Enterprise mobile productivity is seeing a shift to more portability and increased mobility for business workforce. Among these “tools” are PAD-based computers. For example: Apple’s iPad, HP’s TouchPad, Lenovo’s ThinkPad Tablet, and Toshiba’s Thrive Tablet. Making sure you have the right device for your application requires testing, research and due diligence.
Recently, the HP TouchPad was criticized and articles have stated the units are less than satisfactory, sales are not doing as well as the brand should have dictated, and perhaps some reasons are user perceptions and expectations.
When adopting new enterprise technology approaches, caution and sample testing is key to results. In the case of the HP unit, they probably meet most computing needs and wireless and 3/4G connectivity also work. What may have happened, as I read some reviews, is the units did not deliver on other esoteric issues. Like, ease of use, speed and performance, graphics resolutions and color depth. Also, despite any manufacturer’s efforts, the industry early-adopters are the most critical, and usually are not deployed in industrial applications because of perceptions surrounding fit-form-function requirements.
So, if industry is lagging, and personal use is leading, which then, determines the ultimate product? Well, it all depends on who needs it and for what end purpose. Let’s take the case of using a PAD-based unit in a warehouse for inventory control and movements, work in process job postings, shipping and receiving. In these departments, some ruggedizing of the units may be critical for consideration to deploy. Without the units surviving the environment and “abuse”, the cost savings over more traditional handheld computers may be a mute point. However if a business could save 60-80% on the handheld devices alone, it may make warehouse management software a viable investment for more companies.
If we use these units as a basis for consideration and decide to test the waters, deploy a few or one at a time, just to see if they last and how effective they are. We may find in time they more than justify moving in this direction for the factory floor and materials handling tasks. Thinking of a lean process and ERP integration, barcode and handheld devices are sound matches for saving time and increasing accuracies in all materials handling scenarios.
We are seeing the breach of low-cost, commercial grade computers into manufacturing and distribution environments. If this trend continues, as it should, we will see the cost of warehouse management deployment reduced and made more affordable to general business use. Ruggedized units will be available. The pervasive nature of enterprise performance and lean operations will ensure PAD-based devices success in the enterprise.
Santa Clarita Consultants has several warehouse management systems fully integrated as part of our SYSPRO Enterprise Suite of modular systems to manage your business' requirements. Enterprise software and systems when and as you need them, out-of-the-box, without legacy code-and-wait cycles.
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