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Why Warehouse Managers Need Android on Their Radars

By Jeff Schmitz | 06/20/2017 | 6:56 AM

Android is one of the most talked-about consumer technology brands in consumer electronics. And for good reason – it can be found on four out of every five consumer handhelds, as well as Chromebooks, TVs, wearables, and even in cars. In fact, Android is now officially the world's leading mobile operating system (OS) with approximately 87 percent of the global market share, according to IDC.

But it’s not just consumers latching onto this trend. Enterprises have also found a way to leverage the popular OS. As enterprise customer expectations have shifted, they now require technology that can keep pace with their ever-changing environments. This is especially true for those working in the warehouse. Enterprises also need to consider migration from Windows Mobile and Windows CE that are reaching their end of life. These OS are run with most warehouse applications today.

As e-commerce, omnichannel and click-and-collect quickly become the norm, warehouse managers can no longer rely on soon-to-be outdated OS, clunky systems and green screens to accommodate consumers’ growing online shopping habits. It goes without saying that these trends are causing a massive increase in shipments, creating the need for more accurate, real-time inventory insight, speed and quality of order fulfillment.

To compete, warehouses must have a contemporary OS that offers the best of both worlds—enterprise and consumer-grade features—and more overall efficiency. Android-based devices do just that as they help simplify operations and automate processes across the entire supply chain, from goods-in to ship-out. Android also offers the visibility needed to enhance productivity, while providing reduced operating costs.

With more intuitive technology, warehouse managers can quickly gain access to real-time data including the location of inventory, staff and equipment, to improve efficiency and ensure successful and timely order fulfillment.

Picture this scenario: A warehouse employee receives a handful of product and delivery documents. Each document contains what looks like a laundry list of items—multiple barcodes, images, check boxes and lines of text. Manually logging all these documents would take at least a couple of hours. With an Android-based device, employees can instead take all the documents in at once, populate whole digital forms, and have everything done within a matter of seconds.

In addition to reducing the number of steps and time taken when scanning products, Android devices also have a strong appeal to millennials. With e-commerce picking up speed and more baby boomers leaving the workforce, millennials have a growing presence in the warehouse and supply chain space.

As more millennials enter the workforce, it’s crucial they have user-friendly technology to which they’re accustomed. Android devices offer a touch-screen display that looks like what one would see on a smartphone with all the apps easily and clearly accessible. Ultimately, workers will feel familiar with the technology and overall more engaged.  

According to a report by VDC Research, Android devices made up almost 37 percent of rugged device shipments in 2016, compared to 24 percent the previous year—and that number is expected to grow. The combination of increased visibility, reduced operating costs and strong millennial appeal put Android at the forefront, so why not start investing now?

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The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Jeff Schmitz

Jeff Schmitz

Jeff Schmitz is senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Zebra. Mr. Schmitz most recently served as executive vice president for multiple business units and sales at Spirent Communications where he had previously also held several senior leadership roles including chief marketing officer and vice president of networks & applications. Prior to joining Spirent, Mr. Schmitz held senior marketing positions at Rivulet Communications, Visual Networks and Tellabs Inc. Mr. Schmitz holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Marquette University and a Master of Science degree in computer science from the Illinois Institute of Technology.



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