Choosing the Right Hardware: Making it work hard for you
Productivity hardware includes data capture/ process devices such as barcode scanners and mobile computers, printing hardware such as label and document printers and Human to Machine interaction devices such as Kiosks and Shop Floor Consoles. Purchasing new hardware for your business can be a difficult task given the many factors you will need to consider: features, durability, mobility, and budget. Since the cost of hardware can be substantial, it is important to get the right solution.
To find the best compatibility for your business, think not only about how the hardware will be used but also who will be using it and how often. When you have a clear picture of this, choosing hardware will be much easier. Let’s look at the factors you should consider to find the proper hardware solution for your company:
What features are you looking for?
The best way to narrow the scope of the seemingly endless hardware products available is to make two lists: "essential" features and "preferred" features. The main difference between these two is the "preferred" list consists of features you would like to have and may make your life a bit easier but are not required. Eliminating the products that don't have "essential" or required features enables you to narrow your scope.
What are your durability needs?
It is crucial to understand the environment that the hardware is being used in and the durability that will be needed. Are you in an environment where there is dust and/or the hardware may be dropped? If this is the case, rugged hardware is the best choice for you. Do you need hardware that needs to be cleaned constantly? In this situation, the casing of the hardware will need to be specific. Will the hardware be used by only a few employees or by the public? These aspects will help to further narrow the scope of hardware you are looking at.
Does your hardware need to support mobility?
The process of an employee's job will determine if the company needs stationary hardware or mobile hardware. How frequently do you want an employee walking over to a stationary device? Do you want free mobility for the device to move with the employee to accomplish more tasks on the spot? Also, it is worthwhile to think about Bluetooth printers or devices where an employee can send information from their current location to a stationary one elsewhere or input data directly into an ERP system.
Is the hardware compatible with your software?
You will want to make sure that your hardware will be optimally compatible with your software. By making sure that they work together efficiently, you will be getting the greatest return on your investment. In addition, this compatibility ensures you will not have to do any redundant data-entry into multiple systems, allowing your employees to focus on customer service.
What is your budget?
In most small to medium-sized businesses, up to 10% of their annual sales are dedicated to the IT budget. This includes all the hardware that needs to be purchased. Although hardware is expensive, the cheapest options are often not beneficial for the long run. Going for these options lead to shortcuts down the line that could end up costing the company more money.
If you have more questions or need further assistance Paapri Cloud Technologies is here to help. Call us for a free consultation 574.231.7111 to discuss your hardware needs. Paapri will help you with unique solutions that will fit your budget.