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Why a Managed Services Contract is The Smart Choice for Your Barcode Equipment

For my final article in our four-part series (click the number if you missed article 1, 2, or 3), I’d like to share a final tip for Global Shop Solutions ERP customers regarding how you can optimize your barcode scanner and printer investments: Don’t wait for something to break.

Throughout this series, I’ve shared tips and best practices for selecting the right barcode scanners, printers and label media to complement your ERP and other business software investments. As I’ve mentioned previously, this advice is based on more than 15 years’ experience in the barcoding and data collection world – including eight years with a major barcode scanner manufacturer and seven years running my full-service data collection and inventory tracking solutions company, EMS Barcode Solutions. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned during this time is that the most valuable resource you and I have is time. The fact that you’re already a Global Shop Solutions ERP customer tells me that I’m probably preaching to the choir a little here because your company was most likely already thinking about ways to better utilize your time when you traded paper, pens and clipboards for an ERP solution.

However, while software plays a key role in running your business more efficiently and profitably, it can only do its job if your staff is properly trained on how to use it. And secondly, your software’s effectiveness is dependent upon the hardware it’s running on. And here’s the point I want to make: Every time that barcode scanner doesn’t read a barcode label, every time the printer doesn’t print a label (or the label’s unreadable), or your workers can’t connect to your network — you’re losing time. And when these scenarios arise, they often cause employees to revert back to their previous manual and error-prone ways.

In previous articles, I talked about the importance of choosing the right devices and having a repair strategy when things go wrong. What I’m about to add doesn’t negate that advice in any way – it’s just one more way you can optimize your time: mobile device management (MDM). I like to think of it as managed services for barcode scanners and printers. Like managed services, it means paying a monthly (or yearly) fee to have a dedicated person or company (like EMS Barcode Solutions) manage your barcode equipment and media for you. Here are three ways an MDM/managed service could benefit your company:

  1. Configure Once, Deploy Many. Looking to rollout several barcode scanners or printers at once? Instead of wasting time handling each device and installing software and performing configurations one-at-a-time, an MDM solution allows you to select the software and configurations once, then with a push of a button deploy each device simultaneously, remotely.
  2. Keep Your Devices Secure. Any device that’s attached to a corporate network is at risk for a potential cyberattack these days. And if there’s one thing cybercriminals have become adept at it’s going for the low-hanging fruit, which are devices with outdated security. A case in point is the latest worldwide ransomware outbreak that made headlines in early May, called WannaCry. The ransomware exploited a Microsoft security vulnerability that Microsoft had released a patch for two months prior. The reason hundreds of thousands of computers were infected was that they hadn’t received a security patch update in several months. Managed devices are updated regularly with the latest security patches, firmware, and drivers, which minimizes security risks and performance problems.
  3. Keep A Pulse on Device Health. Before devices break down, there are oftentimes signs that precede the event such as a slowdown in performance, increases in missed reads, or increases in device temperature. With an MDM service in place, customers can hone in on these ailing devices and act before a failure occurs.

I’ve really enjoyed sharing a highlight of the value-added services EMS can offer Global Shop Solutions customers. If you haven’t done so already, please check out the custom landing page for Global Shop Solutions customers, where you can see several examples of products that are certified to work with your Global Shop Solutions ERP application and you can learn more about the ways EMS can help you optimize your barcode scanning and printer investment and make the best use of the one limited resource we all need to optimize, which is time.

Eric Sutter is a business development professional with more than 20 years of experience in barcoding, building solutions for asset tracking and warehouse management across a wide range of vertical markets. Sutter founded EMS Barcode Solutions on the premise that customers need more than data collection devices and software — they need solutions. By combining and integrating components such as mobile computers, software, labels, and ribbons with professional services, EMS delivers solutions that provide its customers with a tangible return on their investments.

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