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Want To Improve Supply Chain Traceability? Adopt Rugged Tablets

As the manufacturing ecosystem gets increasingly complex, achieving traceability across the supply chain has become a Herculean task. Tracing the history, application, or location of different entities by means of recorded identifications is critical to get insight into the various steps in the manufacturing process. Such traceability not only helps in identifying problems or improving processes but also in ensuring compliance and protecting brand integrity.

But given how complicated and dispersed supply chains are today and given the infinite number of serialised items across the manufacturing landscape, improving supply chain visibility requires establishing a robust traceability system that rugged tablets can provide.

The significance of traceability

Customers today expect high-quality products. If the products do not meet the required quality standards, a replacement is sought, which further adds to the overall costs.

Ensuring high-quality products reach customers in time requires manufacturers to have a robust traceability system in place that

  • Provides real-time insight into where the product exactly is in the supply chain.
  • Unearths critical details on product issues and recalls – early in the lifecycle – while allowing them to determine the root cause of problems, build corrective action plans, and identify areas for improvement.
  • Provides right traceability data to allow manufacturers to constantly monitor their supply chains and quickly respond to issues in production processes – irrespective of whether the issue is a result of an engineering change order or an unexpected supplier defect.
  • Enables shortening of the manufacturing cycles by uncovering inefficient processes or repetitive work while minimising errors, reducing waste, and eliminating non-value-adding activities.

By containing risk to a smaller sample of finished products, manufacturers can successfully reduce recall costs while also bringing the total product cost down by a large margin.

Traceability also helps manufacturers comply with the required compliance standards across different markets such as aerospace, automotive, and medical while mitigating the costs and repercussions of violations.

The role of rugged tablets

When it comes to establishing a modern traceability system, rugged tablets play a great role in enhancing production efficiency, streamlining warranty and recall, improving product quality, and ensuring regulatory compliance.

By quickly detecting production problems and inefficiencies in the supply chain, they help drive significant qualitative and quantitative improvements that impact profitability: right from improved inventory accuracy, reduced errors, and minimised supply shortages.

Here’s how you can use rugged tablets to improve supply chain traceability :

1. Enhanced mobility :

Manufacturers and suppliers that manage huge warehouses and production lines need to have the right information in hand, at the right place, at the right time to make critical business decisions. Right from updating information on their ERPs to filling forms, scanning barcodes, and approving requests – rugged tablets make it easy for managers and supervisors to carry out all these activities on the shopfloor – without being tied to their seats.

2. Industrial grade :

Unlike consumer-grade tablets that are built for consumer applications, rugged tablets are built to operate in environments beyond home and office. Being industrial-grade, they are strong and resilient, and drive far more ROI than normal consumer tablets, with longer lifespans. These tablets can efficiently run across different environments such as extreme heat and freezing temperatures and offer several use cases across warehouse management, field operations, and auditing.

3. Easy-to-use :

Built using popular operating systems like Windows and Android, these rugged tablets are extremely easy to use. Offering capabilities across Wi-Fi, RFID scanners, and advanced reporting, they make it easy for managers and foremen to monitor manufacturing processes, execute commands remotely, and have access to all the data they need to efficiently run the production line.

4. Long battery life :

Because rugged tablets are made to operate in rugged and harsh environments, they are extremely durable and provide all-day runtime – with the option to extend battery life with extra packs. This allows supervisors in warehouses and manufacturing plants to gain extended visibility into manufacturing operations. Field workers can also easily go on with their daily jobs - without worrying about the battery running out or rushing to constantly charge their devices.

5. Tailored :

Rugged tablets can also be tailored to suit the specific needs of the business and adapt to specific ways of working. From product inspections to inventory management, shop floor auditing to maintenance and repair; purpose-built tablets can perfectly match specific use cases: organisations can add a keyboard, attach an extra battery, or integrate a scanner to fit their business requirement and achieve the visibility they need across the supply chain – from virtually anywhere.

Supply chain issues cost manufacturers dearly, as they have far-reaching implications on customer satisfaction, business reputation, product recalls, and profitability. To ensure every process on the supply chain is efficient, managers and supervisors need sufficient traceability and accountability across inventories, production lines, freight, and assets.

Rugged tablets help manufacturers track every operation, and ensure they are not deviating from standard specifications. By enabling real-time visibility into the supply chains of field organisations, utilities, mining, and oil and gas industries, they help in adhering to quality standards while ensuring compliance with environmental and process obligations across all market segments and regions.