7220-series-angled-leftWith organisations of all sizes looking to cut costs, open source Linux based mobile computers are proving an increasingly popular alternative to Windows CE based devices, offering streamlined, real-time stock control with savings up to £750 per terminal.

As competitive pressures force organisations to strive for further supply chain optimisation, automatic data capture technology has become the norm in recent years.

Warehouse and distribution managers who responded to these pressures by turning to RF data collection systems for faster, more accurate inventory control, however, have a challenge. As the original, DOS-based terminal emulation systems they’ve relied on wear out, or are phased out by manufacturers, they’ve been pressured to turn to more costly, complex Windows-CE based systems.

But many industry professionals are discovering that open source Linux-based drop-in replacements for these old DOS devices running terminal emulation clients, such as those produced by manufacturers like Texas-based American Microsystems Limited (AML), provide real-time access to inventory applications, without the unnecessary “bells and whistles” of Windows-CE based systems. Savings can approach £750 per terminal.

“When upgrading our WMS, we saved about 40 percent on our hardware costs by investing in Linux-based terminal emulation devices instead of Windows CE based models”, says Barry Germany, Director at Norfolk based 3PL operator, Foulger Transport.

“Whilst Windows is great for desktop PCs and office applications, it was overkill for the RF requirements of our new WMS” explains Germany. “We have to invest in the most cost-effective technology to give ourselves the greatest competitive edge”.

Julian Patrick of Renovotec, a specialist in mobile computing and barcode scanning technology, agrees. “We’re finding that Linux based handheld and vehicle mounted terminals from manufacturers such as AML are becoming increasingly popular, especially so this year as many companies’ IT budgets have been tightened considerably”.

“As many WMS and ERP systems just utilise standard terminal emulation with character based screens to provide connectivity on handheld and forklift truck mounted devices, it can make a great deal of sense to use lower cost, rugged Linux based RDTs”.

“Any company looking to upgrade their warehouse RDT devices should definitely be considering the option of Linux based devices during their selection and evaluation process”.

For more details on cost effective, rugged Linux based devices, visit www.renovotec.com or call 0845 293 0450.

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