Mobile Computing Applications
Mobile computers have the ability to increase efficiency, improve quality and boost sales in a host of industries, from manufacturing, to healthcare, to retail, mobile computers can be put to work anywhere and have a significant impact. Here are just a few examples of how mobile computing can benefit certain industries and where you can put the technology to use.
Manufacturing, Warehousing and Distribution:
Mobile computers allow workers in production control, quality control, engineering or warehouse functions such as lost goods tracking and cycle counting to do their jobs at the point of activity rather than from a desk or workspace away from the floor. Mobile computers not only provide easy-to-use operating systems with a variety of features, but also the latest in barcode scanning and efficient data capture technology. Workers on far sides of a warehouse can communicate with each other and other devices via their mobile computers, saving time and making a plant more efficient. Mobile computers are also rugged enough to withstand the harsh manufacturing environment and in fact, certain types of mobile computers are ideal for industrial applications. For example, vehicle mounted mobile computers are perfect for manufacturers that use forklifts; they provide a portable terminal that allows workers to track, compute and communicate while on the plant floor. Wearable mobile computers are also an ideal option for industrial applications that require workers to have their hands free to stock or handle materials. Mobile computers can also reduce the number of errors that occur in a warehouse environment by providing more accurate real-time data.
In 2004, the FDA issued a final rule that required all prescription drugs to include a barcode on the packaging. These barcodes would provide information about the drug, as well as the NDC (National Drug Code) number. This ruling has made mobile computers a must for the healthcare industry. When a patient enters a hospital they are given a barcode identification wristband that is linked to their electronic patient file. Before a healthcare worker administers a drug to a patient, they must first scan the patient’s wristband and then the barcode on the drug that is being administered. Steps like these not only ensure that the proper drug is being administered, but that it is the correct patient, as well as the correct time for the dosage. As you can see, the use of mobile computers in the healthcare industry provides real-time access to patient information that can help reduce error. In addition to safeguarding the use of prescription drugs, mobile computers also allow healthcare workers to update patient information and verify treatment schedules all at a patient’s bedside. Pen-based mobile computers even allow doctors to sign and send medical orders at a moment’s notice.
The use of in-cab mobile computers is changing the world of transportation and shipping. Mobile computers provide real-time shipping data that helps improve pickup time, increase efficiency and monitor time-sensitive shipments. Mobile computers with wide-area network capabilities allow instant communication with your fleet, so any challenges can be dealt with when they occur at the point of activity. Information about package pickup times, destination and delivery time can all be uploaded to an in-cab mobile computer that is connected to the information center and every shipment in process can be monitored. With instant access to data provided by mobile computing technology, your company can make decisions more quickly and provide better service to your customers.
Mobile computing in retail has the ability to increase the productivity of your employees while also ensuring that your customers are more satisfied with their shopping experience. Mobile computing allows busy store managers to have the power and information from their desktop with them at all times. Managers have access to real-time POS reports from the store system, allowing quick decision making and monitoring of new employees. This means instead of spending their time behind a desk, managers are able to be on the sales floor helping employees and customers. Mobile computers also ensure that inventory is properly managed and stock-outs are reduced, once again satisfying your customers. There are a number of different mobile computers that can enhance the operations in retail, from line busting mobile POS units, to receiving mobile computers, to mobile shelf label printers, the list goes on and on. But regardless of the type of mobile device, the use of mobile technology will ensure that your customers continue to come back.
This video from Intermec that showcases the CN3 mobile computer gives some more great examples of what mobile computers are capable of in different industries.
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