By: Tom Miller, Lt. Col (Ret) MI State Police; Director, Government Market Strategy, Motorola Solutions
Each and every year, I look forward to the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) conference in Las Vegas, with anticipation. This year we will be highlighting and showcasing some of the latest advancements in Public Safety as well as MOTOTRBO two-way radio portfolio.
I welcome you to join me March 24-27, 2014 to share in innovations that will continue to help keep our cities safer while revolutionizing the wireless communications world with updated technology advancements. I find that at IWCE there are many opportunities to not only network with industry leaders, but receive further education on topics such as the future of LTE and LMR. We will be showcasing an LTE Deployable Trailer, as well as advances to our MOTOTRBO two-way radio portfolio.
We can further explore and dig deep down into how these are two very distinct and different technologies that provide different capabilities and, for the foreseeable future, organizations may need both LTE and LMR in joint collaboration and what that means.
I will be presenting on two panel sessions focusing on: “Backhaul and Big Data: Getting Large Files Where They Need to Be” and “LMR and LTE: A Multi-Network Architecture for Future Communications” and would like to personally invite you to join me. Throughout the week, many of my Motorola colleagues will be presenting on some of these various panels:
If you are at the show, please stop by the Motorola Booth (#5021) to see all of our innovative demonstrations. If you can't make the IWCE show, catch our Twitter feeds at @MotoSolutions, @MotPublicSafety and follow us with hashtag #IWCE2014 to get live information right from the show floor.
Tom Miller was Lt. Col (Ret) MI State Police and is now Director, Government Market Strategy for Motorola Solutions.
Read other blogs by Tom here.
Remember getting Lego sets as a kid? The box always had something specific to create, anything from a dump truck to the Millennium Falcon. If you were like me, rarely did what was on the box actually get built. I used the Legos to build my own custom creations. That is what is so great about those little plastic bricks; they let imaginations run wild thanks to their modularity.
This concept of “modularity”, the degree to which systems components may be separated and recombined, is not just being leveraged by Lego. PC manufacturers, mobile computing manufacturers and even home builders (with modular homes) have embraced the concept. So what’s the deal? Why would someone want to piece together a solution instead of buying an integrated one?
Modularity may not be for everyone, but in those cases where it makes sense it can offer indisputable advantages. Taking mobile computers as an example, here are a few of the benefits that come with a modular design:
Amanda Honig is Manager, Enterprise Product & Solutions Marketing for Motorola Solutions.
Watch Amanda demonstrate the modularity of the new Workabout Pro 4 in this video.
See how the modules swap in and out on the Workabout Pro 4 in the Product Tour here.
Motorola Solutions offers a wide range of modular products including handheld mobile computers, vehicle-mounted mobile computers and even wireless access points to help you customize our solutions to your unique needs, manage uncertainty and lower your total cost of ownership.
By Richard Orgias
For many businesses, supply chains represent not just a means of satisfying customer demand but a way to differentiate themselves from the crowd. Whether your business is manufacturing goods, growing corn, extracting a natural resource or selling shoes, the ability to optimize processes within your supply chain provides an opportunity for differentiating yourself in the marketplace.
Increasingly a wide range of companies across a broad range of industries are also making mobile technologies a key tool in their business operations. Mobility brings a whole new set of capabilities to the table and can be a real catalyst for improving business processes. And of course many of these processes sustain and ultimately determine the health of your supply chain or the strength of your role in an even bigger chain that supplies products and services to end-users.
In a recent McKinsey article entitled Next frontiers for lean, the authors describe how the lean philosophy can translate in to greater value in business areas outside operations and industries outside manufacturing. At the core of the argument is the ability to improve processes. With mobile devices playing a greater role in processes, it stands to reason that optimizing the utilization of those devices can have a positive impact on the business process it is a part of.
For many enterprises that have incorporated or are contemplating using rugged devices in their business process, the next logical question should be how do I ensure that I get the most out of that investment? Very quickly, the answer points to your ability to effectively optimize your device environment. This in itself may not be as straightforward as it seems. It might seem that device management is the obvious answer but that would address only part of the issue. Since the devices are participating in processes, it becomes important to look at device related issues that impact overall process efficiency. This is where factors like device utilization, traceability, and compliance come in to play.
Your ability to maintain the operational readiness of your mobile device environments requires a way to not only monitor and manage the physical performance characteristics of devices but also a way to identify and address issues that may impact device performance. A simple example would be around an area like battery management which has as much to do with how users comply with device maintenance policies as it does with the physical condition of batteries themselves. Identifying, isolating root cause and fixing the process requires a more comprehensive approach to the problem.
This type of problem lends itself to a services-based solution, one that employs not just tools but people employing assessment techniques and data that can point the way to solutions that are often unique to each customer’s situation. Motorola Solutions addresses this emerging problem with a service called Mobility Lifecycle Management, which places its focus on all of the connected processes required to establish and maintain operationally effective mobile device environments.
While your end customer may not have much interest in the specifics of how their shoes, shampoo, car, or gasoline got to them, the process that got it there is worth optimizing. And in a world so dependent on mobility, that means optimizing the mobile device environments which underpin so much of our today’s supply chains.
Richard Orgias is Senior Manager, Enterprise Services Marketing at Motorola Solutions, Inc.
Visit our website to explore Managed Services from Motorola Solutions.
Take a tour of Mobility Lifecycle Management.
Read additional blogs by Richard Orgias.
By Mike Wills
Today marks the start of MODEX 2014, the industry’s newest expo for the manufacturing and supply chain industries. The event takes place through March 20, 2014 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Stop by and visit Motorola Solutions at booth #3527. I also personally invite you to join Eric Douglas, CIO of OHL, Mark Wheeler, Manufacturing Customer Solutions Manager, and me for an interactive discussion on the future of warehousing this afternoon.
WAREHOUSING 2018: THREE KEY TECHNOLOGY TRENDS
Date: Monday, March 17, 1:30 – 2:15 p.m.
Location: Theatre A (on the show floor)
More than 65% of warehouses plan to expand technology investments by 2018. With increasing pressure to produce more, faster and with fewer resources, supply chain organization are shifting their views and technology investments. In this session, we will explore the top three technology trends that will drive warehouse and distribution centers to be seen as an asset that can drive growth and profits, not just a means to do business.
After this session, join us back at the Motorola booth to learn more about technologies that are enabling intelligent production on the plant floor, flawless fulfillment in the warehouse and meeting dynamic customer demands in the field. You will also see the new Workabout Pro 4 rugged mobile computer, one of the industry’s most modular products – enabling businesses to customize the device to meet their mobile worker’s specific needs.
Mike Wills is Vice President, North America Manufacturing Sales, Motorola Solutions.
Read other blogs by Mike here.
For more information on what Motorola Solutions is featuring at MODEX 2014 for Supply Chain, Manufacturing, T&L, and Warehouse, please visit http://www.motorolasolutions.com/promo/modex.
Mobile Solutions from Motorola Solutions
By Amit Arora
The Caped Crusader had so many gadgets for fighting crime. And he kept many of them on his utility belt, which was the coolest thing when we were kids playing superheroes. In those days, it was fun to have a bunch of toys on your belt as you ran around saving the neighborhood from bad guys. When you’re working in manufacturing, supply chain, and warehousing, however, it’s not quite so fun to have a lot of gadgets on you all the time. But devices like two-way radios and barcode scanners are vital for staying connected and keeping track of inventory, so the utility belt has been a mainstay for many workers.
Two-way radios are an indispensible tool for industries in which immediate communication is the key to increased productivity, and Push-to-Talk (PTT) has enabled instant and simple communication. Still, other devices are necessary, so the dreaded belt remains.
Thankfully, technology that enables PTT within the four walls is undergoing a transformation. Plant floor, manufacturing, and supply chain operations are looking for solutions that enable not just PTT and telephony, but also help manage staff and provide instant access to information via applications such as barcode scan and inventory look up. In order to meet this demand, technology companies now offer comprehensive solutions that include voice and data applications on multi-functional ruggedized mobile computers.
With the maturity of voice over IP and QoS-enabled wireless infrastructure, more and more enterprises are enabling PTT using multi-functional devices over their existing wireless network (WLAN). A simple deployment uses IP based multicast technology to offer up to 32 talk groups without the need for any specialized hardware in the store. A more sophisticated deployment can offer up to 255 talk groups with the help of a server in a data center. Each talk group can be assigned to a different department. Workers can send PTT notifications by selecting the desired talk group and can respond to PTT notifications by responding to all subscribers or to an individual subscriber of the group. Some solutions also allow private one to one calls or instant broadcasts to all talk groups simultaneously, which is especially useful in case of emergencies.
To help ease the transition to PTT over WLAN, vendors often offer solutions, such as a Radio Link Server (RLS), to bridge communication between IP based PTT and the traditional two way walkie-talkie radios. These solutions are especially useful in deployments where workers inside the warehouse need to communicate reliably with staff on the outside, where WLAN coverage may not be available.
PTT deployment over WLAN helps reduce cost of ownership and maintenance with minimal training required for end users. It enables workers to use multi-functional mobile computers for immediate communication and information lookup, thereby increasing productivity and improving ROI. In fact, the next time you’re in the warehouse, talking to a picker or a manager, look for the all–in-one mobile device for PTT and you’ll notice: no utility belt!
Amit Arora is Offer Manager, Staff Communications and Management Solutions, Motorola Solutions.
Motorola Solutions is at MODEX 2014. Please visit us in booth #3527 to experience our technology solutions for supply chain professionals, or online: http://www.motorolasolutions.com/promo/modex.
Read “Enjoy a Better Shopping Experience Thanks to VoWLAN,” also by Amit.
Is it time for your warehousing operation to pick a new direction in voice and multi-modal picking solutions?
By Mark Wheeler
Having dedicated the majority of my long career to developing solutions for the warehouse industry, I am occasionally teased that my home may actually mimic an actual warehouse. Instead of a traditional front entrance, business associates joke that my home has a loading dock with large metal racks lining the walls where all of my belongings are properly organized in bins with barcode labels. Family members tease me by saying that each room has its own location tag, and all assets in my home are inventoried within my own personal WMS. My most common retort is, “Well, at least we never run out of anything!”
I want to assure everyone that, although I am deeply engrained within the warehouse industry, I do indeed live in a traditional home … and no, my second car is not a forklift.
All kidding aside, I am passionate about the industry. I’m continuously amazed at how the technologies that have been developed over time and are being deployed anew today are improving the operational effectiveness of today's distribution center operations. One of the key technology applications that has driven significant productivity gains within the material handling industry, and is entering into a new era of its own, is Voice-Directed Picking.
Voice-directed picking became truly viable in the late 1990s. Over the last decade, it has experienced a period of rapid innovation. This innovation is being driven by new solutions that address both earlier deployments’ limitations as well as provide additional features required for the future.
That Was Then. This Is Now.
Today, most organizations that have not yet adopted voice picking are investigating its applicability to their operations more closely than ever. The majority of organizations who have deployed voice picking are also demanding more out of their existing solution. Both groups want more advanced technology for order fulfillment that delivers greater visibility, productivity and value. Both are looking for solutions that provide workflow-optimized access to mobile data across picking, receiving, replenishment and loading, especially as task interleaving blends them together.
It’s no surprise that, according to a recent report by the Aberdeen Group, over 75 percent of current voice-picking adopters are considering a different hardware manufacturer. Ninety percent of the same group is planning to look for a new software provider during their next refresh cycle. It’s not hard to see why:
Voice Picking Revisited
The time is now to pick a new direction in voice and multi-modal solutions. At Motorola Solutions, we’re at the forefront in offering next generation voice picking and multi-modal solutions for warehouses of all types and sizes. Together with our world-class partners, we’ll help you upgrade your picking performance with the broadest portfolio of voice and multi-modal devices—from wearable and vehicle-mounted computers to ring scanner - which can move your current piece, case or pallet pick operations to new levels of efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Learn more about how our portfolio of powerful, cost-efficient voice picking and multi-modal devices and solutions and see how voice picking is finally reaching its fullest potential at http://www.motorolasolutions.com/pickanewdirection.
Mark Wheeler is the Director of Supply Chain Solutions - North America for Motorola Solutions