HOW TO KEEP YOUR WAREHOUSE TECHNOLOGY OPTIMIZED AS YOUR WORKFORCE CHANGES

Legacy technology that has been a staple in the warehouse environment for so long it is beginning to be replaced by more advanced and more ergonomic models. The key to navigating this changing of the guard is to find the right value-added reseller (VAR) or systems integrator partner.

Zebra Technologies
Zebra Technologies
HOW TO KEEP YOUR WAREHOUSE TECHNOLOGY OPTIMIZED AS YOUR WORKFORCE CHANGES www.advanced-automationinc.com 2Advanced Automation ● 1-800-728-8889 ● www.advanced-automationinc.com It’s part of the “circle of life.” In every warehouse, there will be times when older, more experienced workers are retiring and passing the torch to the next generation of younger, less experienced staff. At the same time, warehouse and manufacturing technology is advancing and evolving. Legacy technology that has been a staple in the warehouse environment for so long it is beginning to be replaced by more advanced and more ergonomic models. The key to navigating this changing of the guard is to find the right value-added reseller (VAR) or systems integrator partner. You’ll want to choose a provider that can bridge the gap between experience and inexperience as well as legacy hardware and new equipment. Your VAR should also be a total solutions provider, a one-stop shop for everything you need, from hardware, to media, to support and service. Many warehouses don’t want the disruption of a total “rip and replace” of their technology, especially as the older workforce leaves and new employees are coming in. Keeping current systems can enable passing the torch rather than changing everything. An experienced VAR partner can assist in knowing “when to hold ’em, and when to fold ’em.” They can help you plan your upgrades, set your budget, and keep legacy equipment running until it’s time to replace it, so you can keep operating in the meantime. When you are ready to upgrade, you can count on your VAR to help you choose the best devices to gain new efficiencies that will translate to a rapid ROI. You should also be able to rely on your VAR for “cradle to grave” support for your equipment. A VAR partner who is well-qualified to assist during workforce shifts and keep your technology optimized will be knowledgeable in all of the following aspects of your business infrastructure. 3Advanced Automation ● 1-800-728-8889 ● www.advanced-automationinc.com Industrial Printers There are many exciting and innovative new products on the market ready to boost your efficiency and minimize downtime. Industrial printers are one vital element of your network, because nothing moves without labels. When you’re ready to upgrade, your VAR can introduce you to the next generation of printers, with features like these: 24/7 Reliability: To avoid downtime caused by printer failure, you’ll want a rugged printer built to handle high-volume applications in the toughest warehouse conditions. Look for solutions with all-metal heavy-gauge structural components, long-lasting printheads, and internal thermal management to keep out dust from vents or fans. They’ll hold up for years of constant use and superior productivity. User Friendliness: Both the older and newer members of your workforce will benefit from tools that are simple and intuitive to operate. Easy loading of media and readable color graphic displays with icon menus reduce training requirements and increase uptime. The Zebra ZT600 series printers, for example, have these features as well as quick-change printheads, an interior cabinet light, and QR codes linked to help videos for fast troubleshooting of error messages. Adaptability and Future-Proofing: You want printers that will not only last physically but also remain technologically relevant for as long as possible. When you make an investment in a printer, ask your VAR to recommend printers equipped to handle your future as well as current needs, with features such as field-installable media handling options, extra USB host ports and communication slots, and optional advanced RFID encoding capabilities. 4Advanced Automation ● 1-800-728-8889 ● www.advanced-automationinc.com Mobile Computers & Vehicle-Mounted Computers Printers aren’t the only devices now available with advanced features. When it’s time to upgrade your mobile computers or vehicle-mounted units, your VAR should be able to recommend models that offer: • Processing power and speed • Dependable wireless connectivity, both indoors and outdoors • Rugged construction for harsh operating conditions • Ability to take high-resolution photographs • Ability to capture a wide range of 1D and 2D barcodes • Ability to capture and process entire documents Depending on your needs, your VAR partner can provide touch computers with advanced scanning technology that never miss a scan — even when labels are damaged — and capture multiple codes with one scan. Your operation may also be challenged with changing workforce preferences for operating system (OS). An experienced VAR will be able to keep you up to date on when end of support is scheduled for your system and the best options for upgrading. They may even be able to suggest devices that support multiple operating systems to keep options open for the future. As your workforce changes, younger employees will be expecting to work with tech that is similar to what they use in their personal lives — their smartphones. Operations that still use “green screens” may struggle as new employees join the workforce. But if upgrading your mobile computers isn’t feasible, an experienced VAR partner can still provide solutions that will bridge the gap, such as Zebra’s All- Touch Terminal Emulation client. This product will automatically convert your green screen applications to a consumer-style touch interface, without coding. It standardizes user experience and cuts down on training time. This is a great example of how the right VAR partner can ease workforce and technology transitions with innovative solutions. 5Advanced Automation ● 1-800-728-8889 ● www.advanced-automationinc.com Scanners & Imagers Your VAR should be well-versed in the scanner and imager technology currently on the market and should be able to recommend one that best suits your industrial environment. When you’re ready to upgrade, your VAR will be able to recommend scanners with unprecedented abilities: • A new designation of “ultra-rugged” to indicate their superior durability and complete sealing against dust and liquid • Ability to scan any printed barcode in any condition, even under shrink wrap or frost, as well as digital barcodes • Aiming technology that can select even tiny barcodes, improving pick processes • Increased battery capacity and a battery charge gauge (like on smartphones) for easy monitoring Your 1D barcode technology may have served you well, but with new demands on your business to work faster and more productively just to stay competitive, you need to equip your workforce with tools that will help them deliver that performance. Migrating to a 2D imager will give your workers access to a much wider range of barcodes and readability distances. In some cases, you might want to consider migrating to RFID or take a look at Internet of Things (IoT) applications, depending on your current or anticipated needs. Your total solution provider VAR partner doesn’t just sell technology. They sell the right technology and can help you make the best investment that will have a real return for your business. 6Advanced Automation ● 1-800-728-8889 ● www.advanced-automationinc.com Media & Supplies Your printer output is only as good as the materials you put in. Even the best printer will have issues if you are using poor-quality supplies. Your VAR partner should be able to advise you on the supplies best suited for your application, environment, and machines. Using the right materials can drastically increase the life of your printer, reduce downtime, and improve productivity. Your VAR should be able to offer: • A wide selection of stocked label and ribbon inventory • Custom labels for those who need specific sizes and colors, pre-printing, and/or special material and adhesive combinations for unique requirements • Same-day shipping for labels and ribbons • Label design software to manage label templates, easy label design and print management • Label and ribbon samples available for testing and qualification • UL/CSA certified label solutions for hard-to-meet durability requirements 7Advanced Automation ● 1-800-728-8889 ● www.advanced-automationinc.com Technical Service & Support Finally (and perhaps most importantly), your VAR partner’s commitment shouldn’t end when the products arrive on your doorstep. They should be able to deliver versatile levels of technical service and support. Your IT department may not have the time to deal with all of the demands the operation has. If the IT staff is only one or two people, they could be busy with server, e-mail, network security, and other issues. Knowing support for data collection and mobility is covered by a VAR partner can lessen the burden on your IT staff. As employee turnover occurs, your VAR partner can be the constant, familiar with your systems and able to keep things running as new employees come up to speed. Technical service and maintenance should also fall within your chosen VAR’s wheelhouse. Proper maintenance has several benefits: • Lengthens the life of your hardware • Decreases downtime • Increases efficiency • Maximizes uptime • Improves productivity A VAR partner should lessen the frustration your staff experiences over malfunctioning hardware or other problems they aren’t capable of handling. A dedicated partner will answer the phone, come out in person when needed, care about downtime, and understand its cost to your organization. They will be a true partner to help your business run optimally and succeed. About Advanced Automation For over 25 years, Advanced Automation has been an industrial technology provider that specializes in product identification and tracking technologies, most of which are barcode-based. These products include barcode scanners, mobile computers, rugged tablets, thermal (barcode) printers, along with all the consumables used in these printers. We partner with all the leading vendors in the industry, servicing customers in the manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, agriculture and healthcare environments, but not limited to. Contact Us 1-800-728-8889 ● sales@advanced-automationinc.com ● support@advanced-automationinc.com About Zebra Technologies With the unparalleled visibility Zebra provides, enterprises become as smart and connected as the world we live in. Real-time information – gleaned from visionary solutions including hardware, software and services – gives organizations the competitive edge they need to simplify operations, know more about their businesses and customers, and empower their mobile workers to succeed in today’s data-centric world. For more information, visit www.zebra.com. Build Partnerships that Weather Change As your business grows, there will be periods of change and shifting to new generations of workers and new waves of technological advancements. Your VAR total solutions provider will be a relationship that you can count on to be there for your business, not only during times of upheaval, such as a staff change or equipment upgrade, but when you are in need of day-to-day support. Talk to Advanced Automation about a partnership that will ensure things keep running during times of change.
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