26 July 2019
More and more
commercial organisations are discovering the many benefits of rugged handheld
devices. A recent report from Technavio predicts a compound annual growth rate
(CAGR) within the global rugged device market of nearly eight per cent before 2023.
Rugged mobile devices
enable the access and capture of operational data on the move, even in harsh
working environments, but this isn’t the only factor behind their increasing
popularity. Rugged technology isn’t going anywhere, so let’s take a closer look
at some of the emerging applications of rugged handheld devices that are
fuelling its uptake.
The move to centralised data and decentralised
Market saturation is
forcing businesses from all sectors to diversify; to enter new verticals in
order to continue to grow. Offering a wider range of products and/or services
often means adding new points to a supply chain in the form of multiple
factories or warehouses - expanding the geographic spread of a business’s operations.
While in most cases
there will still be a central point of organisational control, businesses with
several secondary sites need a way to connect them and ensure optimum
efficiency without overburdening HQ. This is where decentralisation comes in – a move away from a single source of
operational management to an infrastructure in which each site has its own
level of autonomy. Within the manufacturing industry, for example, this would
involve each factory or warehouse having access to relevant data and
information systems without having to go through HQ.
Rugged handhelds make
this possible, enabling factory or warehouse teams to record working progress,
solve problems and map workflows as they go about their duties, all with the
assurance that their mobile device is built to survive drops, knocks, moisture
and extremes of temperature. Decentralised control is a logical and effective
management approach for many types of business, and rugged handhelds are
helping them achieve it.
New sectors and use cases
Many industries make
use of mobile technology, but even those that have traditionally relied on
non-rugged consumer devices are starting to realise the benefits of their
rugged counterparts. Thanks to reduced failure rates and extended use, rugged
mobile devices offer better return on investment over time than standard
devices, and a lower total cost of ownership (TCO).
As a result, the range
of sectors adopting rugged handhelds is growing to include industries such as retail,
hospitality and public transportation. Businesses within these areas are
capitalising on the longer life and improved reliability of rugged technology
on an operational level, as well as the better value for money that it
Supply chain efficiencies and
advances, the list of things rugged handheld devices can do is only getting
more comprehensive. As mobile computers, rugged devices connect staff in all
areas of an operation to the information they need, and this is turn boosts the
efficiency of the supply chain in almost every way imaginable.
Devices such as rugged tablets, rugged handhelds and rugged wearables are capable of streamlining the various steps
of supply chain management, from barcode scanning to inventory tracking,
shipping and receiving to quality control. With wireless LAN, Bluetooth, RFID,
Wi-Fi connectivity and extended battery life, those in charge of maintaining a
supply chain can afford to rely on the constant uptime offered by rugged
handheld devices, which ensures that each action in the chain is supported and
What could rugged handheld devices do
for your business?
Rugged technology is
becoming truly versatile, capable of fulfilling a wide range of applications
within a growing number of sectors. If you think rugged handheld devices could
help your business achieve more, get in touch with our friendly team to find out more.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - PETER MARSH
Peter joined TouchStar (formally Belgravium) in a sales
manager role in 2001. Prior to joining the
company, Peter held Partner and National Sales Manager roles within the parcel
and logistics industries.
In 2011 Peter was promoted to Sales Director and is now
actively involved in promoting the value of TouchStar’s Rugged Mobile Computing
solutions to the warehouse, logistics, manufacturing and field service
industries. When not involved in the business,
Peter is a keen and enthusiastic football and cricket fan.