Trending at PROMAT 2017 – Mobile & Cloud Transform the Supply Chain

Today’s supply chain is increasingly dependent on the use of mobile technology to move goods from supplier to consumer quickly and efficiently. Attendees at this year’s PROMAT Conference are looking for solutions that can combine multiple capabilities into portable computing systems that can withstand the rigors of warehouse and outdoor use for long workdays. Here are three top trends guiding mobile computing purchases in the supply chain today.

Vehicle-mounted but portable

Warehouse managers and employees are under pressure to keep up with the changes in technology used to manage and track orders and get goods from one place to another under tight deadlines. They are looking for purpose built mobile computers that not only fit the needs of specific tasks but are also flexible enough to work in multiple places. Computers mounted on forklifts are now expected to be removable so they can be carried with a worker when they step off the forklift. This is a change from legacy systems that are not only permanently mounted to the chassis but hardwired to the power supply as well. New designs incorporate dedicated mounting systems that provide rock solid and secure attachment to warehouse material handling systems along with power connections, but allow workers to easily remove the tablet to carry with them.

Multiple configurations with 1 device

Warehouse staff need the speed and convenience of using a keyboard when longer text entries are required, and this has made so-called 2-in-1 systems invaluable in warehouse settings. Dual mode tablets make it easy for workers to flip open a laptop sized keyboard to write notes or email that might take longer and be less accurate using a virtual keyboard. But buyers need to look for convertible portables that are rugged enough to withstand possible drops and bumps that happen in warehouse and loading dock environments.

Connecting to the cloud

Supply chains are moving to the cloud which means their computing devices need to be able to connect throughout the warehouse and beyond if they are to be useful. Wireless connections are not always optimal in warehouses or in shipping yards, but with the increased reliance on cloud based computing resources, lack of connection can cause delays in processing orders and getting goods on their way to their next destination. Buyers need to evaluate the communications capabilities of mobile computing devices to assure they include robust antenna systems that can connect even in areas of poor signal strength.

Equally important to supply chain operations is the need for reliable equipment with long operating battery systems and hot-swappable batteries that can nearly eliminate downtime, and stay connected to cloud-based systems from wherever and whenever they are needed. 

Panasonic will be highlighting a number of brand new rugged computing systems purpose built for the supply chain at the PROMAT 2017 Show in Chicago at McCorminck Place, North Hall, Booth #N819.  

We invite you to stop by our Booth #N819 and see our newest technologies including our Toughbook mobile handhelds with an angled barcode scanner that are purpose-built to thrive under even the most demanding supply chain environments and discuss your business needs with our supply chain mobile solution experts.