If you’re running and managing a manufacturing plant or warehouse, you probably rely a lot on valuable technologies that are mission-critical to your operations, including mobile computers, barcode scanners, machine vision sensors, and barcode or RFID printers.
But how often do you conduct full health checks or audits of these devices?
If you haven’t conducted a full technology health check before, or if you’re overdue for one, you can download our Quick Guide to Conducting a Technology Health Check to help you get started and make sure you’re checking and reviewing the right things for each type of device. But here’s more on why you should be conducting a check and some initial tips on how to do it properly.
Devices such as handheld or forklift computers, tablets, barcode scanners, barcode and RFID printers, RFID readers and machine vision cameras should be checked regularly and annually for performance, maintenance, firmware updates, security, battery life, and their warranty and support status. Otherwise, if your devices aren’t properly maintained, supported and optimized, you can end up dealing with process disruptions or downtime due to everything from slower network connections and degrading battery life to cybersecurity risks that could be catastrophic to your business.
Ways to Conduct Quick Health Checks of Your Devices
If you’re using a mobile device management (MDM) solution such as SOTI or AirWatch, then your software may already provide insights into your devices’ status and maintenance, so you can check on each device, get alerts about scheduled maintenance or required updates, and manage any support issues. But you can also consult your own records, check with your hardware manufacturer, or even use your devices to conduct diagnostics and analyze their performance.
For example, if you’re using Zebra mobile devices that come with Zebra’s Mobility DNA toolset, you can use the Device Diagnostic Tool to conduct tests and review the performance and status of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and WWAN connectivity, the battery, scanner, touch screen, SD card, buttons, audio, and more. If your device passes the test, the result is highlighted in green, while those that fail are highlighted in red, making it easy to determine in seconds whether your device needs maintenance or repair.
If you use Zebra mobile devices and subscribe to Zebra’s VisibilityIQ services, you can easily see how all your devices are performing because VisibilityIQ automatically pulls data from your MDM system and/or your Zebra devices, and it shows you an aggregated and color-coded view of all your devices with data-driven, actionable insights and recommended actions to help you quickly address issues or proactively prevent problems before they occur.
The Importance of Technology Audits and How to Conduct Them
Ensuring the health and optimal functioning of your devices requires a full and thorough audit across all the different types of technologies you might be using in your operations, and different types of solutions may have different items you may need to review, test or inspect.
For example, when checking your barcode printers, things are much different than when you’re checking and reviewing a mobile computer. Your printheads need to be checked for wear, and you may need to test and review label print quality and conduct regular cleaning and maintenance on a very different schedule from your handheld computers or tablets.
This is why it’s important to have a good audit checklist or outline of the different types of devices you may need to check, what to look for, why, and how to go about it.
For a good outline of what to review and inspect as well as how to go about it with the right tools and documents, download our Quick Guide to Conducting a Technology Health Check. It walks you through how to conduct and manage a successful audit, how to check your devices, which items to review or inspect, and much more.