Mobile computing in your warehouse or on your shop floor has gotten more complicated in the last few years. With Android now being the dominant OS, the need to update the OS and subsequently the applications more often are a certainty. Fortunately, the tools to manage the devices have gotten much better as well. But the landscape can still be murky. Zebra and Honeywell both now have cloud-based management tools at reasonable prices. One works with traditional Mobile Device Management (MDM) software such as SOTI and one takes the place of an MDM.
If you are a single site with a manageable number of devices, say 10 or less, then you can probably get away without them. You can update all of the devices in a cradle in a few hours and there are few enough devices that you can track battery life, available spares and the number of devices in for repair with relative ease.
But if you have far more than 10 devices and particularly if you have multiple sites, using these tools to manage your mobile computer fleet pretty much becomes mandatory.
So, what are these software tools going to do for me?
The device manufacturers have some variance between their software tools capabilities, but both will answer these questions.
Where are my devices?
How many are in for repair?
How many need their batteries replaced?
How many of my devices are being used?
Are my devices being dropped?
Do my devices have a good Wi-Fi connection?
Is my OS up to date?
Are my applications up to date?
Do I have a service contract that is getting close to expiration?
How much is it going to cost?
This again varies by manufacturer and the level of the tool that you select, but figure $50 to $100 per device per year. There may also be some up-front charges, but these are typically thousands, not tens of thousands of dollars.
If you meet the criteria of needing the tools in the first place outlined above, then probably yes. If you have hundreds of mobile computers in operation across multiple sites, then absolutely. You have already invested hundreds of thousands of dollars for the devices. Tools that let you easily keep them up to date, maximize their utilization and detect problems before they happen will pay for themselves in a very short time.
What about my label printers and hand scanners?
Increasingly, these are also included. As the printers and scanners have become more intelligent and have network connections, they too can be managed at different levels based on the manufacturer and the tool set selected.
How do I get started?
Always with the EMP Tech Group. We have been investing in training our sales and technical services personnel for some time now. We can help you choose the right tool set and get it implemented in very short order.
Call or email us today to get started!