Rugged Tablet Scan Handle

Rugged Tablet Scan Handle

 

Rugged Tablet Scan Handle

 

A true first in its class – a Rugged Tablet Scan Handle !. Our cordless, high-performance Bluetooth scan handle for the T8650 allows users to quickly scan 1D/2D barcode images while using a rugged 8″ Windows 10 Tablet at the same time. The handle attaches to the T8650 via a Snap Mount plate which comes standard on the device itself. The module is powered by a 2,000 mAh battery providing users 85 hours of continuous use. This attachment helps to leverage your investment in T8650 platform – read the review.

Rugged Tablet Scan Handle includes:

  • Scan Handle module.
  • Two rechargeable batteries.
  • Two charging cables – Micro USB to USB.

To get a better understanding of how the Scan Handle works take a look at the short video and check out all the specs on the T8650 page.  The Scanning process uses a high performance digital imager scan engine to read in codes in the most fast and efficient way. This can all have a significant impact on inventory operations where a large number of barcodes need to be scanned and access to a larger than PDA screen is preferred.

Rugged Tablet Scan Handle

To learn more take a look at the specs and video or get in touch with us to arrange a webinar or meeting about the T8650 rugged tablet scan handle.

 

Why an SME Should Lease Enterprise Mobility Solutions

Why an SME Should Lease Enterprise Mobility Solutions

Why an SME Should Lease Enterprise Mobility Solutions
Confused Yet?

In most cases when companies undertake an Enterprise Mobility project they are looking to improve the productivity of mobile workers who are located away from a traditional desk based IT environment.

They soon realise that to make the deployment a success they need to synchronize a number of key moving parts including app design database hosting training hardware device provision and management. In terms of financing many have realised that the secret sauce is actually the utilisation of the system rather than actually owning it. This has been the case for many years for large companies who have always known the importance of leasing.

 

We talk to many SME’s who are competing with large competitors. They see mobile technology as a way of demonstrating process excellence to their customers. Whilst at the same time enjoying improvements in their own effectiveness and efficiently.

For SME’s undertaking an enterprise mobility project leasing provides them with a way to invest in a high return solution without having to blow up a huge part of their annual IT budget. In many cases the primary reason a project is parked is that whilst an ROI may be compelling an organisation may simply not have the free cash to make a one off purchase in an area they may not be familiar with. Adding another vehicle or employee can often seem a simpler option.

What Sort of Lease?

There are various type of lease but the most common in this scenario is an Operating Lease. In this scenario the customer only buys the right to the property for a specific period of time. At the end they can return the property or pay a nominal sum to acquire title.

The changing pace of technology along with inevitable revision of operating practices has led many to use an operating lease as a way to bundle all the elements into a single off balance sheet transaction that is treated as an expense not company capital. This can dovetail very well with the 24-36 month technology horizon that has become the norm in the minds of many buyers.

8 Leasing Advantages for an SME

  1. Gives the SME position power of a cash buyer.
  2. Allows for the payment of a capital purchase with low monthly rentals – budget and manage cash flow.
  3. Manage obsolescence with technology upgrades – without writing off large single sums.
  4. Invest money in other areas – more return on capital.
  5. Bridge the gap between what you need and what you can afford.
  6. Fully allowable against taxable income.
  7. Spread costs and save on tax. Payments are treated as operating expense so are tax deductible.
  8. Flexible.

At the end of an operating lease the client can

  • Add further capability to the system refresh and re-new.
  • Send the assets back.

Excellent ROI

It is not uncommon for an Enterprise Mobility project to have  a positive financial impact on a business function within 9 to 12 months. It is our firm belief that after the 36 months of a typical lease the solution will have proven it’s worth beyond the value of the rentals paid.

Why an SME Should Lease Enterprise Mobility Solutions

MobileFrame Issued Patent for Intelligent Rendering on a Mobile Computing Device

MobileFrame Issued Patent for Intelligent Rendering

MobileFrame Issued Patent for Intelligent Rendering

 

We have been working with MobileFrame for six years and were delighted to hear that they had been issued with a patent for intelligent rendering on a mobile computing device.

 

This innovative feature allows MobileFrame developers to build mobile, desktop and web-based applications that dynamically re-size to fit any sized screen. Generating an excellent return on investment for users has always been at the heart of a MobileFrame deployment. This development means that it’s position among mobile application development MEAP platforms is enhanced.

Read the Press Release

MobileFrame Issued Patent for Its Intelligent RenderingInterested in learning how we can help you use MobileFrame to mobilise your business processes?

Why it’s still OK to Bespoke Enterprise Mobile Software

Why it’s still OK to Bespoke Enterprise Mobile Software

NewsFlash! Companies implement enterprise mobility systems to help them be more competitive whilst at the same time streamlining in field and back office processes.

Why it's still OK to Bespoke Enterprise Mobile SoftwareIn recent years it has become the norm for operational and IT teams to go for a pre-built application and if necessary change business processes to fit the parts where the app does not quite match with the working practices on the ground.

For some custom development is old fashioned and carries the stigma of being expensive and never ending. Both of these statements can be true and some high profile bespoke IT projects at the BBC and the NHS  do not help to overturn the perception.

 

The tools are out there to make producing an app a lot easier than it used to be. Modern Mobile Application Development Platforms (MEAP) have eliminated much of the black art around producing something that will work. It really is OK to bespoke an enterprise mobile enterprise mobile software.

Bespoke Enterprise Mobile Software 8 Things to Think About

  1. This approach can work for small numbers of users performing a very specific task. But the more users you have the more likely you will be able to justify an ROI for the project.
  2. Talk to someone who has either done something like this is a similar business process or a vendor who provides this sort of solution.
  3. Get your paper forms turned into an app as a prototype.
  4. Devise a plan for choosing which sort of device and OS will be suitable. Ensure your prototype runs on the target device satisfactorily. What is the expected life of these product?
  5. An app is useless unless you can connect it to something. Can you connect the data gathered to your ERP or CRM system. Is exporting it as a file or web service good enough? Find out first if you can make this integration and who will manage it.
  6. Write a comprehensive specification of how the whole solution will operate.
  7. Review the results with the people who actually carry out the process.
  8. By iteration tweak your prototype and repeat.

Why it's still OK to Bespoke Enterprise Mobile SoftwareIt’s still OK to bespoke enterprise mobile software. Get in touch to book a visit for us to discuss your requirements.

 

Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2014

Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2014

Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2014

Its the time of the year when we take a look into our crystal ball and consider what will be the seven key enterprise mobility IT trends for 2014.

How many of these that we identified for 2013 did you see during the year?

We are looking for trends that are likely to prove key in helping you figure out if you can generate a return on investment for your Enterprise Mobility projects.

 1. Shorter Replacement Cycles

Traditional sales pitch for an enterprise grade rugged device involves a replacement cycle of 3- 5 years based on the premise of a superior TCO and being able to repair the unit long term.

This proposition will start to become outmoded for many buyers who are used to 24 month re-fresh and a faster moving product life. Out of contract cost of repair is not dropping as traditional device manufactures try and make up margin by selling repair services.

2. Tablets and iPads.

If you just landed on Earth you would be forgiven for thinking that Apple invented tablet computing in 2010. In fact whilst the iPad has shipped in the millions rugged enterprise grade tablets had been around for years before that. Apple continues to lose market share but is happy being the premium product especially for C Level types. Is the iPad a tablet or some sort of entertainment portal – who cares. Devices have become lighter and more manageable meaning that users in organisations of all sizes are now just as comfortable with 7″ to 10″ screen formats than with a handheld or PDA form factor. In the UK IDC estimates that 25% of tablets shipped between July and September were under £120 ($190) and it expects this part of the market to grow over the next few years.

Expect to see more people looking to use more larger format tablets and more apps more often for enterprise tasks whatever the brand or OS.

3. R.I.P. Windows Mobile

Is this the year more enterprise mobility deployments go out on Android rather than Windows Mobile? Android is attacking the space from all angles and according to IDC accounts for 81% of all Smartphone shipments. That is quite a wave for Enterprise Mobility to dodge even though Apple alone accounts for 56% of the profit in the sector.

Watch out for more Android and innovative products like the Intermec CN51 which can be “upgraded” to Android in the future.

4. Rugged Android Device Battles

It’s over before it started. More rugged enterprise mobile Android units will enter the market . At the moment they seem to be happy slugging it out on price. Clearly this cannot last and for some vendors this could be a quickly deflating bubble.

New players may well start to be become dominant amid the beginning of a shake out in traditional vendors as only the fittest and most innovative will survive this.

5. Bring Your Own Device

Yawn… I hear you think not another mention about BYOD.  Whatever the hype more companies have been organising their HR and security policies to suit a deployment. Perhaps they are spurred on by Gartner predicting that 38% of surveyed CIOs will cease to provide personal IT devices to their employees by 2016.  But is it worth it? Perhaps not, one piece of research by Nucleus explained how BYOD would actually increase costs without providng any tangible benefits.

No matter what the cost many will find the approach compelling enough to fudge the numbers to fit their scenario. More companies will be doing BYOD trials and one will surely try it to impose it on blue collar workers.  After all its far too hip to go away.

6. Even More Wi-Fi

An IDC report describes how in spite of its relative maturity the enterprise WLAN market continues to go up with revenues growing at a 20% rate in recent years. Reports indicate Cisco having a solid @55% market share primary loser seems to be Motorola Solutions.

Two factors continue to drive growth in WLAN deployments. The added oomph given by all those BYOD users hooking on to corporate Wi-Fi with their iPad’s and Android devices. Also cellular operators will be looking to add more enterprise grade Wi-Fi provision to their networks and value added offerings.

7. Secure Mobile File Sharing

By giving white collar users mobile access to secure collaboration and file sharing, enterprises can boost business productivity and organizational agility. However, IT departments need to ensure that mobile file sharing never puts at risk the security of an organisation’s data.

As Keith Hall of Accellion comments,  “While “anytime, anywhere” might sound like a pipe dream that can never truly be fulfilled, we really mean it. Users have to be able to securely access any enterprise content they need, whenever needed from any type of device. And then edit the data, share it, save it – whatever is required for the task at hand. That’s mobile productivity at its finest and secure file sharing solutions will be at the center of this trend to watch”.

The Wildcards

How could we leave out Near Field Communication – NFC? Does it have a future in the mainstream? With more Android based devices being used in Enterprise Mobility expect to see more of this in a number of apps starting with proof of delivery.

Optical Character Recognition – OCR. Reading text is a great alternative to reading barcodes or RFID tags. There are plenty of human readable applications that could benefit from this approach.

Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2014

We can bring our crystal ball to your office to discuss the seven key enterprise mobility IT trends for 2014 that may impact your project.

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How to Evaluate an Investment for In Premise Enterprise Mobility Part 4

How to Evaluate an Investment for In Premise Enterprise Mobility Part 4

How to Evaluate an Investment for In Premise Enterprise Mobility Part 4In the final part of our series on how to evaluate an investment for in premise enterprise mobility, we will look at two further areas where benefit can be generated – improvements in scheduling and income.

 

Then its your turn to get some numbers from your own business and see what impact an investment for in premise enterprise mobility can generate.

Improvements in Scheduling

Typically areas where you can expect improvements in scheduling are in factory utilisation overtime charges and the reduction in special delivery charges.

Savings in these areas are calculated in different ways. For factory or plant utilisation you need to know the gross margin and annual sales of the unit. We assume it is operating at full capacity. Multiply these figures together with the expected improvement in utilsation using in premise mobility.

To estimate the savings from less overtime and fewer special outbound deliveries multiply the current costs in these areas by the expected percentage improvement. Here are some ideas from Coca Cola on improving working hours performance.

For example. Assume your sales are £1,000,000 and your gross margin is 30%. You incur an average of £30,000 in overtime and special shipping charges. If you believe a 15 % improvement is likely in both areas your calculations will look something like this:

Your calculations would look something like:

Factory Utilisation 15% x £1m x 30% = £45,000

Overtime and special delivery charges 10% x £30,000 = £3,000

Total = £48,000

Improvements in Income

Most view enterprise mobility as a cost elimination tool. It can however also help generate income for your business. For example, not many parcel delivery companies would win contracts without the ability to track your parcel door to door.

These benefits are usually intangible but they can add up. Factors such as a sales boost from better customer satisfaction and improved cost data for new sales bids can be entered into your cost justification analysis.

Customer satisfaction – big subject with lots of opinion pieces and research to support why its such a good idea. In summary faster response times more accurate billing, higher quality products can all mean more repeat business and better word of mouth recommendations all of which mean more sales. It works for Zappos why not in your business?

Improvements to the cost of data for bidding is perhaps a less obvious benefit. But where you are building quotations based on up to date data you can minimize over and under bidding. Resulting in better quality quotations and more profitable ones.

Your calculations form either source can be estimated by taking the expected increase in each and multiplying it by the gross margin.

For example if gross margin is 30% and you expect £15,000 in increased sales from better customer satisfaction as well as £10,000 from additional successful bids then your income improvement would look something like:

Customer Satisfaction £15,000 x 30% = £4,500

Winning more bids £10,000 x 30% = £3,000

Total = £7,500

Add It All Up

So you have gathered your data and made your calculations. In our example;

Labour Savings £24,000

Inventory £55,000

Scheduling £48,000

Improve Income £7,500

Total £ 134,500

With in premise enterprise mobility systems costing less than £100,000 these calculations would result in a payback period of less than one year.

How to Evaluate an Investment for In Premise Enterprise Mobility Part 4Get in touch to book a webinar or visit to see how we can help you make the most of your in premise enterprise mobility project.

Top Enterprise Mobility Things To Think About 4 of 10

 

Top Enterprise Mobility Things To Think About 4 of 10

Top Enterprise Mobility Things To Think About 4 of 10

 

“I have data in tables that is constantly changing, such as work orders and inventory levels. How do my mobile workers get this new data”

 

 

 

 

Enterprise data management has become a important topic in many companies. Where users are deploying a mobile system to workers in the field it can create a number of challenges. Our dynamic enterprise data feature allows us to help our users define how often updated and changed data is sent out to users.

Business rules can be defined that tell the system to send this new data to everyone assigned to a specific app or only to those workers or managers who need to see specific data. For example if work orders were assigned to a specific technician the system could be set up to automatically send the data only to that worker.

Top Enterprise Mobility Things To Think About 4 of 10Making sure you are sending the right data to the correct worker can get complex. Get in touch to learn how we make this a piece of (cup) cake…

Rev up your CMMS by Doing Asset Management Better

Rev up your CMMS by Doing Asset Management Better

Rev up your CMMS by Doing Asset Management BetterWe have been working on two Asset Management mobile apps recently. One of them will be aimed at the more traditional asset inventory situations found in many companies.

The other looks at where CMMS equipment maintenance systems have been used as an integral part of production environments.

 

 

It makes sense that well-maintained equipment leads to prolonged asset life and reductions in downtime operating costs and better compliance.

The traditional barrier to effectively managing the maintenance process has been juggling all the tasks involved in organising and documenting such a system. Using paper based processes to track each piece of equipment by key indicators such as last service date, frequency of service and scheduling of routine maintenance can become a job in itself and is full of potential for error and poorly used time.

Computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) software was developed to organise this information manage assets and improve maintenance performance.

Managers use CMMS to track asset inventory, increase technician productivity, improve overall equipment effectiveness and lengthen equipment life. It also allows them to make informed decisions about planned versus unplanned work. The analysis used to make these decisions increase performance and achieve compliance is only as good as the data in the system. By their very nature paper based systems rely heavily on people to fill in all the information on a form return it and enter it into the CMMS in a timely manner. Which may explain why some studies estimate that as little as 10% of the capability of a CMMS is used.

Key Point: Decision making can be compromised if  any of this information is missing or late.

AssetWorxs will integrate the information your CMMS needs into a mobile app that helps to solve these problems. Using a handheld or tablet technicians on their rounds can scan equipment to request previous service records, monitor assets, update compliance status measures report problems locate parts and close work orders.  All this will increase the accuracy of recorded data available making your CMMS work even better and making your return on investment even more attractive.

Rev up your CMMS by Doing Asset Management BetterSign up for a sneak preview of AssetWorxs. Mobile Your Way

How to Evaluate an Investment for In Premise Enterprise Mobility Part 3

How to Evaluate an Investment for In Premise Enterprise Mobility Part 3

How to Evaluate an Investment for In Premise Enterprise Mobility Part 3In our previous two pieces on in premise enterprise mobility we discussed how many companies evaluate a project of this type and how some simple maths models can help us understand the profile of an investment.

Now let’s look at the most common cost savings from an in premise enterprise mobility project and illustrate how to quantify these savings and access the results.

After the cost of your investment has been determined you can start coming up with some projected savings figures.

Labour Savings

Labour savings include direct and indirect. This includes worker time involved in the warehouse and on in the logistics area. Two common areas where savings are found:

  1. More efficient and improved use of time time through technology such as using barcodes to generate invoices for shipments and warehouse locations locations and levels.
  2. Reduce administrative time which covers savings from less in-house paperwork more accuracy fewer keying errors

Labour not involved in production itself also stands to benefit from implementing a system. These areas include: smarter production control, more accurate payroll fewer management meetings and better quality data entry that does not need to be re-keyed.

Inventory Savings

Inventory savings are those other than direct labour costs associated with keeping inventory. For example obsolescence including the cost of unsold inventory due to time, and spoilage. Further rework and scrap costs arise from modifying old inventory.

In either case, to determine cost savings calculate your current annual costs for these subcategories and the expected annual improvement from your enterprise mobility system. Multiply your current costs by the expected improvement to derive annual savings. The current annual cost of these categories should be a statistic known to the business and the expected annual improvement will depend on your current efficiency and nature of your the operation.

Carrying costs refers to the total costs associated with maintaining inventory. These costs include interest taxes and storage. Such costs are generally estimated to range from 25% to 33% of average inventory balances. Use 25%, to come up with an estimate of cost savings.

For example, you currently average £200,000 in excess inventory each year. You also throw out £40,000 in inventory due to obsolescence, and spend another £10,000 on rework and scrap. You determine that a 10% reduction in these two items is reasonable.

Your calculations would look like this:

Obsolescence £4,000 x 10% = £ 4,000

Rework and Scrap £ 1,000 x 10% = £1,000

Carrying Costs £200,000 x 25% = £50,000

Total = £55,000

No matter what your industry improvements can be generated.

Enterprise Mobility

In part 4 we will look at some other areas where savings can be made. Meantime get in touch to learn about how we can help you with your in premise enterprise mobility project.

Top Enterprise Mobility Things To Think About 3 of 10

Top Enterprise Mobility Things To Think About 3 of 10

Top Enterprise Mobility Things To Think About 3 of 10

 

“How does the solution work if there is no network connectivity”

 

 

 

If may be hard to believe but wireless Wi-Fi and WWAN networks are not always available or reliable. In many scenarios your enterprise mobility app will need to be designed to contain all the business logic data and process it needs but residing on the handheld device itself. This enables functionality both online and offline by returning the unit back to a dock. Historically this is a common approach with .NET based devices. Same logic applies where Android or iOS are being used. Some apps like Direct Store Delivery are often used in physical environments where network access is spotty and going off to find coverage to compete a transaction would take too much time.

Where wireless or wired access is available mobile workers can communicate with host business systems in real-time. Make sure your remote app can automatically or on command send and receive queued transactions content and messages via a secure connection like Netmotion Mobility XE. Features such as this optimise user productivity while minimizing transmission costs.

"How does the solution work if there is no network connectivity"

The benefits of using Wireless either across Wi-Fi or WWAN are clear but make sure you allow for both on and off line scenarios.