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Reduce TCO with Rugged Wireless Mobile Computers

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Reduce TCO with Rugged Wireless Mobile Computers

Appolis is pleased to introduce our partner and guest blogger: 

Intermec – manufacturer of ruggedized wireless mobile computers.

Most of us, in an effort to optimize our personal lives, own a mobile device. Whether you use a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, choosing the right mobile device is critical.  Since these consumer-grade devices tend to be inexpensive, easy-to-use, and can withstand minimal daily abuse, it is often tempting to deploy these devices for business purposes, neglecting their rugged counterparts.  Consumer-oriented devices and ruggedized enterprise mobile computers are made for separate markets, are designed for different tasks, and also vary by their size, weight and materials. But the biggest difference between these device types is their total cost of ownership (TCO).  Organizations can’t afford to overlook this important difference in challenging times when all costs are under scrutiny and funds for new equipment are oftentimes limited.  According to independent research, despite their lower purchase price, smart phones and PDAs cost much more to own and operate than ruggedized mobile computers in service, delivery, retail, WMS for distribution and WMS for manufacturing.  In fact, the average annual TCO for consumer-oriented PDAs and smart phones used for business is over 40 percent higher than that for enterprise-grade ruggedized handheld computers.  Understanding TCO differences is essential to choosing the device that will provide the most value for your WithoutWire™ warehouse management system (WMS) and inventory applications within Microsoft Dynamics GP, AX, NAV or SL as well as any other ERP system.


So what should you look for?  Many factors determine the TCO of mobile computers, but none are more important than longevity and reliability.  The length of time devices can be kept in service, and the uptime they provide during their life cycle, determines the value and ROI they provide.  Independent data shows that longevity goes up with each level of ruggedness, and TCO goes down.  “Soft costs,” such as support time, lost productivity, and device maintenance have a much greater impact on total cost of ownership than hardware acquisition costs, which account for only eight to 27 percent of TCO.  While ruggedized devices typically cost more initially, the additional spend is worthwhile as it extends and protects the investment for months and years beyond the time when non-ruggedized devices would need to be replaced.  Whether a field application or within the 4 walls, devices such as Intermec’s CN70 provide longer battery life of 16-18 hours straight out of the box, durability of an 8 foot drop spec to decrease repairs and replacement, and even the ability to withstand the wettest environments, including submersion!


Clay Larkin

Business Manager | Intermec |


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