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As warehouses and distribution centers race to welcome the end of the year surge in online orders and shipments, it is important to include maximized data security as part of optimization strategies. Studies show that cyberattacks may increase by as much as 57% during the holiday season since most IT departments may function with smaller workforces at the end of the year. While many attacks target online shoppers, big businesses are not exempt. In 2019, 40% of surveyed retailers admitted to losing revenue as a result of cyberattacks. Although thorough security plans are highly beneficial in preventing costly breaches, individual device security is also essential to mitigating attacks. To prioritize data protection, the following recommendations provide a safe place to start:

  1. Make sure operating systems are updated – An outdated OS such as Windows Mobile incur greater vulnerabilities that can be exploited. Without updates, operating systems cannot provide the necessary patches to close security gaps. This is one of the many reasons why Android for Enterprise has grown in popularity within modern warehousing. Not only does it facilitate onboarding and app integration, but it also offers recurring and silent OS updates to protect data without disrupting workflows.
  2. Certify non-screen devices are also secured – With the rise of IoT comes additional vulnerabilities through points of entry previously unimagined such as a barcode printer. Security applications such as Zebra’s PrintSecure allow workers to prevent connections by unauthorized users while also encrypting printed data from an extra layer of security within operations.
  3. Ensure all employees are familiar with basic security measures – Studies show that human error alone has been responsible for as much as 43% of data breaches. With the modern workforce being composed of mostly 18-30 year-olds, complicated green-screen devices may pose a risk for data security along with delayed productivity. Consequently, modernized and easy-to-use handheld devices can help prevent human errors that result in breaches, thus maximizing data security.

Modernizing Security in Three Steps with Zebra Technologies

To remove the hassles of modernized device security, Avalon continues in its partnership with Zebra Technologies in simplifying upgrades through the GO Zebra Trade-In Program. Replace outdated devices with Android handhelds and get up to $650 in cash rebates per device by following 3 simple steps:

  1. Purchase your eligible device
  2. Submit your claim form within 90 days of the invoice date
  3. Trade in legacy devices from any manufacturer for cash rebates.

From optimized visibility to dependable data security, create a modernization solution built to thrive in today’s challenging environments both physical and digital. Contact our modernization experts today for a free consultation of your workflows to get started.

One of the biggest challenges set to impact supply chains in the years to come is reestablishing customer trust. The coronavirus pandemic simply enhanced previous concerns many customers already had surrounding product fabrication, compliance, order accuracy, etc. From retail goods to manufacturing parts, studies show consumers are more and more skeptical of supply chains, increasing the demand for transparent traceability to soothe worries such as: 

  • Brand’s ability to ensure safety – Only 35% of consumers actually believe the food industry is technologically capable of ensuring proper safety guidelines.
  • Delayed order tracking – Since 2017, it’s been estimated that over 90% of customers expect to be able to track their orders from start to finish, preferably in real-time.
  • Seamless returns in the event of inaccurate orders – At least 96% of customers admit to returning to a business that offers easy returns, which means complicated reverse logistics can deter over half of prospective clients.

Whether you run a business-to-business or a business-to-customer operation, no company is immune to disruptions, and these disruptions -whether via a cyberattack or a sudden spike in demand- can either weaken or strengthen your brand’s identity. While disruptions can happen at any given moment, traceability solutions offer preventive measures to protect consumer trust and minimize damage. Below are 5 ways companies are re-establishing trust in the New Normal: 

  1. Verified contact tracing and social distancing – Needless to say, health concerns are far from gone and will most likely be around for a while. That’s why contact tracing solutions have remained crucial to prevent mass germ spread while targeting potential infections without completely halting productivity. Efficient systems like Zebra’s MotionWorks Proximity have recorded a 75% reduction in proximity events within one week of deployment all while providing an easy-to-follow traceability system between events for scheduled alerts.

  2. Real-time notifications – Time is now more than money. It is also safety and possibly your first defense against sudden changes. Real-time visibility, whether through RFID technology or high-speed WiFi connectivity, equips your workforce with valuable updates as they happen, allowing your teams to respond proactively to change. 

  3. Dependable data security – To mitigate cyberthreats, businesses continue to migrate to supported operating systems such as Android. Zebra’s fortified Android goes a step further by embedding automatic OS updates, government-grade encryption, two-factor authentication, and customizable security parameters along with recurrent security patches. 

  4. Long-range networking to connect customers and field teams – To enable tracking for field teams, long-range and flexible networking systems must survive in difficult environments at all times. Not only does this allow customers to track orders, but it also connects field teams to any real-time updates and changes in the warehouse. 

  5. More safety stock – Depending on inventory type, increasing safety stock may be helpful to prevent stockouts during spikes in demand. To efficiently increase stock quantity without losing track of in-house inventory, we recommend adding automated data capture technology that connects to your inventory management system, along with easy-to-ready durable labels.

To see how you can adapt any of these methods into your business, reach out to our modernization specialists and see how you can set your operations on a firm footing to face 2021’s new and recurrent challenges. 

With the close of the decade comes the close of the Microsoft era. As of January 1st, Microsoft has ended its support for Windows’ mobile operating systems which have powered enterprise technology for decades. Although support for Windows 7 will continue until 2021, Avalon Integration is already exploring several ways in which Android empowers the workforce to thrive in the face of the industry’s most notorious demands. 

The MC9300 uses Android to scan in any Environment

The MC9300 uses Android to scan in any Environment

Zebra researchers have uncovered numerous challenges to be expected within the coming months. As technology continues to advance and social media platforms become ever more prolific, the rise of e-commerce will contribute directly to the 76% increase in ordered assets, which leads to more deployed devices and a greater need for efficient long-term labor. Paired with the rising labor costs across the nation, the labor shortage has also led to higher turnover rates. In the end, the 2020’s top challenges can be summarized in:

  • Rise in omnichannel retail
  • Inefficient labor retention
  • Compressed logistics operations

Fortunately, Android operating systems have been thoroughly enhanced by both Zebra Technologies and Google to fit into the enterprise landscape.

Android is Ready. Are You?

The MC9300 uses Android to versatile for anywhere and everywhere

The MC9300 uses Android for anywhere you need it

When done correctly, OS migration can be seamless and profitable. As a Zebra Premier Solutions Partner, Avalon Integration provides all the resources needed to help you catch up with change without impacting productivity. As Zebra’s OS of choice, Android integrates efficiency by:

  • Delivering much-needed security: Within the first six months of 2019 alone, there were over 3,000 publicly disclosed data breaches. As the risk of cyberthreats grows exponentially, Android is refined for enterprise with government-grade encryption and Zebra’s LifeGuard, which delivers 90-day security patches and automatic silent OS updates.  
  • Implementing familiarity: There were over 2 billion monthly active Android consumer devices worldwide in 2017 alone. As one of the top operating systems in the world, Android simplifies the user experience, lowering training times since the interface is already familiar to workers. 
  • Accommodating the next generation of productivity technology: From the latest ultra-rugged designs such as the MC9300 to native productivity applications like Mobility DNA, Android powers the latest technology designed for faster operations, accurate order fulfillment, and increased warehouse visibility from packing to shipping.

Despite the new year, it’s still not too late to migrate. Ease into a new operating system, designed for enterprise efficiency when you create your modernization strategy with Avalon Integration. Count on two decades of experience and in-depth assistance while securing productivity with solutions tailored to your needs.