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Warehouse inventory, with two workers moving a hand truck
Wendy Thacker

Location, location, location. When it comes to new-normal solutions, it’s essential.

Just about every global market has been, and continues to be, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees worry about the safety of returning to their physical offices. They wonder how well-sanitized they’ll be, and whether their employers’ doors will even stay open. Reopening those doors helps to reopen the global economy, but every country’s government has different regulations and guidelines— making the process frustrating and difficult for just about everyone involved.

Preparing for the new, or even next, normal requires businesses to be as proactive as possible—while trying to keep their employees safe and comply with seemingly ever-changing regulations and standards. And now, more than ever, organizations need to be able to see where their critical assets are, to better manage and optimize them to increase efficiency and productivity.

Enter location solutions. This technology allows businesses to know where their resources are, so they know how best to address current and future market challenges. Location technologies also save companies time and money. Having a system to automatically track resources and provide insights into the state of the business frees up valuable time to focus on other critical business decisions. In short, less time spent collecting data means more time can be allotted to reducing CAPEX and boosting profitability.

Location solutions applications typically are built while keeping in mind the different ways in which location data can be used, including:

·       Asset management: The tracking, management, and utilization of anything tangible that’s owned by a company or individual and is held for business use.

·       Safety/security: The management, assurance, and compliance of safety and security for an enterprise, its employees, assets, products, and processes. Common applications include worker safety, evacuation, and emergency mustering.

·       Workflow optimization: The process of maximizing efficiency for the workflow of a business. One example is a manufacturing facility. The goal is to minimize the number of steps to get from point A to point B in the manufacturing process—or ensuring when a worker gets to point B, he or she has XYZ available to do the job correctly.

·       Compliance: The act or process of adhering to a demand or regimen specified by a government, industry, or customer.

·       Sensing and monitoring: The integration of sensors or beacons used to monitor the environmental condition or physical location of an object.

There’s no one-size-fits-all setup for location solutions. Some users may only need to know the general location of an asset—such as which aisle a product is located on in a retail store—while others may require highly accurate, real-time tracking of an asset in a large warehouse. Because of the current pandemic, companies are looking for new solutions to keep their employees safe, prevent shutdowns, and support compliance with changing regulations. Of course, implementing new social-distancing and sanitization policies also are top of mind.

To address current workplace challenges, Zebra MotionWorks Proximity solutions allow businesses and their employees to prepare for the new normal. They combine contact tracing with user-level alerts—to contain exposure and empower workers to maintain a safe distance. From retail and healthcare, to warehousing and general office, this solution can be deployed in almost any enterprise business. It works in the cloud by leveraging devices enabled with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, requires no new infrastructure, and is deployed remotely.

·       Increase awareness with Proximity alerts: Alert workers when they’re too close to others. False alarms are minimized by allowing one minute before the alert is triggered. After the first minute, alerts are issued every minute until workers move apart.

·       Enforce social distancing with Proximity events: Provide managers with information about which employees (or employees and customers) are too close to each other for more than five minutes, so they can remind those workers to maintain a safe distance apart.

·       Identify exposure with automated contact tracking: Monitor reports that allow management to quickly see risk points of exposure with multiple levels of employee contacts, interactions, total duration, and the timestamp of each event.

Adapting your business to the new or next normal requires implementing solutions you can trust. Whatever industry you’re in, Zebra is a leading provider of location solutions and can help customers improve workplace safety. And ScanSource has the industry-leading expertise needed to build and support any complete, end-to-end solution your customers need. Ensure employees are efficient, productive, and, most of all, safe, by partnering with ScanSource and Zebra today. And learn more about Zebra’s MotionWorks Proximity solution here.