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What to Consider when Choosing Mobile Devices

What type of method is your company currently using to track inventory and shipments? Are they relying on the paper and pencil method? Or has an inventory management system been implemented? If your company is running an automated inventory management system, there may have been some discussion debating which option is better for the company, bring-your-own-device (also known as BYOD) or industrial handhelds.

With today’s technology, there are many options to choose from including tablets, smartphones, and handheld scanners. Which option is the best for your company? When considering what mobile device to purchase, evaluate your work environment. The choice of device should reflect how your company is planning on utilizing the technology.

Here are some questions that you should think about when analyzing what type of device would work best for your company:

  • Security concerns?
    • Security concerns are valid. Personal smartphones and tablets can create a security risk. Securing data is a challenge but by using forms of encryption, enhancing network security plans, installation of antivirus, and the right to conduct a “phone wipe” can all help decrease the risk. Weigh both the risks and rewards of allowing BYOD devices – which is greater?
  • What type of Environment will the devices be used in?
    • Harsher environments (e.g. hazardous chemicals and extreme temperatures) may require a device specifically designed to withstand those environments. Even with proper safety cases, is the device designed to tolerate rugged environments? What is the size and distance range needed for scanning?  Device reading ranges vary greatly. It is important to predetermine how these devices will be expected to perform.
  • How much battery life is needed to complete the daily tasks?
    • The makes and models of devices, along with usage all contribute to the battery life. How often will the device be used? Typically, of handheld scanners, the battery life can last days versus smartphones/tablets which may only last a few hours.
  • How many mobile devices are needed?
    • Identify the where, what, and why. Where is the data? When does it need to be captured? Why is inventory control important?

Do your homework before investing time and money into mobile devices. What works for one company may not work for another. To learn more about HL Group, visit or call (636) 590-2900 for additional information.