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Indicators of Wireless Problems in the Warehouse & How to Fix Them

  
  
  
  

Wireless Services for the Warehouse

RMS Omega understands the importance of optimizing wireless technology to effectively manage warehouse operations. Their specialists draw on more than 17 years of corporate experience to help business owners make the right decisions about optimizing their existing wireless infrastructure. They work through a step-by-step process that has proven its worth for many satisfied customers.

Indicators of Wireless Problems

A poor wireless connection in the warehouse leads to inefficiencies and decreased productivity. Common indicators of problems with connectivity include:

Wireless Trouble
  • Inconsistencies in wireless service, depending on location within the warehouse or on the time of day

  • Scanners often lose signals and freeze when being used

  • Slowness of wireless transaction

  • Employees have to use workarounds to input data

  • Mobile devices often need rebooting

  • Wireless device batteries are not lasting an entire shift

Imagine the amount of downtime and the level of employee frustration in these situations. Such inefficiencies can also result in delays in supply chain processes which leads to dissatisfied customers. It is important to the company reputation and profitability that an efficient, cost-effective solution be implemented.

The Wireless Solution

The RMS Omega team has the expertise and technology to analyze the current situation, recommend and implement optimized solutions and test them to ensure success. They work with the company’s management, warehouse workers and IT personnel to follow a three step process:

  1. Site Mapping

The first step in correcting inadequate wireless coverage is to understand all the features of the existing system. RMS Omega begins the process by having an RF engineer map the existing system. This step includes:

  • Producing a heat map that shows the signal strength throughout the facility

  • Identifying location and type of wireless access points, power outlets and antenna information

  • Identifying other wireless systems that might be interfering

 Common problems affecting connectivity include:

  • Inadequate wireless capacity, probably not industrial strength technology

  • Physical barriers, both fixed and moving

  • Environmental conditions such as temperature fluctuations

  • Volume of wireless traffic

  • Poor quality or incorrectly installed hardware

RMS Omega also understands the importance of speaking with the managers and the employees who actually use the wireless devices to hear their perspective on operational problems. These workers might also describe workarounds they have developed in order to perform their tasks. Once RMS Omega has collected all pertinent information, it is time to analyze the situation.

  1. Analysis and Recommendation

An RF engineer and his team take all the information and data collected and analyze it in terms of the job that needs to be done. They can identify what works well and the areas that need to be improved. Any plans the business has for expansion or changes to the current facility or operation will also be taken into consideration. Then they will create an efficient, cost effective plan that builds on the existing system as far as possible.

RMS Omega has learned over the years that a signal strength as close as possible to -65 dB throughout the facility is the most effective. Achieving this standard usually means analyzing the capacity of each access point and making recommendations about its location and configuration. There might even be fewer access points needed once they are properly positioned.

The RF specialists will also check the mobile devices used by warehouse workers. They should be enterprise grade devices with the capacity and functionalities to meet the expectations of the job once they connect to a robust wireless network.

The team recognizes that optimization is not just about hardware and software. At times, they recommend updating the sequence in which work is completed, as well as changing a location in the warehouse or the device operator based on environmental factors that may affect the network. The recommended solution will be comprehensive and strategic.

  1. Optimization

When implementing the recommended solution, the RMS Omega team puts the plan into place to improve the performance of the wireless network. The usual steps are:

Fixing Wireless
  • Install equipment such as strategically positioned access points and antennae that will improve coverage

  • Inform or train employees, as necessary, to incorporate any changes into their routines

  • Test the wireless system for coverage during normal operations which might include continual movement of inventory and equipment or changes to the environment

  • Request feedback from managers and employees who use the system

  • Address any lingering mechanical or operational issues

  • Remap to ensure complete coverage

  • Provide maintenance through various cycles

The actual installation might be phased over time, especially if operational changes are part of the plan. RMS Omega can oversee all or part of the installation, depending on the capacity of the business to do some of the work themselves. Many businesses also contract with RMS Omega for ongoing support to maintain their wireless network at peak performance.

Benefits of Wireless Solutions in the Warehouse

A robust wireless infrastructure delivers excellent results including:Wireless Fixed

  • Reliable, consistent wireless coverage when and where it is needed

  • Faster and strong connectivity

  • Less downtime

  • Increased productivity

  • Elimination of employee frustration

  • Scalability to accommodate future expansion or change of facility or product

RMS Omega’s team of RF Technicians recommend Motorola Solutions Wireless LAN Access Points, Security, and Management Solutions. As a premier level partner, RMS Omega is fully trained and certified on Motorola Wireless Platforms to support secure data, voice, video and more throughout your warehouse.

For further information on a full service solution for wireless infrastructure in the warehouse, contact RMS Omega to start the discussion.

Learn more about RMS Omega's Wireless Services and Solutions.

Fixing Wireless Connections in 3 Simple Steps

  
  
  
  

If the wireless devices in your warehouse need constant rebooting, perform wireless transactions slowly, lose signal or freeze while in use, there's a good chance you're having problems with your wireless connectivity.  Your wireless connection can be fixed in just 3 steps! View the infographic below. 

Wireless Analysis and Optimization Infographic

Contact RMS Omega for help with your next wireless project!

RMS Omega offers the following professional wireless infrastructure services…

  • Consulting

  • Wireless Site Surveys and Installation

  • Wireless Infrastructure Installations

  • Site Analysis

  • System Staging & Configuration

  • Systems Integration

  • Cabling for Wireless Installations

  • Training

  • Project Management

  • Technical Support

Read more about the benefits of a Wireless Analysis and Optimization, or A&O.

Increasing Efficiency with Voice Applications in the Warehouse

  
  
  
  

Warehouse operators are always striving to increase productivity. Efforts to streamline operations often focus on the picking process, one of the main problem areas. RMS Omega is confident that a voice application in the warehouse is a cost effective, efficient solution.

Challenges in the Picking Process

Although warehouse operators appreciate the availability of mobile handheld devices to scan barcodes and send and receive written instructions for direct picking, there are still challenges to be overcome such as:

  • Inefficiencies in looking up and down from a screen to a bin or rack and holding a device while trying to maneuver an item or machinery

  • Inaccuracies in reading the original direction on the screen or piece of paper, verifying the pick and manually entering data on a keyboard or paper once the pick is made

  • Safety issues around focusing on a screen and not the warehouse environment which might include moving equipmentvoice

Voice Application Solutions

Although a voice application might seem like an obvious solution, RMS Omega recognizes the reluctance of some businesses to move in that direction. There have been concerns with many legacy voice systems about the costs of all new proprietary equipment and technology, lengthy deployment and extended training. However, the specialists at RMS Omega are confident they can provide customized, cost effective solutions with a demonstrable ROI.

 RMS Omega recommends products that include the following features:

    • Voice functionality easily integrated into existing systems, including extending legacy applications to mobile computers

    • Flexibility to work on various devices which might come from different manufacturers

    • Speech recognition engine robust enough to eliminate the need for individual voice profiles

    • Voice processing done on mobile devices so not tying up network capacity

    • Simple, fast deployment

    • Reliable connectivity

    • Speech-to-text and text-to-speech functionality for various regional dialects or other languages, as required

    • Low cost for licensing and maintenanceWT4090

Motorola's Wearable Terminal WT4090 is a hands free mobile computer that supports voice application software. With its rugged design and high performance platform, it is ideal for picking in a warehouse. The device easily connects to a ring scanner which allows your warehouse staff to work with both hands, maximizing productivity and increasing accuracy. 

Benefits of Warehouse Voice Applications

RMS Omega is always pleased to review the benefits of installing a voice application in a warehouse operation, including:

  • Streamlined process - Warehouse workers can move more quickly when they are retrieving product. Hands free devices allow them to focus on finding the item or pallet they are looking for instead of looking up and down from a screen to the bins and racks. Then they can use voice entry to provide and receive confirmation about the pick. There is no more picking up and putting down devices or stopping to make data entries on a screen.  The voice application is particularly effective in a complex operation where there is a large volume of picking functions, multiple moving parts such as conveyors and several people working together at the same time.WT4000

  • Increased accuracy - Voice instead of manual data entry reduces errors. Warehouse operators typically speak of 99% accuracy. This means little, if any time wasted correcting errors and the end result is increased customer satisfaction

  • Improved safety - Workers no long have to key information in a mobile computer. Using hands free and eyes free devices with headsets means employees can pay attention to their work environment.

  • Integration with existing equipment and systems - The most efficient voice solutions can be installed on existing mobile computers as long as they support a quality speech headset. This eliminates considerable capital costs for new hardware. It also reduces employee stress in learning how to use different equipment.

  • Multi-modal data input - Management can decide what modality is most efficient for the task. Not everything has to be voice. For example, it might be more intuitive and efficient to use the voice for picking, then use a wearable scanner to verify accuracy. The RMS Omega team works with businesses to review their processes and determine what function is best.

Beyond Picking

Besides the daily picking process in the warehouse, there are other useful applications for the voice functionality:

  • Any kind of data entry

  • Replenishment orders

  • Mobile inspection reports, even in the field

  • Yard management

RMS Omega’s professionals have more than 17 years of experience in reviewing warehouse operations, recommending the most efficient and cost effective solutions for a particular business and overseeing the installation and training.

For further information on a full service solution for voice in the warehouse, contact RMS Omega to start the discussion. 

"Time is Money" using Voice in the Warehouse - Infographic

  
  
  
  

Using rugged hand-held mobile devices are essential when it comes to automating a busy warehouse. But adding voice functionality to new and existing devices can make your operation much more efficient. View the infographic below to learn more!

Using Voice in the Warehouse Infographic

Contact RMS Omega for help deploying voice technology in your warehouse. 

Accurate Data Collection Starts with the Right Label - Infographic

  
  
  
  

Using the right labels and printing supplies is just the first step to reliable and accurate barcode scanning and printing. Learn more in the infographic below!

RMS Omega Consumables 03

Contact RMS Omega to learn more. Visit our website to learn more about labels, printing supplies and professional services.

Mobile Technology Solutions for Field Service - Infographic

  
  
  
  

Be sure your field workers have reliable devices.   Enterprise devices are rugged, easy to use, and provide real time data to all workers out in the field.

FieldServicsInfographic

For more information about enterprise devices for the mobile workforce, please contact us.

Mobile Technology Solutions for Field Service

  
  
  
  

The public face of many businesses is the front line service professional working in the field. Manufacturers of all kinds of equipment and appliances contract technicians to install, maintain and repair their products in businesses and residences.   Even the things everyone takes for granted like the maintenance and repair of the heating and cooling systems, electrical and plumbing found in homes and places of work deserve the best tools and resources to preform to the highest level.  fieldservices

These few examples are representative of a large workforce whose primary connection to their home offices, warehouses or service centers is their mobile device. This means the service they provide is only as good as their processes and resources.

RMS Omega Partners with Motorola & Zebra for Mobile Technology Solutions in Field Service

RMS Omega is well aware of the challenges of field services and works closely with trusted partners such as Motorola and Zebra Technologies to find technology solutions custom-designed to meet the needs of each client. Whether focusing on installation, maintenance or repair services, each business operates in a unique environment. The specialists at RMS Omega know how to ask the questions that elicit enough information to recommend specific solutions.

Challenges for Service Technicians in the Field

Nearly 75% of people making service calls to a business have a problem other than preventative maintenance. Something is wrong and they want it fixed   ̶   now! The goal is always to solve the problem on the first visit in order to keep the customers happy today and foster loyalty for tomorrow.

To nurture customer satisfaction, a qualified service technician needs to:

  • Receive accurate, complete work orders and any updates during the day
  • Arrive on time for the appointment
  • Travel with all necessary tools and common spare parts
  • Be able to scan barcodes for diagnostics on equipment or to capture readings
  • Have immediate access to stored information such as customer history, service manuals and back office resources to help resolve the problem
  • Access to real time prices and availability of parts, if necessary
  • Produce an invoice and process payment
  • Print receipts at site to give to the customer
  • Capture before and after photos
  • Communicate in real time with customers and corporate dispatch

Not every technician has to perform all these tasks, depending on his specific job. However, absolutely every service technician in the world has faced an angry customer who stayed home for a repair person who didn’t show up or who is told she has to wait a few days for a replacement part. Customers have high expectations of products and services. No service provider can afford to let them down.

Mobile Solutions

A well trained, well equipped technician is the gold standard in the service industry, especially if they has up to date technology to support their work. RMS Omega offers full service enterprise solutions for a mobile workforce.

Most popular are lightweight, user friendly, wireless computers. Although some are the size and appearance of a personal smartphone or tablet, they are loaded with enterprise functionalities. Such devices are multi functional, including:

  • Phone
  • Scanner
  • GPS
  • Camera
  • Access to customer files, technical manuals, and pricing guides
  • Inventory management
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Invoices/signatures
  • Processing payments

RMS Omega can design an end-to-end mobile technology system that reduces and usually eliminates customer frustrations. The bonus is that the front line service technicians can also have confidence they can access full support in completing their work orders.     

Always being connected is the new standard for service technicians in the field. They have continuous access to information. Also, supervisors and scheduling personnel can manage tasks and monitor location and productivity.

RMS Omega is pleased with the field performance of two rugged Motorola products:

Motorola TC55 Touch Computer

tc55

Android TM OS with location based apps, optimized routing and real time updatesThe pocket sized, all touch TC55 features:

  • Capacity for integrated data capture
  • Durability in industrial environments
  • High-quality, reliable 4G voice and data
  • Excellent audio
  • Readable in both bright sunlight and low-light conditions
  • User replaceable, long lasting battery

 Motorola ET1 Enterprise Tablet

et1

The business grade ET1 features:

  • Enhanced Android OS

  • Ultra strong Gorilla® glass touch screen but sensitive enough to use wearing gloves

  • Easy viewing for graphics, schematics, video and text

  • Video for real time linking with expert resources, if needed

  • Capacity for adding applications and accessories

  • Multi-user log-in function to accommodate several users

  • Secure data encryption

QLn220 media large1

Being able to print on the spot is important too.  This can be done with Zebra's QLn Mobile Printer Series. Print labels, receipts and invoices on site and on demand. Some features of the QLn series include:

  • Drop-resistant rugged direct thermal printing technology

  • Optional 2, 3, and 4-inch-wide printing

  • Print speeds up to 4 inches per second

  • Serial and USB ports

  • 5-way navigation buttons, two software defined keys

  • Printer alerts on the display, help menus

Benefits of Mobile Field Service Solutions

The enterprise service manager, the technician and the customer all benefit from the mobile technology solutions used for field service:

  • A technology system that distributes work orders and tracks technicians and workflow remotely saves both time and costs for driving to an office or service center

  • GPS function ensures the timely arrival of the technician at the business or home

  • Real time access to all necessary customer information, warranty and service agreements, equipment data and available inventory increases point of service efficiency with higher productivity and less downtime

  • The manager can monitor and adjust workflow and workforce remotely for optimum efficiency

  • Time saved results in an increased number of service calls in a day complete with their billings and payments

  • Durable devices such as Motorola rugged computers and Zebra mobile printers mean fewer breakages and less downtime and replacement costs

When a business provides state of the art mobile technology to its service technicians in the field, it is setting the scene for service efficiencies throughout the organization and an increased profitability. More importantly, it is increasing customer satisfaction in the long term. RMS Omega is proud to support such forward thinking enterprises in honoring a sustainable commitment to service excellence. 

Contact us today for more information! We are happy to assist you with your mobile workforce and field services technology needs.

Consumable Solutions for all of your Labeling Needs

  
  
  
  

Successful data collection technology is highly dependent on the quality of its software and hardware. However, there are essential consumable products such as labels and ribbons that are critical to data capture. RMS Omega has more than 17 years of experience in helping organizations choose the best products for their particular operations.

110alientag medium resized 600

To be functional, barcode and RFID labels need to be legible, scannable and able to stay attached to the item. Although the quality of the printer and scanner can impact the functionality of the label, compliant readability usually begins with the characteristics of the label or tag itself. It pays to take the time to consult with experts such as the specialists at RMS Omega for help in choosing the right product for each situation.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Barcode and RFID Labels

No matter what the business, there are always challenges to the performance of the label. RMS Omega understands how important it is to go through a checklist for each kind of operation to identify possible risks. Such detailed up front work means that the decisions made will prevent problems and protect the labels.

1. Environment

QLn420 MovetoStockLabel large resized 600Whether it is a hospital lab processing specimens or a warehouse receiving, storing and shipping items, the environment itself can compromise the integrity of the labels:

  • Direct sunlight

  • Extreme temperatures

  • Moisture

  • Underwater

  • Exposure to chemicals

  • Dirt

2. Processes

lab vial labeling large

Some processes are particularly hard on labels, including:

  • Sterilization

  • Freezing

  • Autoclaves

  • Centrifuges

  • X-rays and other imaging

3. Unique Specifications

Supplies Jewelry 5MParticular operations might have special requirements such as:

  • Speed requirements for processing

  • Volume of preprinted labels

  • Size of items to be labeled

  • Kinds of surface that resist adhesion

  • Format such as wristbands for patient identification

  • Storage space difficult to access for scanning

  • Safety and security issues

No one wants inaccurate test results, lost shipments, inefficient production, or non-compliance due to degrading barcode or RFID labels. In order to prevent or eliminate such a risk, there must be a thorough discussion of the typical environments and the handling, storage and transportation processes.  The more information considered the more effective is the decision about the kind of label and printing process.

Barcode Labeling Optionslabels

There is a wide range of barcode and RFID product options for the actual labels. RMS Omega can arrange to meet any and every need with a cost effective, high quality labeling solution. After a thorough review of the environment, the following products might be suggested:

  • Cold storage labels with cold-temp permanent acrylic adhesive which will adhere to plastic and can resist moisture if going through freeze and thaw cycles

  • FDA compliant labels for direct and indirect contact with food

  • Reflective labels for long range laser scanning of upper level racks

  • Labels with adhesive that works on oil, greasy or dirty surfaces

  • Labels for healthcare facilities and laboratories to withstand sterilization, autoclaves, centrifuges, UV light, X-rays and MRI

  • Labels with permanent acrylic adhesive that can adhere to the small curved surface of a specimen vial

  • Wristband labels for accurate patient identification and safety

  • Pre-printed labels with variable data and barcodes

  • Digital artwork to make the product stand out

  • Cover-up labels for misprints, price reductions or any other changes to data

RFID Labeling OptionsRFID media alien color large resized 600

For some operations, it is more efficient to use RFID labels that provide information through radio waves at various frequencies. The RFID technology can be passive, waiting to be read, or can be actively transmitting data. Unlike barcode labels, the RFID labels can be read without being in the sight line of the reader. An RFID solution is particularly useful in these situations:

  • Use of UHF tags for capturing data from a distance or behind other items

  • Very rapid data collection and aggregation on stock levels, location and any other information requested

  • Harsh environments with excessive dirt, dust, moisture, and extremes of temperatures

  • Security for high mobile items such as library books or retail inventory

Thermal Transfer Ribbon Options

ribbons group large

Both barcode and RFID data can be printed on direct thermal labels or thermal transfer labels. With the direct thermal solution heat is applied directly to the surface of the chemically coated surface of the label, producing the image. In the thermal transfer process, a durable polyester ribbon coated with dry thermal transfer ink is placed between the printer head and the label. The ink is then melted onto the surface of the label when it adheres as it cools. The ribbon is peeled away, leaving a stable, passive image.

It might appear that the possibilities are endless and overwhelming. However, the team at RMS Omega knows how to navigate the options. They first develop a profile of the operational processes, volume of items needing labels, actual data to be captured, type of ribbon needed for printer, layout of the facility, any environmental concerns and any safety and security issues. 

Then, they consider the costs of these consumable products. All options are analyzed for cost effectiveness calculated according to the volume of labels needed, special features that are requested and various degrees of quality. Also, the labels and thermal transfer ribbons should be compatible with existing printers and scanners so there are not unnecessary hardware costs for startup.

Only at that point are the RMS Omega specialists prepared to scan the products provided by their trusted manufacturer partners and recommend a labeling solution. They can also set up an auto-ship or on-demand system to keep the customer supplied with labels and ribbons so they never run out of these essential consumable supplies.

RMS Omega recommends premium printing supplies and labels from Zebra Technologies. Genuine Zebra supplies provide the largest selection of pre-tested, high-quality labels, tags, receipt paper, wristbands, cards and ribbons designed for virtually any application. Contact RMS Omega for assistance selecting the right supplies for your business.  

For further information on a full service solution for labeling consumables, contact RMS Omega.

ZEBRA PF PremierPartner ColorTab

 


A Professional Grade Android™ Device for the Enterprise.

  
  
  
  

TC70 410x510 new

Meet the Symbol TC70 by Motorola Solutions. 

Motorola Solutions has unveiled the Symbol TC70 touch computer - the industry’s first enterprise-class mobile computer running the Android KitKat operating system. The new device includes Motorola’s Extensions (Mx), a series of features that transform Android™ from a consumer operating system and allow enterprise-class security and device management, as well as support for enterprise data capture capabilities.

Innovative Features of the Symbol TC70 Touch Computer:

  • Running on Android KitKat – optimized for the enterprise.

  • Advanced Data Capture – Motorola’s most advanced scanning engine, 40% faster and 50% wider range than its predecessor. Capture 1D and 2D barcodes in virtually any condition, all at lightning speed.

  • Dual sided camera - 8 MP camera enables easy capture of high-resolution photos, signatures, videos, video conferences and more.

  • 4.7 inch Gorilla Glass 2 High Resolution Intelligent Display - touch screen automatically adjusts to a gloved finger or stylus on the go.

  • Workforce Connect allows clear Push-to-Talk communications out of the box - use your current wireless system.

  • Best in class audio with three microphones and advanced noise canceling technology.

  • Rugged – Operates after 6ft drops to concrete and 2000 consecutive tumbles. With an IP67 sealing, the device is also submersible in water.  

  • The PowerPrecision removable battery provides 2 to 3 times the life of a consumer smart phone.  

  • Payment capability – Process mobile payments via a magnetic strip reader.

  • Robust and flexible accessory family for a multitude of business needs, including a trigger handle for inventory and high volume scanning, carrying solutions, charging cradles and cables, headsets and more. 

Extensions (MX) by Motorola solutions - All the enterprise class features you need in Android:

Motorola MX Features

 Watch a short video:

Read the full press release from Motorola Solutions. 

Get all the facts! Download a spec sheet.

Interested in the TC70? Contact us! We're happy to answer your questions and help to make sure you select the right device for your business.

New Device Adds Enterprise-Class Scanning to Tablets & Mobile Devices

  
  
  
  

cs4070 sr 100Workers using tablets, laptops, and smartphones all share a common challenge: the consumer-grade camera used to capture barcodes on these devices makes scanning slow and difficult. If scanning barcodes on your consumer grade devices have become tedious and inefficient, we'd like to introduce you to Motorola's new Symbol CS4070-SR Companion Scanner.

The CS4070-SR is an affordable pocket-sized wireless device with advanced barcode scanning technology. It easily connects to your mobile device or laptop computer, allowing workers to capture virtually any 1D or 2D barcode in any condition. The CS4070-SR provides the flexibility to capture barcodes displayed on the screen of a computer or mobile phone or printed on a label, even when the barcodes are damaged, dirty, poorly printed, or scratched.

With long range and omni-directional scanning, you'll get true point-and-shoot simplicity, no matter how many times a day workers need to scan. Plus, with enterprise-class drop, tumble, and sealing specifications, users can count on durable reliable operation, all day, every day.

Enterprise scanner for tablets

Innovative Features of CS4070-SR:

  • Wireless scanning for multiple mobile operating systems including iOS, Android, and Windows

  • PRZM Intelligent Imaging technology reduces processing time and provides faster data capture

  • Easy Bluetooth pairing to any mobile device 

  • Long, reliable battery life for full shift power

  • Point-and-shoot scanning simplicity

  • Scan virtually any barcode on any medium

Download a datasheet to learn more about the pocket-sized scanner, or visit our website.

Interested in the CS4070-SR for your workforce? Contact us to test a demo unit or request a quick quote! 

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