Mobile device management (MDM) solutions provide a centralized way to secure, monitor, manage and support mobile devices. While those benefits are most evident in widely dispersed workforces (as in field service or delivery applications), these software solutions can provide just as much value in a warehouse or distribution center.
In fact, most of the key benefits of MDM are easily transferable from field-based to the warehouse. Those benefits include:
Better Software Management: Mobile device management solutions can provide over-the-air distribution of software applications, data, and configuration settings, which means IT can refresh the devices while they are in use rather than having staff interrupt their workdays for updates. Faster software provisioning reduces unnecessary downtime in the warehouse and avoids IT overtime since they won’t have to stay after hours to manually manage those updates
Better Central Management and Reduced IT Costs: For organizations that operate multiple facilities on a campus or in different geographic areas, a central IT organization can support and maintain a full fleet of mobile devices no matter where they happen to be located. This can help minimize on-site IT requirements so that local staff can concentrate on their other duties, while a central, specialized support staff can more efficiently maintain the mobility solution for multiple facilities.
Improved Security: Mobile device management solutions provide a way to ensure that each device has the proper security software installed and that passwords and encryption are properly utilized. If a device is lost or stolen, IT can remotely wipe any sensitive data. IT can also rapidly deploy security fixes and lock down all or specific mobile devices in the case of a breach. In some instances, you can even track devices in real time throughout the facility to ensure they don’t leave specific work areas.
Remote Troubleshooting and Repair: If there is a problem with a device, the employee doesn’t have to physically walk the equipment back to an office. IT can remotely view the device and potentially even solve the problem without creating any downtime for the employee. IT can monitor memory and performance, as well as the health of the wireless network to proactively address potential failures.
Improved Lifecycle Management: Mobile device management solutions allow you to keep an accurate inventory of all of your mobile devices. You can also better manage the hardware through its lifecycle because you know how long each device has been in service, its maintenance history, and when it is due for upgrades or replacement.
Better Control over Applications and Device Profiles: While end users in “bring your own device” (BYOD) organizations may balk at IT having too much control over their personal devices during work hours, warehouse devices are in almost all cases the property of the company. MDM allows complete control over which applications are present on the device and which apps are blacklisted. If a device fails, the device image or profile can quickly be accessed and re-loaded.
Improved Multi-Platform Support: While most warehouses use the same mobile devices throughout their operations, there can still be a variety of vehicle-mount, fixed-mount, hand-held and other computers on site from different vendors and, in some cases, running different operating systems. Mobile device management makes it easier to centrally manage and maintain a mixed-device environment.
Mobile device management (MDM) solutions can help keep your mobile applications from overwhelming the IT department. Even in a warehouse environment, central control and monitoring of the device fleet can provide substantial benefits that ensure your mobile solution continues to provide a return on investment.