Mobile Solutions for Supply Chain Efficiency and Productivity


By Eric-Jan Vermeeren, Director Sales Strategic T&L Accounts, Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions.

Organizations across the supply chain are embracing digital transformation in pursuit of productivity and efficiency gains. Mobile computing is a critical element of that transformation, with this market expected to reach $6 billion by 2027[1].

However, technology investments also bring some challenges. Productivity gains can easily be lost when devices are out of service. Furthermore, mobile solutions have a high capital investment. Supply chain organizations expect a reasonable return on this investment (ROI).

Honeywell’s CT47 ultra-rugged handheld device offers the required technical features as well as a low total cost-of-ownership (TCO) that satisfies the investment criteria for use cases across the entire supply chain.

Supply Chain Mobile Device Challenges

Companies deploy mobile technology in supply chain applications to provide real-time information for inventory control and parcel tracking, among other benefits. However, productivity gains from mobile solutions can be offset by poor device reliability, frequent upgrading of devices, and the harsh environmental conditions that hamper device performance.

Mobile device failure during a shift immediately and substantially impacts worker productivity. According to VDC research[2], workers lose an average of 74 minutes of productivity for each device issue. Over 50% of the research respondents cited dropping devices as a top cause of device problems, with cracked screens highlighted by 46% as the foremost symptom. Battery failure is another issue for always-on devices as workers lose productive time whenever they leave their tasks to change a device battery.

Companies must prolong their device life to maximize the ROI for mobile solution projects. They must do this despite the rapid pace of change in technology development. Operating systems, like Google’s AndroidTM, update frequently, and older versions no longer receive security updates. This could leave some mobile devices in the field unsupported. On the other hand, mobile devices must also be able to take advantage of new technology as it emerges. Connectivity solutions, such as Private Cellular Networks and Wi-Fi 6E, offer high-speed data transfer that can benefit mobile solutions for the supply chain.

Manufacturing facilities, warehouses, and transport environments expose mobile devices to harsh conditions. These devices must work and thrive in various environments – indoors and outdoors, in artificial lighting and in bright sunlight. Likewise, scanners must operate at close range and long distances. As much as possible, the same device should be suitable for a wide range of applications to avoid duplication of investment costs and the challenge of integrating diverse systems.

Honeywell’s CT47 Mobile Solution for the Supply Chain

The Honeywell CT47 is an ultra-rugged handheld mobile computer that meets the diverse needs of supply chain organizations in a wide variety of use cases. The CT47 emulates the ergonomics of consumer devices workers use in their everyday lives. Its design makes it easy for users to embrace the technology while employing the enhanced ruggedness and technical features needed for enterprise mobile solutions.

Honeywell’s CT47 is designed to withstand multiple 3.0m (10 ft.) drops to concrete and over 3,500 tumbles at 0.5m (1.64 ft.). The device can also be fitted with a protective boot accessory for extra protection in severe environments. The CT47 comes with a long-lasting 4,775-mAh battery designed to last an entire shift. Extended batteries of 7,692-mAh are also available for demanding use cases, and wireless charging batteries for added flexibility.

Honeywell ensures backwards compatibility for the CT47 device by providing crucial security updates for Android Operating Systems up to five years after Google ends its support. As a result, this device is compatible with Android OS from versions 12 to 16. Furthermore, the CT47 is future-proof too. The device comes with the latest cellular and Wi-Fi technology to enable connectivity using 5G, private cellular networks, and Wi-Fi 6E.

Bright screen displays are essential for user interaction in outdoor conditions. The CT47 has a full high definition (FHD), 5.5-inch screen. It has a Gorilla® Glass ® 5 covering for protection and offers glove, stylus, and rain modes to facilitate ease of use in any environment. The latest FlexRange XLR scan engine provides high-powered scanning performance up to 80 feet with a bright aimer for challenging conditions or a standard range aimer for general applications.

Supply Chain Use Cases

Companies throughout the supply chain, from manufacturing, to warehousing and distribution, to transport and logistics are all employing mobile solutions for improved productivity. While each step in the supply chain has its own unique challenges, the CT47 is a multi-use device that can span the applications across each step and reduce the need for disparate systems in different use cases.

Manufacturers need access to real-time information about the flow of materials through their processes to enable consistent quality control. This data enables them to identify and rectify issues quickly while also managing their inventory control efficiently.

Warehousing and distribution centers must capture data at each critical touchpoint in their workflow, including receiving, picking, putting away and replenishment, cycle count, and shipping. Accurate scanning at any distance and in any lighting conditions is a critical performance criterion for mobile devices in this use case.

Transport and logistics companies must meet e-commerce consumer expectations for speedy delivery and access to package location information. Drivers have tight delivery schedules and need real-time updates of products from pickup to delivery. Airports have the additional challenge of extreme weather conditions and bright sunlight, making device performance a critical success factor for this use case.

Honeywell’s CT47 device meets the needs of all these use cases in a single, rugged, handheld device. Using a single mobile solution allows supply chain companies to make material and product data visible across the entire organization. This data enables effective work process optimization, quality control, and inventory management.


While the capital investment into digital automation solutions can be substantial, the CT47 mobile computer can help organizations achieve the productivity they need, while delivering a reasonable ROI and low TCO.

Operating as a single, robust, handheld device, the CT47 is an ideal mobile solution for supply chain organizations throughout a wide variety of use cases.

If you’re ready to learn more about how the CT47 mobile computer can enhance your business operations, increase productivity throughput, and deliver ROI, get in contact with a Honeywell solutions expert today.

Eric-Jan Vermeeren is Director Sales for the Strategic T&L Accounts. He joined Honeywell in 2017 as Global Account Manager. Prior to Honeywell he has held sales positions with increased responsibilities with Telefonica, BT and Getronics. Eric-Jan graduated from Saint Louis university with an MBA.



Add a Comment

No messages on this article yet

Editorial: +44 (0)1892 536363
Publisher: +44 (0)208 440 0372
Subscribe FREE to the weekly E-newsletter