It’s been more than two years since Microsoft ended support for its Embedded 6.0, Handheld 8.1, and Handheld 6.5 operating systems (OS). This decision, announced more than five years ago, sent the many businesses and manufacturing companies that utilized Microsoft applications for both office workstations and handheld devices in warehouses and distribution centers in search for another solution. The clear choice for many was an Android warehouse management system.
Google’s Android OS ramped up its capabilities during the period between Microsoft’s initial announcement and the end of support for all the ruggedized devices and applications that had become standard for modernized warehouse operations. Buoyed by early success in carving into warehouse spaces, Android was able to parlay Microsoft’s decision into becoming THE preferred destination for organizations looking to migrate their warehouse management systems.
The benefits of switching from Windows to Android for warehouse optimization quickly became clear for proactive organizations. The OS was time-tested, ready to be implemented on a wide scale and already integrated with many organizations. Beyond that, an Android warehouse management system brought several tangible benefits:
Security — Microsoft’s end of support immediately left many enterprises staring at potential security risks as tech support and bug fixes would no longer be implemented, leaving vulnerabilities in place. Migrating to Android meant new devices would be supported completely and built to face the security challenges of today and be updated regularly for the threats of tomorrow.
Plentiful Resources — As an OS, Android is popular for both business and consumer applications and enjoys a vibrant and substantial partner ecosystem. This means companies seeking Android warehouse solutions can find a reliable third party to collaborate with for hardware and software, as well as ongoing support and maintenance services once migration is complete.
Increased Efficiency and Flexibility — By quickly migrating to a popular and supported OS, devices and more, organizations are better positioned to meet the demands they face today. Customers demand ever-shorter delivery times. Higher workforce turnover has become the norm. There is increased complexity and more item-level picking and returns. All of these require the lean and agile solutions provided by up-to-date warehouse management.
Why Switch to Android? Read why warehouses and distribution centers quickly identified Google’s OS as the preferred successor to Windows for optimization.
Deciding Was The Easy Part
Many companies recognized the need to adjust their warehouse operations without delay after the Microsoft announcement, for the reasons listed above and many more. But a full migration entails a multitude of details and is prone to potential roadblocks between the initial decision and full implementation. Once implemented, there are additional considerations to be made to maintain and further optimize these new warehouse operation systems.
When transitioning to an Android warehouse management system, organizations should consider the requirements needed by their mobile workforce, the IT department and even developers. Data will need to be transferred, new devices acquired, applications rewritten and new technologies that bring additional functionality could be added for a competitive edge. Security should also play a role as new warehouse operations impact several items in their purview, like additional devices, points of entry, data safeguarding, industry requirements and company protocols.
Here are some of the considerations for organizations to ponder as they complete their migration process and begin dialing in on future optimization of their warehouse operations.
The Process is Ongoing
Warehouses tend to move more slowly than other sectors when adopting new technology. Further, these changes are likely to move at an incremental, if consistent, pace. Legacy devices, even today, are still in widespread use, and outdated or older equipment is often used to outfit temporary workers.
As the transition period ends, the need for further optimization increases. Organizations will need a dedicated partner to plan out the next steps, procure the needed advancements, and eventually coordinate the sunset of existing warehouse mobility technology.
The Big Picture
Many organizations have taken the opportunity presented by ‘forced’ migration to adopt an enterprise-wide mobility management policy and practices. At the same time, some companies are implementing enterprise mobility management systems to manage devices, workflows, and security. Wrangling disparate systems under one management system improves responsiveness and adaptability at every step of migration — including after the process is complete.
Consumer-grade or Ruggedized?
Some warehouse operations have begun providing workers with lower-cost, consumer-friendly devices in order to get them up to speed quickly as the interface and usability options included are familiar to their own personal devices. However, ruggedized handheld devices are still a priority for many companies; this is a company-by-company decision to be made based on issues of functionality vs. durability.
Weighing the pros and cons of each, and acquiring the devices to implement your organization’s ultimate approach, is a key point for ongoing optimization after migration to an Android warehouse management system.
Mobile Device Management
This includes software solutions that allow IT administrators to deploy, secure, monitor, integrate, and manage a variety of devices in the workplace from a central admin console. Every business should have a strategy in place to protect the integrity of the company network and its data. Such security concerns should be baked into any Android warehouse management system as mobile security threats continue to rise and compliance requirements increase to meet them.
After migration, security is improved with new devices featuring regular updates and patches. Centralized management of all those devices is a key component of future optimization, ongoing security, and efficiency.
Learn More from TRG: Learn how essential non-traditional IT systems security needs are used today to safeguard access to your network and the Internet in general.
Let TRG Helm Your Migration to an Android Warehouse Management System
At TRG, we’re committed to “Making Technology Simple” — specifically within enterprise mobility, point of sale and payment processing solutions. With the industry’s most comprehensive suite of lifecycle management services, our complete line of warehouse and distribution solutions help your organization implement a warehouse optimization migration — and continued optimization — with minimal disruption and an eye on future-proofing further efforts.
When you work with TRG, you gain the services of the one provider with a global reach capable of providing solutions for everything dealing with mobile technology. We’re aligned with qualified suppliers of dependable and innovative Android devices to give you options for optimization during and after your migration process.