Shipment Tracking – 4 Things You Need to Know
Without a doubt we are living in a highly advanced technological world. What is the extent of modern technology? Is it limited solely to our handheld devices and GPS systems? Did you know that trends increasing in wireless mobility not only affect smartphone users, but can also help businesses run more smoothly? New technology is improving freight-tracking with faster service times and, in turn, greater returns. Here are some of the new trends that you should be incorporating into your business model and how they’re helping freight operators run a better, more successful business.
Integrated Connectivity. The idea of being able to connect with other devices or networks is not necessarily new in this digital world we live in. However, in freight tracking, cell-phone capabilities and GPS have now been integrated into rugged handheld computers. In the past, operators would have to carry both a smartphone and a rugged handheld computer to engage in work tasks. Personal smart devices are not made for the tough world of the supply chain and in an industry of movement, there was a high chance that handheld devices used while working could be dropped and damaged. On top of being sensitive, personal mobile devices do not have the interface to adequately assess operational applications. With the certification of rugged handheld devices by mainstream cell-phone carriers to engage in voice communication and cell-phone capabilities, operators can now use just one device for all their supply chain demands. For management, this means the number of devices they are responsible for has been cut in half. For the operators themselves, it saves time because they don’t have to juggle between two devices.
Portable Printers. Often paired with rugged handheld computers, portable printers have been used for output when any documentation has been needed. With the increasing technology provided by the printing industry, handheld printers now have the ability to combine the departments of sales, service, and delivery. When dealing with customers, it is especially important to fulfill the need for proper documentation. At the same time, this saves on paperwork and, therefore, time in completing an order.
Real Time Location Systems (RTLS). The technology within RTLS can be extremely helpful to a company’s supply chain. Once connected to a wireless LAN device, anything can be monitored with tracking. The ability to trace a device, product, and shipment opens the door to greater productivity. For example, forklifts connected through this technology can be monitored based on location and time. This enables management to view the progress made during any given workday regarding shipments and receivables. With expensive products, wireless tracking also enables constant surveillance. With the ability to view products remotely, management can better monitor progress offsite.
Digital Imaging. With integrated technology, cameras are now available on handheld rugged devices to ensure delivery of products. With visual proof, operators can also provide explicit details on why products might have been delayed in shipping or not have been deliverable. Managers can use this for insurance purposes, information gathering, or as documentation for inspectors.
With so many new technological advances available to the world of supply chain operations, it might be overwhelming for company leaders to keep track of them all. This is especially true when you consider that these technologies are advancing every day. Integrated connectivity devices, while extremely helpful in the workplace, require updates just like any other computer. It’s recommended that supply-chain companies procure device management software through AREL or Intermec to be sure their systems are up to date at all times and that business can continue to run as usual.