Supply chain logistics are all about exact calculations: cost, weight, schedules, routes, inventory volume, etc. So why would you settle with a mobile computing device that requires you to guesstimate – and compromise – your I/O connectivity needs?
Whether you are responsible for warehouse, distribution or transportation operations, industry business processes are constantly improving, and your own organization’s operations must keep pace to remain competitive. In the supply chain game, that means constantly seeking out new efficiency gains and identifying new ways to leverage existing systems without disrupting the well-oiled machine.
Yet, how many times have you found yourself frustrated because you don’t have the right ports available on your mobile computer – or really any computer – to connect to essential equipment? Or how many times have your workers in the warehouse had to run back to a fixed station to complete a workflow that couldn’t be supported on the mobile device because they didn’t have the right connection capability from that handheld, tablet, or notebook?
Limited connectivity options on almost every mobile PC model means you have to decide among a limited set of device choices, or make-do without key ports. I/O ports consume a lot of space, and many mobile devices have optimized – even over-optimized – for small size, thus limiting the number of I/O ports they can offer. Even some tablet companies rationalize size over I/O connectivity by claiming that “most devices can be accessed via USB.” While technically true, many mobile device users also need HDMI or Serial Port connections. Sure, there are dongles that bridge from USB to these types of devices; but they are often very limited in their capability or speed.
This notion that you have to compromise on your I/O connections is a reality that has needed to change for many years. As early as 2012 we saw the distribution sector transitioning toward “total mobile solutions.” As reported by Inbound Logistics, companies were “embracing a suite of mobile tools that work together to boost warehouse performance” instead of opting for just one mobile device. However, it’s challenging to manage workflows across multiple devices if you only have one or two I/O choices. That message is now being made loud and clear, and is why we at Xplore have stepped up first to take action and provide a solution that:
- Meets the mobility standards set by the supply chain as a result of workflow mandates…not the standards that mobile device manufacturers set; they often hope that minimum requirements, intended to suffice in many usage cases, will be enough to appeal to customers
- Adds I/O ports that are needed to the industry’s top rugged tablets in order to support transportation, warehouse, and distribution daily flows
- Provides true connection protocols like True Serial Ports, supporting the true “total mobile solution”
Unlike any other mobile computing device on the global market – rugged or not – Xplore’s XSLATE B10 (Windows®) and XSLATE D10 (Android™) fully rugged tablets are the first to include up to eight built-in I/O ports in a truly mobile PC design. What’s more, these ports are dustproof and waterproof when closed – and some of the more popular ports on the XSLATE B10 still provide protection from the elements when the IO door is open.