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Traditionally, Windows was the leading operating system for industrial mobile devices. Windows CE and Windows Mobile Embedded Handheld offered a wide variety of developer tools, third-party plug-ins and other offerings that made the Windows platform more attractive than operating systems offered by Google and Apple.

But the picture has changed in the last few years. Microsoft is phasing out support for its mobile operating systems. Microsoft has already ceased making regular updates, and Windows Handheld 6.5 will be the last entrant to reach end-of-life in January of 2020. Companies with a Windows Mobile strategy must begin planning for the transition. Essentially, there are two ways to plan the transition from Windows to Android; and here are the pros and cons of each.

The Big Bang Theory

The “big bang” plan is to replace all devices at the same time with new devices on a different operating system. While this sounds like the quickest way to migrate with the least hassle, it has several drawbacks. This strategy requires a larger investment in new hardware and new applications during a single period. That can lead to lost productivity, unplanned downtime and extensive training.

Dual Operating System Hardware

A more staggered approach and one that is being adopted across industries are to beginning to replace existing devices on your regular replacement cycle with devices that can run both Windows and Android operating systems. The Honeywell CN75 and Honeywell CK75 Series mobile computers, along with the Honeywell CN51 mobile computer, offer a choice of both Windows Embedded Handheld or Android. In addition, customers purchasing Windows Embedded Handheld devices can now convert their devices to Android at a future date – and on their own schedule.

The advantages of this strategy are clear:

  • You can stay with your existing upgrade cycle rather than replace all devices at once.
  • Your users can continue using existing apps and solutions, so they only need to become familiar with operating the new device rather than learn entirely new processes.
  • You have additional time to manage writing new apps and interfaces before making the transition.
  • When you are ready to convert, the transition to Android will be easier since users are already familiar with the hardware.

Android has become increasingly attractive to app developers, so you can expect many apps and VARs to enter the market during and immediately after the transition from Windows Handheld.

The Honeywell family of mobile industrial handheld computing devices offers many advantages in addition to the ability to run dual operating systems. These devices are rugged, designed to withstand the harsh operating conditions in many manufacturing and warehouse environments. They offer long battery life, so they last through an entire shift, and they have user replaceable batteries for multi-shift operations. They come with a complete line of accessories, so you can configure the devices to optimize productivity for each user and situation in your operation, and the scanners themselves are accurate and fast.

If you’ve been grappling with how to transition from one platform to another, consider upgrading your existing devices and choosing a mobile computer that can give you the flexibility of operating on either operating system. Contact us today for more information and best practices on the migration process.

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Most companies are faced with shipping a larger number of packages than ever before. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, e-commerce was up 3.6 percent in Q3 2017 over Q2 and 15.5 percent over the same quarter in 2016. While those numbers represent revenue, it’s safe to assume that the number of packages increased by a similar magnitude. Faced with this increase in demand, companies are doing everything they can to minimize shipping costs and bring efficiency to their operations.

One of the most important ways companies combats rising shipping fees is through the use of barcode data collection technology. Traditional methods used in shipping departments across the globe involve either estimating the size of a package or manually measuring it using a tape measure or ruler. The problem with this method has always been a case of accuracy:

  • Is the data getting entered correctly by the worker?
  • Is the measurement correct?
  • Is the scale properly calibrated?
  • Are shortcuts made during peak times of the day to push shipments through?

Estimating the cube often results in add-on fees and penalties when the carrier makes corrections, and manual measurements slow down the shipping process. Using an automated dimensioning tool like the Honeywell AutoCube 8200 solves both problems by automatically measuring and calculating accurate dimensions without interrupting the workflow.

The Honeywell AutoCube 8200 integrates easily with most transportation management systems, so there are no extra steps. Its small footprint doesn’t take up any of the workspaces, so it doesn’t require changing processes. In fact, it mounts on a pole placed near the packaging area and takes accurate dimensions without touching the product or interfering in rapid processing. It can measure packages from 10 cm (0.4 in) to as large as a 100 cm (39 in) in sub-second speed. It can be set to work automatically, or it can be manually controlled by the user.

The AutoCube dimensioning system also includes a software developers kit and an API tool to simplify integration you’re your business systems. It uses the latest technology for accurate calculations, and its simple, non-intrusive actions improve the productivity of each worker, whether it’s installed in a busy DC or on a retail floor for occasional home deliveries.

In addition to its small footprint, the AutoCube is a money saver – more accurate calculations reduce overall freight costs and prevent penalties and other fees associated with dimensioning errors. It’s simple to use, takes up very little space, and provides real benefits to everyone from the supply chain and logistics manager to the CEO and CFO.

Logistics managers benefit from the improved efficiency and productivity, and the reduced freight charges that result from more accurate dimensions.

Your CFO will be pleased with the rapid ROI, which usually comes in well under twelve months, depending on shipping volumes. More accurate shipping rates also help ensure accurate pricing and sustain healthy margins and profitability.

CEOs enjoy the increased throughput and optimized use of space that may stave off the need to rent additional DCs or add more workers.

If you’re ready to take a stand on streamlining shipping cost accuracy, then consider a demonstration of the AutoCube from Honeywell. Contact us today to learn more.