In fact, a sizable portion of the industry’s overall growth is being driven by the increased adoption of mobile solutions. Take, for instance, the results of one manufacturer’s recent healthcare study that showed that 90% of all clinicians will use mobile technology bedside by 2022. That’s just one example of the considerable opportunity out there for solution providers.
With opportunities presenting themselves in nearly every vertical, many solution providers are entering the market to cash in. Unfortunately, jumping in can lead to embarrassing, costly and even life-threatening mistakes. When building mobile data capture solutions for your customers, consider the following factors.
- Size and weight—You can provide the most powerful, latest-generation technology, but if the mobile printer or mobile computer is too large or too heavy, end users won’t want to carry it around all day. Purpose-built mobile devices are available today that check the box for being rugged and powerful.
- Ruggedness, sealing, weatherproofing—Manufacturers perform tests that will give you an idea of how much abuse a device can handle. For more information, research IP (ingress protection) ratings. Talk to your customers about all the areas they intend to use devices and then ensure the device specs meet or exceed their needs.
- Scanning options—Are your customer scanning barcodes? If so, what type? Are they using RFID? What type(s) of tags? What read range is necessary? This is a critical piece of the overall data collection solution.
- Battery life—End users don’t want to have to carry extra batteries or swap batteries mid-shift. Look for devices that can get through an entire day or have batteries that can be swapped without powering down the device.
- Connectivity choices—How are end users going to get data from a scanner or mobile computer to a central system? Depending on the application, you might need hardware than can accommodate Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, broadband wireless or a combination.
- Support and warranty—In the rare event that a device fails, it’s important to be able get a replacement or fixed unit to customers quickly. Also, consider the warranty and available extended warranties to protect the investment long-term.
- Security—Mobile devices can be easily lost or stolen. Additionally, as connected devices, there’s always some threat of malware or a breach. Regardless of your device’s operating system, ask about built-in security and research additional steps you can take to protect the devices and your customers’ data. For example, mobile device management solutions are available to help keep track of devices, perform updates, and much more.
- Accessories—There are many different accessories available for whatever scanners, mobile computers, and printers you include in your solution. Don’t miss this upsell opportunity.
Of course, these 8 factors are just the beginning. To ensure your next data capture project hits the mark, contact Ingram Micro’s DC/POS expert, Daryl Schuster.