One industry that relies heavily on rugged tablet devices is field service organisations. Rugged tablets can withstand any type of environment and perform much better than consumer-grade tablets.
Below, we’ve listed all the benefits of rugged tablets for field services, and just what markets they ultimately benefit.
If you’re considering using rugged tablets for your company, below are the reasons why – from helping with management and ensuring that all your data is safe and reliable.
Why field services benefit the most
As field service companies are automating their business processes, many have begun to realise the benefits of a rugged device.
Though the upfront cost of a consumer device seems like an excellent option for many, but as more information and benefits derive from rugged devices, more and more field service workers have opted for a rugged device.
They deliver excellent service in multiple sectors – including being reliable, versatile, and easily configurable. It makes them the perfect addition for such a vast and flexible field of work.
While consumer-grade tablets are cheaper, they don’t offer the same kind of protecting or processing power. For field services, rugged tablets provide much more and offer a sense of security that other devices cannot offer.
Field services are something of an umbrella term for many different markets. Below, we’ve listed just a handful of different markets in the industry, that will benefit from rugged tablets, in their own unique ways.
Public utilities – For managing customers, personnel, and any kind of regulatory requirements. Rugged tablets have proven to be exceptionally valuable in this line of work, ensuring maximum productivity, and helping with scheduling.
Telecommunications – For this line of work, a tablet that can withstand different types of work is essential. From on-foot jobs, in-vehicle, and in the office. Telecommunications needs constant access to all documents and data, regardless of where they are.
Maintenance and repair services – As well as offering the rugged benefits, these tablets will prove to be a financially savvy decision. With foreseeable budget cuts expected, it’s smart to start looking into ways to optimise resources, and save time.
Below, we’ve listed all the benefits of introducing a rugged tablet to your field service industry, and why these special tools stand out from the crowd.
One of the main ways that rugged tablets benefit the field service industry is by increasing productivity.
Not only is every task much more seamless, but there’s no stress or worry about lost data, inaccurate documents, or breaking of devices. The rugged tablets are reliable and provide all workers with real-time updates.
Rugged tablets are also built on a more modular platform, which allows varying degrees of customisation. This allows your tablet to be specifically designed for your specific needs – in ways that consumer devices just cannot achieve.
For instance, barcode scanning, POS systems, and other unique specifications are all available.
Rugged devices are well known for their ability to withstand drops and shocks. For telecommunications or other markets which require a lot of movement, this is especially important.
With drops and vibrations virtually inevitable when you’re travelling on-foot and driving, you must be teamed up with a device that can withstand any accidents.
All rugged tablets will come with specific ingress protection (IP), which determines how detrimental of a drop they can survive. Always check that your rugged device has been tested on concrete rather than a soft surface.
All rugged devices will also state the drop rate that they can survive. For some, this could be 1.2 meters, for others, it can reach 1.5 meters.
The rugged specification is more important for some field service operations than others. It all depends on your specific needs.
3. Waterproof and dustproof
On the topic of ruggedness, many devices are always able to survive any type of water damage. This differs slightly to a protective case, as they also protect from water-based solutions – take mud as an example.
Importantly, rugged tablets also protect from dust – a characteristic which is often overlooked. However, when not considered can prove detrimental to specific devices. Field services may be subject to a lot of dust and water, which requires a special kind of protection.
Again, this is more valuable to individual organisations than others. Always check the IP rating – which will give you a clear indication of just how much your device can survive.
For example, IP67 will protect heavily from all types of water and dust – making it perfect for extreme conditions of environments. However, if you do not need this level of safeguarding, a rating of IP54 may be the ideal choice for you.
The benefit of having a tablet, in general, is mobility. They’re the perfect middle ground between a phone and a computer – offering an extreme processing power, without the struggle of carrying around a hefty object.
In many field service organisations, devices that are mobile, flexible, and easy to carry are absolutely essential. With this, they benefit the workers, customers, and managers – increasing productivity, and enabling all data to be updated in real-time.
For example, maintenance and repair services can now use their rugged device like a mobile POS system. Not only beneficial to the customer, but also to the business.
5. Customer service
That nicely brings us to the point of customer service. Rugged devices have been proven to improve customer service and satisfaction levels due to their practical and convenient properties.
On this note, rugged devices can connect to 3G and 4G – helping with GPS, data updates, and real-time tracking. Of course, this proves to be a significant factor in field service organisations.
It’s also really beneficial for field service providers to have mobile POS systems, barcode scanning, and instant access to all documents and data.
6. Fuel costs
Field service organisations have an uncertain future, especially with budget cuts propping up. Rugged tablets have been known for their money-saving properties in all industries.
Did you know that rugged tablets total cost of ownership is much lower than a consumer-grade tablet, even if you received the latter for free?
Another way that rugged devices save field service businesses money is through fuel costs. With the help from GPS routing and real-time updates from the company, there’s no more wrong turns or pointless trips.
7. Data accuracy
We touched on this earlier, but it is such an essential point for field services to consider. In the past, data could get lost, fail to be updated, or be updated too late. Ultimately this caused problems through entire organisations and let down the customer, and may have lost many companies money.
Rugged tablets benefit multiple different industries with their ability to provide accurate, updated data instantly.
Rugged devices eliminate the possibility of duplicate work and keep everybody in the team focused – specifically on the right data.
8. Image capturing and barcode scanners
With a mobile device comes the benefit of the camera. Rugged devices give team members the possibility to capture images of broken or damaged items, with a no-questions claims processing. This ties in with productivity, eliminating downtime, and ultimately saving you money.
Rugged devices can also be fitted with a barcode scanner. Of course, cameras can be used for this, but if your service worker has to scan frequently – it’s best if they have professional applications.
Using a camera for barcode scanner has its difficulties, which may affect data accuracy and productivity.
9. Payment cycles
We’ve touched on the possibility of POS systems before, but they really are a fantastic benefit for many businesses.
With an accessory like POS systems available for rugged devices, payment cycles are accelerated and easily calculated. This helps for accounting purposes and also business purposes. It’s a fantastic extra to have, which has proven to be excellent for multiple different industries.
10. Battery life
Some features are just considered essential for field service management – GPS, 4G connectivity, and of course, a great battery life.
Many consumer-grade tablets do not boast an extraordinary battery life, which can cause companies to experience substantial downtime and reduce customer satisfaction.
Some of the latest rugged tablets claim to have a battery life of up to 20 hours, which is incredibly impressive, and also valuable for field service companies.
Rugged tablets offer users an array of tablets, which can profoundly impact field service industries. For example, dispatch, assent management, and shipping and receiving applications are all available.
As we mentioned, rugged devices are really easily customised and offer applications designed to make work more manageable and teams more productive.
There are even apps for workforce automation and resource optimisation.
Regardless of what type of field service market you’re in, rugged tablets prove to be a fantastic addition to your team. With an array of benefits and various customisation options, they can increase productivity, and help with every aspect of the job.
When prices pressures can positively impact individual decisions, a rugged tablet also proves to be a financially smart investment – courtesy of their many advantages.
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