impacts your bottom line. So, are your legacy devices holding you back? Let’s take a look at why upgrading with the new Zebra TC77 can help you leap forward.

Look at the changes that are built into the new technology and determine the value of those benefits as compared to the investment in your current devices. If you’re having difficulty maintaining a strong connection, then you’re paying for your workers to roam around and find a signal. If the scanner requires precise aim and is a bit picky about the types of barcodes it will read, the time it takes for someone to do each scan should be multiplied across the number of scans across a shift, times the number of workers, shifts, and workdays. That wasted time really adds up!

So, why do you need the Zebra TC77?

Zebra TC77 has a faster processor for your work environment

Consider the processing speed of your legacy devices. As your enterprise apps require more power, your older devices are still working with the same processor. They can’t keep up, which means slow uploads and downloads, and you can’t run more than one app at a time. Is that efficient enough for you?

Next, think about the features that you haven’t yet considered, but might actually improve productivity. For example, would your workforce benefit from a better camera? Do they need to capture and transmit detailed images? Your field service technicians might get better support if they could show the people in the office what they’re looking at. Or, your receiving team could grab great photos that show the condition of something that arrived damaged.

Avalon Tested the Latest Functions Offered by the TC77!

The Zebra TC77 is Versatile for any Environment

When the new Zebra TC77 touch computer arrived at Avalon Integration’s office, we were excited to see what the new generation of the TC70 could do, but we also wanted to check out functions that older devices were sorely lacking. Sometimes, you don’t know you need a feature until someone shows you how great it really is.

The Zebra TC77 rugged handheld computer didn’t disappoint. All of the features we’ve mentioned here are packed into this compact mobile computer that still looks like a smartphone. It’s fast, smart, and purpose-built to give your workforce the tools to get their jobs done faster and with more accuracy.

Contact Avalon Today to Schedule a Demonstration for the Zebra TC77!

Zebras TC77 is the best upgrade for your legacy devices

Do you need the Zebra TC77 ultra-rugged mobile computer? Maybe. If your current handhelds are more than three years old, the failure rate increases. According to VDC Research, every 1% increase in device failure equals a 5% increase in the total cost of ownership. If you’re holding onto those legacy devices thinking you’re saving money, you might be underestimating the actual TCO.

We don’t know if the Zebra TC77 is the right fit for you right now, but isn’t it worth finding out for sure? Take a couple of minutes to watch this short video for a preview.

The Avalon Integration tech team can assess your technology to make sure you’re not missing opportunities, so you’re aware of your options. Are you ready to raise your awareness? Let’s talk!

Hurry! Time’s Almost Up!

Rebate expires Dec 31 now is the time

Check out the Avalon Go Zebra page to learn more!

*Offer expires 12/31/18 for both trade-in and free shipping

When you’re looking for a rugged handheld computer—something that can handle the tough stuff in a harsh environment—you look past the consumer devices, because they can’t handle it. Zebra is where you should look. As a leader in this segment, Zebra knows how to build technology that combines sleekness, intelligence, and lasting reliability. And now that the Zebra’s new TC77 is here, Avalon Integration wants to give you a closer look at what’s in store.

Right out of the box, the TC77 touch computer looks a lot like its predecessor, the TC70—and that’s a good thing. The consumer styling of the device is something we really liked. It provides a familiarity that users appreciate. The TC77 weighs the same 13.3 ounces and maintains the 4.7-inch display of the earlier generation handheld computer.

So, Why Do You Need the Latest Touch Computer?

TC77 Efficiency

If you want more productivity from your workforce, you’ll get far better results with a Zebra TC77 than the legacy devices that you’re currently using. Increase their efficiency and optimize their time with this purpose-built mobile computer:

  • As a computer, the TC77’s Qualcomm Snapdragon, 660 octo-core, a 220GHz processor will feel like a high-performance engine compared to the older processors. Plus, the 4 GB RAM and 32 GB Flash memory deliver far more space for your graphics-intensive apps to function without holding you back.
  • As a barcode scanner, the SE4750 imager lets you easily grab 1D, 2D, and Digimarc barcodes with one try, from as far away as three feet. The omnidirectional scanning means you don’t have to spend precious time precisely aligning the scanner with the barcode.
  • The two cameras expand the functionality, with a 5-megapixel, front-facing camera for video calls and a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus that captures fine details—ideal for capturing images of damaged goods and mechanical issues.
  • The ultra-rugged description of the Zebra TC77 is no understatement. The Corning Gorilla Glass touchscreen provides maximum scratch and shatters resistance. It works from sub-zero temps to searing heat, so you can count on this tough handheld to work anywhere you need it. The Zebra mobile computer also handles drops to concrete from as high as 8 feet. Although you might be curious, don’t test your legacy device this way!
  • Mobility is a critical factor. If you can’t connect, none of the great features are useful. You need to depend on robust connectivity wherever you go. So, the TC77 is designed to support two carriers, seamlessly switching from one to the other as needed. And the aggregate support delivers fast connections and downloads.
  • You also need to consider the battery life on a mobile device, because if it can’t last a full shift, you’re wasting time. The TC77 runs on a Power Precision+ long-life battery, designed to last 15 hours or more on a single charge. If you need to replace the battery, the hot-swap feature lets you change it without powering down the computer, another time-saver.

Contact Avalon Today to Schedule a Demonstration for the TC77!

TC77 Being Used in Truck for Demonstration

You can get a closer look at the Zebra TC77 touch computer by clicking here to see the video or contact Avalon Integration to schedule a demonstration. We specialize in supporting the IT needs of demanding industries, like manufacturing, warehousing, and field service, and we focus on delivering results, not promises.

Hurry! Time’s Almost Up!

Rebate expires Dec 31 now is the time

Check out the Avalon Go Zebra page to learn more!

*Offer expires 12/31/18 for both trade-in and free shipping