Material Handling trends and rugged mobile computers Interview with Handheld's Jim Rimay

3/7/2016 : article

Material Handling Wholesaler magazine asked people in varied sectors of the material handling industry what trends are on the horizon for 2016 and beyond. Handheld US Vice President of Sales, Jim Rimay was among the executives interviewed.

The industry that moves product has made its own mobility a high priority. That means using tablets or other devices on lift trucks or other machines. “Customers want to extend applications to wherever and whenever the work is done. This results in more accurate real-time information,” said Jim Rimay, vice president of sales for Handheld. “Everyone in the facility can be connected so that everyone can see what everyone else is doing. Just-in-time inventory in material handling really drives the need for real-time information.

“We’re finding that customers are looking to drive increased productivity with devices that allow multiple applications,” Rimay said. “They want to support legacy applications via terminal emulation, client server ERP apps and also newer browser-based cloud systems.”

“Applications are being migrated from single-use devices to multi-function ruggedized tablets. Tablet devices can be used for pick-n-pack or inventory cycle counting, and can be forklift-mounted, carried, or used kiosk-style,” Rimay said.

“Since Handheld offers a wide product line of rugged mobile computers, we work in many different industries. Some markets, electric utilities for example, have adopted mobile technology early and extensively. Others, say waste management and forestry, are just now widely deploying these types of devices to harness the productivity gains,” Rimay said. “Material handling industry has seen early wide-spread adoption, but is now fine-tuning the process and changing to newer cloud-based applications.”

“Offering multiple hardware platforms allows us to find the best ergonomic fit. And supporting both Windows and Android simultaneously provides the customer both flexibility and migration capabilities,” Rimay said. “By creating devices with broad appeal, we’re able to offer our rugged devices at prices that make them a great value.

On the horizon, “applications will develop that communicate in real-time with better endpoint connectivity and intelligence,” Rimay said.

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