The operating system that drives your enterprise is more than the core beneath your software apps. You’ll be investing deeply in a system that should support your business operations for many years ahead. The costs for licensing, software (now and apps to developed), hardware, and tech support require that you take a close look before you leap.
When Microsoft announced that it will no longer support CE/Windows Mobile in 2020, about 15 million users—90% of the enterprise market— were left with a quandary. Do you stick with that OS until you hit the dead end where you need support and it’s just not there? Do you rewrite your legacy systems? You could also make the OS migration to a system that will be supported in the long run. Android, for example, is picking up steam, not just as a result of Microsoft’s decision, but because developers are recognizing the potential for an enterprise-grade Android system.
What do we mean by “enterprise grade”? Well, as you know, Android is an open-source platform, which causes some IT professionals to cringe at the prospect of managing security. With a powered-up version, like Zebra’s MX Extensions, you gain the added security to maintain a safe environment beyond your single host system. Zebra has taken the desirable familiarity of Android and made it exponentially stronger and more secure.
The next factor in choosing the right operating system for your enterprise is the hardware compatibility. Can you acquire the computers, printers, scanners, and other devices that will work with your OS choice? No one wants to go out and replace all of their technology, so assess what you have. Which devices need to be replaced and which have more life? Is there a way to take a scalable approach to updating your hardware during the OS migration?
With Microsoft pulling out of the market in three years, you have time to ponder your choices, but unless you want to be pressured into making a sudden transition, develop your strategy now. Establish a timeline. If you need help identifying the components and evaluating your choices, contact Informs
Managing a fleet requires quick thinking and action. Every mile, every package, and every delivery comes at a cost to your business. If you don’t maximize the load and empower your drivers to be efficient and accurate, you’re letting money roll out the door.
Today’s technology provides a solution. Manual systems, like driver manifests, leave too much room for error, as well as taking up the driver’s time to shuffle through papers and find the right information. In order for you to efficiently manage your fleet, you need real-time, accurate data. You can’t wait till after a route is completed, because then it’s damage control, not prevention.
Mobile technology—handheld computers with built-in scanning and enterprise access, and mobile printers—enable your fleet drivers to work from an electronic manifest. It’s easy to find the details on an order or customer history; scan and verify the shipment and delivery; process orders, changes, and returns; capture signatures; and avoid truck shortages. DSD drivers can take photos on their rugged mobile devices to validate their delivery and merchandising. When a delivery is made, your driver doesn’t have to hand over a scribbled mess of an order, but can print a clean copy with barcodes that the customer can scan to enter the shipment directly into inventory. Accuracy and efficiency lead to a satisfied customer.
Your logistics manager can track the trucks and drivers, ensuring safety. Proactively maintain your fleet by keeping a digital record of the maintenance schedule. When you need to prove compliance, this digital footprint provides an easily accessed audit trail, saving hours of manual labor that would otherwise be required to track down details.
Zebra has a long-standing reputation for rugged mobile technology. The equipment is designed specifically for harsh environments. If you’re going to invest in mobility for your fleet, make sure you’re equipping them with reliable devices that won’t leave them stranded.
A mobility solution delivers a strong return on investment, with significant savings in labor, the potential to increase the stops per route, and the reduction in errors and shortages. Contact Informs to learn how a mobility strategy can benefit your transportation and logistics operation.