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Manufacturers and distributors are tasked with ensuring that products flow through the supply chain in the fastest, most cost-effective way possible. With so much competition in the industry, it’s no wonder why businesses have turned to mobile terminals and computers to optimize their supply chains. Advances in technology have yielded applications and devices that allow companies to track assets more accurately than ever before, as well as complete transactions, work with partners, and more.

Let’s take a look at the three main reasons why mobile terminals and computers are essential to supply chain success:

Mobility and durability

Mobile terminals and computers have become so popular for the same reason consumer smartphones are ubiquitous: mobility. The ability to take devices wherever you go is ideal because you always have the proper tools and information at your finger tips. When it comes to deliveries, drivers can utilize mobile computers to capture signatures for proof of delivery. In addition, managers can track driver efficiency through location-based applications. In the past, technology relied on data entry and many processes were slowed down because employees had to bring the information to the devices.

In many industrial applications, mobility could not exist without durability. Bringing devices into the field is always a risk, but many companies offer industrial-grade mobile terminals and computers that thrive in extreme environments. The Dolphin 99GX Mobile Computer from Honeywell is a good example of a durable terminal, boasting an IP64 rating and a design that protects it from drops of up to six feet. Although it is important to properly maintain technology, durability is a lifesaver when it comes to normal wear and tear.

Productivity

Mobility and productivity are very closely related when it comes to mobile terminals and computers. Mobility is a convenience, but it also provides significant boosts to a company’s productivity. Mobile computers can perform a variety of tasks and processes much more quickly than any employee and they are also significantly more accurate than workers. With data entry, human error greatly slows down productivity and mistakes that aren’t noticed can hurt a company’s profits.

Honeywell’s Marathon FX1 field computer eliminates the need for a laptop or desktop computer while also offering all of the functionality needed for the data capture industry. Limiting the number of devices in use not only improves efficiency, but also helps reduce maintenance costs.

Real-time Updates Using Mobile Terminals and Computers

The flow of information in real time is hugely beneficial to manufacturers, distributors, and a variety of other companies. Real-time updates helps businesses know where their assets are at all times and provide much more accurate estimated arrival times, so any slack in the supply chain can be tightened. Drivers can even benefit from the flow of real-time information. Constant updates on traffic can help drivers avoid traffic jams or construction and many applications even offer alternate routes to take.

Mobile terminals and computers are essential for any business that wants to improve supply chain efficiency. With the popularity of smartphones, many workers are already acquainted with handheld devices, so less training is needed to get everyone up to speed. Mobile technology will continue to drive the industry forward, so it is important to embrace these changes.

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