Connectivity Issues & Lost Productivity

What lies ahead in 2024 signifies a transformative phase for the logistics and warehouse sector as it confronts and dispels the pervasive myth surrounding lost connectivity for warehouse applications. This year is pivotal in challenging the notion that it is acceptable for warehouse devices and peripherals to come to a halt in the absence of connectivity.

What happens when Wi-Fi meets 5G?

The trajectory of technological adoption within warehouses is set to intensify throughout 2024, with an emphasis on enhancing connectivity. The industry acknowledges the critical importance of establishing secure and reliable Wi-Fi and 5G connectivity for warehouse spaces, yards, and ports. This awareness is so pronounced that robotics and automation companies prioritize the upgrade of network infrastructure as an indispensable initial step in their deployment strategies.

For every minute of downtime, a staggering 24% of U.S. organizations incur losses ranging from $2,500 to $5,000.

In the landscape of inevitable connectivity drops, the real quandary is not the loss of connectivity, but the subsequent loss of productivity. Regrettably, many warehouse operations teams fall into the trap of considering lost productivity, stemming from connectivity issues, as an inherent and unavoidable part of their operational landscape.

The Real Cost of Connectivity Issues

A report from November 2023, cited by Logistics Manager and based on a study by OpenGear, underscores the economic repercussions, revealing that for every minute of downtime, a staggering 24% of U.S. organizations incur losses ranging from $2,500 to $5,000.

The repercussions of lost connectivity, particularly when coupled with an inadequate terminal emulation (TE) solution, are profound. Workers grapple with the burden of re-entering login credentials, losing critical data tied to their ongoing tasks, and restarting workflows, often necessitating IT intervention to rescue the disrupted workflow.

However, the narrative is experiencing a significant shift in 2024. Anticipations run high that an increasing number of warehouse operations will awaken to the realization that lost connectivity need not translate to lost productivity. This year is expected to witness a substantial move towards adopting the right software solutions capable of addressing connectivity issues and boosting productivity.

New 5G-ready Devices

We expect warehouse and logistics companies to embrace solutions that not only secure connections between mobile devices and Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) but also leverage emerging Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies. Additionally, new devices, such as the Zebra MC9400 series, are capable of connecting to the fastest available networks, including Wi-Fi 6E and 5G. And with StayLinked SmartTE, maintaining uninterrupted workflows between these networks is seamless. 

Against the backdrop of grappling with economic uncertainties and the looming specter of potential labor shortages, strategic investments in solutions ensuring continuous and reliable connectivity emerge as indispensable in attaining productivity goals for 2024. This forward-thinking approach not only tackles immediate challenges but strategically positions warehouse operators to not just survive but thrive in a dynamic and evolving business landscape.

Learn more about SmartTE