By Charlotte A. F. Farley
Warehouses aren’t the simple operations they used to be. In the words of Bill Burns, senior vice president of Enterprise Visibility and Mobility, Zebra Technologies, they are evolving to tightly integrated profit centers as companies increasingly rely on analytics to drive business decisions. As companies find themselves relying on data more frequently, they seek better ways to collect data without sacrificing accuracy, efficiency, and time.
Zebra saw the relationship between decreasing worker fatigue and increasing production and sought to innovate a tool that would allow warehouses, third-party logistics, manufacturing, and back-of-store retail environments to see significant results. They recently introduced the TC8000 enterprise mobile computer, which is essentially a one-stop-shop: a handheld barcode scanner and Android-based mobile computer in one appliance. “The TC8000 will help warehouse workers be more efficient and deliver more accurate information, ultimately helping businesses operate more profitably,” said Burns.
The technology is perfect for warehouse management, price audits, store receiving, inventory management, voice-directed picking (VDP) and supply-line replenishment application. The lightweight scanner-computer, which is 33% lighter than traditional mobile computers, can be activated from a hip holster, presentation holster, or a cart mount. Thanks to its lighter weight, it reduces muscle fatigue and wrist motion, which in turn helps workers to be more productive.
TC8000 users not only have its lighter weight to their advantage, but they also have its ergonomic design and advanced technology to help them achieve greater gains in performance. The large screen eliminates the need to tilt and verify each scan, which shaves seconds off each repetitive motion and saves one hour per worker per shift, which turns into a 14 percent increase in productivity based on workflow. The screen can also capture multiple bar codes and entire forms with a single scan when coupled with Zebra’s SimulScan Document Capture. In addition to saving time, the TC8000 also increases accuracy by 60% owing to its oversized touch screen, which allows for faster data entry in industrial settings.
The company also integrated a tool that transforms the legacy Terminal Emulation (TE) “green screens” into elegant, graphics-based All-touch TE screens that are not only highly intuitive, but also dramatically reduce the number of interactions required to complete a task — no coding and no modifications to the host application required.
Several companies have already implemented the TC8000. Jeff Cashman of Manhattan Associates called the TC8000 “a smart, rugged and strikingly designed device that can help our customers increase associate engagement and realize next-generation productivity gains throughout their warehouses.” Jim Bonner, the general manager of Exel Logistics, tends to agree. He believes the TC8000 is a game changer in the warehouse. Bonner said, “our IT staff and warehouse operators have been testing the product and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive for its lightweight design and ease of use. Our operations managers and supervisors are expecting significant improvements in productivity. The innovative ergonomic design with the heads up display, and ease of use for new workers will quickly become the industry standard for warehouse mobile computing.”
The Bar Code News tested the TC8000 recently at the National Retail Federation show in NYC and was impressed with the unit. The new design eliminates the need to tilt and verify the scan. Zebra has another break through product in the TC8000.
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