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When facing the stringent conditions of today’s modern warehouses, most operators agree that consumer-grade devices will only set back productivity. Prone to breakdowns and digitally rigid, personal devices cannot keep up with the kind of high-volume data processing common in today’s distribution centers. However, consumer-grade devices have retained user favor in supply chains due to their ease-of-use. Studies conducted by leading tech innovators have shown that 69% of IT decision makers see bring-your-own-device policies as a beneficial strategy to their operations. With labor turnover rates surpassing 40% in American distribution centers, familiar technologies prove beneficial by reducing training expenses and ensuring faster productivity. However, a lack of proper durability can increase costs by instigating…

  • Recurrent replacement and repair costs
  • Complex software and app integration processes
  • Compromised security parameters that endanger data safety

Modern-day technologies strive to combine familiar usability with robust functionalities, reducing operational costs. A prime example of this is Zebra’s newest Enterprise Tablet, the ET40/45. Like its predecessors, the new tablet streamlines push-to-talk capabilities, intense scanning, and real-time visibility within an Android interface. Upon a closer inspection, it’s easier to see the effects of today’s challenges on technological advancements.

Not like other tablets

Zebra’s previous tablets have always been crafted with durability and adaptability in mind to deliver versatile usage in different environments like distribution centers, cold storage units, and busy transportation teams. However, today’s push for faster productivity within dwindling labor pools have led tech players to leverage features such as:

  • 5G Connectivity and WiFi 6 – Dropped signals and dead zones halt productivity while isolating workers from receiving timely stock updates. To prevent communication gaps across the facility, newer, stronger connectivity options are now included in the new tablet.
  • Mobile POS options – As tablets now find their ways into the storefront in addition to inventory rooms and loading docks, the ET40/45 includes a mobile POS system to enable line busting through the same device used for inventory tracking and stock counting. This breaks down high adoption rates by streamlining crucial workflows through one standard device.
  • Multi-shift batteries – With the promise of same-day delivery comes longer work hours which demand longer lifecycles from your devices. As a result, Zebra’s new tablet incorporates hot-swappable batteries in its sleek design to deliver constant power across multiple shifts. Moreover, with the help of PowerPrecision, workers can spot failing and unhealthy batteries and remove them before they affect workflows.

Take a closer look into the ET40/45’s new highlights here.

As shortages continue to challenge the supply chain, automation solutions must fine the fine line between user-friendly and enterprise-ready. Compromise on either of these factors can lead to missed sales, damaged consumer trust, rising operations costs, or stressed workers. Consequently, experts still recommend assessing your current workflows with an automation specialist to verify your employees’ level of comfortability alongside current warehouse demands. In doing so, operations can best accommodate future demands with flexible solutions for continuous enterprise success.

Mobile devices have become the foundation of effective modernization since they keep crucial data and connectivity right at your fingertips. They also successfully bridge the gap between teams within a supply chain, automating data capture and sharing through a digital interface. Consequently, handheld devices have become popular across multiple industries, from high-demand manufacturing plants to family-owned storefronts. As customer demands for faster and more accurate fulfillment increased, mobile devices have been enhanced to provide flexible connectivity options, consolidate disparate workflows, and last beyond the standard 8-hour shift. 

Despite these enhancements, traditional handheld computers and scanners may still be bulky for workers traveling between different locations. For more on-the-go teams, handheld devices must prioritize automated intelligence alongside ease-of-use and ergonomics. 

That’s where touch computers come in.

Today’s cellphones have shaped the expectations for easy-to-use technologies. In as little as zero clicks –thanks to voice commands– users can access files, navigate the web, and send messages. Similarly, Zebra’s touch-computers combine the intuitiveness of consumer-grade touchscreens with the enterprise functionality of traditional rugged handhelds. The result looks a little like this:

Zebra’s latest TC52AX touch-computer is a prime example of user-friendly handheld mobility; however, it is not the only option available. Because different workloads may require different levels of functionality, experts recommend assessing your options with the following three considerations:

  1. Will scanning capabilities be needed? – While some touch-computers can capture data up to 50ft away, not every workflow requires this. For example, while the TC20/26 may not offer the widest scanning range, it makes up for the difference in long-lasting battery power that surpasses double shifts. 
  2. How far will workers travel? – When it comes to communication outside of the four walls, devices like Zebra’s TC7x offer greater connectivity flexibility, providing secured communication through cellular, 5G, LTE, WiFi, and more. 
  3. Will you be adding additional devices? – From wearable devices like ring scanners and headsets to mobile printers, additional devices will impact worker mobility and comfort. Lightweight devices streamlining multiple workflows benefit workers by minimizing strain and connecting workflows simultaneously. 

To help you answer these questions, Avalon recommends scheduling a workflow assessment to select a device that best adapts to your operation. Once a device is selected, automation experts can also assist in procuring and preparing devices for integration through the GO Zebra Trade-In Program for cost-effective and intelligent modernization.

The mobile computer has become the face of modernized automation in today’s industries. From healthcare clinical devices to field service communicators, mobile devices have progressed technologically to streamline vital workflows for simplistic usage and upgrades. As a result, unique challenges have created a variety of different mobile capabilities, giving businesses more flexibility when selecting a modernized device. On the other hand, more options may equate to more confusion, which is why it’s important to assess your computing needs with the following questions:

  • What sort of workflows am I consolidating?

Android’s open ecosystem allows businesses to implement new applications to expand device functionality without extensive recoding; however, rugged devices like the new MC3300ax are built with integrated scanners, WiFi 6, and push-to-talk connectivity, enabling 2-way communication and automated data capture right out of the box without additional hardware. Learn more about the new MC3300ax in our video.

  • What scanning range do my employees need?

A field technician may not need to consistently capture barcodes 75ft away. Flexible scanning ranges such as the ones available in the MC3300ax allow businesses to reduce deployment costs by selecting devices perfected for the size of their space. In addition to scanning range, connectivity range should also be considered since captured data should essentially be digitally transmitted onto your WMS’ database without any disruptions.  

  • How rough is the work environment?

Micro-fulfillment warehouses located inside of stores or smaller urban areas can get by with less rugged devices compared to cold storage facilities. Zebra’s EC5x provides superior connectivity, data capture, and ease-of-use for store associates and growing warehouses whereas the ultra-rugged MC9300 can be customized with a freezer-ready screen and glove-friendly keyboard to withstand the temperature changes of cold storage environments. Regarding field service, the TC7x stands apart from in its class due to its flexible connectivity networks to protect long-range communication channels and its rugged outdoor-ready design. 

  • Do my workers need a keyboard?

Touchscreen devices have been shown to minimize training times since they resemble consumer-grade devices. However, keyboards facilitate heavy data entry without forcing workers to travel to a centralized computer station. Zebra’s TC8300 combines touchscreen simplicity and warehouse data applications within one touchscreen device to reduce the errors of manual data entry. For previously keyed workflows such as TE applications, Zebra’s All-Touch Terminal Emulation can convert green screen apps to fit touchscreen interfaces without extensive app rewriting. 

  • Which disparate devices are included in my solution? 

If workers will carry other devices such as mobile printers or scanners during their shift, a lightweight wearable computer like the WT6300 may be a better option in order to maximize worker comfort and integrate additional devices without overwhelming workers. 

Look through our complete Zebra portfolio to learn more about next-generation devices. 

How to start your upgrade

To select the best fit device for your mobility solution, we recommend first meeting with a modernization specialist to assess current workflow challenges and outline realistic implementation goals. Depending on your selected upgrade, your devices may be eligible for cash rebates if upgraded through the GO Zebra Trade-In Program. Eligible devices can be traded in for cash rebates in three steps: 

  1. Purchase your eligible Zebra device
  2. Submit a claim form within 90 days of your invoice date
  3. Trade in outdated devices from any manufacturer for up to $650 in rebates per device

Meet up with an Avalon modernization specialist today to get started.

The great Android Migration has consumed modernization strategies for the past years ever since Microsoft announced discontinued support for Windows CE-based mobile devices. Those seeking to protect data can no longer rely on Windows Mobile for their handheld devices. However, while Android is dominating the mobility frontier, Windows OS has yet to become completely obsolete. In spite of Android’s seamless adaptability, Microsoft still possesses enterprise familiarity as it continues to power a vast majority of rugged laptops and tablets. Apart from small-scale handheld devices such as mobile computers and enterprise smartphones, Windows 10 OS can still be beneficial since it enables…

  • Seamless connectivity to peripheral devices – Because most enterprise devices have been accustomed to running on Windows’ OS, peripheral hardware such as ring scanners, mobile printers, and headsets from varying manufacturers can quickly connect to your Windows device without extensive lag times.
  • Open ecosystem for non-traditional software – As the oldest supporting operating system in enterprise, Windows has built a long history of accommodating software updates and applications previously designed for desktops onto laptop interfaces. This allows field workers to quickly navigate through data while on the road without having to readapt to a new interface, lowering training times and simplifying workflows.
  • Enterprise-ready security on the field – Unlike Windows CE, tablets running on Windows 10 can still count on recurring enterprise security and support from Microsoft. This means teams can rely on seamless ease-of-use along with reliable data security for sensitive transactions and financial information.

What to look for in your Windows Tablet

As with previous enterprise hardware recommendation, selecting a Windows tablet requires businesses to note the following characteristics:

  • Portability and ergonomics since devices will most likely be used by your most on-the-move workers.
  • Flexible connectivity options to accommodate field teams working far beyond standard cellular coverage.
  • Glove friendly touchscreen usage that safeguards usability in colder and outdoor environments.
  • Streamlined functionalities such as automated data capture and data sharing within a protected platform.
  • Simplistic device management to guarantee maximum uptime even when devices are far from IT support teams.

See how Zebra’s L10 Rugged Tablet goes beyond these standards while leveraging the adaptability of Windows 10. When it comes to effective modernization, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all system. That’s why we continue to recommend businesses to carefully plan modernization strategies with a specialized team to best target unique optimization opportunities. In doing so, companies can expect to create a scalable modernization strategy that embraces change while leveraging familiarity for seamless integration.

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Unlike traditional enclosed workspaces, field service and T&L operations grapple with a unique challenge: sustaining workforce visibility. As field and transportation teams venture into farther locations, mainstream solutions fail to sustain end-to-end visibility, causing communication breakdowns, delays, and worker stress. Zebra’s latest Field Service Vision Study depicts the growing push for stronger visibility as real-time locationing, blockchain, and 5G technologies drive major field operation investments. Ultra-durable technologies have emerged to support these initiatives, yet rugged tablets like Zebra’s L10 Android Tablet, have proved to go a step farther than popular mobile devices by addressing the following challenges:

  1. Certify customer expectations are met at point of service. Zebra rugged XPAD tablets are equipped with intelligent scanners and high-resolution cameras to quickly capture data to verify shipments and tasks were completed successfully within their stipulated timeframes.
  2. Pinpoint worker location. Remote work has become a foundational part of the post-pandemic world. Rugged tablets integrate locationing software that targets team-members for better accountability and resource planning. Furthermore, the L10’s 13MP rear camera facilitates split-second capture for proof of condition/deliver/service directly on site.
  3. Update task completion in real-time. Flexible connectivity options incorporating NFC, WiFi, cellular networking, 5G, and other options keep teams connected to in-office teams, so statuses can be regularly updated in real-time of any changes and bottlenecks.
  4. Assign and prioritize routes based on outside notifications. When changes happen, rugged tablets enable quick notification dispersion thanks to flexible connectivity options, keeping entire teams unified to overcome changes. Moreover, drivers can see notification and routing updates on their vehicle mounted tablets at a glance thanks to a bigger screen, preventing accidents.
  5. Protect communication channels despite increased distances. Enterprise-grade devices are able to sustain exposure to harsh environments such as snowy temperatures and high heat. This averts device breakdowns while on the road, securing continuous performance for sustained workflow visibility.

Elevated efficiency fits on the field and anywhere else you need it.

Following a line of previous flexible devices, Zebra’s Rugged Tablets further minimize deployment stress by adapting to high-demand workflows both in and out of the warehouse, facilitating standardization across the supply chain. Harness the power of maximized workflow visibility along with:

  • Greater data security backed by Android’s recurring updates and security patches.
  • Up to 24 hours of battery power delivered through hot-swappable batteries.
  • Lightweight magnesium frame to withstand subzero and heat exposure.
  • Long-range WiFi connectivity supported by Zebra’s WorryFree WiFi DNA application.

Dive into the future of expanded field visibility with Zebra’s Rugged Tablets with Avalon’s new digital experience.

For more information on Zebra’s Rugged Tablets, contact Avalon’s modernization experts for a free demo.

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Imagine one day being able to offer same-day delivery across the country, from California to New York. For many transportation and logistics teams, this imagination has become a nightmarish reality. While fast delivery timeframes can bolster customer loyalty, last mile delivery is still considered the most inefficient step of the whole supply chain for over half of T&L companies. Inefficiency often stems from:

  • Lack of status visibility
  • Fluctuating labor and fuel costs
  • Inadequate delivery routing
  • Sudden changes such as vehicle breakdowns, product shortages, etc.

Studies show that 49% of global T&L companies cite outdated technology as a common factor hindering last mile efficiency, resulting in delays, missed sales, and lost customers. As a result. Over 58% of field operations see mobility investment as a top priority, yet when it comes to field services, durability must extend beyond design.

Assessing functional durability in your field-ready devices

Field teams have little time or money for additional repair expenses and slowed processing power, which is why suitable enterprise-grade technologies should incorporate the following strengths.

  1. Secured data storage – Filed teams must be able to access data remotely which means durable cybersecurity is crucial to maintain accessibility without risking breaches. Unlike Windows Mobile, Android for Enterprise equips mobile devices with government-grade protection and recurring security patches to prevent leaks.
  2. Long-range connectivity – High speed connectivity and flexible network options allow teams to remain connected to the rest of the supply chain while on the road. Zebra’s Workforce Connect bypasses the need for additional telecom services, enabling two-way communication and messaging via your enterprise device.
  3. Real-time status insight – Because more customers expect to track orders in near real-time, tracking technologies such as RFID locationing have become popular to pinpoint location of in-transit orders.
  4. Ultra-rugged design – Lastly, mobile devices must continue to be rugged, handling drops, dust, exposure to heat and cold, humidity and scratches without affecting performance. Devices such as Zebra’s Rugged Tablets exemplify superior durability by adapting to various different environments without compromising productivity.

As a Zebra Premier Solutions Partner, Avalon empowers field teams with purpose-built field-ready technologies through the GO Zebra Trade-In Program. Upgrade your mobile device from any manufacturer before December 31st and get cash rebates up to $250 per handheld device towards your upgrade. Simply…

  1. Buy your new mobile device
  2. Turn in your reclaim form
  3. Trade in outdated devices for cash rebates

Download the program details for the full list of eligible devices.

Empower your field teams with mobility solutions built to thrive in the last mile and beyond. Contact Avalon today for a free assessment of your mobile devices to get started.

 

 

Following a steady pattern for over ten years, warehouses have continuously grown to meet the new high demands pressured by the e-commerce boom. Today, it is estimated that nearly 64% of warehouses operate in spaces larger than 25,000 square feet, and studies only forecast growth in the years to come. Facing more demands within larger spaces, warehouse teams need reliable communication channels to keep operations running efficiently from door to dock. Without team connectivity, operations may face…

  • Missed delivery timelines
  • Inefficient maintenance reporting
  • Complicated workflow paths such as long delivery routes or slower pick paths
  • Slower customer support
  • Poor visibility into labor resources
  • Lost revenue due to unforeseen bottlenecks

Since omnichannel fulfillment is only expected to rise, growing warehouses must adapt communication systems to turn challenges into opportunities. As a Zebra Premier Solutions Partner, Avalon Integration recommends empowering operations with Zebra’s Workforce Connect.

How to expand your mobile computer’s functionality with Workforce Connect

Simplistic enough to assist in high-demand environments such as healthcare centers, Workforce Connect can empower frontline workers with crucial connectivity between other vital departments within the supply chain – all through your current Zebra handheld. Deployable without extensive backend modifications, Workforce Connect unifies teams in and out of the warehouse by enabling…

  • Instant push-to-talk communication or secured text messages that resemble consumer-grade systems for fast adoption.
  • Verifiable worker safety as emergency calls and alerts can be deployed through any device at any time.
  • Voice commands to accelerate simplistic tasks.
  • Proactive task management that assigns individual workers or teams to specific tasks in need of assistance.
  • Secured device sharing protocols catered to every user ID, so workers can share devices without sharing sensitive information.
  • Remote worker tracking to keep field teams accountable while preventing delays and wasted labor.

To see how Workforce Connect is empowering supply chains from manufacturing to retail, download our brochure here.

The warehouse landscape is rapidly shifting with every new demand. New challenges call for new technologies, which is why Avalon integration makes modernization simple and seamless with adaptable solutions that complement your current systems. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your current workflows to see how Workforce Connect can sharpen your competitive edge.

 

 

At the core of dependable food safety is efficient cold chain management. Whether it be in pharmaceutical manufacturing or food factories, cold storage units can prevent costly spoilage and damaging recalls by keeping inventory within an acceptable temperature. However, studies suggest that nearly a quarter of all food products is thrown away every year as a result of fluctuating temperatures, leading to a $750 billion annual loss. 

Because cold storages are one of the roughest industrial environments, even common enterprise-grade devices may not be suitable for the dropping temperatures. This is problematic once inventory must be transported down the supply chain. Tracking devices must be ultra-rugged for durability, yet ideally adaptable for increased mobility. Facing rising demands for mobile temperature tracking, several businesses have sought to enhance connectivity and device durability in order to expand operational visibility for time-sensitive inventory traveling outside the warehouse. 

Connectivity and Durability Lead to Visibility 

Not only must ultra-rugged devices survive low temperatures, but they must also remain functional in the event of a sudden temperature change such as moving in and out of freezers.  As a Zebra Premier Solutions Partner, Avalon highlights the following three devices both durable and adaptable options to enhance temperature tracking:

  1.  Zebra’s New Electronic Temperature Sensors – Designed to simplify temperature tracking, Zebra’s newest electronic sensors can be added onto your storage unit to record temperatures in real-time and update data onto the cloud for easy remote access. Moreover, the EDGEVue tracking app can be deployed on any device, eliminating the need for a complete restructuring of your mobility solution.
  2.  Long-range push-to-talk connectivity – While temperatures are monitored in real-time, your field teams also require a way to communicate with little delay in the event any temperature changes must be made. Connectivity solutions such as Workforce Connect empower field teams with real-time task assignments, location history, and actionable insights delivered onto your Zebra handheld. 
  3.  The freezer-grade MC9300 mobile computer – Built on a legacy of tested durability, the MC9300 can be altered to meet the demands of cold storage with a freezer-rated battery, condensation-resistant screen, integrated heater, and higher IP ratings. 

Regardless which technology you choose to implement, the goal should always be to expand inventory visibility to protect temperature-sensitive products. Failure to do so has commonly resulted in:

  • Recalls that half productivity
  • Negative publicity that discourages brand loyalty
  • Legal action, fines, and missed compliance fees
  • Future recurrent audits
  • Disruptions in the supply chain that cause further delays

To prevent these from happening, Avalon recommends that you evaluate your temperature tracking system. Reach out to our automation specialists today for a step-by-step assessment of your current workflows to see where you can start expanding visibility within your operations. 

From retail to field services, frontline workers are crucial to business success as they best represent brand competency and commitment to quality customer service. However, research suggests that this important segment is often overlooked during optimization opportunities, an issue that directly contributes to high labor turnover and expensive rehiring costs exceeding $5,000 per lost employee. In addition to high rehiring costs, disconnected frontline workers can lead to:

  • Impacted brand representation
  • Wasted resources such as fuel, packaging, and labor hours
  • Employee dissatisfaction
  • Slower customer support, deliveries, and maintenance reports
  • Overlooked worker safety concerns

To minimize these effects without completely restructuring your digital framework, Avalon partners with Zebra Technologies to introduce a seamless way to empower frontline teams in the most demanding environments. 

Rise up to any challenge with Workforce Connect. Watch our video to see how:

From the production floor to the front of the store, your whole supply chain operates as a team to ensure business continuity. That’s why Workforce Connect breaks through barriers in order to unify teams with greater operational visibility, real-time communication, and clear task organization. Deploy Zebra’s push-to-talk software on your enterprise-grade mobile device to create a scalable communication solution that connects the whole team on one platform. 

By simply strengthening communication channels within the workspace, you can foster new optimization opportunities such as:

  • Hardware reduction – Save on operational costs by streamlining data capture, computing, and communication into one device, eliminating two-way radios and extra maintenance services. 
  • Real-time task assignments – Notify teams of immediate changes in the workflow without disrupting operations and manage task completion to certify action was taken properly.
  • Ensured worker security – Amplify workflow visibility to pinpoint safety issues and disperse your workforce, mitigating accidents and risks in the warehouse and on the road.
  • Customer-centered order tracking – Provide your customers with real-time updates on their order’s status to meet new consumer expectations.
  • Appropriate hand-free communication for drivers – Integrate voice commands for calls and text messages in your fleet, so drivers can remain connected without taking their eyes off the road.
  • Actionable insights delivered on your handheld – Track delivery reporting, location history, dispatch interferences, and more through one interface set on your mobile device to facilitate data sharing and analytics. 

See how Workforce Connect enhances more than the warehouse when you download our brochure. 

Flexible and adaptable to your needs, Workforce Connect can be implemented on any of Zebra’s dependable enterprise devices. Reach out to our automation experts today to learn how you can deploy Workforce Connect in your current technologies and connect your frontline workers with a communication solution crafted to empower the workforce. 

Whether in the storefront or on the warehouse floor, mobility and visibility have proven to be essential assets in securing dependable productivity. However, facing increasingly complex supply chains – brought about either from the rise of e-com and/or new BOPIS purchase patterns – companies must learn to maximize both mobility and visibility in order to meet demands without compromise.

As a Zebra Premier Solutions Partner, Avalon Integration is able to explore multiple ways to leverage both mobility and visibility within today’s operations. From enterprise-ready rugged tablets to on-demand RFID mobile printers, modern warehouses can take a variety of pathways to building a mobility solution that enhances visibility. That’s why we’re exploring three mobility solutions that directly maximize visibility. 

Warehouse Handheld Enterprise Mobility Solutions from Zebra

Mobility Solutions for any warehouse

  • Enterprise Mobile Computing – According to surveys conducted by Zebra Technologies’ specialists, over 70% of warehouses are currently investing or seeking new ways to invest in mobility solutions. Failure to do so may damage your competitiveness. Operating with high-speed connectivity and flexible networking options, Zebra’s line of handheld computers secure viable communication channels inside and outside your warehouse, enhancing:
    • Inventory management
    • Order processing times
    • Efficient reverse logistics
  • Migration to Android – While migration may seem like an overwhelming task, it also opens doors to new opportunities such as secured data protecting and facilitated onboarding. Moreover, Android houses Zebra’s exclusive line of productivity applications, Mobility DNA, that allow you to:
    • Deploy push-to-talk features
    • Scan multiple barcodes simultaneously
    • Remotely manage battery performance and life cycles
    • Convert green-screen apps to touchscreen right out of the box
    • Track missing Zebra devices
  • Real-Time On-Demand Tracking – To meet new demands for faster delivery and fulfillment transparency, real-time locationing systems help track your inventory and/or assets. However, Zebra has taken tracking efficiency a step further with the all-new ZQ511/521 mobile printer, which can print 3 to 4 inches of RFID labels on-demand, virtually eliminating wait times and mislabeling errors since labels are readily available when and where needed, so you get:
    • Rugged mobile printing and RFID power fit for field service
    • Efficient workflows in and out of the warehouse
    • High battery performance that survives your longest shift
    • Adaptable printing speeds and darkness to accommodate temperature conditions

Have more questions about RFID? Ask Roi.

Avalon ROI Robot and Zebra

Needless to say, none of these solutions are mutually exclusive, which is why our modernization specialists work diligently to create custom solutions that adapt to your business.  Contact us to see how modernization can maximize mobility and visibility in your operations.