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intelligent automation DD8701_Avalon-Blog-11-Image-6_15

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.

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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.

There’s no doubt we rely on smartphones for a variety of computing tasks. The phone is likely one of the lesser used functions. As smartphones became more convenient and functional, they drifted into the workplace. Then came tablets, and workers appreciated the increased landscape of the larger screen, without the unwieldy size of a laptop. With enterprise-grade tablets, workers could access enterprise systems for updates and communicate across the network with more ease than ever before.

Yet, in demanding conditions, like a warehouse or manufacturing facility, consumer devices just don’t last. Drop that tablet on the concrete floor and it’s either headed for repair or replacement—which means downtime and cost. You might also be compromising your data security by using a consumer-grade tablet or limiting the computing power.

Zebra ET50 and ET55 Enterprise-Grade Tablets
Zebra ET50 and ET55 Enterprise-Grade Tablets

Avalon Integration is focused on serving the technology needs of today’s warehouses, distribution centers, and manufacturers. We recognized that consumer devices just don’t deliver value in a tough, enterprise environment. So, we looked toward Zebra, a leader in this space, and found the answer.

The Zebra ET50 and ET55 enterprise tablets are purpose-built for the workplace. These enterprise-grade tablets make the grade—with a higher level of security, data capture, connectivity, and durability. Use these powerful mobile computing devices to:

  • Access real-time reports
  • Transmit work orders
  • Check equipment status
  • Track orders
  • Review and adjust workflows
  • Trigger replenishment
  • Place supply orders
  • Locate people and inventory
  • Capture and send high-quality photos or videos
  • View schematics
  • Record inspections with the date and time stamps
  • Use voice and messaging functions to communicate with the workforce

The Zebra ET50/ET55 enterprise tablet is designed to handle all of these functions with ease and reliability. With the sleek design of a consumer tablet, the ET50/ET55 is unquestionably rugged. Drop the tablet from three feet without worry. Add the rugged frame and the device will handle a drop from more than six feet. The ET50/ET55 will also withstand rain, snow, and dust. The IP65 sealing protects it from even a heavy spray from a hose.

This high-powered, intuitive, and rugged tablet also comes pre-installed with Zebra’s Mobility Extensions (Mx), a suite of features that elevate your operating system to enterprise-class Android. The result is more streamlined and effective device management, security, Wi-Fi performance, and application access. You can do more, better.

Zebra ET50 and ET55 Tablets Are Built to Work for You
Zebra ET50 and ET55 Tablets Are Built to Work for You

Data capture is also enhanced with the enterprise-level ET50/ET55 tablet. Scan 1D and 2D barcodes easily and quickly from a printed paper or electronic screen. Even damaged barcodes can be read. The tablet is also equipped with an integrated 8MP rear camera for image capture and a 2MP front camera for video conferencing.

You can add a hot-swappable battery to keep working without missing a beat. Or keep your ET50/ET55 powered up on the mobile-powered cart.

The ET50 is configured for robust connectivity within your facility’s existing WLAN infrastructure. If you need an enterprise tablet that hits the road with you, the ET55 supports 4G LTE.

Avalon Integration proudly partners with Zebra to provide our customers with the most advanced technology solutions for their business. Ask us about the ET50/ET55 enterprise tablets and other enterprise-grade mobile devices that increase operational efficiency.