Tag Archives: tablets

Industrial Tablets for Construction

The 8 Best Uses for Industrial Tablets in Construction

Either your company already has industrial tablets for construction work and wants to know how to deploy them to maximum effect, or you don’t have them and are considering an upgrade.

No matter what stage you’re in, know that the right application of a handheld, rugged tablet can cut through a lot of the fuss and muss that comes with the paperwork, scheduling, planning, and ordering that can trouble even the most well-organized construction site.

Plus, they’re usually tough enough that if you drop them or accidentally bang them into a girder, they’ll probably be okay.

1) Belly Up to the Internet

Unless you’re only using your industrial tablet to play Solitaire, one of the most important uses for an industrial tablet in construction is to access the internet.

While WiFi can work in a pinch, and with the right infrastructure on the site, a tablet with 4G LTE capability is going to be your best bet for always-on connectivity.

The internet isn’t just for cultivating a mean Instagram feed — it can help for taking notes, looking up replacement parts, finding vendors, sending messages to your crew, and pulling up maps for delivery routes, nearby hardware stores for the little stuff, and any other local needs you or the crew might need.

2) Declutter Your Blueprints and Plans

Juggling rolls of blueprints? Constantly scrabbling for plans in some dusty file cabinet or tossed into the back of a truck? A rugged windows tablet near at hand allows you to pull up plans in seconds, even if you’re in a cherry picker or up on the 50th floor.

That’s also where a tablet beats a phone — the large screen makes it much easier to read the smallest details of a plan. Plus, if the industrial tablet is installed with AutoCAD, you can even alter or fix plans on the fly as needed — no long walk back to the office trailer necessary.

3) Tracking Drivers and Deliveries

Waiting on a vital delivery to continue a project? Need to know what kind of progress the driver of your gravel truck is making?

The GPS and internet connectivity of an industrial tablet allow any supervisors to keep a close eye on incoming and outgoing traffic. Important deliveries for parts and materials can be tracked at any time with the tablet, so you can keep a tight rein on time estimates for both the crew and the company.

Tracking drivers and company trucks has become a commonplace practice, allowing dispatchers and managers a birds-eye view of the transportation fleet. With an industrial tablet near at hand, you’ll be able to know which drivers are running late, which are the most efficient, and just where they are on the road when you need them.

4) Ordering Made Easy

Need more sheetrock? Did someone buy spools and spools of the wrong gauge wire? Out of water bottles for the crew? Instead of putting together a list and ordering back at the office at the end of the day — and hoping you didn’t forget anything — an industrial tablet can allow you to order whatever you need right now.

If a contractor needs more drill bits, tap a few keys on the tablet and get back to work.

The transaction is also digitally recorded and available at any time — no need to collect receipts from gofers and fish them out of a back pocket or from under a car seat.

5) Untangling the Schedule

Construction doesn’t always happen on a clean 9-to-5 basis, and it doesn’t all happen at one stationary work site. Construction workers aren’t always full-time, 365 workers either. To add to the scheduling frustrations, sometimes crews have to wait on each other before they can work — the drywall can’t go up until the electrical or insulation is done, for instance.

Sometimes, weather or traffic concerns can cause delays and play havoc with a schedule. That’s where an industrial tablet at your side comes in extra handy — pull up the work schedule at any time to know exactly who is supposed to be and where. Make alterations as the circumstances demand — you can even configure your scheduler to send notification via email or text to any workers who have been affected by the change, depending on the software you use.

6) Signing Legal Documents

E-signatures are more official and protected than ever before — they are, in fact, just as legally binding as a standard signature in ink.

The first benefit is a physical space thing — instead of having to carry a pen and contracts around, any worker, delivery driver, or contractor can sign the appropriate spot on the digital document right from the tablet.

The second benefit is that, surprisingly, digital esignatures are actually far safer than a signature on a piece of paper. They’re easy to track — most esignatures have built-in metadata tags that record when and where the document was signed, and by who. Plus, since those documents can be stored in encrypted folders, computers, or cloud services, they’re a bit more difficult to steal, destroy, or alter.

Lastly, consider the speed: ditching the paper chain leads to a massive boost in productivity. Did an architect sign off on changes to a plan? Simply email it to all involved. Done. Without the tablet, the long journey begins — the party in question receives the document, prints it out, signs, then either scans in and emails it or has to fax it over. The whole process is barely one step removed from a carrier pigeon.

7) Using Video to Show, Not Tell

Don’t let the video camera on your industrial tablet go to seed — it can be a valuable tool on any construction site.

First off, the built-in, front-facing camera is perfect for video conferences on the go. Need to talk to a contractor, an investor, the architect, or a city official? Construction sites are rarely set up for such communication, but a 4G LTE-connected device can push you into the 21st century in a portable and easy-to-use way. Face-to-face communication is sometimes the best way to get a message across — it’s easier to misinterpret the tone of an email or text than to misunderstand someone’s facial expression or the timbre of their voice.

Video conferencing adds a nice personal touch that can’t be replicated with text or just audio.

Of course, unlike many modern businesses, construction work isn’t just numbers on a spreadsheet — you’re building something physical, something large, and something highly visible. If the boss asks “how’s progress” you can literally flip the camera over and walk them through the state of the current job. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then video is priceless for communication.

8) Discover 3D Volumetric Measuring

Add-ons like a RealSense 3D camera, and corresponding software, can allow you to use the tablet to take three-dimensional pictures of a physical space.

Need to know how much insulation an irregular-shaped room needs, how much concrete you’ll need to lay a four-inch sidewalk slab in a thirty by twenty-foot oval, or how much dirt to fill a trench? Grab your industrial tablet, affix the 3D camera, and allow the computer to record the work space in question and do the calculations for you.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Industrial tablets, when used properly, can transform a construction site and save workers a lot of time and hassle they would have spent wrestling with the small stuff. Many tablets even have built-in barcode readers and RFID scanners, and can do double duty for inventory and asset tracking around the job site.

For more ideas on how to use industrial tablets for construction, or for deploying other rugged mini PCs, contact Cybernet Manufacturing today.

medical tablet and military grade tablet

3 Ways Mobile Technology Can Help People in Emergencies

Hurricane Sandy was one of the most destructive storms to hit the United States in the past decade. It’s listed as the fourth most costly storm in terms of property damage for the US and is reported to have caused at least 147 deaths. The death toll for every natural disaster is thankfully smaller than the potential count because of excellent emergency response teams. Natural disasters are more challenging events for first responders because they require thorough preparation and risky travel—sometimes directly in the middle of disaster zones. It’s not just skill, speed, and expertise in the mind of a paramedic to save lives, it’s the technology they use too. With the right kind of equipment, first responders can help the lives of those stranded during disastrous emergencies and keep lives afflicted as low as possible.

Medical Tablet Communication Without WiFi

Communication during medical emergencies in afflicted locations must remain constant for first responders and emergency medical teams. A first responder team will rely heavily on radio communication, but it takes more sophisticated technology to inform a hospital’s ICU that they’ve found a patient amongst the debris of a damaging storm.

First responders can use a medical tablet with 4G wireless technology to take photos, relay vital signs, provide patient information, and give an approximate patient arrival time, then send off the information to a nearby hospital so in-house emergency staff can scramble to prep before the patient arrives. The same medical tablet can be used in-house to track the patient’s progress to full rehabilitation. One tool to do multiple jobs—one based in the field, another based in the hospital.

Delivering Assistance to the Hungry and Homeless

Hurricane Harvey, another more recent storm, is listed as one of the most devastating natural disasters for the US. Several thousand people were rescued from the damaging winds and heavy rainfall. Nearly 50 thousand homes were affected, leaving many people without shelter. FEMA supplied 3 million meals, several thousand blankets, and thousands of hygiene kits for survivors. With such a hefty delivery to disaster areas, how are they able to keep track of such a high count of supplies, and how can they ensure every individual is served and protected?

Such a massive inventory distribution requires sophisticated tracking to ensure all meals—and all survivors—are accounted for. By using a military grade tablet, inventory from emergency supply warehouses to afflicted disaster sites can be scanned, tracked, and then marked as delivered once the meals are on-site. Discrepancies can be located easily on each disaster site as meals are scanned upon delivery into someone’s hands. Plus, the military grade tablets can be used to connect the disabled and hard-of-hearing to sign language interpreters—something that FEMA listed on their site as recent as 2013.

Military Grade Tablets are Best in Disaster Zones

In the aftermath of a hurricane, earthquake, tornado or any other natural disaster, emergency responders can’t rely on flimsy hardware to do their jobs. The tablet market is littered with underpowered, easily breakable tablets with poor viewing angles and speaker holes that are common failure points. Air quality is bad, dust and debris are often swirling, standing water is everywhere and access to survivors in need of attention can often mean crossing rugged and rocky terrain. We’ve heard of stories where water seeps into the crevices of tablets and gets under the screen, damaging the internal components and blurring the resolution. We’re sure paramedics have dropped equipment in the past, too; you can often see the result of a dropped touchscreen device in the hands of someone unlucky. A paramedic shouldn’t need to decipher what’s on a tablet screen through a series of deep cracks in the glass.

Drops and ingress are bound to happen in disaster areas. That’s why emergency responders need military grade tablets that can resist drops, accidental damage, and water ingress; the proper type of tablet has an ingress rating of IP65 to resist direct water sprays, splashes, and to ensure dirt and dust don’t seep into the tablet innards. Settling for anything less in an emergency can cost time—and more.

 

If you’re searching for the best tablet for emergency situations, don’t settle for models on the consumer market; the right tablet for the job can withstand the perils of emergency disaster zones and help those afflicted like none other. Features such as 4G wireless connectivity, barcode scanners, and ingress protection ensure the tablet has full capability so you can get the job done. Contact us today to find out more.

industrial tablets and medical tablets

Understanding Tablet Battery Life: Not All Solutions are Created Equally

Mobility in the workplace is crucial to boosting productivity. Ask any construction worker or physician using a tablet how their operations have improved and they’ll easily give a laundry list of benefits—time is money in the workplace, and saving one saves the other. However, changing to a mobile workstation can also present a new set of problems that can be pain points for professionals on the go. Battery life is probably one of the most common complaints with any mobile device, whether that be for personal or commercial use. But simply choosing a commercial grade tablet that boasts the longest battery life can end up causing a host of new problems that end up costing you more in the long run. A recent report by VDC Research shows that 18 percent of consumer-grade tablets fail every year when used in the workplace—that’s just one metric a business faces when insufficient tablets are used on the job. Here are a few more pain points to consider.

Understanding your Processing Needs

Scour the market to locate the best rugged tablet and you’ll find a vast majority use low-powered, compact processors. They’re great for running a quick app to check sports scores and what new 5-star restaurants are in the area, but those processors aren’t built for running sophisticated business software meant to track metrics, project progress, or other important business-related numbers. The wrong tablet in the hands of a professional can be frustrating—unresponsive applications, hefty load times, the works. We hate loading bars just as much as you do.

Address that problem early. Find a rugged tablet with an i5 or i7 processor. Your complex software will operate a lot faster than any tablet with the consumer-grade processor. While a more powerful processor can drain a battery faster, hot swap technology means you can just swap depleted batteries for charged ones without having to turn off the unit. Plus, any future upgrades to your software won’t mean you’ll need a new tablet upgrade for at least a few years.

Your Environment Impacts Readability

If you’ve held a mobile device recently (and you likely have), you probably recall squinting or moving to shadowy areas just to properly read what’s on the screen. We’re sure some professionals in the past have shielded the sun or find a darker area of their working environment—a heavy annoyance if you’re working on a construction site during mid-day or you manage a mobile medical unit trying to process patients. The reason for this is that a lot of commercial grade tablets choose to sacrifice screen resolution and brightness to preserve battery life.

The best rugged tablets have a high resolution of 1920 x 1200 and a “nits” emittance of 400 brightness—one of the highest brighest ratings for tablets available today. Brighter screens and higher resolutions are much easier on the eyes. You’ll likely experience fewer headaches and fewer frustrations.

Commercial Tablets Can Get Bulky, Quickly

If a physician is using a medical tablet, they’re a step ahead in maximum efficiency. Same can be said of a warehouse worker using an industrial tablet. However, their evolving task lists might require the use of different peripherals like barcode scanners, RFID readers, biometric security devices, and other equipment to do their job efficiently. External peripherals like an RFID scanner can increase the bulk of a medical tablet. Commercial grade tablets have limited ports, which in and of itself can make it difficult to connect peripherals like barcode and RFID scanners. And if you do manage to connect all of your devices, the tablet itself becomes bulky, and you know have two or three extra devices that you have to purchase and properly maintain.

Skip the tool belt approach by finding a tablet that has all the peripherals included in the design! All three components can be wrapped into the design for a rugged tablet so you don’t need to carry around devices to plug in or store away, risking time drain or possible peripheral loss. Not to mention that plugging in external devices to a tablet is going to contribute to battery drain anyway.

Solving the Battery Issue Without Sacrificing Functionality

After working ten hours with two hours to go on an exhausting shift, flashing battery lights and notifications that your tablet needs an immediate recharge are not welcome. Work has to be postponed to restore the tablet to a full charge. We’re sure there are cases where the internal battery for an industrial tablet malfunctions, the power shuts off, work is lost, and the battery is sealed inside, impossible to remove without voiding the warranty or cracking open components. If the tablet is out of warranty (or voided), it’s usually a costly repair. Once more, time and money are lost and your business suffers.

Resolve that potential roadblock by using a tablet with swappable batteries. There’s virtually no downtime when there’s an extra set of charging batteries that can replace one at the first sign of battery drain. Extra batteries can be charged at a central location and be quickly swapped out for a drained battery in seconds without having to power off the unit. This eliminates both downtime and the need to worry about battery life completely. In theory, a tablet with hot swap batteries can run 24/7 so long as you keep the extra batteries charged and ready.

The bottom line is time and money are at risk if you only consider one thing when purchasing a tablet for your business. Think about what the needs of your business are and what the potential pitfalls might be if you settle on a budget tablet. Cybernet features both a medical grade and an industrial grade tablet that are ruggedized and have a robust component integration, powerful internal processors that beat out consumer choices, swappable batteries to increase uptime, and high-resolution screens with above average brightness. Contact us to learn how we can customize our solutions to meet your unique needs.

 

 

tough tablets

Industrial Tablets vs Off-the-Shelf in the Field

Since 2010, Apple has seen tremendous success after the corporation released it’s first iPad tablet, launching a new market and being the trendsetter in a new line of mobile technology products. As recent as 2016, Apple’s global market share has reached 25 percent for tablets, leading Samsung by approximately 10 percent. It’s clear that this market has seen tremendous growth and application in the past 7 years—Apple sold more than 40 million iPads alone in 2016. However, what we’re looking at is largely representative of the consumer market for tablets and not the industrial market. It’s likely the case that an industrial company settled on Apple products for mobile productivity in the past, but there’s an important financial factor that’s hard to see on a day-to-day basis; the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is an estimation of expenses related with buying, deploying, using, and then retiring of a piece of equipment or product. Industrial companies focus a lot on TCO, but consumer grade tablets aren’t best in the long run for industrial companies. Generally the TCO for a tough tablet is lower (better) since they last longer. Here’s an in-depth look at why.

Tough Industrial Tablets Utilize a Hot Swappable Battery

If you’ve ever tried to remove the internal battery for a tablet, it was probably a frustrating and educational experience. Most tablets are sealed, so battery removable and replacement either requires someone who has experience getting into the innards of a tablet, a trustworthy individual with a steady set of hands who can learn quickly, or device shipment to the manufacturer who can replace the battery if the tablet is within warranty. If it’s not within warranty, expect to pay around 100 USD for a battery replacement and a turnaround time of 3-5 days with no promise of restoring all the previous data. If you’d prefer to remove and replace the battery yourself, kits often cost around as much as a manufacturer’s price for a battery replacement anyhow. That’s not a strong outlook for a business, especially if the tablets have no backstock, leaving at least one employee with no way to be productive. Or, you could just swap out the removable battery on the tough tablet instead and resume productivity. Not only does this removable battery functionality affect TCO greatly, it prevents production downtime. Plus, if a battery doesn’t hold a charge, others are available to purchase. The hot swappable battery function justifies the cost alone. It can take productivity from a few hours to a full work shift—or more, depending on how many people on different shifts use one tablet. One tough tablet with three batteries can be used continuously over the course of an entire day instead of three separate tablets in use, each potentially lasting the time span of a shift and then stored away to charge. Again, industrial tablets have a lower TCO.

Tough Tablets Need Tough Glass, and More

Some tablets use Corning’s Gorilla Glass, an alkali-aluminosilicate sheet of glass that is highly resistant to scratches, direct damage, and drops. Gorilla Glass has become a staple in tough tablet and smartphone manufacturing, but it’s not indestructible and a lot of videos have surfaced online demonstrating it can shatter if a tablet is dropped in sensitive areas—usually a corner. Industrial tablets are known to use Gorilla Glass and often have housings to protect the corners, which iPads and other consumer-grade tablets lack. Sure, a CFO can get protective cases for tablets too, but a rugged case can hit the wallet at about 80 USD—another cost consideration when going with consumer tablets. Why buy more when an industrial tablet comes with the protection? The last accidental drop a warehouse needs is one that shatters the glass on a tablet, potentially rendering the device useless. Tough tablets are built to withstand shocks and vibrations.

Tablets Tend to Bend

A quick search online reveals that consumer tablets aren’t the most resilient to warping. Some have actually shipped bent in the past, and others warp so much the glass actually shatters. Couple that in an industrial warehouse with temperature changes—not a favorable result. Even aluminum and stainless steel are known to warp a few microns because of temperature changes in machine shops, so we’ve come to expect sheets of silicon, aluminum, and glass to do the same. Industrial tablets are built to withstand temperature changes, vibrations, shocks, and accidental damage, extending their life beyond what a consumer would expect. Built with industrial-grade components, these tough tablets have a Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) timespan of six years. Consider that the original iPad released in 2010—several models of the iPad have been released between then and 2017, suggesting that one industrial tablet will last longer than several iPad generations. Again, lower TCO for the industrial tablet.

Capacitive is Great Technology—but Not For Industrial Tablets

Working in a warehouse often requires gloves—regular gloves, unless you buy capacitive-knit gloves (which are expensive and don’t provide much protection), don’t work on capacitive screens. Capacitive technology uses the electrical charge from our hands to actually register a change in voltage, thus changing the elements on screen. With a gloved hand, the electrical charge doesn’t register. Consumer grade tablets usually use capacitive screens, so a gloved hand won’t work. Industrial tablets use resistive screens so a gloved input can actually register. Sure, employees can take off their gloves and work with a tablet screen, but that’s quite a tedious annoyance.

These reasons clearly outline why tough tablets are the best choice for an industrial setting. Consumer grade tablets warp easier, batteries aren’t easily replaceable, gloved hands can’t interact with their screens, operational life is shorter, and there’s a higher TCO. Consider that the MTBF for an industrial tablet is longer than the lifespan for several generations of iPads and other tablets! You don’t want your employees to suffer productivity downtime over charging batteries or sending a broken tablet off to a manufacturer over one drop—unless you prefer spending more money over time.

 

 

Redefining Hospitals for Efficient and Effective Patient Care

Information extracted from a report submitted by Ricoh, intimated that approximately 74 percent of hospitals wielding the power of tablets, particularly medical tablets, to accumulate information, experience higher levels of efficiency, against those who don’t. Against the traditional form of collecting and storing information, patients are more susceptible or relaxed when healthcare providers prance about with their tablets or other mobile devices. Using tablets in a hospital is advantageous for all parties involved, but what about patients? How do they benefit through the use of tablets?

1.Diagnosis/ Medication Education

Quite too often, patients find it a challenge to decipher the elaborate and flowery medical terms conveyed by medical professionals. A tablet, in some cases, has proven to be a mini medical teacher.

What does that mean?

Promoting bedside-friendliness, some doctors were able to roll out their tablets to educate their patients on diagnosis and medications. This was corroborated when an Assistant Professor of Medicine, Henry Feldman, handy with his tablet device, provided a snappy tutorial to a patient on her hip joint.

Additionally, tablets were seen as ideal exhibition tools, as patients were able to peer at test results and images, including X-ray and Ultrasound results! This act got patients involved with what was happening to their bodies and could better clarify to others the gravity of their situation.

Furthermore, tablets are better able to provide education on a patient’s anatomy, which is otherwise difficult to digest. An image does a world of good and is readily assimilated into the patient’s mind. Using these devices to teach patients about their bodies is awe-inspiring. Against merely uttering a patient’s dilemma, showing them on tablets made a world of difference. They actually understood candidly what was portrayed on that small but powerful screen. The tablet is quite the educational, illustrative and instructional tool indeed!

2.Access to Medical History in Emergency Situations

A hospital is no place for loitering. Everyone is on the go, busy and taken up with health affairs. A tablet complements the hectic nature fostered at hospitals. They provide information while mobile and are seamless to carry around. Diametrically opposed to computers and laptops in extremely boisterous hospitals, tablets are a doctor’s best friend and tool to carry around. Conventionally equipped hospitals are rarely able to attest that tablets are ideal, as they’re more accustomed to desktops on rolling carts. This is certainly not the most efficient method, particularly in buzzing hospitals. A doctor needs to have their patient’s medical history on-hand in cases of emergencies. A desktop on a rolling cart just won’t do, especially in these critical situations. Waiting for an available desktop has proven prodigal and even lethal to the patient involved.

A tablet is the ideal solution to replace this predicament. Doctors are able to pull up a patient’s medical history on fly, wherever they’re situated in a hospital. Introducing the handheld is a dandy solution to replace the robust and cumbersome nature of desktops on rolling carts.

To add to the merits patients derive when tablets are used in their care, more time is spent rendering medical treatment, as Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) are accessed while doctors roam the halls. Once a doctor enters the room, treatment can be meted out, against spending time scanning through a patient’s medical history. That is absolutely more attention rendered to patients.

Tablets can also be used on rounds. Once new data is entered in the system, it fully synchronizes with the hospital’s EMR. Without a qualm, using tablets for pulling up medical histories have proven effective and saves precious time.

3.Less Risk of Overcharges

Implementing Electronic Health Records (EHR) cost hospitals a pretty penny – it is very expensive. However, if $300 or less is spent on a tablet and issued around the hospital to healthcare professionals, the cost is lessened substantially. In fact, there are companies pining to offer discounts to fully furnish hospitals with tablets.

4.Vast Availability of Apps

Thousands of medical apps are at the disposal of doctors and medical professionals. To be precise, over 97,000 medical apps are available at present, and can be accessed on major tablets such as Kindles, iPads and others. Thorough research can be conducted using these apps and readily available tools to improve existing processes and tasks.

Tablet usage is redefining how hospitals operate, and changing the way patients view healthcare.  As time marches on, experts predict that they will one day become as common as thermometers and the classic stethoscope.

5 Ways Tablets Can Revolutionize the Way You Do Business

Time is of the essence is in the world of business. Regardless of the size of your company, it’s important to have the skills, staff, resources and technology at your disposal that will allow you to conduct business more quickly and efficiently. Tablets are quickly becoming a must-have in small business circles.  With almost the same characteristics and technological capabilities as traditional laptops possess, business tablets are especially helpful due to their increased mobility and user-friendliness.

Here are 5 ways you can use a tablet to make both yours and your workers’ professional life simpler and easier.

Create and Edit Documents

Running a business involves a lot of paperwork and having a tool that allows you to create documents at an increased pace and edit them right on the spot without having to go back to the office can come in extremely handy. Often times, when communicating with a potential customer, you agree to terms that weren’t what you originally had planned for. In such situations, you can use a tablet to edit the contract document on-the-fly.  Afterwards, you can easily share it with the other party simply by sending it to their email address.

In today’s world, access to the internet via Wi-Fi for free is much more common than it used to be, therefore, even if you are in a café or a restaurant with your client, you can take advantage of this possibility to not only send files to that person while you’re sitting with them, but to promptly respond to incoming email, which is expected as a representative of a reputable company.

Issue Invoices and Estimates

Even a small business can receive a substantial number of orders every day. For this reason, it’s best to handle the orders efficiently as they come in. If you or your employees happen to travel a lot, not being able to check your email or Skype account regularly can have negative consequences, as some customers don’t like to wait and if they do have to wait, they might become disinterested in your offering. With the help of a business tablet, you will no longer need to carry a heavy laptop with you for every journey you embark on.  Instead, you’ll be able to use a lighter device that will allow you to handle incoming orders as they hit your inbox.  What’s more, depending on how things are set up, you could very well be able to take care of invoicing, too.

Simplify Accounting

Accounting is a necessary evil in the business world. Most small businesses hire professional accountants to handle this rather tedious and time-consuming task. There are, however, apps you can download to your tablet, which simplify accounting significantly, In most cases, you simply input values and the program will provide the financial statements you are obligated to prepare.

Deliver Powerful Presentations

Attending a meeting where you need to present yourself and your company in a good light?  Use a tablet for the presentation. If you own MS Ofice, you can use Powerpoint to create your presentations. The possibilities certainly do not end there though. There are a variety of industry-specific apps and programs that can help you present your carefully crafted materials to colleagues, business associates or prospects in a professional – and most important – meaningful manner.  Also, if your audience requests images, documents or materials complementary to the presentation, you no longer need to rush back to the office in order to meet their requirements. You can handle this task right then and there using your tablet.

Record Speeches and Conversations

In many cases, there is a necessity to take note of the speeches and/or conversations pronounced during a business meeting or conference. A tablet can perfectly serve this purpose. Not only can you record your and other people’s voices but there are also other ways you can put the awesome technological capabilities of modern tablets into practice. For example, when having a conversation with foreigners, there are applications you can use, which will automatically transcribe and translate what you are saying into their own language. Not every word is, of course, transcribed correctly but usually it does not pose a significant communication barrier. Alternatively, you can simply use the transcription app of the tablet to come up with a text version of what was said during the meeting.

Conclusion

Even though they are still often under-estimated, tablets are powerful pieces of technology that a majority of small businesses can use to simplify operations.  Not only are tablets a good friend when communicating with prospects, business associates and customers, but they can make other aspects of running a business easier, too.

5 Ways Small Businesses Can Improve the Security of Their Point-of-Sale Systems

Many small businesses such as restaurants, bars, or even retailers, use Point-of-Sale (POS) systems to make the process of receiving payments from customers easier. Complete POS systems may include a computer along with a monitor, a cash drawer, a receipt printer, a credit card reader, and a mouse and a keyboard. They tend to be relatively expensive (cost a few thousand dollars on average) and if you, as a small business owner, decide to invest in a POS system, you should be prepared that these devices are often targeted by hackers who attempt to steal credit card information.

The number of cybercrimes committed every year is quite alarming. One of the major POS system security breaches occurred in late 2011. Romanian hackers compromised more than 146,000 credit cards and stole almost $10 million. Hundreds of POS systems were accessed illegally in the process. Here are 5 ways small businesses can protect themselves and their customers from cyberattacks.

Never Use Default Passwords

A significant portion of POS systems use the passwords that were assigned to them in the factory. Retailers have no incentive to change the passwords and the end customers (i.e. small business owners) usually have no idea about the possibility of the POS system getting hacked into. The simplest way a hacker can get access to the data stored on a POS system is to try the original, factory-set password and chances are he/she will be right. For this reason, it is highly recommended to change the password after purchasing the device.

Evaluate Your Risks

There is something called Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) protocols. These protocols set requirements to help organizations increase their security and develop formal processes designed to identify vulnerabilities that might reduce card holder data security. By following these requirements companies can evaluate the risk of being hacked and determine which controls can help their businesses be protected. This is not a one-time action. Risk assessment should be an ongoing process, so that if any threat emerges, it can be responded to by taking preventive measures. You should also keep in mind that risk assessment is only a part of all the applicable PCI DSS requirements.

Know Who You Are Dealing With

This could be the most important tip of all. To fully understand cyber criminality and the possibility of yours or your customers’ data being stolen, you should educate yourself in this area. By educating yourself in this field you will no longer be tempted to underestimate the potential consequences data theft could mean to you and your business. Often times criminals are former employees of the particular restaurant or bar that he/she targets. At the end of the day, it is much more comfortable and safe for the hacker to steal the confidential data from a far distance. There is no need for him/her to hold up a cash register at gunpoint anymore. The POS system can be accessed from anywhere in the world and data can be stolen via electronic means with little to no footprints left behind.

Do Business with Trained Resellers

If you are purchasing your POS system from a retailer and not the original manufacturer, you should see to it that the retailer has been trained under the Qualified Integrators and Resellers (QIR) program. This program was put in place by the PCI Council and its purpose is to increase POS security. Professionals and IT experts working in the retail organizations can now receive this training. It is designed to educate them about how Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) applications can be installed securely. By following the methodology taught in the training, companies can make sure they comply with the PCI DSS standards. If you work with a trained individual, he/she will help you to install and maintain the payment applications you are going to be using. You can read more about these applications below.

Use a Reliable All-in-One PC

Small businesses can now protect their customers’ data by complying with the PCI DSS standards. PA-DSS apps can be installed on a number of devices, including tablets and PCs. This PA-DSS validation has to be correctly configured and maintained for it to work as it is supposed to be working. Otherwise it will not provide much benefit at all. Other apps such as ID verification apps can be installed on the PCs or tablets, as well, for increased security.

Conclusion

POS systems are among the most frequent targets of hackers trying to profit from their criminal activities. Since these devices are usually connected to the internet, they can be accessed from anywhere in the world by a capable hacker. This problem is not likely to go away any time soon and for this reason, you’d best be prepared.

6 Ways Tablet PCs Can Help Your Salesforce

Tablet computers have made their way into just about every facet of business. From stock rooms to boardrooms, these powerful mobile computers are spotted everywhere, filling in the gaps where smartphones are too small and laptops are too cumbersome.

In the area of sales in particular, tablet PCs have changed the way business is being done. With their smaller size, lighter weight and free mobility they are giving sales representatives more information and more tools that allow them to increase their efficiency and effectiveness.

Where tablet PCs were once seen almost as toys or novelties, they have evolved into real and powerful standalone computers that, in some cases, offer better features and reliability than many popular laptop or desktop systems.

The following are just a few ways that equipping your sales team with a tablet PC can increase their productivity and ultimately close more sales.

Digital Catalogs

The need to carry a briefcase filled with bulky papers or heavy books has vanished. The modern sales rep can carry his entire catalog on a tablet PC.

Going beyond just listing items that are available, the tablet PC makes it possible to show pictures and videos that bring products to life, include customer reviews and present other information that just wouldn’t be practical to print in a traditional catalog.

Today’s tablets with high definition screens and powerful processors can display your products in a way that a printed paper catalog could never match.

Best of all, the tablet PC as a catalog is always up to date with the latest products, never wears out from use and doesn’t need to be reprinted or replaced. Not only will tablets make your catalog more attractive and interactive, they can cut the costs of printing and distributing catalogs completely.

Real Time Stock Levels

Your sales team will never have to tell a customer to wait while they make a phone call to check on the availability of products. They can get real time inventory data and tell the customer not only if a product is available, but also when it can be delivered. They’ll never have to say, “Let me get back to you on that” again.

Availability and delivery times can even be integrated into the presentation and pitch process with live, up to the minute data.

Real Time Order Placement

Orders can be placed immediately with little to no paperwork. With just a few taps on the screen, a sales representative can jump from a catalog display to order placement and even allow the customer to fill in his own details and close the deal himself.

The process of closing the sale instantly becomes more interactive and personal, leading to a greater feeling of customer satisfaction and security.

With ultra-fast processors and multi gigabyte memory capabilities available now, switching between apps and screens is seamless. Sales reps can move from one screen to another to process and close a deal faster than it can be done with pen and paper.

Face-to-Face Communications

A salesperson working on the road can stay in constant communication with colleagues back at the office. There’s no need to travel back to the office to make a meeting, and colleagues can be brought into meetings with clients when needed as well. Sales personnel are able to dedicate more time to clients and growing the business instead of making time to run back to an office to gather updates and new data.

With the available memory and storage on these devices constantly growing, meetings and announcements can also be recorded for later review or playback. Salespeople can even record their meetings with clients to avoid the need to stop and take notes in the middle of conversations when momentum is important.

Quick Access to the Web

In addition to internal documents and data, a tablet PC provides a smooth transition to the web to show off other relevant data that will help close a sale. Clients can be shown how other people or businesses are making use of products and services. Independent data that backs up the salesperson’s claims will also help to instill a feeling of integrity and trust.

Professionalism

Overall, the use of tablet PCs gives clients a sense of preparedness and professionalism when they meet with a member of your sales team. Your sales reps can simply pull out one device and have everything they need in a beautifully presentable form. There is no fumbling with papers or searching through a briefcase to find missing pages. The need to stop in the middle of a conversation and make a phone call is gone. There is less wasted time and more attention paid directly to the client. Customer service is actually improved with less effort and sales numbers naturally rise.

How Rugged Tablets Are Used In Healthcare

The introduction of rugged tablets into the marketplace has helped to improve the services provided by a variety of industries, but these devices have added significant value to the healthcare field. Tablets have eliminated the need for hand entered data, which can be life saving for some patients. Tablets have been incorporated into hospitals as well as other types of medical facilities, because they save time, money and energy. Some of the of the uses of tablets in healthcare include:

Mobile Imaging

The use of rugged tablets in doctors offices, hospitals and other medical facilities allow medical staff to access copies of medical images, such as ultrasounds and x-rays. This type of technology provides quicker access to images for comparisons, so two or more images can viewed side by side, allowing for appropriate treatment. There are also additional tools available for use with medical tablets that allow medical professionals to connect the tablet to an ultrasound probe, allowing for quicker ultrasound imagining.

Medical Documentation

One of the biggest advantages of using tablets in the healthcare field is the improved accuracy of patient data. Using a tablet helps an entire healthcare system remain organized and consistent in different facilities. This is extremely beneficial to patients who receive treatment through different healthcare facilities, because all of their medical information can be quickly accessed, allowing for quicker treatment to the patient.

Practice Management

Tablets provide medical organizations easier access to in-house scheduling and planning. Staff can be scheduled, surgeries can be planned and meetings can be arranged, all without having to stop what you are doing in order to access the staff computer system. This type of management system makes it extremely convenient for medical professionals who need to schedule patient visits and/or procedures with other facilities. Medical billing is also streamlined, timely and accurate with the use of a tablet.

Patient Education

Educating patients on their injuries or illness as well as the type of medications and/or treatments they need, is critical for their recovery. Tablets make educating patients easy, because the medical staff can use resources, such as online videos, diagrams and animations, to provide their patients with detailed information about their illness. Patient education helps them understand what is happening to them and with instant access to education, the patient will have a better opportunity to ask questions and/or voice their concerns as information is being shared with them.

Medication Orders

The use of a tablet provides medical professional with an instant view of current medications their patients are taking as well as allergies. This can be detrimental in providing medical treatments in an emergency situation, especially when medications you are going to give may interact with the patients current medications. If a patient is severely injured in an automobile accident and unable to speak, medical professionals can quickly search the patients medical history for medication allergies before providing treatment. Tablets also help to significantly reduce errors that are often found in hand-written orders.

Tablets and similar technology will continue to progress and change the way the healthcare industry operates, providing better experiences for everyone at every phase of the treatment process.

How Rugged Tablets Can Prevent Serious Construction Injuries and Deaths

Construction companies have begun to use tablets as a valuable resource to reduce the hours, days, even weeks off of their project time. Construction site managers can instantly provide their clients with price quotes, obtain insurance approvals and schedule project start dates, all without leaving the job site. Tablets have proved to be invaluable on a construction in regards to cost, but cutting costs may only be scratching the surface, Rugged tablets on construction sites may also help to prevent serious injuries and even death.

Prevent Serious Construction Site Accidents

Construction sites are risky places. Preventing falls, avoiding equipment related accidents and other job site related injuries are only a small amount of the daily safe considerations on a project site. According to OSHA, one in five worker deaths in 2014 were in construction. Falls, being struck by an object and electrocution were the leading causes of death for construction workers.

There are typically two primary risks on a construction site, proper planning and communication. However, thanks to modern technology, devices, such as tablets, help plan safer job sites and improve communications. A few of the ways a tablet may help to prevent construction site injuries and deaths include:

3-D Printing

A tablet allows construction site employees to turn digital files in 3-D illustrations. This is extremely beneficial for preventing serious accidents on project sites, such as bridges and high rise buildings. The ability to view the work area in 3-D not only reduces the risk of human error and accidents while inspecting these sites, but prevents the risk of accidents while working on the project. Construction workers will have a better view of the exact area in which they will be working, which can reduce accidents such as falls from sections not visibly seen or slipping from a narrow passage.

Safety Apps

There is a vast array of safety apps and software available to help address some of the greatest risks in the construction industry. For example, modeling software provides visualization of every detailed element of a facility, prior to it being built. This type of advanced planning is crucial for identifying construction site hazards by allowing project managers to evaluate the risks before construction begins and preparing the workers for the conditions they will face.

Communication Saves Lives

Good communication is essential on a construction site, not only is it necessary for efficiency, but as a safety measure as well. Tablets allow constant communications between supervisors and workers, which allows for instant notification of a safety problem or accidents. Tablets are becoming a required “tool” and can be found in the tool belts of contractors, line men and electricians. A tablet provides phone, email and camera capabilities, allowing for instant medical attention for a job site accident. In many situations, construction site deaths may be prevented when communications are available.

The risk of accidents on a construction site can never be completely eliminated, but if everybody involved with the operation of the construction site has access to a tablet, especially when doing a potentially dangerous task, it may very well contribute to preventing serious injuries or death.