Despite the fact that over 306 million Americans (95% of the U.S. population) are still affected by stay-at-home orders, that hasn’t stopped them from purchasing products. Online retail has seen massive growth during the coronavirus pandemic. In the U.S., retailers’ online revenue growth is up 68% as of mid-April, surpassing an earlier peak of 49% in early January.

Clearly, COVID-19 has changed retail, possibly permanently. Its initial impact on eCommerce is creating changes to the way we conduct online selling and services in ways nobody imagined.

The pandemic has left the supply chain reeling, but the industry has proven its resilience time and time again. As production ramps up, the warehouses and distribution centers that leverage innovation will be the most successful in meeting modern day demand.

Here are a few tips for achieving breakthrough results:

Mobility, Mobility, Mobility

Shipping used to take an average of three to five days. Those days are long gone. The industry moved swiftly to two-day shipping in order to keep up with giant online retailers, and it will only continue to increase until we see same-day shipping across the board.

With unprecedented speeds like this, the supply chain can’t afford a single second of downtime. Even a single dropped connection or poorly performing application on a handheld device per shift can cost as much as 100 minutes in lost productivity. That is the equivalent of 23% of a worker’s daily shift.

For this reason, it is imperative to increase your enterprise mobility with the right tools and processes, starting with your OS.

While Windows used to be the dominating OS, Android has usurped its position. It now reigns supreme as a mobile operating system, and for good reason. Its open platform gives manufacturers the flexibility to develop an array of devices and form factors that meet the needs of everyday application. Here are some of the latest devices that are helping supply chain operations meet modern day demand:


This rugged handheld mobile computer is ideal for warehouse productivity. It automates and error-proofs workflows in both indoor and outdoor environments like warehouses, distribution centers, and retail backrooms.

What makes this device so special?

Well for one, the battery lasts for two to three shifts on a single charge, which means it will never die on you mid-shift. It also boasts a unique combination of warehouse features, with 4G LTE cellular to help workers stay connected. Plus, it comes with both alphanumeric and numeric keypad options for a better worker experience and easier data entry.

RT10 tablet

This enterprise-grade tablet is built for rapid user adoption, and is designed to minimize the total-cost-of-ownership by giving users the flexibility of using a single device for all use cases.

Its FlexRange scan engine features two complete optical paths. Unlike its competitors, these paths have no moving parts, which enables it to simultaneously capture near- and far-range images without latency.

VM3A vehicle mount computer

This full-sized vehicle-mount computer provides forklift and other vehicle operators with access to data entry applications right at their fingertips, which streamlines workflows and minimizes errors.

The VM3A is available on Android 9 Pie, with upgrades through Android R. It is designed to withstand the rigors of industrial vehicles, and offers a field-replaceable panel to repair touch or keyboard issues without needing to send it in for repair. It also features a Smart Dock, which allows it to be easily docked and removed during vehicle or shift changes.

Honeywell Makes it Easy to Upgrade Android OS

Though the shift from legacy Windows to Android OS is ongoing, Honeywell has remained ahead of the curve, making it easy for warehouse operators to migrate over. In addition, Honeywell even makes it easy to migrate applications from one version of Android to another, via its industry-leading Mobility Edge platform.

Accelerate Deployments

With Mobility Edge, you can deploy faster, easier, and at a lower cost. Warehouses can leverage versatile out-of-the-box capabilities and a rapid provisioning suite. Mobility Edge also expedites development, certification, setup, and training involving multiple form factors at once.

Optimize Business Performance

Powerful, embedded tools across the platform drive faster data capture and secure, enhanced worker communications. This streamlines your entire warehouse for maximum productivity.

Extend Lifecycle

Mobility Edge reduces TCO and minimizes headaches with an enterprise-wide approach to maintenance releases. The hardware is designed to support ongoing upgrades to the operating system through Android 13 (T) and extended support 5 years beyond that, which is longer than any competitor products, and spans across more devices as well.

Strengthen Security

With the unified, dynamic hardware-and-software platform that Mobility Edge provides, Honeywell has taken an agile approach to enabling enterprise IT to deliver better mobile solutions across your business.

Making Sense of the Data to Drive Better Decisions

The right devices, platforms, and operating systems won’t be enough to completely improve warehouse productivity without the right analytics software. Honeywell’s Operational Intelligence analytics software includes four modules that work together to help IT teams manage and optimize assets across all locations, throughout the asset lifecycle.

With Operational Intelligence, your IT resources gain performance analytics to help predict issues with device health and maintenance even before they occur. It does this by tracking device and application usage, gathering data to help analyze worker performance and workflow efficiencies. With this, you can easily identify any bottlenecks and solve issues that are diminishing warehouse productivity.

Boosting productivity is essential now and will only become more essential in the future as we move towards same-day shipping. To truly optimize your workflow, it is necessary to have the right tools in place. Informs, Inc. offers a wide range of devices designed for this purpose as well as the expertise to implement them. For more information, contact the experts at Informs.