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Production floors in manufacturing plants need fast and accurate workflows that efficiently manage assets and deliver products. Automation is beneficial in boosting efficiency with control over work-in-process, traceability for recalls, and quality checks before products leave the production floor. Despite labor shortages, studies show that manufacturers still produce 44% more goods than 30 years ago due to factory automation solutions including automated data capture and digitized reporting. Therefore, it is no surprise that an estimated 42% of the time spent on manufacturing tasks will be automated by the end of the year. To remain competitive in the Digital Age, manufacturing facilities must consider the benefits of automating workflows as well as the consequences of delaying modernization.

 

Lack of automation within the production operation pressures your workforce to keep up with high demand influxes without agile tools. Enhanced systems such as automated data capture and sharing can manage operations, track stock levels, and monitor asset performance all in real-time for unbroken productivity. Although automation may take different forms in different industries, businesses can expect the following benefits from intelligent modernization:

 

  1. Increased product accuracy and quality control – Data automation tools like mobile computers can deliver consistent accuracy and speed with minimal variation, improving production rates and product accuracy. You can avoid higher costs from inaccurate production with mobile computers that provide faster-than-ever barcode capture and multi-distance scan engines that improve track and trace on the floor.
  2. Boosted versatility – Mobile technology like computers and tablets can come equipped with powerful extensions that allow businesses to increase security, improve device manageability and more. Expanded features enable manufacturers to capture up to 100 barcodes with a single scan to improve worker efficiency, while data automation delivers predictive analytics and rich data capture so your floor can stay flexible and adapt to rising demands.
  3. Faster return on investment – Dependable automation solutions reduce lead times, lower operating costs and improve output. Rugged mobile computers and tablets out-perform consumer devices and deliver dependable performance to improve the device lifecycles and deliver a higher ROI. Devices like this also help remove the errors of manual operations to deliver controlled and accurate workflows.

 

Speed and accuracy are the top priorities for the production floor. Mobile computers and tablets can help deliver real-time performance to manage operations and improve productivity. Automated mobile computing and scanning solutions deliver:

  • Faster and more efficient workflows
  • Quality checks and control
  • Enhanced visibility and flexibility for recalls
  • Faster cycle times

Automation is quickly taking over manufacturing plants to streamline productivity on the production floor. Learn more about how you can leverage track and trace solutions and rich data capture in your facility.

Today’s consumer demands require faster, more accurate, 24/7 fulfillment in warehouses and distribution centers. Businesses need trusted performance to identify, measure, track, and inspect items from production through distribution to deliver goods faster. Increasing numbers of businesses agree that implementing automation is the easiest and most efficient way to achieve fast fulfillment. Studies show that 80% of organizations plan to invest in new technologies to be competitive, while 70% of warehouse decision-makers need to modernize their warehouse operations–but admit they are slow to implement new devices and technology.

 

Warehouses with slower operations run the risk of losing customers, frustrating workers and enabling errors. To prevent these issues, automation experts suggest deploying strategies such as:

 

  1. Streamlining data collection – When workers pause to collect data, they create a significant time drag and diminish efficiency. While this can happen potentially thousands of times a day, an autonomous automated solution can eliminate downtime and free up workers to focus on more skilled, non-repetitive tasks.
  2. Choosing smarter scanning capabilities – Innovative and automated scanning technologies can be affordable, flexible and easy to deploy. Flexibility and easy integration offer simple management to make warehouse operations more efficient and workers’ days easier. Simplified integration also can help reduce training times so warehouses are more prepared for consumer demands.
  3. Implementing flexible barcode readers Industrial scanners can boost scanning capabilities by gathering data from numerous items at once. Handheld scanners with expanded read ranges and variable-distance barcode reading ensures your workers get the data they need quickly and with fewer steps.
  4. Reducing downtime with automated scanning – Industrial scanning solutions grow with your business and adapt to changing operational demands with flexible and durable designs. Smart automation withstands challenging conditions like warehouse environments to reduce time spent on repairs and maximize mobility.

 

Speed is the top priority when it comes to fulfillment and consumer expectations. Innovative solutions like industrial scanners can improve order picking and packing speeds without compromising accuracy or workflow management. Automated scanning technology provides trusted performance for the distribution process with:

  • Accelerated shipment handling
  • Increased efficiency
  • Decreased downtime
  • Streamlined workflows
  • Improved accuracy
  • Reduced risk

 

Improved warehouse operations and order fulfillment are achievable with innovative automated scanning technology. Learn more about how your business can improve accuracy and decrease downtime to surpass consumer expectations.

The right barcode scanning solution enhances order fulfillment and asset visibility. For almost 50 years, supply chains have been leveraging barcoding solutions because they can help meet emerging consumer demands, such as fast shipping and 100% order accuracy. Studies indicate that 65% of consumers are willing to pay more for faster shipping and 73% claim they would order more frequently from a vendor following an early or timely delivery. On the other hand, studies reveal that 66% of consumers would stop ordering from a company following a late delivery.

 

Consumers’ willingness to stop ordering from a company after just one late order forces businesses to adapt. Unforgiving consumer expectations can weigh on traditional solutions and force businesses to implement solutions like RFID and Fixed Industrial Scanners (FIS) that increase accuracy. While traditional barcoding solutions can read barcodes dependably, they can struggle to keep up with shifting consumer demands. When your workers have solutions that can’t keep up with consumer demands, your operation can suffer from:

  • Incomplete inventory visibility
  • Recurrent downtime from broken devices
  • Dissatisfied employees and lost customers

 

Solutions like RFID technology and FIS can differ from traditional data capture. Here are the specific benefits of each solution to help you consider which one is best for your business:

 

  1. Traditional barcoding for automated data recording General-purpose scanning still improves operations since it mitigates errors associated with manual data entry. Traditional barcoding enables faster and more accurate information transfer to improve order movement and asset tracking, which ultimately save your organization time and money.
  2. RFID technology for dependable visibility in challenging environments – When processing multiple similar SKUs in less time, traditional data capture may not always be the suitable option for large-scale, busy distribution centers. RFID solutions are meant to quickly and accurately process large amounts of data in larger environments. Furthermore, RFID devices are purpose-built for rugged performance and support real-time locationing, making these solutions more beneficial for fast-paced environments where stock numbers change by the hour.
  3. Fixed Industrial Scanners for minimal touchpoints and disruptions – For a more robust, automated solution, Fixed Industrial Scanners (FIS) provide stable and accurate scanning in difficult places and challenging conditions, all without human participation. FIS is typically used on high-speed conveyor lines or in 24/7 operations to fully automate item scanning, verification and routing, optimize material flow, and redirect incorrect items. FIS also delivers immediate alerts of any inaccuracies and prevents misplaced or stolen products.

 

A business can meet tough customer demand by boosting its scanning capabilities with devices that offer durable designs, higher read rates, and versatile features. Learn about the difference between traditional data capture, RFID and FIS with Avalon.

Challenges like labor shortages, shifting stock levels, and increasing demands for same-day shipping have pressured warehouses to quickly automate vital tasks in order to remain competitive. Without enterprise-ready automation, warehouses could suffer from inaccurate inventory counts and slow productivity. However, despite hindrances, studies show only 20% of warehouses successfully deploy automated solutions within their planned timeframes. In other words, while distribution centers understand the importance of automation, seamless solution execution is often challenging. Fearing complex implementation and high costs, many warehouses can miss the opportunities that come with today’s top modernized technologies such as warehouse robotics.

 

Studies show that robotics can reduce costs by 30% as they help improve accuracy and free up warehouse workers to focus on non-repetitive tasks. Existing operations that implement warehouse robotics pick up to  more orders and see a 90% reduction in onboarding and training time. As warehouses evaluate the need for robotics, experts recommend searching for the following signs of inefficiency:

  • Long picking time
  • Incomplete inventory visibility
  • Pen-and-paper processes
  • Sudden stockouts
  • Missed delivery times

 

4 Ways Robotics Help Alleviate Warehousing Challenges

As warehouses continue to navigate through persistent labor shortages, robotic technologies such as Zebra’s autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) give facilities a chance to redirect their human workforce towards more important tasks while AMRs focus on repetitive tasks or simple, value-added workflows like removing recycling or waste from a DC. When acting as part of a comprehensive modernization plan, warehouse robotics can:

 

  1. Boost order accuracy – Mis-picks and general order errors lead to lower profitability and slower warehouse workflows. AMRs help increase productivity up to three times by pairing workers with robots that are 50% faster and carry larger payloads than the competition. Working alongside your employees, AMRs increase precision picking to ensure the highest levels of accuracy and speed.
  2. Increase individual and team productivity – With an autonomous, smart-picking solution, warehouse workers can remain in specific zones to reduce excessive movement and maintain productivity. The AMRs travel between pick and put operations to reduce the distance and time that employees spend traveling between operations. When warehouses reduce the time it takes to complete repetitive tasks, employees can spend more time focusing on other, more complex workflows.
  3. Improve employee satisfaction – Robotic automation in warehouses sounds like it could replace employees, but robotics can actually work alongside your human workforce. Robotics can provide a sense of worker empowerment to take their focus away from repetitive tasks to do their jobs more effectively. Moreover, because they are built to handle heavy lifting and prevent collisions, AMRs also maximize worker safety, further boosting employee satisfaction.
  4. Amplify throughput with less labor – AMRs establish an effective goods-to-person picking system to provide a foundation that meets and adapts to market demands with accelerated fulfillment.

 

In the end. warehouse robotics reduce costs, orchestrate workers, increase picking efficiency and reduce the impact of labor shortages. Discover how you can redefine fulfillment with warehouse AMRs from Avalon.

The new on-demand economy puts pressure on warehouses to complete orders faster and more efficiently than ever before. Smarter approaches and solutions can help prepare warehouses for faster fulfillment, but these solutions aren’t always attainable due to time and cost constraints. Studies show that despite the on-demand economy, only 20% of warehouses worldwide successfully deploy automation solutions. Warehouses unequipped with automation can be less prepared for high consumer expectations that demand in-stock products, or low demands which could lead to overstocking. Therefore, businesses must find cost-effective automation solutions that deliver superior performance for a greater competitive edge.

 

Optimize Material Handling and Order Fulfillment with Robotics

While it may seem too futuristic or extreme, warehouse robotics can actually increase productivity and lower labor costs in the long run. Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) reduce downtime by automating vital workflows and freeing up your workforce to focus on more important tasks. Studies show that next-evolution AMRs can achieve up to a 78% improvement in productivity for picking operations, keeping businesses ahead of market demands.

 

  1. Quick fulfillment solutions for different environments – AMRs can help manufacturing, fulfillment and distribution operations adapt to the on-demand economy. Enterprise-ready robotics like Fetch AMRs from Zebra bring immediate benefits by automating repetitive tasks, such as picking and packing, and doing so faster and with fewer errors. By helping workers manage urgent orders and meet faster shipping times, AMRs control costs by making the picking process more efficient and minimizing errors and missed delivery timelines.
  2. Out-of-the-box capabilities that reduce downtime – The on-demand supply chain requires on-demand automation. Out of the box, Fetch robots enable on-demand automation with quick deployment in just hours in any facility. Easy adaptation and operation in a variety of environments reduce training times and downtime costs.
  3. Fully-integrated benefits that deliver high ROI – While AMRs can be deployed in distribution, fulfillment and manufacturing centers, there are numerous areas where they can be fully integrated. For more advanced automation, Fetch AMRs can integrate with WMS, WES, MES or ERP systems to provide optimized picking and enable pull-based workflows. Easy integration quickly creates dynamic picking and replenishment processes to deliver a strong ROI.

 

Warehouse robotics can improve accuracy and boost picking operations when warehouses need innovation the most. Robots deliver fast ROI and reduce errors, which actually helps control costs. Learn how you can find the right warehouse automation solutions for your business with Avalon and Zebra.

The challenges of controlling costs and managing high consumer expectations dominate the minds of today’s warehouse professionals. From demands for same-day shipping to ongoing product shortages, distribution centers are navigating a myriad of fulfillment obstacles. It’s no surprise that over 80% of warehouses plan to accelerate modernization plans to keep pace with these increasing demands and challenges. Because next-generation technologies now aim at streamlining critical tasks to reduce learning curves and maximize throughput in less time, automation experts recommend optimizing now to remain competitive in today’s high-demand market.

 

Past studies show that 73% of organizations plan to begin modernization with mobile technology. Handheld devices serve as scanners, computers and communication devices, and quickly empower operators to record and update data in real-time for more visibility and productivity. Without operational visibility, businesses risk increased expenses, stalled workflows, lost products and lost time. Furthermore, outdated mobile computers can also compromise data security if operating systems are not kept current. Therefore, when optimizing warehouse technologies, consider starting with your mobile devices.

 

That’s Where GO Zebra Comes In

To maintain enterprise efficiency, Avalon partners with Zebra to offer a wide range of innovative mobile computers and printers. Designed to help businesses upgrade mobility solutions without high costs, the GO Zebra Trade-In Program provides businesses with:

 

  1. Dependable, purpose-built durability – Front line workers can perform well or poorly based on the technology they use. Traditional legacy devices contribute to more errors and delays, which increase downtime and hurt fulfillment. When you upgrade your equipment through the GO Zebra Trade-In Program, you provide your workers with the latest Zebra hardware to keep up with tough warehouse demands.
  2. More accurate data capture – Outdated devices limit accuracy, while industry-leading scanners can capture any 1D or 2D barcode from near contact to as far as 70 feet away. Zebra’s scanners help your workers maintain high scanning performance even in shifting conditions. Access to higher accuracy devices through the GO Zebra Trade-In Program can help control costs without compromising efficiency.
  3. Flexible enterprise mobility – Intuitive mobile devices from Zebra help your workers stay mobile to maximize productivity and speed-up shipping processes, giving frontline workers the modern mobility they need to adapt to demands faster.

 

Follow these steps to start upgrading your workforce with purpose-built technology:

  • Purchase a qualified product
  • Submit your claim form
  • Trade in your legacy devices from any manufacturer.

 

To learn more about the GO Zebra Trade-In Program, download our brochure or contact an Avalon rep today.

 

Modernization doesn’t have to be complex. Work alongside the experienced automation team at Avalon to outline vulnerable areas within your operation and formulate a plan to replace outdated technology with devices that bring measurable improvements.

As supply chains strive to meet increasing customer demands, mobility solutions continue to set the foundation for superior modernization. From push-to-talk communication to safe data sharing, handheld devices now play a major role in virtually every industry. Studies show that the global enterprise mobility market was valued at $19.65 billion before the pandemic, and is projected to reach $151.51 billion by 2027.

 

A jump like this indicates that mobility is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.3% from 2020 to 2027, illustrating the importance today’s supply chain places on adaptive mobility. To stay in step with demands, warehouses now must plan to adapt and implement the best technology that accelerates workflows while remaining simple enough for future scalability. Without upgraded technology, businesses could risk increased operational expenses and slower productivity, ultimately damaging brand reliability, worker satisfaction, and profitability. Consequently, new devices like Zebra’s TC58 mobile computer now combine ease of use with flexible functionality to enable uninterrupted productivity anywhere in and out of the four walls.

 

More than an Enterprise Smartphone

To stay ahead of rising mobility rates, Zebra’s newly-reengineered TC58 gives workers reliable features and adaptive technologies that accelerate tasks without compromising accuracy. Designed for Android 11 and upgradeable to Android 15, the TC58 brings businesses the following improvements:

 

  1. Durability built from the inside out – A class-leading 6-inch screen that lets workers see more, do more, and scroll less helps make the TC58 Zebra’s most advanced enterprise mobile computer yet. It’s also equipped with a next-generation octa-core processor and is the only device in its class to offer support for WiFi 6E. Advanced processing power and enhanced connectivity enable blazing speed in the most demanding applications.
  2. Enhanced features that improve flexibility and accuracy – Provide your workers with advanced features that enable flexible operation. Calculate accurate parcel dimensions with the integrated Time of Flight sensor. Drop the TC58 into a Workstation cradle to connect a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and more to create a mobile-driven workstation. Also, add an impressive 1,300 tags per second with the optional RFD40 sleds.
  3. A new level of workforce productivity and value with Mobility DNA – Simplify device integration, increase device security, and make device management easier with Mobility DNA’s advanced tools. Easy management and security come with the TC58’s Enterprise Mobility Management and LifeGuard for Android to insure your devices.
  4. Versatile customization to maintain productivity in any industry – The TC58 helps workforces stay versatile across multiple industries. Provide your retail associates with enhanced price and inventory checks, item locationing, line busting, and back-of-store management. Warehouses can benefit from the TC58’s help in increasing inventory management, picking and receiving, and asset management with reliable data capture. Field service technicians benefit from high asset management in challenging conditions with the TC58’s durable design and mobile point of sale.

 

Warehouse automation should simplify enterprise efficiency. Contact an Avalon representative to learn more about how Zebra’s TC58 brings simple and versatile efficiency to your operation.

Businesses can no longer overlook cybersecurity. Regardless of company size, virtually every business can be a target for today’s cybercriminals. As automation continues to dominate warehouses and distribution centers, businesses can no longer afford to compromise on data security when integrating intelligent mobile devices. Studies indicate that nearly 71.1 million people are victims of cybercrimes every year, and 97% of companies have faced cyberattacks involving mobile threats. In the end, researchers estimate that cybercrimes will cost $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, illustrating the crucial importance of dependable data security—currently absent in consumer-grade devices and outdated operating systems.

 

That’s Where Android Comes In

To prioritize security and enterprise efficiency, more businesses are moving to highly-secure operating systems and mobility solutions like Android 11. Innovative operating systems like this can avoid cyberattacks and manage downtime to control costs; however, the benefits of Android extend beyond cybersecurity. As the preferred OS of leading manufacturers like Zebra Technologies, Android 11 opens the doors to a new level of dependable automation on best-in-class devices. For example, the new TC58 mobile computer leverages Android 11 OS to deliver the operating system’s top benefits within one enterprise platform.

 

  1. Secure device protection with consistent updates – Increase device security with an updated operating system to prevent leaks and attacks. Equipped with LifeGuard for Android, Zebra’s empowered mobile computer provides security patches to keep devices secure every day they are in service. Android 11 helps enhance mobile computer processing power, so businesses can get secure, powerful enterprise mobility updated every 90 days with government-grade encryption.
  2. Streamlined ease of use for better mobility – Since Android is extremely popular in the consumer space, employees are more likely to adapt to it, thus minimizing training times. Additionally, Zebra’s Mobility DNA offers the broadest and most mature set of solutions for simpler management and easier integration, empowering workers to use their device’s full functionality right out of the box.
  3. Versatility with an open app ecosystem – Businesses can customize their mobility solution with an intuitive platform that enables seamless app integration, unlike iOS. Moreover, Android devices like the TC58 enable quick app migration, converting TE green screens into a touchscreen interface without extensive application rewriting.

 

When you protect your mobile devices with a flexible operating system like Android,  you protect enterprise efficiency and supply chain operations. Talk to an expert at Avalon today to evaluate a mobility solution that protects your enterprise.

If you are considering purchasing consumer-grade tablets, there are hidden costs that you should first understand. While consumer tablets can be enticing due to their low cost, their features, durability, and barcode scanning capabilities could be less than ideal. Reasons like these are making associates prefer rugged enterprise tablets that deliver more and can still be cost-effective. Studies show that nearly two-thirds of associates believe rugged tablets can help them deliver a better customer experience and increase worker satisfaction over consumer tablets. As the global market share of tablets is estimated to grow at 8% to $1,468.4 million by 2027, more supply chain decision-makers are switching to enterprise tablets because they can help improve the efficiency and performance of their workforce.

 

Businesses that don’t adapt to associate needs and supply chain trends could ultimately suffer from outdated operations, which leads to lost customers and diminished productivity. Here are some questions to consider when thinking about purchasing a tablet solution for your enterprise:

  • Can the tablet reduce operational costs and downtime that stem from lost productivity and broken devices?
  • Does the tablet empower your workers to work faster and smarter?
  • Is it equipped to handle heavy data capture needs?

 

Redefine enterprise operations with the right features.

Finding an enterprise tablet that addresses these concerns can help improve operations and reduce errors. Fortunately, enterprise tablets like Zebra’s ET45 help deliver the functionality and versatility your business needs to adapt to trends. The ET45 redefines enterprise operations because it:

 

  1. Delivers dependable durability at a lower price – Built for business environments, the ET45 delivers dependable performance in tough environments. Its design withstands drops, indoor and outdoor environments, and extreme temperatures for improved performance. Additional tablet accessories also enhance portability and durability in more demanding environments. All at a cost that rivals consumer tablets.
  2. Enhances data capture capabilities for scan-intensive environments – Your mission-critical workers should have access to world-class integrated scanning. Zebra’s ET45 tablet delivers split-second, first-time data capture of virtually every barcode, in practically any condition. For dependable, simple scanning or advanced range scanning, the ET45 is equipped to empower your workers to scan in virtually any environment. With the ability to simultaneously capture up to 100 barcodes, even on multiple labels with a single scan, this enterprise tablet helps create higher accuracy.
  3. Empowers workers to work faster and smarter with the right options – Get the fastest wireless connectivity to keep you connected anywhere with WiFi 6e and 5G speeds. Better connectivity gives workers access to the fastest networks which help them collaborate on important tasks when demands are high.
  4. Expand versatility with complimentary tools – Improve every aspect of the device lifecycle with features that deliver a built-in advantage. Features like Mobility Extensions and StageNow offer improved security and staging for easier device management.

 

A rugged enterprise tablet can redefine operations with advanced features that support higher performance. Talk to an expert at Avalon today to evaluate a tablet solution that meets your business needs.

Undisruptive Modernization – It’s possible with these three initiatives.

 

Complex implementation has long been cited as one of the leading obstacles warehouses face when modernizing their workflows. Today’s fast-paced operations leave little room for extensive training times, app alterations, and lulls in productivity; however, failure to properly modernize can also slow down efficiency as workers must navigate through higher demands with outdated devices, bottlenecks, and inaccurate data. In other words, complex modernization is almost as detrimental as no modernization.

 

So, if modernization skills must be intelligent enough to compete in today’s high-demand environments, yet simple enough to maximize uptime, the question remains: How can warehouses bridge the gap between simplicity and adaptability? Several supply chain experts and tech players suggest the answer may be:

 

  • Digitize inventory tracking through mobile devices
    It’s estimated that distribution centers have inventory accuracy rates as low as 60% depending, generating more surprise out-of-stocks for retailers as they must wait for distributors to restock. Poor inventory counting also breaks down business relationships within the supply chain as more pressure is placed on manufacturers to restock items, further fueling shortages. On the other hand, digitized stock tracking and counting enables reports to be shared instantaneously, so teams can operate with a clear view of available inventory. Zebra’s RFD90 is a prime example of efficient mobile digitization since the sled can integrate real-time RFID visibility onto any Zebra handheld to enable faster inventory locationing, trackable work-in-progress, and seamless communication between manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.
  • Prioritize, OS, software, and app updates
    Devices running on Android’s open ecosystem benefit from simplistic app additions since the operating system does not require applications to be rewritten. That means workers can add their preferred apps onto their Android devices to retain some familiarity and lower training times. Moreover, applications like All-Touch Terminal Emulation facilitate app conversion, so your TE apps display flawlessly on a touchscreen interface right out of the box.
  • Secure connectivity channels for reliable communication
    The goal of a successful modernization strategy should be to unify the workforce current customer demands. Therefore, eliminating dead zones and dropped signals from your environment is crucial for optimization efforts. In addition to strengthening wireless infrastructures, consider leveraging push-to-talk features embedded within your mobile computer to erase the need for additional hardware and maintenance costs. For example, Workforce Connect enables group conferencing, secured text messaging, and emergency alerts, so your teams can stay updated of any sudden changes in demand like delayed shipments or shortages as it happens.

 

Knowing where to start

 

Intelligent modernization can take a variety of shapes. Consequently, experts recommend assessing main workflows in order to prioritize struggling operations. After starting your workflow assessment, it’s easier to procure technologies that address your specific goals while reducing the need for a mass device refresh, thus creating an simplistic yet adaptable modernization plan.